Another area where we need discrimination is in the stories we encourage and pass on. If we spend time with gossips, it’s easy to fall into the trap ourselves. I remember taking a step back and re-evaluating some of the joke emails I used to send along. There can be a fine line between humour and attack, between making light of something and putting it down.

Some areas of the internet have become quite dark, people feeling they can and should say whatever they want. But it’s a mistake to think there are no consequences.

You see that same habit carry forward into spiritual circles, spreading rumours about other students or the teacher or seeing it as appropriate to attack everyone who sees things differently than you.

If we feel badly about ourselves, we may feel some satisfaction in putting others down or “in their place” or seeing others do this. The media is full of this kind of behaviour. Many don’t realize the harm they do others – and themselves – this way. I’ve seen disgruntled former students carry on about it for decades after their falling out. Who does it help to carry your pain past it’s due date?

There are several kinds of problems we create for ourselves by using charged communication.

One of the motivators for gossip is envy and covetousness. Rather than seeking what we want, we desire to take it from others. This leads to forms of “inner” theft that ironically robs us of opportunity and abundance in our own life. This can be surprisingly subtle – if you find yourself comparing yourself to others, what is the feeling with that? Is to have what they have? Or to lift yourself up to be their equal?

Similarly, this can draw us into attachment to what is not ours, holding away our own good.

When we twist the truth to manipulate and control others or the story we tell, we break our connection to truth and understanding. We also have to get more serious about our story so we can keep track of the fabrications we’re telling. Those little white lies can add up. Soon enough we gain a sham weight, a burden to carry.

Telling the “sweet” truth to avoid being harsh is one thing. But distorting or telling outright falsehoods creates exactly that – others will not speak the truth when we don’t and we become surrounded by a world of everyone’s lies, of masks and props. What does that do for wisdom and clarity? For finding our purpose?

Yoga also observes that when truthfulness is established, the fruit of our actions comes quickly. In other words – we get faster results.

The word is mightier than the sword. When we use words to attack or harm others, we invite the same for ourselves. Like attracts like.

What we stand against is a subtle form of violence that makes the enemy stronger. What instead do we stand for? Is it not better to avert danger and eliminate enemies as Yoga prescribes? Only pro-peace will lead to peace. Anti-war is just another battle.

This list may also remind you of the Ten Commandments. They are of the 5 Yamas or observances of Yoga. The 5th is Moderation.

Never underestimate the power of your own attention in creating the life you’re living. All of the above reduce our own quality of life and hamper our own happiness and success. Yet we’ve been told the solutions since we were born.

When you make changes to old habits, they can take time to shift. And the momentum of your life may take time to turn. But the effort will bring rewards in spades.

Just remember the golden rule – treat others as you wish to be treated.

Last Updated on June 25, 2023 by Davidya

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  1. Right, Michael.

    But it’s important also to recognize these can go to much more subtle values than we recognize. And more subtle can be more potent.

    The Yoga Sutra can be a useful gauge here. ‘When non-theft is established, all jewels (wealth) rises up.’ In other words, if there is still a subtle value of theft, abundance will be reduced.

    Of course, there can be other dynamics at play and “abundance” may not show up as cash. But I’ve certainly found that as those subtle threads of grasping fell away, value has increased.

  2. Michael

    Yes that is an important point!
    The subtle stuff is very powerful (in hypnosis they say “the more unconscious, the more powerfull”).
    This theft can also be emotionally/enercetically (“far” away from our conscious mind) to our partners or other persons in our lives. We just feel a very little more secure when they are around us, very, very subtle. And as we allow that to become more conscious we find hidden deep within/below our personality some strong very uncomfortable imprinted energies from very early childhood, for ex.
    All clinging devalues us and creates conflict on the energetic level and that will hinder abundance in all its forms. (“seek first the kingdom of god and everything will be given unto you”)

    have a wonderful day David!

  3. Yes, clinging I refer to as attachment or identification typically. It keeps us stuck and dependent on the external for our security and happiness.

    That’s not theft though. Theft is when we try to take from them is subtle ways. Some forms of manipulation, for example. Oh, and am reminded of some of the messy family situations you see over inheritances sometimes. Family expectations can be a form of theft. Or the stuff we lay on our kids.

  4. Michael

    When we need them around us for our happiness, we take some energy from them to stabilize our weak energetic pattern and that would show in physicality as manipulative behaviour (subtle or not so subtle) to Keep them around. Is that not “stealing” (theft) from them?
    As you wrote “trying to take from them in subtle ways like Manipulation”.
    I mean when we feel complete we do not have to take something from others.

    Or do you mean theft in a purely physical way?

  5. Well – we are constantly exchanging energy, but yes, if this is manipulated and uneven, it is theft.

    Good point. Thanks for clarifying. My point was simply differentiating clinging and theft.

    And some people do have an ongoing and often not very conscious habit of theft in a number of ways – energetic, emotional, mental, and so forth.

  6. Morgan

    When I find myself gossiping it is usually truthful statements that I use to get my audience to come to a conclusion about a person’s character. When I ask myself why I do this or why it feels good, my answer is that if feels like I am giving myself justice. Like the universe is allowing the person to get away with their bad behavior but I can use my free will to counter what the universe is allowing.

  7. Hi Morgan
    Well – it is useful to understand that the universe is a vast energy machine that is constantly working to maintain homeostasis or balance. In other words, what goes around comes around.

    No one gets away with anything. We may not see the justice taking place. In fact, if they have a decent backlog, it may take some time for it to come around. Lifetimes even. But come around it will.

    This becomes much more apparent as we work our backlog down. Then it comes around quickly and we realize consequences much more rapidly.

    The issue with giving justice ourselves like this is it doesn’t resolve their error and it creates trouble for ourselves. Key here is the energy – not the truthfulness of what you’re saying but the charge (feeling) or judgement you’re giving with it. That giving will come back around to you in proportion to how many that multiplied it.

    If for example, someone that heard it was neutral, it simply dissipates. But if it triggers them and they then pass it on, it amplifies for you and them. It gets very complex very quickly.

    But if we heal ourselves internally, then we step out of the need to express ourselves that way and stop creating trouble for ourselves. As the saying goes, peace begins within.

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