Karma-Net Article Series
Slaves of Love
An approach to understanding Karma
by Lindsay Trayne
Western students have immense difficulty understanding the very Eastern concept of Karma. Too often it becomes absorbed into Judaeo-Christian (Zoroastrian originally) principles of light-dark, God-Satan, good-bad and all the other polar and binary oppositions. Had Newton been a philosopher instead of a mathematician and physicist he would have made an even greater contribution to Western society. His understanding of the Laws of action/re-action is very close indeed.
Western students would serve themselves well to resist their cultural tendency to appreciate Karma (emotionally) as good and bad – it is a universal (not binary) Law of action seeking Harmony through re-action; or infinity’s dance toward perfect balance (or pralaya) to which we/everything are inexorably headed.
We are the result of Karma – the cycle of emergence, divergence and absorption – would we begrudge our own existence, or be fearful of the purpose of our lives? Difficult to explain, perhaps approaching the subject in the negative may make it easier to apprehend.
The greatest obstacle to understanding Karma is the erroneous belief in the concept of ‘free will.’ Has anyone ever analysed this most absurd proposition? If there really were such a thing as ‘free will,’ then we would not suffer the consequences of our actions. What a tragedy that would be – a meaningless existence in a meaningless universe. Let me state quite emphatically, this universe knows exactly where it is headed but the ‘route’ is not predetermined. Therefore, there is meaning in the movement of arriving (Karma.) Any perversion (toward permanent disintegration) in the universal flux meets with a re-balancing or correction. Humans experience this directive principle as pleasure or pain, discomfort/dis-ease etc. If there were such a thing as ‘free will’ we would be devoid of these experiences.
I would mention here that fatalism or the notion that "it is written" (predetermination) is also an absurd proposition because it attempts to negate (in the opposite way) taking responsibility for our actions; or that the universe follows a fixed course – which infers that Universal Creation is dull! Following any fixed pattern is death indeed.
We are all acutely aware of the consequences of our actions – in thought, word and deed. So, if there is no ‘free will’ or predetermination then what? We have freedom to choose and experience the consequences of those choices. And freedom ‘to know,’ or learn from experience. We can do anything within our personal capability but we cannot avoid the consequences of our actions. We can learn from our experiences or repeat them until we do – but learn we must.
Einstein was surely correct when he stated, "God does not play dice with the universe" – furthermore, Stephen Hawking is also correct when he stated that "Not only does God play dice with the universe, but sometimes he throws the dice where they can't be seen." Einstein and Hawking omitted to mention that dice are thrown onto a ‘table’ with clearly defined (rules) Laws.
An analogy may help to ‘weld’ these explanations together. Few have attempted to elucidate the full implications of Karma – for obvious reasons – the knowledge of Karma is beyond linguist apprehension. Nonetheless, an attempt is preferable to none.
If we transpose the personal "freedom to choose" within a predetermined outcome (destination or final culmination) onto a universal model, we could use the analogy of snowfall. We all know that snow is nothing more than flakes/crystals of ice – with an interesting characteristic. The beautiful (Mandalic) geometric pattern in the snowflake is unique; never repeated exactly the same in any occurrence of snowfall. This Mandalic form represents our freedom to choose and adopt a unique approach or identity in the cosmic play. It is also the joy in which creation revels because nothing knows in advance what form each ‘ice crystal’ will take. Pralaya, or absorption achieved through perfect equilibrium, is always the outcome of universal creation. But the form (or character) in the (grand) pattern is different with each new creative cycle – whereas the Karmic Laws (of action/re-action) determining the outcome or culmination, remain inviolate. Karma is the governing principle for maintaining Harmony in the (creative) process.
We are designed (not by accident) to be transceivers (receivers and transmitters) of universal Harmony (Love.) Is it not preferable to learn from Karma and surrender to our innate nature and discover for ourselves the Bliss and Joy that is our heritage? Or would we delay by opting for the ‘Prozac’ or ‘bottle’ etc, in order to temporarily avoid the pain of our perversities?
Take ‘stock’ and learn – the earth’s weather patterns have been disrupted by pollution and environmental vandalism; the fury of nature re-balancing weather patterns will cost more (in destruction) than the profits of the Corporations who directly and indirectly created the imbalance – learn!
Are we in any doubt that fear, hatred, selfishness etc., are creating all the social (and personal) conflict on the planet – learn!
There is a (local planetary) catastrophe looming in the very near future – the destruction and magnitude of which the human race has never seen. The principal cause is a major ‘psychic’ disturbance in the universal flow of Harmony. Cosmic Harmony maintains itself! Thoughts, words and deeds are things/forces. The accumulated effect of hate, fear, violence, selfishness, disrespect and above all, lack of Love and understanding has created an appropriate re-action.
"We can learn from our experiences or repeat them until we do – but learn we must."
It would be remiss of me to complete this paper in the negative, so I offer a solution to understanding Karma and the purpose of Creation. If you would seek release/liberation/freedom – then surrender completely. Interesting paradox – isn’t it?
We are ONE.
Om Tat Sat
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