Karma for Dummies

Karma is something that is really misunderstood. It is usually considered something that we earn – we earn good karma or we earn bad karma. Just how do we earn this karma? It seems like we earn it by either doing something good or doing something bad. However, if karma were a bucket the size of the earth, those explanations would be drops the size of mothballs.

Having done a number of past life regressions for people, I have found a whole new appreciation for and understanding of karma, sort of karma for dummies. Karma is really something that we have to learn – plain and simple. Here is an example of karma for myself, in this life. I have carried over into this life a feeling of extreme vulnerability in the physical world. My father was one of those larger than life characters, someone my husband would call a “Mans’ man”. I grew up feeling completely safe with him around. I did not take into considerations his character flaws, I just saw him as a MAN who was tough and strong and so he could keep the monsters away and insure my safety.

As I began dating, I was attracted to men who could protect me. The type of man that many woman are attracted to – MACHO. I was attracted to dragon slayers. I liked men who kept the masses at bay either through their financial power, or that physical energy that some men just emit. I met these men, and, as was my karma, they were equally attracted to me. We would even fall in love, or, more aptly put when referring to karma, we would fall into obsession. After countless disappointments, and sometimes a little violence, I found that the men I attracted to my life were not strong, at least not when it came to a strength that required more than lifting heavy rocks. In the end it always came back to my own strength. It was my karma to take responsibility for myself. Each time I handed over responsibility for my well-being to someone else, I paid a price, in love, in business, in anyway. Another karma that I had was with my self-worth and my lovability. Each time that I turned to someone else to show me that I was worthy, they challenged my worth. Karma is not necessarily about something that you have done to someone else, or to others in general – sometimes, very often, it is about something that you have to do for yourself.

My grandmother believed that she could not be loved for herself; she believed that she had to buy it, or place herself in a position that others needed her. She couldn’t give, although that is what she thought that she was doing – but there was a debt to pay for her giving and somehow in her mind this exchange was as close as she could come to being loved. My grandmother held on to every penny that she could. She did nothing, went nowhere and only used her money to hold on to the people that she loved. She believed that no one really loved her or could love her so she saved every penny. In her mind, no one would be there for her when she was old so she didn’t want to be in a position to have to depend on anyone, who she believed, would only reject her. After an unfortunate and unforeseen karmic turn of events she lost everything and had no choice but to rely on the kindness of strangers. However, those people that she was so sure would not be there for her when she was in need, turned out with open hearts blessing her with all of the love that she never believed possible in her life. That too was karma. It was the karma of learning. It is all the karma of learning.

I have a friend that I regressed to a number of past lives. In each one she was some kind of slave. Someone who was not given any value, except for one life, in which she did find and relish her own value and her own accomplishments after a childhood of being devalued. However, old habits die hard and she brought that same unworthy mindset into this life and was treated as a lesser being by the same souls who had done it to her in her past lives. However in this life she is learning and beginning step by step to assert her own power. And with each experience in which she does this – she finds that those souls who once intimidated her begin to treat her with greater respect. This is karma also. Perhaps with this karmic reinforcement she will become one with her own power and her own worth and the lesson will not require more lives, the karma will have been released. Most times we return to learn our lessons with the same souls but wearing different costumes in a different set. I believe that we choose to experience these lessons with the same souls not because they owe us, or we them, but because that soul level contact awakens in us those feelings that we need to rise above. We are innately intimidated by those who have left us with scars of feeling less than in past lives. Just as we awaken in them a need to treat us in a way that they may not really understand themselves in this lifetime. It is not so much that they do it to us, and then we do it to them. It is better explained as they do it to us over and over again, lifetime after lifetime until we do not allow it anymore. I have often heard someone say to me, “I don’t understand it, I only act this way with you”. It is because this drama is between us. Generally, this drama, repeated over lifetimes on different stages teaches a lesson to all parties involved, and it is repeated until the lessons are learned.

