A good friend of mine, Shelly, was recently talking about her concern over how desensitized we are becoming to all the sex and violence in our mass media. She feels that every entertainment program along with the news is saturated with sex and violence unlike never before. Is she right? Does the hyper exposure to violence and sex desensitize us? How does it affect us in the long run as a society and culture?
Something I wonder is how does it affect our karma? Do you believe in Karma? If you don’t you might after I share with you an explanation that I was taught that makes sense to my right science loving brain.
What is Karma?
A Buddhist monk once explained karma to me that made perfect logical sense. It wasn’t anything magical beyond the magic of our minds. He explained to me that karma is the impressions that you make on my mind. As he sees it there isn’t some supreme being keeping score on us and punishes or rewards us when were are bad or good little hairless monkeys. We keep score on ourselves by the impressions we place in our own mind. What you hear, see, and most importantly do will leave a mark on your mind. A mark that may show up later today or in a few years or maybe never. We project onto the world the contents of our supercomputer. It 's hard to determine from where individual projections are coming from. Although we have made incredible leaps in understanding our brain in the last twenty years there is much that is still a mystery. When the Buddha would speak of karma, he would say that it is easier to reach enlightenment, whatever that is, then understand karma. There have been entire books written on karma so a small blog post won’t do it justice, but understanding it as the imprints we put in our own mind is a simple way to think of karma.
Does garbage in = garbage out?
If you buy into the explanation of karma I have given then you must realize that what you expose yourself to will have an impact. Those imprints can be strong or weak. Several factors establish the depth of the footprint but a major factor is what level and type of emotion are attached to it. We tend to remember things from our past that had a high level of emotion attached it to. There have been several studies which show that this is the case. On the other hand, I often wonder why I remember certain events in my life and others draw a blank. The school of hypnotherapy which is an accepted school of psychology shows us that many thoughts stay under our conscious radar and can be uncovered by a trained professional. This tells me that all of the circumstances we encounter as we go through our lives are stored in there somewhere including the ones we forget or want to forget.
Be aware of what you let in
Almost all of the events that take place in our lives are out of our control. We only have control over two things. The direction of we allow our thoughts to travel and our actions. We like to think that we have control over the rest but that is an illusion. Therefore, take heed what you allow in. It is challenging to know what all this exposure to sex and violence will have in the long run. The fact remains that we are living in the least violent time in human history. Still, I believe It would be best not to expose yourself to the oversaturation of sex and violence that is present in our mass media digital world. Who knows how your karma will play out? Why muddy the waters more than they already are.
Until Next Week,
Rich Decker – Mindful Accord