A FRESH LIGHT HAS BEEN CAST this past week on the evil which internet anonymity can unleash following the suicide of a high profile celebrity TV star. It is said that the woman’s death was brought on by the postings of a host of social media trolls of an especially vicious nature. Her fear of being inundated with even worse again due to a pending court case was apparently what drove her to end her life.
I am reminded of the wise words of one Lord Macauley who once stated that, “The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he thought he would never be found out.”
Envious internet trolls of an evil disposition assume precisely that: that they will never be found out and this, no doubt, accounts for the level of the cruelty which they so readily perpetrate.
As a writer, I enjoy a very modest social media presence compared to such a high profile personality. Even so, I have had some hurtful slings and arrows cast my way, so I can easily imagine what it must be like to be operating in the upper stratospheres of media visibility. It can surely be quite distressing.
I sometimes think that the negativity which comes with any high profile position can make a person wonder if fame is really worth it. It can only make one wonder twice as much if one happens to be in the crosshairs of a peeping troll. Given the seriously deteriorating state of cultural civility in the world nowadays, maybe it’s actually not.
While so-called internet trolls might think themselves exceedingly clever for knocking a celebrity down a few notches from their “high and mighty pedestals”, they are actually doing themselves more harm than they realize, for they are planting karmic seeds within themselves which will grow monstrous over time and come back to choke them in one form or another. As we sow, we reap. This is not just an aphorism. It’s a genuine reality.
The way karma works is not as mysterious as many believe. There does not need to be anything particularly cosmic about the process. In short, by thinking a certain way repeatedly over time, we deepen a pattern of belief until that particular pattern becomes so entrenched in our neurological system that it engenders an automatic psychological expectation in us. For example, by sniping in a cruel manner, over and again, at others on social media, we come to believe that everyone is like us: cruel and vicious. This manner of thinking, in effect, darkens the spirit by wrapping a toxic cloud about one’s mind.
Envy, given anonymity, can turn a single act into an evil. It may take nothing more than a rude or derogatory sentence by someone on social media to cause serious emotional harm – and this by an individual who probably cannot imagine that they are in way an “evil” person.
In the last analysis, everyone has a conscience, even cut-throat criminals. We all know at a very deep level the difference between right and wrong, beneficence and cruelty, good and evil. The damage which flippant remarks cause does not just injure the target of one’s wrath, but also penetrates the subconscious mind of the perpetrator. Such remarks plant mental seeds which grow over time and influence that person’s perception of him or herself and the world about them.
According to metaphysicians, mystics, yogis and those who have had a profound near-death experience, what life on this planet is primarily about is how we treat others; it is about relationships. It is about whether we treat others as we would have others treat us.
One commentator in recent days called this a “cynical age” in which the many and various global societies around the world are not just in freefall, but irreversible decline.
That word “irreversible” is particularly troublesome, but when I look at the polarized state of politics in the world today I have to wonder if the commentator may be right.
I hope not, of course.
Like any other decent soul, I feel great sympathy for the vivacious and admired woman who took her own life believing that she had no other means of escape from the media firestorm which surrounded her. Tragically, she was wrong. There is always a way out, for tensions ease over time and events always settle enough to allow us to see things in a truer light if we will just be patient and remain calm.
Seeing events in a truer light and a wiser perspective is what the Higher Self does. Trust it.
I once attended a lecture by a learned Buddhist lama and one of the things he said I found quite intriguing. He said that if we walk into any room full of people, essentially one third of those present will be receptive and welcoming toward us, one third will be repelled or put off by us and one third will be totally neutral toward us. This, he said, is human nature.
In my view, we humans are radiant, vibratory beings whose resonance propels us toward some and away from others. In other words, it causes us to gravitate quite naturally to those with whom we feel most comfortable, rather than toward those who make us feel nervous or seem to exhibit hostility toward us. Perhaps this is precisely what keeps society spinning around, so to speak, so that within any given culture variety can reign. After all, variety is not just the proverbial spice of life, but that which greases the metaphorical engine which churns forth novelty.
Whether the “one third” scenario is literally true or not, it does provide an interesting perspective in terms of the expectations we might have as we make our way through the world, for it gives us a degree of latitude that can spare our feelings. In other words, if we automatically assume that not everyone is going to like us and that some people are actually going to be negative toward us, we can take both the positive and the negative commentaries in stride. This means that on any given day, some of the vibes we encounter will be receptive, but some might well be hostile. Therefore, the obvious thing for us to do is to gravitate toward receptive people and steer well clear of the other.
The same would be true, we might assume, on any given social media platform. There will be friendlies and there will be detractors ready and willing to snipe critically at us. We need to take that in stride and not overreact. Whatever we do, we must not spit venom back at them, but rather say something in a calm, civil manner which keeps us on the high road. After all, trading insults with someone only makes a troubled personality more determined than ever to get the last word in and win the argument.
Unfortunately for such people, there is no real winning in such instances. What toxic trolls and social media bullies do is poison their own souls.
So, let us help our children to adopt a sensible attitude to the challenges which social media presents. Bullying and sniping are reflections of the perpetrator’s state of being, not the worth or value of the person who happens to be their hapless target. Their bluster is not a show of strength, but a sign of ignorance, for they are ignoring their own higher spiritual nature in favor of base level emotions which will bring them only karmic detriment in the end, not benefit.