Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Process of Karma in Our Bodies: Part 2

Here is a story that came from a movie. A high priest was going to an altar with a goat, preparing to sacrifice the animal. He looked at the smiling goat as they approached the altar. "Why are you happy?" asked the priest. The goat replied: "This is my 500th incarnation as a goat. For my next incarnation, I will finally become a man." The high priest congratulated him, and began to prepare for the ritual. Soon it was time to slaughter the goat. When the high priest lifted his knife, he saw that the goat was weeping. "Why are you crying?" asked the high priest. "You said that you were looking forward to your next incarnation." The goat answered: "I am weeping for you. Before I became a goat, I too, was a high priest."

Reincarnation is the cycle of birth and death. The preceding link is a far better study than anything I could ever write. Essentially, a soul returns to a body until it has satisfied karmic debt, then it can remain with God or choose to come back again. Some believe that certain humans are ascended masters who return to this world to help mankind. These enlightened souls help to bring self-awareness to humans along with an awakening to God and the entire cosmic process of creation, preservation and death. When we identify ourselves as our body, we live in a state of illusion or maya.. The body and mind serve as a vehicle for the soul to realize God and do his/her work. Anything less will cause us endless suffering; awareness is the antithesis of ignorance.

Pantanjali sees ignorance as the basis for all problems. As he writes: "the causes of man's suffering are ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion and the desire to cling to life. Ignorance creates all the other obstacles " (Sutra 2:3 and 4). We cling to life because we believe the illusion--that this life is all we have, and we forget our previous incarnations. We attach ourselves to the hopes and dreams of the material world instead of turning to spiritual nourishment. Pantanjali also thought that we unconsciously remembered our death in previous incarnations: a painful death from another lifetime can make the reincarnated soul cling to life. Death is  liberation: the goat knows that he will be free from the animal state, so he can explore his spiritual destiny in a far higher form: humanity.

As I write this, I'm aware of how absurd this may sound. Think of the recession: how many people discovered that life itself was higher than personal gain? That is an honest question. I see this lousy economy as a test of our core beliefs against our fears. Which will win? Jesus said that we cannot worship God and money. If we understand money as material gain, then his words make sense.  Our relationship to money may be the ultimate finger waggery in our karmic decisions. When we put our worldly progress over spiritual teachings, we are not worshiping God. We don't trust in the Divine; we trust man. We trust our ego. Jesus knew what was in man; the sins of the flesh are nothing more than identifying bliss with physical pleasure--from satisfying hunger to living in some mansion.

Karmic debt creates our hell: once we choose the material world over God, we live in darkness. We continue to incarnate until we can see light and identify ourselves as enlightened beings. This path can be easy or difficult: it depends on our level of attachment to what Yoda calls "this crude matter"--our physical form.

                                        The Savior of Philadelphia: Reincarnation of Cliff Lee

13 comments:

  1. (1) You're going to rub Cliff Lee in my face for the entire 2011 season, aren't you?

    (2) This reminds me a little of Edgar Cayce, who, as you probably know, believed in reincarntion--at least in his trance state. The main thing is that he saw the body as an illusion as well, specifically of the non-corporeal beings that we actually are (according to him). As he described it, some of us become so attached to our lives that we essentially become bodyholics. We lose track of what we actually are, and see our lives as the end-all and be-all of our existence.

    There are others among us who enjoy a good in-body experience as well, and these are truly the enlightened, stronger spirits.

    Unfortunately, the bodyholics, like mean drunks everywhere, became destructive, thus causing the three destructions of Atlantis.

    I'm curious: did Cayce have any Hindu influences that you're aware of?

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  2. X-Dell: I forgot about Cayce: I read his book on reincarnation and the Akasha records years ago. His beliefs are deeply rooted in Christianity; as far as I know, he had no Hindu influences--no Eastern influences. But I wonder if he read the Gita, which is the big book on karma and reincarnation in Hinduism. Cayce creeps me out, and I don't know why; maybe it was his apparent disconnection from his channeled self that talked of all these esoteric concepts. He never remembered what he said. I'm not comfortable with him. Something just isn't right.

    I always try to find parallels in various faiths--at least the ones I understand. Yogananda loved Jesus and he wrote countless articles about him. One could say that being born again is a buzz word for reincarnation--I think Jesus was talking about the authentic self that can be one with God. Jesus certainly understood that the spiritual realm was far different than the physical realm. He took issue with the Pharisees because they claimed to be godly, and they were anything but. In a way, the Pharisees predict institutionalized Christianity at its worst.

    I'm relying on what I've learned since 2007, which is when I felt spiritually challenged by certain life circumstances, and I took a whole new look at my belief system. I did know of these beliefs, but I didn't take them seriously. Now they make more sense to me--they seem to come from natural law.

