We’re adults—when we talk about consequences, it’s with our children, or grandchildren. We learned about consequences from our parents when we were small, and now we pass that information on to the next generations. Yes?
Yes and no. We did not learn about the larger context of consequences that impacts each of our lives, every moment. I’ll use the metaphor of cake: each thought we have first discerns (sees the cake), then calculates (how many pieces are there?), divides (slices the cake into pieces), separates (puts each piece on an individual plate). This is the nature of thought.
Noticing happens—a pre-thought occurrence. Then I grab onto the first thought that is generated from noticing, and discriminating begins: how can this be made better or worse? Bigger or smaller? Darker or lighter? Cheaper or more expensive? Next, I preference that discrimination—choosing one over the other. Then I hang on to my preference.
And now come the consequences: each time I grasp, wanting reality to be different from it is in this moment, suffering is born and grows. Perhaps conflict arises within myself—an internal fight. Or conflict arises with others who hold a different vision and want a different outcome. My mind might gnaw on this conflict, even as I walk to my car. I’m so embroiled in the mental machinations that I don’t notice the curb, and I stumble, crashing into a nearby parked vehicle. As I painfully push off the car, I see it’s dented. This tiny mental conflict now involves physical pain from the fall—with possible chiropractic appointments— and an insurance company to repair the car. I might arrive home that evening and take out my self-annoyance on my dog, my kids, or my husband. So many consequences, all arising from the pattern of division that is a natural tendency of thought, and my believing that thought to be true.
I don’t believe that you could deny that this plays out in your life. It certainly has in mine. But when we catch ourselves, and notice this pattern of separation–preferencing, grasping, and suffering–the unraveling and unlearning begins. Suffering will lessen. That’s a promise.
© Skye Blaine, 2011