Of course there are the karmas that involve race, religion, social status, and power. Someone may be very poor in one life, and feel enormous resentment towards those who have more. That person may come back again poor, but in the next life that soul has the opportunity to amass great wealth. The lesson is in how they handle that wealth, just as there is a lesson in how one handles poverty. All roads lead to love, compassion, empathy, understanding, acceptance and brotherhood. All of these things must be learned but not just for the benefit of others but equally for the benefit of ourselves. Karma is ultimately about learning the lessons of unconditional love which inevitably leads us to the knowledge that we are all One, and that the totality of that One of which we all are is God.

We write our karma as we go along. We write the plot for our next life in this one. Reincarnation is about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. Karma is the path that we walk that mile on so that we may learn the true love of God, of other and of self and know that there is not differentiation between the three. That is the trinity that has existed since the beginning of time and before. Karma is not complicated. It contains no judgment, no punishment and no reward, except perhaps the reward of becoming the Love that we so desperately seek.

ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR LIVES

To be responsible is not simply to accept burdens, more than anything else it is to accept power. We are the actors in the play that is our lives – we are at all times spiritually responsible for our actions in that play. However, until that spiritual responsibility becomes emotional and material within our lives we will be destined to enact the same play over and over again with nothing changing but the period wardrobe and props.

When I was a child my father taught me how to play Gin Rummy. We would play for hours and most of the time that we played I would win. One day I was feeling very full of myself as a great card shark and I decided to play for money. My father tried to talk me out of it, but I insisted. I bet my entire allowance and in about five minutes my father won. Now the game was over and he had won and I believed that he should give me my money back. My father refused. I cried, I begged, I sulked, I even tried to borrow the exact amount, but he absolutely refused. I could not believe that my father could actually love me and not give me back my money. I decided that he did not really love me. I believed that if he loved me he would give me anything that I wanted. This was what I really felt. It took a long time for me to understand that my fathers’ love had nothing to do with my responsibility for my own actions.

After many months, perhaps even years, I finally understood what he had given to me. I could never again act in any way or say any words that I was not prepared to be responsible for the outcome of. I realized that my father would never make idol threats, if I wanted to do something that I should not, he would tell me the punishment that I would receive if I did it. He was no longer attached to my choice, and when I ultimately did what I wanted to do anyway, he was not attached to the punishment. I am now grateful for this lesson. The one good thing about this lesson is that it is never too late to learn, and never too late to teach to your children. It only takes one time, which was all it took for me. I may have pushed the envelope many times after that, but the difference was that I was responsible and prepared for whatever the outcome. I was in my power.

I suppose that when our belief in reincarnation was taken away from us, so too was the possibility of ever really being right – so we went for the next best thing which was appearing to be right. Of course if we could do neither, we had to place the responsibility for our being wrong on someone else – blame – so that we could escape whatever repercussions we envisioned. The concept of reincarnation has always felt right to me. I always knew that God was Love, and it just made sense to me that placing us in the darkness and giving us only one chance to find the right light – without a manual was not a loving act. To me, it was like taking your child and putting her out at night having this discourse:

Parent: Go find it and you can’t come home until you do – and if you don’t you will be lost forever.

Child: Find what?

Parent: Figure it out.

Child: Which direction do I go?

Parent: Look in the Book.

Child: Which Book – there are so many?

Parent: Figure it out!

