Let’s think about cause and effect.  There are two perspectives I will use when trying to decipher the cause and effect of me hitting

Watch out, this plastic body hits.

you on the head.  Now, I’ve hit you on the head.  And I am not apologizing.

In the discipline that studies human behavior and motivation, known as psychology, my hitting you on the head has a cause and effect.  First of all, what caused me to do it?  Did you say something mean to me?  Did you try to steal my purse?  Was it in self defense?  If none of these apply, I’m psychotic.  Now, why did I react by hitting you?  Well, my reaction was an effect of, say, growing up in an abusive family or a family that hit frequently.  Or, it was an effect of my efforts in unlearning to be a passive person after an episode of bullying when I was an elementary school.  (Note:  none of this is true.  It is a scenario).  Once I hit you there will probably be an effect.  You might swear at me or maybe hit me back.  You might call the police or ask me why I did such a horrible thing and try to talk it out.  Your reaction is going to be based on your perception of the situation and your own background and experiences.  So the cause and the effect are both based in our own histories and perceptions.

Now, yoga philosophy sees cause and effect differently and I am only just learning this outlook.  I hit you on the head (again).  I did not apologize.  You call me a psycho and rather than hitting me back, you leave.  Yoga philosophy says the cause in this situation is not me hitting you.  The cause happened before this moment, sometime ago, when I planted a seed of an act of either kindness or pain.  I probably planted a seed of kindness in the past because you did NOT hit me back today.  The effect is that you called me a psycho and walked away.  There was no negative repercussion to hitting you on the head NOW, but I just planted a seed of pain when I hit you.  This negative action will cause another effect in the future. 

The philosophy of yoga is simple and clean, kind of.  There’s less talking involved, less breaking down the situation, it seems.  More thoughts about how to behave in this moment than why we are behaving in such a way.  Less thinking, more doing.  Plant seeds of kindness and compassion and all that results in the future will be good for YOU.  Plant seeds of pain for others and all that results in the future will be painful experiences for YOU. 

I hope I’ve planted a good seed in writing this post, one that ripens into full knowledge of yoga philosophy!

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