Responsibility and Karma
Author : Yildiz Sethi
Article Published : Sept 2002 Issue 44 Living Now
We came from the cosmos and ultimately we return to the cosmos.
We have evolved from the Big Bang. The elements making up our body cells are derived from the same elements that make up the stars and planets of our solar system and the universe. When we die our body elements return to the earth and our soul returns to the Oneness or Life force that is the ultimate Creator. According to Buddhism, Hinduism, Zen and other Eastern Philosophies and more recently Western spiritual awareness, we are in a cycle of reincarnation. We became separated from our creator to live life in a material world, in order to rediscover our ultimate spiritual nature and reconnect with our spiritual roots. The events and situations of our lives on earth are to provide the experiences necessary to aid our soul development towards realisation and enlightenment. Once reached, we can reconnect and become “at one” with the Creator in a state of Nirvana (bliss) and break free of the cycle of reincarnation on earth.
Once in the earthly state, we become enmeshed in an illusionary state called Maya. In this state we are initially aware only of our material and physical desires and emotions. However, as we gorge ourselves with material and sensual gratification of all kinds, we gradually begin to realise that this is not the path for true and lasting happiness. We start to look deeper into our souls. The Maya or illusion begins to unravel and dissipate, as we become aware of our soul state of Being and its connection. However, even though we are all on the same journey ultimately, we are travelling down different paths and at different rates. There is no need to fear for yourself or your loved ones, if you appear to be following totally different paths and also at a different rates. We are each here to fulfil a different purpose in this life, each as valid and as valuable as the next. Salvation will be there for each of us when we are ready for it. Beware of coercing or bullying friends and lovers into meetings, readings and teachings that they do not want at this time. They may have already learned the lessons that you seek now and may not need to learn them again, or they may get to them later, or in future lives. It is important to respect your own and others experiences equally. By pushing people into knowledge or situations that they do not want, even though we might justify it as “being for their own good”, we are denying them the validity of their own experience. Don’t be afraid of travelling your path alone. Your loved ones will seek the knowledge they need when they are ready.
At the end of each life the soul reconnects with the Oneness and looks at the collective past Karmas (actions) of the soul. It is each soul that judges itself, not an outside force or God that judges us. The soul assesses its own progress and decides which experiences it didn’t understand fully last time, or which ones would further aid the development on the journey to enlightenment. At this point Spiritual contracts or understandings between souls takes place. You may need to re-run a situation with a parent or partner, because you didn’t quite understand the dynamics or the experience last time. In this way we choose our parents or our partners and the events we need to experience in this life. Of course, many of these Spiritual contracts will be anything but easy or comfortable experiences. In fact they may be painful and traumatic. However the soul (while it is free of the earthly trappings of pain and sorrow) knows that these are the necessary experiences for our evolution out of the Maya state.
Between lives, the soul will wait in the Oneness until the time is ripe for their new incarnation. Once the planets around the earth are in the correct position to deliver the experiences it has contracted to have, the new soul manifests in their parents, as they make love. The position of the planets at birth forms the new soul’s astrology chart from which the personality and events of the life can be predicted and analysed. The drama of this unique life will unfold from this point onwards. The new soul will see everything with new eyes. Maya is effective in allowing the soul to forget its Spiritual contracts and its ultimate soul connection with the Oneness. The illusion is complete. However, once an awakening has started to take place, it may continue to evolve in future incarnations until enlightenment is achieved.
Isaac Newton discovered a law in Physics involving action and reaction in the physical world. To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Cosmic spiritual law works in a similar manner. What we give out comes back to us. What goes around comes around. Each of us during many life cycles will have given out both positive and negative Karmas. The highs and lows of our life will often be our Karma coming back to us. The truth is that we cannot escape it. Understanding this idea about Karma can be so helpful to our earthly existence, if we can accept it fully. It can help us to take full responsibility for all aspects of our lives; emotions and relationships, career, and other life events and situations. If we are having, or have had, difficult relationships with a parent, a good understanding of Karma and spiritual contracts can help us to stop blaming the parent and look deeper into the situation to find out what had to be experienced or learned from the relationship. Each of us has unique truths to learn about ourselves, as part of our development through our life situations and experiences. If the experience has caused us to dig deeply into our personal resources (or seek help to this end) and has resulted in a deeper understanding of ourselves and others, then it has probably served its purpose. However, if we are still blaming others for our feelings and situation, then it is likely that we have missed the point. Remember, our thoughts and actions will come back to us at some point. So negative thinking, such as blame, or resentment will harm us much more than they will harm the person they are directed at.
Fate/ Free Will
Fate and free will can work in harmony in our lives. Fate, both good and bad, are as a result of our past actions or Karmas. For the most part, it cannot be avoided. However, once faced with a situation, we are presented with a choice. How to respond. In this we do have free will and we can use our creative power to create a better future for ourselves. We need to be mindful of our thoughts and actions now as these will return to us as Karma for our future. In this we can truly fulfil our Human creative potential, if we can only truly believe in it and act on it.
A true understanding of Karma and the sense of responsibility it brings are ultimately extremely optimistic. However, working out what areas of responsibility are legitimately yours and which are not, is a major challenge for most. Being blaming and resentful, or the opposite, trying to take the world on your shoulders, are both unbalanced conditions that many of us have experienced at some point in our lives and lead to emotional turmoil and confusion generally. For those of us who find it hard to change deeply ingrained negative thought patterns, it should be attempted as a gradual process that may become more accelerated over time. The secret is to deal with one thought or issue at a time and don’t attempt to change everything in one go. Effective psychotherapy and counselling can help in the quest to come to terms with the self, drive out fear and allow the light of oneness and wholeness to filter through.
Wholeness dispels dis-ease.
Such awareness via psychology can work in unison with spiritual teachings to allow us to truly grow into adulthood and take our place as fully responsible spiritual beings.
Our lives are to be experienced in their entirety. Joy, exhilaration, pain and sorrow are to be felt as part of life and not diverted by repression or denial. Emotions are the language of the soul. They need to be acknowledged as an essential part of our physical, emotional and spiritual human existence. We are multi layered. Each of us ultimately needs to take responsibility for who we are. For some of us finding out “who we are” might be one of this life’s challenges.
The issues in your life are your challenges and are there to be dealt with as best you can. Only through acceptance of yourself and your fallibilities, can you become Whole and at peace with yourself and hence truly non-judgemental towards others.