Then having the parent close the door on the child. So, reincarnation made sense to me. As someone who has practiced Astrology for many years, I have looked to the chart for past life content. But a chart may be easily verified in this life, but when referring to past lives it is really theoretical. However, since I started doing past life regressions, I find that the chart does give very accurate information as to the issues we need to take responsibility for in our lives that we have failed to do the same in past lives. I see people repeating the same theme over and over again. In the sixteenth century the theme may have been “Romeo and Juliet”, while in the twentieth century it may have been “West Side Story”. Over and over again I see people making the same ultimate choices, life after life, suffering the same consequences only with a slightly different story line. My father put the responsibility for my actions in my lap. I am still growing into that lesson, it is still a work in progress, but at least there is progress. I thought that my choices were pre-determined. I now realize that they are not pre-determined but they are hardwired into my make-up, because they are the choices that keep my ego where it is the most comfortable – on familiar ground. I love the saying, “Better the hell you know than the hell you don’t”. That is straight from the ego’s mouth. When we take responsibility, full responsibility – “The buck stops here” kind of responsibility, we will very likely end up in unfamiliar territory. I know how to function in a bad relationship, but do I really know how to function in a good one? Even happy is scary if happy is unknown. I always go left, maybe I should go right. I always wait, maybe I should act. I always go for the one who needs love, maybe I should go for the one who has it.

We choose the lessons we will learn. We have to accept responsibility for the choices we made before we came here as well as the choices that we make while we are here. We did not choose to suffer; we chose to learn we chose the areas of growth we would work on in this lifetime. This was how we determined our moment of birth<!–[if supportFields]> XE “birth” < ![endif]–>; we chose that moment so the energies of the planets would create the right atmosphere for the growth we came in to achieve.

Taking responsibility automatically puts us in the present. It puts us in a situation in which we have choices to make. As soon as we acknowledge that we have choices, we will realize that we have power. Finding someone or something to blame for our situation relieves us of the responsibility of changing it. It also prevents it from changing. Even if we blame ourselves, we tend to blame something that we label as an inadequacy rather than our own action or inaction, which we can do something about. I will not permit my children to say, “I can’t”, they have to say, “I won’t”, “I can’t” is a great deal more comfortable than, “I won’t”, “I won’t” implies responsibility.

Some people prefer to be miserable; they prefer to be victims. These people are constantly seeking and rejecting answers. Everything that goes wrong in their lives is the responsibility of someone or something other than themselves, and no amount of facts will convince them otherwise. This is a pattern built up over lifetimes.

The wrong people find them; they don’t find the wrong people. They remember the harsh things said to them but not what they might have said to provoke harsh words from others. If they are ever wrong, it is because they were provoked, tricked, or in some way forced to do whatever they were being held responsible for doing wrong.

If there is any good in their lives they find someone to compare it with who has it better. They do not compromise, because if it is all or nothing there is a much better chance of getting nothing. These same people tend to be luckier than most, they tend to be taken care of although they don’t notice it. These people probably live the most tortured lives because they have to keep validating the external source of their misery. The catch is that when we are not responsible we are not in our power, we hand over our power to those people or circumstances that we consider to be responsible. We are not blocked from having a wonderful life, we miss the chances life presents to do so because we are so deeply engrossed in our need to elude responsibility. “I won’t call her because she hasn’t called me”, “I won’t show love because it is never appreciated”, “I won’t try because I always lose”. Even when we blame ourselves, we say, “I am not tall enough, smart enough, attractive enough, strong enough…” We blame an attribute or lack of an attribute; we don’t take responsibility for an action or lack of action, a choice made or refusal to make a choice. We do not take responsibility, as beings.

This is all perception. If you perceive yourself as not responsible, as helpless then the positive side is that you are off of the hook, you didn’t make a mistake, fail, etc., the negative side is you are helpless, a victim of an unsafe world.

Lets look at an example, say that you have a good job, you have never been late, and have never been sick. One day you walk into the office and the boss’s lover is sitting at your desk and you’re out of a job. Well that is a classic case of victimization if ever one existed right? Perhaps, it really depends on ones perspective. This could be an example of how nothing you do works out, so it is a good reason to go get drunk, or lock yourself in your room. You can add this to the list of wrongs done to you. Or you could tell yourself that you’re lucky that you got away from a losing situation. Perhaps you might perceive it as a sign from the Universe to go on your own, or that it is just a sign to move on.

