3-7-93 KARMA: Conclusion The Law of Karma may be represented by an archer shooting arrows

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

3-7-93 KARMA: Conclusion The Law of Karma may be represented by an archer shooting arrows from a bow. The arrows already released are past karma. We still have a quiver full of arrows that we are simply carrying around for the future. Only the arrow that we have fitted into our bow is the only one still under our control. It is our present karma. Once we let it fly it is beyond our control; it speeds on to produce its effect. Aristotle remarked: "Though you have the power to throw a rock, you do not have the power to retrieve it in mid-flight." And so it is with our words and actions. They proceed on to exert their karmic influence on our lives everyday. From the day we are born to the day we die each of us is working on our karma. You start with what you have carried forth from your past and begin to work on it. Karma, being made by human will, is subject to human modification. Fate, being decreed by a Higher Power is not subject to human modification, except through how we handle our karma. Destiny follows tendencies. What we are makes us go in a certain direction. If it is true that the course of life is predetermined, it is not arbitrarily pre- determined...NO! The good and the bad qualities of your character, the development or the lack of development of your capacities, your decisions made by reason or by impulse, are the real determinants of your life. Karma provides an inescapable connection between your conduct and the consequences, between character and destiny. Life owes you only what you have given to life. In mystical tradition the two-edge sword has been the symbol of the law of recompense and justice. Karma is the law that links the two. It is educative not retributive. Thoughtful people learn lessons from their sorrows and pain and try not to commit the same error again. If misfortune seems to have visited one through no known or contributory cause of their own, where you do not seem to deserve the cards dealt to you by destiny, you have no other alternative than to ascribe it to deeds and thoughts of a former existence, or to a malevolent god or a devil. I believe in one power... God, the good, the God of love. It would be an error in logical thinking to separate karma from the universal Power and treat it as an independent power. Karma is an aspect of God and as such is inseparable from God. It is one of the ways that God manifest Itself. Karma is a impersonal force. It is not swayed by prayers. We may deceive ourselves and others but we will not deceive karma. Thus those who do not learn from the gentle hand of karma will have to learn from the kicks delivered by the fresh karma they make. Events can have a non-karmic source, but they are what we need at that point for character development or correction. Certainly there is also a law of chance. The unexpected events which happen to us apparently without cause or connection to our conduct can be called fate. Such events compel us to act. How we act and the results of our action constitute karma. What a Higher Power, God has decreed must come to pass. That is fate, kismet, the will of Allah, but what we have made for ourselves can be modified or unmade. That is destiny. We are in control of our destiny, not our fate. Karma cannot prevail in one part of our life and not another. It could not be here and not there. It cannot be in major events and not in minor ones. It must ever be present or never be present. Fate, in the original Greek sense of the word, is decreed by whatever Powers there be; karma is the result of our own doing. Karma is willed action; you choose to and "will to" throw that stone, shoot that arrow. Only the past is fixed and unalterable; the present and future can be altered by our will. The same destiny which brings two people together also parts them. That is their life script. What they do while together is, to a large part, karma. Karma is part of the equilibrium of the universe allowing each reaction to come about by its own momentum. Remember, eliminate the cause and you eliminate the effect. It is not some mysterious superhuman diva or deity manipulating karma as a puppet performs pulling strings. The ancestor of every destructive action, any destructive decision, is a negative thought. Negative thoughts are everywhere, all the time. They may knock at the door of our mind, but we do not have to let them in. We do not have to embrace them and make them ours. Thoughts are like hitch-hikers: they are looking for a ride, we can pick them up or pass them by. If we happen to pick one up that looks good only to find out that it isn't, you simply stop and let it out. No one is obliged to pick up these passengers; it is our choice, no matter what our conditioning. If we don't let them in, they can't go anywhere; they're not real if we don't support them. There's sympathy in the world, pick it up. There's antipathy in the world, don't pick it up. Leave it. It will rot of its own accord. By not picking up hate, greed, evil, etc., you are obeying the law of non-resistance. Victory of the spiritual nature of humans is fore-ordained and unavoidable. The day and hour of that victory, no one knows. You cannot gain freedom from the bondage of karma by doing good deeds if you are attached to the results of your good action. Our goal is not only the performance but to become free of attachment to the results. People who complain that life has brought them only the worst, should pause and reflect whether they have prepared themselves inwardly to receive anything better than the worst. When things happen for the worst we readily blame fate. But when favorable things happen we willingly take personal credit for bringing it about. Everyone feels, everyone thinks, everyone speaks, but not everyone perceives the consequences, near or remote, swift or slow, of these activities. Paramahansa Yogananda ( incidentally died March 7, 1952 - he went into mahasamadhi and his spirit departed his body), guruji would say: "Our mouths are like tiny cannons and words are their bullets. And then we fire them without consideration of who they will hurt - then the hurt is reflected back upon us." Whoever chooses wrong must endure the consequences of that choice. The process is a cumulative one...every cause produces and effect which then becomes a cause... and