2-14-93 KARMA + THE BIBLE: 2 Non-resistance is an integral aspect of working on your karma

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2-14-93 KARMA & THE BIBLE: 2 Non-resistance is an integral aspect of working on your karma. Non-resistance is more than not resisting things and people in the physical world. It includes being kind and peaceful in our thinking and emotions. A person may refrain from fighting or speaking angry words but at the same time boil inwardly with resistant thoughts and emotions. Harboring such thoughts and emotions disturbs your peace, your health and seeps into all aspects of your life. They frequently burst forth in unexpected action. (Story of the perfectly controlled swami.) Everyone is unique. Everyone thinks their problems are unique. Even after being assured that everyone has similar pain and troubles, our sense of unique pain or grief remains. It is not that we disagree with that assurance. We know that everyone does have more or less similar, if not the same problems, but this knowledge does not diminish our sense of being uniquely in pain. One way that we are equal is that we are equal in our uniqueness. At times of pain or grief there is a natural tendency, an innate urge to turn to God to seek solace, to find some relief from our suffering. This intuitive urge came with our evolving intelligence and realization from animal nature to human nature that there is a power greater than ourselves. This power we call God. God does not cause human suffering, nor does God cause human happiness for that matter. Suffering or the absence of it is the result of human mental states and attitudes. Personal fulfillment is not determined by externals, including an external God, but our attitude and action toward externals determines most of our karma. Sitting quietly, calming mind and emotions, becoming non-resistant, quiets our ordinary mind which is ever engaged in thinking about external things. Only when this mind is quiet and tranquil can it be illuminated by the Spirit. The beneficial effects of the Spirit are gained from within, not from without. In order to be able to do this when needed, you must be able to do it when not needed; for you never know when it will be needed. Daily practice is a must. Practice calmness and gentleness in all your activities. As I said before this does not mean that you let others abuse you, only that you maintain a satisfactory standard of behavior. We do not allow others to rob us of our peace of mind. Some of you remember the three monkeys: See no Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil...it's from an ancient Sanscrit fable, so is the Blind Man and the Elephant story. There is a message in that, but as spiritual seekers, we try to elevate that standard in ourselves to "Think No Evil, Speak No Evil, Do No Evil." We return forgiveness and compassion, not personal self justification. We try to maintain equal-mindedness. Anger is defined as "the emotion of instant displeasure." It is indignation arising from the feeling of injury done or intended. Ire, rage, fury, wrath, are varying degrees of anger intensity. The word itself is from Latin "angere" meaning "to strangle." In Sanscrit anger is kroda and is frequently preceded by "foul, stinking." Is anger bad? Or does it depend on the individual and the circumstances? According to Christian theologians who study such things, anger per se is not "sinful." It is "sinful" only in the following situations or conditions: 1. When it rises too soon; that is, without your reflecting on it. 2. When it is disproportionate to the offense. 3. When it is transferred from the guilty to the innocent. 4. When it is maintained too long. 5. When it becomes vengeful. Proverbs 14:29: "He that is slow to anger has great understanding. (References to these conclusions are Mat.5:22) "Whosoever is angry at his brother without cause shall be in danger of the judgement. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the Council." Raca = empty one, worthless. Ephes 4:26: "If you are angry, let not the sun go down upon your wrath and you incur no sin." Certainly it is wise to settle our differences peaceably and promptly, if possible. But that's not always possible. Winning an argument over an opponent does not validate your position. Both or either of you, may be right or wrong. To bring in a third party, whether they agree or disagree with one or both, cannot decide for us. (Acintiya) So what are we to do? Proverbs 22:24 offers good advice: "Make no friendship with a person prone to anger or you might become like them." Ecclesiastes 7:9: "Do not be eager in your heart to be angry for anger resides in the bosom of fools." ...or as my ol' Granpa says: "When arguing with a fool make sure they aren't doing the same." We don't need those kind of people or the situations that they stir up in our lives. It is better to avoid them. We could say to this person who is prone to anger and argument: "If you continue to do this, I choose not to associate with you. I am not going to attempt to change you, but if you change yourself come around again. Until then it is adios, au revoir, auf wiedersehen, so long...it's better that we part." I can see and respect the God Spirit in all, even a skunk, but I do not have to walk its path and I certainly don't