The Butterfly Effect
I recently read about a phenomenon called “sensitive dependence on initial conditions”. It is more commonly known as the “Butterfly Effect”, and was discovered by a man called Edward Lorenz in the early 1960’s.
By experimenting with a computer program he designed to model weather patterns, Lorenz discovered that by rounding off the decimal places in his programming of the initial weather conditions, (making the tiniest of changes), something unexpected happened. The rounding of the decimal points caused a dramatic divergence in the end results. This discovery was named the “Butterfly Effect” because it has been described as meaning ‘that the tiny changes brought about by a butterfly moving its wings in San Francisco have the power to transform the weather conditions in Shanghai’.
When I read this I realised that he had scientifically discovered a theory that is well known to spiritual people. I clearly remember being struck by the power of meditation and positive thinking when I was first told that if one person can hold on to a positive thought for at least half an hour then this thought will manifest in the universal consciousness.
Not unlike the butterfly effect, this means that if someone in New Zealand has a powerful experience of inner peace and happiness, then this experience has the power to positively affect someone on the other side of the world- in China, perhaps! As Sri Chinmoy is frequently reminding us, on a world scale we each have more significance than we can ever imagine, and if we can transform our own lives then we are making a profoundly positive step for all of humanity.