Karma: The inaccuracy of simplicity – part 1
“Truly, one becomes good through good action, and evil through evil action.”
—Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 3.2.13
“Karma” is not fully understood.
Karma means “action” and from that word, we could establish a system to define what is “good and bad.”
If we do “good actions,” we will receive “good things.”
If we do “bad actions,” we will receive “bad things.” Or in religious words, If we do “good,” God will reward us. If we do “bad,” God will punish us.
Here comes the controversy…
Are lies “bad”? 🙂
What about “white lies”? Not bad…huh?
Is to lie an “action”?
Then, if to lie is not action, why is it “bad karma”?
Framed in “bad actions,” “good actions” and “neutral actions” we forget about the underlying force behind any action or thought.
That is our intention.
It is so evident that the intention of a lie is what makes that lie “good” or “bad.”
“The law of Karma” as it is mostly explained, brings by necessity the labeling of some actions as “good or bad.”
That is inaccurate.
“The law says, we must stop on a red light while driving. If we don’t do that, we will be punished by paying a steep fine.”
In that “black or white” statement, there is plenty of “life in between” that could happen: The red light may not work properly, there is an emergency in the road, someone’s life is in danger, etc. There will be plenty of scenarios but our intention is the driving factor for experiencing the return of our activities.
In life, there are those individuals who will stop on a red light no matter what happens around them. Their belief is to be “righteous” by following words to the dot.
The irony is that we do not follow life and its changes, but words and their “static reality”…
An action performed by itself does not determine how life will give a return. Please experiment with this. Don’t merely accept it.
As expressed many times already, life is not interested in complying with our petty “black or white” morality.
Intentions hide behind actions.
Someone may say “ to rape someone is bad. Rape is a bad action.”
Rape is a sexual act by force. Notice the intention of the action: Force, abuse, domination, selfishness.
Q:Is the sexual act in itself “good or bad”? 🙂
A: Depends on your belief.
Life is not about beliefs, it is about intentions.
A sexual act is neutral until the intention of the “doer” arrives.
It is the intention what gives the quality of that action and thus the return.
To be continued….
The heart of understanding – Thich Nhat Hanh
For those interested in the “heart” level of understanding of the unity and inter-relation of all; I would highly recommend to take a look at the attached pdf.
It is a very small book written by Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a Zen Buddhist monk well known for his peaceful vibrations and gentle manner. He is from Vietnam and known for his peace activism.
This book has deep understanding in its simplicity. It is a commentary on the “prajnaparamita (perfect wisdom) heart sutra,” (brief precept) which is the “heart” of Buddhism.
Buddhists usually chant this sutra in their meetings.
Avyakt7 is not fond on reading books, but once in a while according to the synchronicities of life; something comes along which becomes helpful. Last week, this book came into my awareness.
Just sharing it.
Solitude: The easy way to experience the self
Trapped in the world of noise, lights and permanent ongoing actions, is a sure way to get lost in everything that our senses could perceive.
Watching TV is more than images changing in a continuous frenzy, it comes with a selling story as well; it comes with the possibility to increase our desires. That is the principle of a society engaged in consumerism. How to sell, how to create a need. How to get the clients “hooked” into that need. Making a dollar out of addictions. There is great “variety.”
Prizes will be given to those who can sell. More “goodies” so they can spend more, consume more.
Highly emotional words are another way to hook us into emotions; the dramatic emotions of someone who suffers; of someone who is upset or angry. Shout, scream. Become violent.Fight. Let them know who is the “boss.” That sells.
Our senses are being bombarded from different sides. Noise with “funny” comments along with ready made laughs, makes a “sitcom.” That will give as ammunition to imitate. Lights flickering, watch the forbidden apple,” for a few moments; so our minds create desires. Something to attain, something to fight for, something to live for.
The struggle of living is in not only in earning and being responsible for our own acquisitions, but in having things to show “our accomplishments.” That is the vicious circle.
There is a price to pay for all of that “showmanship.”
It is called lack of simplicity and when we lack simplicity in life, we are continuously busy in “trivial” things that we have accumulated to fulfill desires created by someone else. The trick is that we believe those to be “our own” desires.
We believe that this is living.