have to take it home with me. We can maintain our clear understanding while continuing on OUR OWN PATH. Restricting circumstances can be changed, transcended or avoided. In doing so you eliminate the karmic effect. It's not always easy or even comfortable, but if you are stuck, you must get unstuck or growth will cease. Putting others first is good, but you must also remember: "You can't feed the poor if you don't eat." You cannot love others if you don't take time to love yourself. One must use discrimination in their decision as to what to avoid and what to participate in. If it keeps reoccurring there is probably something to learn from it. Carl Rogers speaks of unconditional positive regard. That makes sense to me. I believe we must develop unconditional positive regard before we can love ourselves or anyone. Love is not something that drops from heaven. To love takes effort and commitment and loving ourself oftentimes takes great effort. I'm not speaking of narcissistic love but genuine love and respect. In a way, we all love ourselves. The question is how do you love yourself.... Emily Dickinson/Robert Browning, "...count the ways...." If you really loved yourself, you would not need laws to force you to wear seatbelts; you would not need warnings that "smoking is harmful, over- eating is dangerous; driving while under the influence can be lethal." We would not abuse alcohol, drugs, people or this earth if we love. If we love ourselves we would heed the warnings of environmental pollution and planetary destruction. We would do something about all of these..if we truly loved ourselves. Aikido (I-kee'-do) is a form of Japanese martial art. It means "Harmony of Nature." It teaches students how to blend their movements with those of an attacker in such a way as to neutralize the attack. Instead of trying to overpower the attacker or eluding the attack, you simply neutralize the attack. Aikido (I-kee'-do) recognizes that you can take a cooperative approach to aggression. You learn to blend someone's attack from a grounded, centered position, using the energy of the attack to neutralize the aggression. This same philosophy can be applied to our thinking when we feel angered or prone to violence. We can by calm intelligent thinking, speed and actions, neutralize verbal aggression rather than responding in like kind when we are grounded or centered in God. There is ample evidence in the psychological history of aggression that it is much easier to generate anger if we consider our opponent to be subhuman, "gooks," "slanteyes," "Japs," "Dagos," "Wops," "Niggers," "Kikes," "Queers," "Fanatics," "Nazis," "Spics," "Chinks," "Honkies," "Chicanos," "Slopeheads,".... It begins in our thoughts then proceeds to verbal bashing and escalating to physical bashing. So, the first thing we must do is to see our enemy like unto ourselves, equal to ourselves in all respects. To practice non-violence is to have a sense of interconnectiveness. We don't just see the person as they are now but we see the possibilities for growth and development, the potential for expression, the potential for enlightenment. To deprive someone of self respect, or to be perceived as a threat that might deprive someone of self respect, is to instill the motivation for aggression. Sometimes the greatest way to disarm an attacker is to treat them with respect. This can be an effective defensive move. To combineand paraphrase ancient martial art philosophy and William Saroyan, a playwright and author, "Do not kill if you only have to maim. Do not maim if you only have to wound. Do not wound if you can reason. If you cannot reason walk away in peace...but if in the times of your life you have sincerely tried all of these unsuccessfully, and it becomes necessary to kill in order to stop evil, then kill and have no regrets and walk on. Live your life, add not to the misery and sorrows of the world, but rejoice at its infinite beauty." The traditional meaning of the archetypal warrior has to do with self mastery: that is a warrior knows the real enemy within. This includes facing your own weaknesses and your "shadow side" (to use a Jungian term)... you confront your own demons. Gaining mastery involves sitting peacefully experiencing one's self without agitation including one's assets and qualities. In self help groups such as AA and AlaNon these are sometimes written down by others in the group. One person, as he was reading the list complied as others saw him began to cry, saying, "I see in my assets the kind of person I always wanted to be. And I can by eliminating my faults and character defects. I can become who I want to be." By eliminating karmic causes, we eliminate karmic effects. That is the beginning of enlightenment. The more you become sensitive, intuitive, responsive to the spirit, the more you are unfolding increasing passivity. This puts you in peril, for you still feel the negatives. Hence the more you must restrict your contacts until your strength is above them. It is prudent to walk away from a situation where there is much pressure to commit a foolish action or to make a foolish decision...walk away before it escalates to the danger point. Resisting early beginnings is the most practical way of dealing with negatives. Paul Brunton, a philosopher and one whom I consider