A Dark Tragedy…Almost
The energy of your life will be consumed by the forces of chaos and order. The choices that you make will determine which force dominates your life.
Evelyn Ashmole was born in Brewster, Nebraska; population 29. Brewster was a small town by any standard, and Evelyn’s primary hope throughout her entire childhood was to grow up, leave Brewster, go to college, and live in the big city. She wanted to get a job with a large company, just like the ones that she saw on television. In Brewster, everyone farmed, and those who did not work, did not eat. Evelyn loved her little town, her four brothers, two sisters, and her mother and father. She loved the white-tile Baptist church that they went to each Sunday, and the loving elderly pastor who had taught there for more than 40 years. As she saw it, her childhood was as close to perfect as she could imagine.
Evelyn grew up and performed well enough in high school to earn a scholarship to the University of Nebraska. She earned a degree in library science and, after college, took a job in Phoenix as a clerk at the Arizona State University library. She had continued to attend church every Sunday, talked to her parents faithfully every week, and managed to make some happy and constructive friendships which helped to quell some of the loneliness that she felt when she thought about home. Evelyn’s life was not quite perfect, however.
Over the past three years, Evelyn had attracted a string of relationships with men that had nearly killed her. Bill, one of her boyfriends, a junior architect at a local firm, had tried to throw her out of his car when she refused to have sex with him. The car was moving at 50 miles per hour at the time. Prior to that, he had threatened to hit her on several occasions, and was frequently verbally abusive.
David, her first boyfriend, had stalked her after she decided that she no longer wanted to see him. Several times, she found him lurking behind the bushes at her home late at night as she prepared for bed. She reported him to the police, but he always managed to escape before they came to investigate. With no witnesses and no proof, they had nothing to go on. Eventually, he moved to Los Angeles and sent her a scathing letter stating that she had ruined his life, and that he never wanted to see her again.
The incident that drove her to see me, however, was quite a bit more serious than the scenes outlined above. One night, as she walked to her car, Evelyn noticed that someone was following her. She worked the late shift at the library, and she often asked one of the security guards to escort her to the parking deck. On this night, however, she was in a hurry to get home to talk to her oldest sister Ann about her upcoming wedding. Ann was the first of the three girls to get married in the family. In her haste, she had forgotten to call for an escort.
Evelyn looked over her shoulder and saw a tall, thin young man quickly approaching her. She did not recognize him and instinctively clutched her purse tightly and slipped her hand into the outer compartment. Just before the young man could overtake her, she grabbed the container of mace that she had secreted away in her palm, sprayed him in the face, and ran to her car. The young man covered his face and grimaced in pain. Her quick thinking slowed him down just enough so that she could get to her car, lock the door, and speed away without further incident. She began having nightmares, panic attacks, and problems sleeping. A couple of weeks later, she called my office for an appointment.
Evelyn was almost certain that something was wrong with her. She wanted to know why she had such bad luck with men. She was afraid that she was going crazy. We talked for a couple of sessions and, except for recent events, Evelyn Ashmole was as healthy and well-adjusted as any young woman I had ever met. One day at the beginning of our session, Evelyn noticed a textbook of forensic psychiatry on my shelf.
“I didn’t know you were into this stuff, Doctor Gibson.”
“Oh you mean forensics. Why yes, I trained in forensic psychiatry during my residency, and I consult for the police, banks, and the court system from time to time on forensic cases. Why do you ask?”
“I just love reading about true crime, novels mostly.”
“How many books of that type would you say that you have read, Evelyn?”
“Oh hundreds and hundreds. I started reading them when I was in college, just a little bit now and then. But as luck would have it, the section that I work in at ASU is full of them. When things are slow, I get to read as many as I like.”
Evelyn went on to describe her hobby in more detail. She not only read true crime novels, she had developed an insatiable appetite for them. Her favorites were based on serial killers, gangsters, sex crimes, and rape. Her favorite movies were of the same genre, and each night before she went to sleep, she rewarded herself with a movie from her vast collection of horror, true crime, and mystery.
“So, Evelyn, what effect do you think these books and movies have on your life?”
“They are just that — books and movies. They don’t affect me. I am a good person and I don’t think of myself that way. Why do you ask?”
“I find it very curious that the troubling events in your otherwise very placid life are quite similar to the energy that you pour into your mind through your books and movies.”
“But how can there be any connection between the two? I mean, it’s not like I advertise to the creeps out there what I read and look at on TV. How would they know anything about the choices that I make in my mental diet?”