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  3. 1. The "advanced/enhanced spirits" belief is a bit unnerving to me. It's what every fake guru and dangerous cult leaders use. Scientology too does from what I understand.

    2. Are material indulgences and god the only choices? What if I choose to ignore both? I don't claim to have done it. I like my worldly pleasures too much for that. But still I think enlightened atheism is very much possible. Not to mention there are those who are completely devoted to their dharma that they are misfit in society but aren't exactly religious either.

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  4. SJ: I know many people who agree with you about the enlightened atheism--Sam Harris is moving toward that idea. I don't know. I'm sharing the theory. I struggle with the idea of ascended masters as some are already gods---for example, Lakshimi is called an ascended master, and that just can't be true. I've heard that said about Jesus as well. The idea is this: all of us are divine or share the divine in our Self, our true nature--some call that the soul. The ascended masters are those who conquer the weaknesses of "worldly pleasures" and live in both an enlightened state (awareness--this is where enlightened atheism can make an argument as truth) and God-realization--some call it Christ consciousness. The idea is that an ascended master lives constantly in both realms: spiritual and material. It's a bit like the elves in LOTR.

    Is god or material indulgences the only choice? I have to look over my post to see if I make it sound that way. If we are designed to live more than once, there wouldn't be any absolutes. I see it as clinging to material pleasures instead of understanding their limitations and acting accordingly--a devotion to pleasure as the ultimate goal of life may be a lesson for the soul who lives in a body for a lifetime. There are atheists who don't pursue pleasure as the ultimate life goal; in fact, they often have a stronger sense of life as more, but it may be in the intellect or sheer discovery of higher things. If you ignore both, that is your choice and humans always have choice. You don't go to hell. You may be destined to repeat in a different body. That, I think, would be the answer within this paradigm.

    Religious--I think that depends on how you define it. I know "religious" people who are more devoted to ritual and behavior (church attendance, communion, don't do this, don't do that)rather than any idea of God. My opinion: those folks are way more dangerous than any atheist as they are in love with rules and law. That will choke the soul and allow for judgment by humans where it just doesn't belong. Those people may be the future false gurus and cult leaders as they use a belief system for their own profit.

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  5. There is a place within for all them who are to become master of self. As you say it depends on how much fighting one does in the desire to acquire the instruction that determines the difficulty of coming to that place of enlightened thought and being.

    Yet I have found Susan that all texts, even the christian say there is a way to become Buddha, Brahman, Christ now in this incarnation of our humanity. It is much easier than we make it out o be by trying to over study the words of men and not simply being quiet within and here that voice of God or the tone of creation.

    I for one think in terms of spiritual wholeness and know that it is that creators spirit, the first spirit, which still teaches and leads one first to then on the proper path.

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  6. Hey Susan, Thank you for trying to explain karma. Is detachment from the physical world the key to a better world and personal fulfillment? Is the karmic principle that the love you take is equal to the love you make?

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  7. Lance: Excellent question! Detachment is not indifference. Detachment is more about release from control. We attach ourselves to things, ideas, places, relationships--by this I mean we want control,yet these attachments end up controlling us. A person who has mastered detachment is not apathetic to world issues; that individual has perspective. His emotions, his sense of worth, does not come from what he does for the world nor how others view him. It becomes automatic as the emotional charges that can cloud judgment are gone.

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  8. I have more to say and Mark, it is great to see you here, but Blogger is consuming my words. Computers!

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  9. Back. One term I've learned recently is emotional charges. Certain things upset us or produce an emotional reaction that prevents us from the flow of life. We have to discharge said emotion, look at it for what it is and move on.Dang, computer again--I am not detached from this annoyance!

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  10. Dear Susan,

    I found about a new young singer-composer-writer during a Mexican political radio talk show, of all places.

    This amazing artist is from Philadelphia, still in her twenties and with a compelling story to color her achievement.

    So, what does this have to do with Buddha and the whole nine yards, you may ask.

    I have only a wiki short bio to present to you and your readers for consideration. Buddha looms large, as does macrobiotics.

    Melody Gardot is the kind of singer that does not make me weep- her voice makes me bawl. She is no doubt toched by the gods. There is no limit to her talent, reflected on her every utterd note.

    Is this karma, dharma, sheer naked beauty exposed to its rawest essence- you decide:

    love me like a river does

    M. Gardot bio

    Gardot live

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  11. Lassie Dog: I know who you are. Any more comments will go into my spam folder or the doggie bin. You are sick.

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  12. Walking Man: I never got to comment on your insight. I think you and me were siblings in another life.

    Piktor: Thanks for the link. I am so happy to see you back.

    New post very soon.

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  13. Even worse, we're trying to be gods ourselves. And that is screwing everything up here on earth.

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