There are two primary ways to view causality and its interaction with ourselves.
The first is consequences. A simple linear if/then which covers smaller events. It is what we typically live with. This idea that what we do has an effect which is limited. It coincides with that kernel of selfishness in all of us which decries us the center of the world. What we do effects the world. It even acts in the opposite way to ego. In the belief that we don’t matter. That we are too small and what we do impacts so minimally that our lives are meaningless. This is the egocentric view of the world. It is the easiest way to see our world beyond ourselves and it would be easy to dismiss it. However, many people do not get to this point.
So we must nurture and cherish those who do. They take a step upon the path of seeing. And though they may never step further, they are still more awake than most sleepers.
The second view of actions takes us away from the self and considers the world. We have popularized it as Chaos theory. That if a butterfly flaps its wings and in the distance of the direction of time and space a typhoon occurs. This is big and dramatic and it sticks in our memory. But its wrong. At least in perception.
The second view is repercussions. That an action reverberates like a wave down the lines of causality making real one thing over another.
Put more simply it is that if I buy a sandwich, all the things which propagate outward from that are down to that cause. But that cause is the result of a series of actions and thoughts which resulted in that action. Nothing is alone. Nothing is isolated.
That can, at times, be both of a comfort and a terror.
Be thankful that humanity lives linear lives. What came prior can be examined and learned. And we can choose in the moment what we will do. Sometimes those choices aren’t good ones. Sometimes they are between extremes which we cannot separate from our self. From self preservation. But denial that they existed, is false. Merely that we found the repercussions of those choices to be unacceptable and so denied their existence. This is understandable in the moment of choice. But unforgivable when there is time for reflection.
It is difficult to maintain knowledge of repercussion. In the moment, the best we often get is consequences. But it is essential that we examine in those quiet moments the repercussions. If only so that in the next moment of choice, we choose more wisely.