Sunday, 25 March 2018

Perspective #7: Action And Its Consequences

It is noteworthy that the world appears to be mostly led by people whose prime approach is that material gain is the way to happiness and that anything else is secondary. Our educational systems seem to be devoted to that way of thinking; whereas going to university was once thought to be a matter of learning wisdom more than anything, it is now predominantly a machinery for people to simply make better material lives.

One has to ask when this madness is to stop. Individually or communally we gain nothing from material advancement by itself and the world has been made to suffer by this approach. If there was suffering before it is now being made worse by the way man treads on everything in sight or digs it out of the ground.

Do we not have a conscience? Do we not realise that what we do has consequences? Do we not remember that for each of us this mortal life is a mere sojourn on planet Earth and that we cannot take any material gain with us on our exit?

In ancient traditions, it has been taught that "We reap from that which we sow" and there is the common awareness that "Everything that goes around comes around". This is a reality and is known in Hinduism as karma - that actions (physical or spoken or even thought) have their consequences on the future of the human soul performing the action. We are individually totally responsible for what we do - we cannot blame others as we should know (via our conscience) right from wrong. We have to suffer the consequences of our actions in this or the next life. In fact, some karma from a previous life may be affecting us in this life!

In other words, we are talking of karma and its inter-action with reincarnation. What we do in this life has its effect on our next life. Christians will often not pay heed to this "Eastern" view, but the matter was not written out of official Christianity until the 5th c. AD: until then it was an accepted philosophy, in conformity with every other spiritual tradition then in existence. Why was it written out of the Christian message I wonder? To my mind, this was clearly a way by which official religion could take greater control over the minds of its followers.

To be truly conscious not only of God but the reality of our individual connection with Him and our responsibility in that partnership we really do need to wake up. There is one God Creator and all humans are of his creation in order to perform our tasks with responsibility and through the medium of right thinking - through Love. The purpose is for our souls to evolve, and the only way to achieve that is to put aside materialism as our reason for living. There is nothing wrong in making a legitimate living, but once our way of life becomes out of kilter with the spiritual then we are bound for trouble, and more karma to negotiate.

Happiness can be achieved. As it was put by the Indian avatar, Sri Sathya Sai Baba in 2003:
May you fill your heart with the sacred ideals ... Pain and pleasure, sorrow and happiness follow one another. One should treat them with equanimity. May you give up hatred and all differences. May you live in peace and harmony!

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