Most people are afraid of responsibility because they fear being responsible for the outcome of our actions. However, taking responsibility for the outcome is unrealistic. When we take responsible for a child or a valuable piece of jewelry or anything left in our keeping this is in a moment. It is not something that we do twenty-four hours a day. However when we accept responsibility for our actions we are taking responsibility for everything except the outcome and we are taking that responsibility in every moment that we are alive. It is being responsible for each thought, each movement and each word that we say. We cannot control the outcome of anything. I may drink and drive and have an accident or not. I am responsible for having been drinking. I am neither responsible for the fact that I had an accident nor am I responsible if I did not have one. To be responsible is to be present and aware in each action that we take in each thought that we have. This is to be in each now of our lives.

There is a part of our brain that works automatically. It regulates our body, it breathes, it pumps blood to our organs it does not take our presence or our awareness in order to function.

When we are toddlers and we begin to walk we are present. Each step is an effort it takes mindfulness. After we walk long enough it becomes automatic. I watched my son focus and strain while he tries to put his socks on. Eventually he didn’t even notice that he was doing it, because it became automatic. Even when we drive to a certain destination enough times it too becomes automatic, as though the car just knows where to turn.

How often do we bump into a piece of furniture and say, “excuse me”? When our living, becomes automatic we cannot be responsible, we are sleep walking. We are not present. Many times the loss of passion in our relationships and even the loss of growth in our relationships emerges simply out of our having sent the functioning of the relationship to automatic. Where once we experienced each word and movement of our lover and were present within the relationship now the relationship becomes automatic. The relationship becomes part of our unseen unfelt automatic world. So we cannot find where we went wrong because we were not really there. We need to relegate the functioning of our bodies to the automatic brain and the functioning of our lives to our active selves.

When we meditate we are taught to focus on our breathing because that connects us with the present. That connection is the key. When we are connected with our present, with our actions we can then assume responsibility for our lives. When we are truly responsible we are again empowered and in control. It may take work and time to disengage our lives from automatic. It will certainly take walking through our own fears. Yet once this is done we are finally connected with our lives, our loves, our souls and our God. When we are awake we can hear sounds that the sleeping cannot hear and feel things that the numb cannot feel.

When we are awake and responsible nothing gets past us or slips through the cracks. When we say something it has value because it is not just an automatic response. When we are awake we awaken those around us, merely by our presence. Our lives do not just happen; we don’t wonder where the day went. We are aware that we have lived it. Each moment is fuller because we are aware of all the wonders within it. In a relationship we feel all the things that we felt in the beginning because each moment is a beginning when we are alive. Life becomes awe inspiring because we are in it. We feel empowered in the knowledge that we are responsible for how we have lived our lives.

Peace Comes From The Balance Of Mind And Soul

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We have been given the gift and the curse of the use and enjoyment of our minds and our hearts. From the moment that we rose above the other animals to become co-creators of our universe, we were given the heart to love, and appreciate the world. We were given the mind to classify, and the ability to blend the two for the creation of solutions to our problems, ensure our survival, and to develop the wisdom that comes from the balance of the two.
How far have we come in the evolution of these gifts? Not as far as we believe we have. The mind has been developed to the point that without the heart it cannot go any further. Scientifically, we have traveled to the point where we are now dealing with a quantum reality that requires creativity, imagination, and even a bit of faith to explore.

Still, the heart is well behind in its development. To kill in cold blood, or really, to kill at all, requires functioning without the heart. Hate is a cold product of the mind. Yes, it does become impassioned, but passion is not a quality of the heart. Passion is a remnant of our primitive ancestry — the energy that drives animals to pursue food, pursue a mate, and scare intruders from its territory. It is an energy, which is directed by a healthy ego or it directs an unhealthy one. The ego, which separates us from the other creatures on our planet, coordinates the use of mind and/or heart. The ego is the decision maker; it is the mediator. It is the health of the ego that determines which we use.