produces another effect... cause- effect, cause-effect, ad infinitum. The belief that any savior can suffer your sins for you or that any priest can absolve them is an erroneous belief. You may resent the law, but you still go it alone. No one pays your karmic debts for you. It does not follow that the one who does an act, good or bad, is entirely and alone responsible for the act they perform. Everyone who takes part in life takes a part in forming the ideas prevalent in that generation of life and has a share in the responsibility for the actions of others. Understanding this, each of us must realize that we must have some discipline, some control, as to the kind of thoughts we generate. Our thoughts influence the society we live in. The kind of thoughts that you attract towards yourself are largely determined by the kind of thoughts that you yourself generate. Out of right thinking, right speaking, right action must follow. The possessor of the mind that reflects soul qualities cannot needlessly harm anything or being, by thought, speech or action. That on which your mind constantly dwells, you inevitably become. Contemplate the ideal and day by day you will become nearer that ideal. Contemplation removes the dust from the mirror of the mind and you become what it reflects. To contemplate, thinking must be trained to single-point concentration, and the mind must not be scattered. The mind must be still. As a magnifying glass focuses the rays of the sun to a single point, so must you focus the energy of your mind to a single point. "Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee." Isa. 26:2 "Perfect peace," wouldn't that be a pleasant change? Put your trust in the Lord of your being...the highest ideals of human conduct, keep your mind on them as you go about your routine daily living. If you forget them for a moment, remember them again the next moment, and do what you know is right...each little bit purifies your soul a little bit and you keep on advancing...and you advance all others a little bit. Life becomes more simple, you become more serene...your yoke is easier, your burden lighter..Mat.11:28-30. If you do not put yourself under your own discipline life will compel you eventually to accept a sterner one. When considered from the long range karmic point of view each of us creates our own world and atmosphere. We have no one to thank or blame but ourselves. It should be remembered that the correct or incorrect use of free will is right now deciding the conditions and circumstances of our lives to come. Many will moan about their unhappy past and cry because they cannot undo it, but they forget that by their moaning and complaining they are busy making an unhappy future. The weapons that wound us today were forged by our own selves yesterday. The choice between right and wrong can only exist where there is free will to make it, so this is not fatalism. The fatalist believes the future is irrevocably fixed. This is foolish. We certainly, at least in part, author our own character, our own destiny, hence our own future. That which compels us to act in a certain way is part of the pressure of our current environment and culture, and in part the result of our own past. But the root of the whole problem is in our minds. Proper cultivation of our mind frees us of former attachments and compulsions. If you want to change your karma, begin by changing your attitude: first toward outer events, people and things, then toward yourself. What you have brought upon yourself may come to an end of itself once you find the positive quality that you need to develop in your attitude toward it to replace the negative one. The person who can live without troubles has yet to be found, but the person who can live without worrying about them may be found wherever these teachings are understood. The same illness which brings inactivity, boredom and worry to one may bring discovery and awakening to another. It may dull one mind and stimulate another to reflect about life, suffering, death and re-life. (I prefer the term re-live to re-birth.) In the making of our future the character of our habitual thoughts, feelings and desires make their contributions, therefore our fears also contribute their quota in bringing about what we do not desire. Job said, "The thing that I feared most has come upon me." 3:25. It is here that the advantage of our positive affirmations make their contribution to our future. They offer a measure of counter-influence, even a kind of repentance. They aid in cultivating the higher laws and we are able to start the improvement or at least start the process that eventually will bring improvement to our future outer life. Karma waits for a proper time to call in its accounts. It is not necessarily true that what you are reaping in the 20th century you sowed in the first century. You may will be getting some of the results of causes you generated in this incarnation. The day of judgement is not necessarily on the other side of the grave. It is here on this side, every day, this month, now. Karma may seem to be rewarding or punitive but in its balance it is neutral. A friend of mine says that on a scale of 1-10 if you get a 7 good; then you had better get ready for a 7 bad, or maybe a 3 and a 4 or a 5 and 2. He may be right... maybe not..."acintya...." The good merits of conduct in former lives bring pleasant benefits in the present one and good conduct in this one will bring rewards in the next one. Retribution will also come. Why do the innocent suffer? Their innocence belongs to the present, we do not know their past deeds or misdeeds. Karma expresses itself through events which may seem to be accidents, but they are accidents only on the surface. The consequences of several years of wrong thinking and wrong doing may crowd themselves into a single instant. In other cases the troubles which befall us have no origin in the karma of former lives but belong entirely to causes started in the present life. Life is not trying to make us happy or unhappy. It is trying to make us understand. Happiness or unhappiness comes as a by-product of our success or failure in understanding. -------------------------------------------- For more information contact Don Parkison, MD 2000 S. Stewart Springfield, MO 1-417-873-1570 or contact Sandra Price Shadow Rider BBS 1-901-873-1570 tapes are available for $3 each


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank