The Butterfly Effect
Have you heard of the “Butterfly Effect“? The poor butterfly is blamed for contributing to the formation of hurricanes, etc. The purpose of the theory was actually to explain why weather patterns are impossible to predict accurately, since innumerable small factors influence the outcome. Another explanation of weather phenomena (especially destructive weather and floods) is that they are “Acts of God”. Hmmmm.
This would be a tempting point to launch into a discussion of karma, free will, destiny, “God’s will”, etc., but in the face of mass destruction, such analysis always seems so heartless, doesn’t it? So-what if we figure out the cause of undesirable circumstances? Will that relieve the immediate or even long term suffering? The question is, how can we reduce the suffering in the current situation? Certainly, we can volunteer or work for relief agencies. God bless those who are able and willing to roll up their sleeves and jump in! Or we can donate to such agencies, according to our capacity. Otherwise, we are pretty much left with one option: Prayer. The question is: What to pray for? Vedanta philosophy teaches that most of our suffering is due to non-acceptance of our current circumstance. There is a beautiful prayer you may have heard: “The Serenity Prayer”:
“Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change what I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” While I may not be personally affected by the current hurricanes physically, my heart goes out to those who are. My prayer is that all those who are suffering may be blessed to remember this Serenity Prayer. Amen
QUOTES FROM MY NOTES
Why grieve over something you cannot avoid? We make ourselves miserable by resisting all the time. “The grass is always greener …” is a formula for suffering. Let God do what He wants to do. Let go of your preferences. Whatever comes that is bitter is meant to help. Have the conviction that God is your benefactor. Attune more and more with God. This is devotion. Devotion is surrender to God. Let go. Let God.
Endeavor or to do all actions in a way that would please the Lord. Any simple task can be done with love.
Perform all actions with a spirit of kindness. It is easy with some people, difficult with others. Learn to see God in all.
If this is too much to ask, then at least cultivate the spirit of forgiveness, compassion, lightheartedness. Try to fulfill the other’s agenda. This is surrender of ego, of selfishness. When the ego goes, what is left is God.