At that moment, Evelyn’s rather insightful comment struck me like a ton of bricks. She was right. Her passion for true crime and horror was her little secret. She didn’t share it with her family, close friends, or coworkers. As a matter of fact, Evelyn had decided to keep her indulgence in crime all to herself, but she was not sure why. Her mental and emotional diet was, for the most part, quite healthy, except for the plate of unhealthy relationships that she had served herself.
Evelyn’s comment about her mental diet had triggered a chain of thoughts in my consciousness that led to topic of this blog post:
The energy of your life will be consumed by the forces of chaos and order. The choices that you make will determine which force dominates.
Our understanding of reality has changed drastically over the last 40 years. At the start of the twentieth century, Newtonian physics and the atomic model of reality dominated our schools and textbooks. The revolution of relativity, quantum physics, and Albert Einstein changed all that forever. We now know that reality as we perceive it is a creation of the mind, and that everything that we see exists only while we are looking directly at it. That means that the book you are now holding exists only while you are looking at it. Your home, your car, your body, and everything that you see and perceive in the world around you exists only because your consciousness creates the perception of seeing it. Experiments in quantum physics have shown that the fundamental particles that make up our reality are profoundly influenced by how we perceive them. These experiments have shown that even at the subatomic level of reality, particles of matter can be influenced by our perceptions and consciousness.
In our younger days, we were taught that a rock is a rock, a tree is a tree, and a cloud is a cloud, no matter who looks at them. The reality is, no two people perceive reality in exactly the same way. As a matter of fact, each of us shapes reality around us according to our emotions, perceptions, and choices. This brings us to Evelyn.
Evelyn’s choices in life were, for the most part, very healthy and constructive. However, she had planted within the sphere of her consciousness, a menu of unhealthy energies, which ultimately led to the growth of a series of negative changes in the world around her. In the books and movies that she loved to read, women tended to be victimized by men in often violent and deadly ways. Evelyn had grown up in a healthy and loving family, and her appetite for true crime novels was far different than the energy that had shaped her youth.
As she explored her independence in life, Evelyn naturally desired to engage in relationships with men and find her true love. However, she had not dated in high school, and she had had only one relationship in college. She was still somewhat naive in matters relating to men and, much to her surprise, a great deal of her “experience” with the energy of relationships had been found in her books. Without realizing it, Evelyn had programmed her subconscious mind to resonate with violent and unhealthy themes relating to men.
As a result, she had shaped her growing relationship consciousness with energies that tended to resonate with the forces of chaos and crime when she interacted with men.
“So by reading about crime, you think I attract it to myself?”
“It is a theory. I would like to test it, Evelyn.”
“How can we test it?”
“I believe that the mind is very powerful; much more powerful than we can imagine. I would like you to stop reading about true crime, murder, and mystery novels. I want you to transfer from the department you currently work in, and try something different. Tell them you are bored or something like that.”
“But what will I read? What will I do with myself? How will I get to sleep?”
“By programming your consciousness with negative energy, you are attracting to yourself the kinds of people and events that you may not want. Why not try reading more uplifting and positive books? A good romance perhaps…one with happy healthy heroines and heroes who get the girl and don’t kill her.”
“This sounds a little crazy. You really think my mind is doing all that?”
“Let’s look at it this way. We all get a certain amount of energy in life that we can spend in any way that we choose. If you choose to spend it on chaos and suffering, we will get more chaos at the end of the day. If we choose to spend it on order and happiness, we will create events that lead to happiness and order. The choice is yours.”
Evelyn took my advice and cleaned out her collection. She transferred to the children’s section at the library, and gradually fell into a happy and uneventful routine. She began to sleep better, and her nightmares vanished entirely. Over the next few months, she noticed that her mood improved, her anxiety problems disappeared, and she felt better about herself. She felt that a cloud was beginning to lift from her thinking.
From time to time, she would slip back and read a crime novel or two, but she noticed that her sleep would inevitably become disturbed, and the nightmares would return. She made the connection that the energy that she placed within her mental diet would indeed manifest in her life.
Evelyn soon met a healthy young man, a professor in sociology at ASU, and she is very happy. There has been no report of violence or chaos in her relationship, and as far as she is concerned, reading true crime, mystery novels, and looking at horror movies is strictly off limits.
Evelyn Ashmole learned the basics of a very important key to leading a happy and fulfilling life. The energy of consciousness that we build into our lives draws upon a discrete well of potential. This force can and will manifest in our lives according to our choices. If we seek out happy, constructive, and harmonious choices, those energies will grow into events in our lives which will lead to happiness, harmony, and contentment. If we seek out chaotic, unhealthy, and negative choices on a regular basis, those energies will grow into events in our lives which will lead to disharmony, unhappiness, and misfortune.
Mitchell Earl Gibson MD