Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The Law of Karma
THE LAW OF KARMA
This chain of effects linking the deeds of the past with the present cause of one's fate, is generally called karma. Karma is the law of balance which ensures that an individual is confronted again and again with the same type of problem until through his actions he has solved the problem and put himself at one with the lawful order of things. Thus every action and even every thought becomes immortal and inextinguishable. Each deed and idea waits for the time when a counter-action will compensate for it.
The law of karma demands of someone that they assume full responsibility for their fate – a step that modern people are unwilling to make. The widespread resistance against the doctrine of reincarnation is all too comprehensible when one considers how much trouble and expense we have gone to in order to fabricate apparently infallible theories that free man from responsibility for himself and project the blame on society, infection or bad luck. It is understandable that people become infuriated when they see an attempt to expose these cunning and sophisticated theories as mere self-deception and to place the blame once again fairly and squarely on ourselves.
All of these conceptual models work superbly well in theory and when they fail in practice this is explained away with a great amount of progressive-sounding blarney. Yet when a man begins to be honest with himself – and this is the most difficult form of honesty – he has to recognize that only when he takes full responsibility for everything that happens to him will meaning become clear to him. Responsibility and meaningfulness cannot be separated from each other – each is conditional upon the other.
Most people of our time suffer from lack of a sense of meaning because they are trying to keep responsibility at bay. The first thing you find when you look for meaning is guilt. Accept the guilt and the meaning becomes clear.
The continual alternation between life and death is merely an enlargement of the day-night rhythm. When we wake up in the morning, ready to begin a new day, what lies ahead is, in a sense, virgin material, ready to be used and shaped as we wish. Thus, from one point of view, it is in our power to decide what we are going to experience during that day. But, on the other hand, the course of that day is also necessarily affected by our experiences and actions in the days that have gone before. If someone has recently quarreled with his neighbours, incurred large debts, neglected the care of his body or the development of his soul, then these things will influence the day ahead of him, even though that day holds all possibilities latent in it.
Thus each day is simultaneously conditioned by past influences and future possibilities. And the same can be said, analogically, of a new life. Each new life is indeed a fresh chance, containing every possibility, and yet at the same time it is only a further link in the chain of incarnations, a reflection of the problems, mistakes and assimilated lessons of the past. Just as at the beginning of a new day we cannot un-make our past deeds and thoughts, so on the threshold of a new incarnation we cannot cancel out the past but must continue to spin the thread that we have spun in previous lives.