Karmic webs

“There is no beauty without fragility.” – Susan David

I recently heard a talk by Francis Lucille in which someone asked the spiritual teacher, “Why do some people have better lives than others? Why are some people rich, others poor, some healthy, others unwell. Why also can some people deal with setbacks with grace and others not?”

Francis Lucille was to-the-point as usual. He said, “You are mixing up happiness with lots of sociological conditions. True happiness has nothing to do with sociological conditions.”

The questioner can be forgiven: we all tend to measure our happiness through conditions, because our minds are directed outward and we seek happiness through desiring conditions. Even surveys of happiness measure these according to economic and sociological factors. Indeed, when sociological factors are unfavourable, we notice more problems and more suffering.

More suffering. Is that true? Can we really say that to have wealth, health and favourable conditions in life gives you more happiness? And to lack these conditions allows less happiness? Can favourable conditions be a constant for anyone? A deep happiness may have nothing to do with good conditions, but outward conditions being unfavourable can afflict the mind in different ways: some suffer more than others. We may not know why we face the things we face, but we do know that some people handle their pain better than others. And that no one escapes some kind of pain, for pain propels the journey of human consciousness towards truth and the seeking of real happiness.

The mind has its patterns. The mind and body, with their patterns, may affect what happens in our experience, but this karmic web that influences how we think, feel, react and act has nothing to do with who we essentially are, the inner core which is the access point to truth. But the mind, so dominated by its patterns, needs to transcend its tendencies to reference the self in forms before it can transcend the forces of ‘karma’.

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What seeds did you plant?

Going on the idea that thoughts create reality, or ‘whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap’, we can assume that the way our external reality is right now is, to some degree, a reflection of our minds. If you have a passion for reading, your living space will be full of books; if you love animals, you might have pets or work as a veterinary surgeon.

Based on this idea, we can look at everything around us in order to understand our own tendencies or thought patterns. Look at the fruits around you and you will see what kinds of seeds you planted (this may not have been the case 100% of the time, as other forces do influence our lives too, but I think we can say that, once we become adults,  we are the main creators in our lives to a large extent).

So, what kinds of seeds did you plant? Was it education, love, family? Or was it work, money, competition? Whatever it was, are you happy with that? If you are, then you don’t need to make any drastic changes within. But if you don’t like what is around you, then you can do something about it: change the way you think. Believe in yourself to create a different kind of life, believe that you are on the way and that you love your life. It will come.

Formula for happiness

Strange things seem to happen during the time of the full moon. I find it to be a deeply spiritual time, although it can also be an emotionally unsettling time. During the full moon this month, a very overwhelming energy was affecting me. I had been thinking about the usual day-to-day things when I hit the sack the day before yesterday. But I just couldn’t sleep, and this is something unusual for me. My mind was asking and answering various questions, and certain ideas were synthesising in my mind, almost like a flickering light bulb coming up with new insights. I had to get up three times in order to write the thoughts down. These thoughts gave me a tremendous sense of clarity about my life. I am still the same person, living and learning, but I feel that my tendency to keep asking, ‘Am I living the right way?’ has gone because I know the way I’m living now is just right for me at this time. Here’s why…

Neither extreme pleasure nor extreme pain can make a person truly happy. Making ourselves feel good about our personalities and our roles on this planet will make us feel temporarily happy because the role we are playing is a temporary formation. The danger with this is that, once the role changes, our happiness will disappear.

This is a world of opposites and we think one side of the coin is better than the other: light/dark, order/chaos, rest/work. One side will give us temporary happiness and the other temporary pain. But are we really after temporary things? A lasting happiness comes when two opposites are merges into equilibrium, creating a balance where neither of the two things can be felt too strongly INDIVIDUALLY because they are in HARMONY. That is why the most beautiful times of the day are sunrise and dusk; that’s when light and dark merge into perfection.

Both light and dark get their individual character from being contrasted and opposed to each other. But when the opposites merge, they create a THIRD CHARACTER: the harmonic character of Source, of God. Yes, God is the Source of our essence and the energy where everything blends, balanced into perfection. Creation and destruction of forms happens continuously. But why? So that God can known itself and so that we can know ourselves as part of God. Through contrast with forms, with individuated energies, God knows itself. When individuated energies begin identifying with the whole again, they merge with the Source once again. That is when true awareness and true happiness comes. So, don’t look to opposites but to the harmony between them. That’s where you’ll find happiness.

Happiness

In each of our lives, there is a mixture of fortune and misfortune, positive experiences and negative ones. I don’t think we can always control how things are going to turn out, even if we try our ‘best’ to make things right. There’s an element of destiny in this, mixed in with our own will to shape our lives.

But what we can always control is the way in which we handle situations. One very poignant example of this is a woman I recently met in India, called Kamal Sinha. Mrs. Sinha is around 60 years old now, but if you look at her you’d think she were 45. She has a youthful radiance and is in very good health. But she has been through her fair share of pain. Her son died in an accident a few years ago. Soon after that, her husband also passed away. She was left on her own, but instead of letting the grief overtake her mind and spirit, she used it to strengthen her convictions in life. She took over her husband’s business and became a leader. She began practising yoga and meditation. All of this she was able to do at a mature age.

She is an inspiration to many people, and she helps to fund and support local charities in India. Her life reflects the strength of the human soul.

Happiness is a choice we make on a day to day basis. Is the glass half empty or half full? How many things can we find to feel good about? In many ways, it’s all about GRATITUDE. Mrs. Sinha, despite her losses, was grateful for the love she had experienced in her life. There is a wonderful grace and humble way about a person who has gratitude. And the Universe is happy to serve those who are grateful, because like begets like. Whatever we want for ourselves, we need to give that away to others in order for it to flow back to us. This happens from a space of gratitude, when we know we will always have enough.

For more on this, check out psychologist Robert Holden’s site by clicking here.