enlightened (died 1961), believed that the counsel of Jesus "to resist not evil," applied only to our own thoughts, not other people's thoughts or actions. We are to turn aside from our negative thoughts by substituting the opposite positive one. For example we need not expend our strength resisting the thought of misery; we are to substitute hope for misery whenever the misery thought comes up in our mind. This is in keeping the metaphysical concept that "to oppose something is to maintain it," not only maintain it, but "to give it strength." Do not attempt to fight evil with evil. Overcome it by calling on your Higher Power to bring out the good in you to meet it.... In this way you obey the counsel "resist not evil." As Spiritual seekers we do not ignore the negative side of our life or another's life; we deal with it because circumstances force us to, but our way is different. We will use all of our faculties: intellectual, practical and intuitive. We will keep calm and not let passion or negative emotion carry us over the edge. And when done, we hand the results over to God, however we perceive God, and whatever the results. We remain non-attached to the results; that way we transcend negativity, evil, sin, whatever you want to call it, even though we must grapple with it. With peace in mind, harmony of feelings and knowledge of the universal presence of divinity, who can continue to harbor thoughts of violence, "evil"? When we succeed in overcoming our own negative feelings we mount an upward rung on the spiritual ladder. We elevate all humanity a little. When others try to involve you in negative situations, negative criticisms, negative emotions, or attempt to get you to support their attitude or position, it may not always be convenient to walk away, but you can remain silent. You can express silent disapproval by body language. It is of little use to meet irrational arguments with rational statements, especially at a time of emotional prejudice or passionate bias. It is better to remain silent until a more timely opportunity presents itself; it may be necessary to deal with them with a firm hand. (Hiss?) If so, don't hesitate but do it impersonally and calmly. When Confucius (450 BC) was asked about returning good for evil, he answered: "With what then will you return good? Does this not push goodness to an extreme position, rendering it almost ridiculous by condoning bad conduct? I say return good for good, return justice for evil." I believe that we must forgive those who mistreat us. Forgiveness is as much, or more, for our own benefit as it is for those we forgive. It purges or cleanses us of negative feelings toward that person. After forgiveness, we need not think that this implies that we have to associate with such people. There may be a change in them or us at some future time that makes association comfortable or even pleasurable, but we don't have to push for it. We only must make certain that we recognize the earliest inkling of negative thoughts and immediately replace them with positive ones. If a friend is persistently trying to draw you into their negatives, those too can be firmly resisted. Say plainly to them that they are entitled to their views, but you would rather not discuss them because "We have discussed them many times before and I do not agree with you. It is non-productive, even counter- productive and I would prefer some other subject as long as it is positive." To compromise with evil of any kind leads in the end to confusion, weakness, a gradual decline of standards, a contradiction of principles and a wavering spirit. Remember the parable of the talents of Matt 25 when Jesus said: "Well done, you were faithful in small things. I will now give you charge of greater things." What we are speaking about regarding non-violent ways of combating evil or negatives can be called wisdom. Ignorance is the opposite of wisdom. Ignorance breeds violence, and violence breeds more violence of varying kinds. Violence of any kind is a destructive force, which in the end, in its ultimate manifestation, destroys even itself. Looking around this world, there must be many who feel they have no future to live for, and only an apathetic present at best, or a miserable present at worst, in which to exist. There are times when a person is more vulnerable to negative thoughts than at other times. In great emotional depression, physical discomfort or even in great emotional excitement, anger or passion of any kind, we are more susceptible to negatives. We may have to make a greater effort to accept God as the source of this universe, including those things in it that we dislike, but to not do it is to deny God as the one power in the universe. We must take the words "Lo I am with you always" and repeat them over and over until we realize their truth and understand their meaning. No matter the circumstances, joy or sorrow, light or darkness, we are never separated from God, nor can we ever be... "Lo I am with you always...." ------------------------------------------- For more information contact: Don Parkison, MD c/o The Oneness Center 2000 S. Stewart Springfield, MO 65804 1-417-889-5215 or contact: Sandra Price Shadow Rider BBS 1-901-873-1570 Tapes may be purchased for $3 each


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