When something happens, we choose our response. This choice becomes our action and colors our perception of what continues to happen. Each group of Arrows, whether Dark, Light or Rainbow build on one another. The second arrow cannot be picked up without first picking up the first arrow. By the time, we pick up the seventh arrow, the previous six arrows are all at work.
Looking back to the first dark arrow, once our basic reality needs are met and we still claim to NEED something or someone, we opt for pain rather than pleasure, shooting the dark arrow of attachment from our quiver.
Opting for pain rather than pleasure are the choice points that signal a necessary death experience, for example, death of a pattern that is no longer working. These are the emotional shock points necessary for maturation to occur. Recognizing emotional shock points for what they are, we re-interpret what we claim to need as WANTS.
If we stay at the effect and in reaction, choosing pain over pleasure, the second arrow we pick up within the Circle of Foxes is Dependencies. Picking up this arrow keeps us from maturing and gets us caught in the adaptive triangle of Persecutor, Victim, Rescuer.
A good example of this is addictions. In our imbalanced, immature state, we choose long-term pain and create short-term pleasure through using addictive substances, becoming attached to the initial “high” as a NEED. We know deep inside that we don’t need the addictive substance. And yet, we still WANT to re-experience the initial state of short-term pleasure again and again, thus creating dependencies on the addictive substances. Picking up this dark arrow, we become the victim to the substance, whether its food, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, gambling, work, or co-dependent relationships, to name a few. The substance can also be perceived as the “rescuer,” numbing the emotional pain or stress temporarily. And ultimately, the substance also becomes our “persecutor”, causing affliction, sickness, disease, and sometimes even death.
Can you think of instances in your life when you initially became attached to a perceived NEED? Or the moment when you realized this was not actually a NEED, but instead of letting the pattern of pain die, you redefined the NEED into a WANT and kept the pattern of pain going?