Talk to a person. See for how long they are able to listen to you, completely. Watch, their interest in being “funny,” emotionally “high,” “outgoing,” a “fast talker,” who knows all the latest clichés as uttered by the TV stars… Let me talk about the weather, the politician, the “jet set,” anything including about myself in a light, trivial way just for the sake of saying something, of “communicating.”
It is a world of monkeys. Monkey sees monkey does.
Texting, being hooked up with that “smart phone” so we are not able to smell the roses, but looking at the small slaving screen looking to say something to someone, to read something, to send something…. to show that we are alive, even though we are no longer living but merely existing….
Could you be alone, for just a minute? Could you sit in a room all by yourself without any noises, without any lights, without any thoughts? For how long?
Until that is not experienced regularly, the experience of peace is unreachable. Solitude is the most important step to experience that peace.
It is hard to stop thinking about feeding the dog in a few minutes, or what your boss said in the office or your “bratty” kid told you; or about putting gas in the car before leaving for whatever land…
Look at your face in the mirror. Watch. You couldn’t sleep last night. See how you are forgetting things, see how you are constantly “rushing.”
Fast thoughts taking you nowhere. At the end of the road, you will end up in the same place that someone who took it easy all his life. There is no distinction.
That is the “future.”
Someone who has tasted solitude, will be able to experience serenity in his life. The “mad house” is going on “out there,” inside there is a profound tranquility which is beyond any religious belief or rituals. It is a deep sense of being complete.
It is in this completeness when we could talk to the Ocean, listen to the Wind; smile in a walk along a full moon or to hear for the first time the symphony of birds as we wake up… with no rush. With time.
Time is the most precious commodity we could ever have at this “time.” You cannot buy it.
Simplicity brings solitude at the palms of our hands.
It is in solitude how serenity could be experienced and it is in the continuous experience of this, when we will recognize something different; that is what we truly are, which has been lost due to ongoing “progress” among other things.
Peace is not a religion. It is not spirituality either. It is you and me, when there is nothing else to take our minds away.
It is freedom, and in that freedom resides the only place where love could ever be.
Spiritual Efforts: Good Wishes and Pure Feelings
It may sound simple. Even silly; but behind that simplicity lies one of the greatest methods to maintain equanimity in our wellbeing, our stage.
Good wishes and pure feelings are not a thought. Something like:” Let me send good wishes to so and so,” Good wishes and pure feelings are manifested as a state of being, in other words, what you have in your “heart” at any moment of your life are good wishes for all as well as pure feelings. It is a constant “giving.”
It is this fact, what changes the “simplicity,” into something harder to obtain.
That stage comes out of a peaceful being, that is expressed in a mind whose thoughts are few, rhythmically slow and because of that powerful. An ongoing concentration may be needed at first to “get” the feeling. Then it is a matter of practice to make it automatic, part of the self.
In this realm of pure feelings, there are other important points to be aware of:
1) When karmic accounts are being settled, we will experience sometimes that our activities bring “instant” karmic return. Here it is important to maintain those pure feelings for if we do not, that “test” was “flunked.” We didn’t pass with “honors.”
2) Even if we pass that karmic test, there is another layer to be aware of that is when we “share” a particular karmic episode with others. If we are relating details of what we went through, when the karmic account hasn’t been settled, a feeling of being perturbed will arise, emotions all of a sudden will pop up. Therefore, if you share an episode of your life where a karmic bondage was not settled, it is my suggestion not to go into details or better yet to keep quiet. Otherwise, the stage of “pure feelings” will go away.
For instance, if I tell someone how “bad” I felt when this person said something about me in front of others, I am re-living “past” episodes which will bring disturbing feelings/emotions. That will generate a karmic bondage. (Even if while I was present during the “defamation” I did not react, for I was “storing” emotions so they could be “dumped” to others later on.)
3) If “pure feelings” are gone, waste arrives. Our mind will be an easy prey of outside forces and we will not be centered anymore.
4) Pure feelings and good wishes bring an easy attitude in life, a peaceful demeanor, thus; when we go away from that, we need to be “awake” to catch that. It is a good “checking point” to recognize our stage.
5) Pure feelings and good wishes is the basis of conquering “sex-lust.” From that, we can see how important this “practice is.” Lustful energies from lower “chakras” could be shifted to the “heart chakra.” Here is where “feelings from the heart” reside. This was explained here.
To be at peace is to have pure feelings and good wishes for all, at all times.