The heart and mind are in balance in a healthy ego. Working together they choose when, how much, where, and if the fuel of passion should be utilized. The decisions, guided by creativity and wisdom, are born out of the combination of heart, and mind. Hate is an instinct based by-product of an unbalanced ego. It is instinctual fear harnessed by the mind without consideration of the heart. Hate is the absence of love. Love is the only ingredient that the heart has to contribute. Even a balanced ego may become unbalanced for a moment when it considers the stresses of life on earth and the different ingredients it has to balance.

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Anger, however intensely it is experienced at the moment, is soon extinguished by the warmth of the heart. It doesn’t turn to hate. Not if the ego is balanced and the heart is strong. Where hate has a place, the heart energy is not developed, either because there is too much reasoning mind, too much primitive instinct, too much fear, or too much of them all. Whatever it is, there is no room for the heart to grow.

Mankind was given, or we took — when we bit the apple — this enormous Pandora’s box of mind, heart, passion, and fear. How we mix them would determine whether we survived outside of the garden or not. And so we struggle with this mixture of cold reasoning mind, hunger for more, and divine love. And it is my belief that as part of the Divine Plan, the souls that incarnated at a particular time, are balanced in a way that will bring all souls, the lessons they have evolved to learn. There are no new lessons, the lessons we face today are the lessons that have been faced by mythic and historical figures, and mythic and historic lands, only the setting is changed.

Ultimately it all comes down to this, can we face the enemy without becoming the enemy? Or can we, as a species, be the hero who faces the enemy and allows the enemy to become one with us? Acknowledge, after thousands of years, that the battle waged out in our world must be won within our own egos, so that, as a species, our progress can be seen in the world around us. As long as we seek the enemy outside of our own beings, we will diminish our chance of winning with each outside enemy that we kill.

We fight the same war, century, after century, without finding peace, until it is found within our own hearts. There is no good or evil; there are no boundaries, no pure white hats, or pure black hats. There are only human beings torn within their egos between spiritual or material. It is a battle that the unbalanced ego does not want to face, because that battle requires letting go of those big shiny idols which the little mind finds such pleasure. It means embracing the small eternal flame, which the heart longs for. And so, we enter the battlefield like Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita, with God as our charioteer, patiently telling us that these bodies are not real, only symbols used by the soul for the true battle within. And this war, whether it is fought on the battlefield, in the playground or in the living room, is a battle of duality, one that continues for as long as we cling to our belief that first the other is bad, and second, that there is any other at all.

We battle those we label evil because we believe they seek to destroy us. They fight us for the same reason. No one marches into battle with a picture of Satan on their flag. We all go off to fight evil, to fight the devil we imagine we are facing. As we all wear both labels at the same time, saying to the enemy, “I am evil”, to myself, “I am good.” We fight to protect our lives because we do not really believe in the eternal soul. We fight to revenge the deaths of those we love, because as Krishna told Arjuna when he was questioning the battle that he was about to fight,

“One man believes he is the slayer, another believes he is the slain. Both are ignorant; there is neither slayer nor slain. You were never born; you will never die. You have never changed; you can never change. Unborn, eternal, immutable, immemorial, you do not die when the body dies. Realizing that which is indestructible, eternal, unborn, and unchanging, how can you slay or cause another to be slain?

As a man abandons his worn-out clothes and acquires new ones, so when the body is worn out a new one is acquired by the Self, who lives within. The Self cannot be pierced with weapons or burned with fire; water cannot wet it, nor can the wind dry it. The Self cannot be pierced or burned, made wet or dry. It is everlasting and infinite, standing on the motionless foundation of eternity. The Self is unmanifested, beyond all thought, beyond all change. Knowing this, you should not grieve.”
( Bhagavad-Gita 2.19-25)

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When we are able to see that the entire world is a symbolic battlefield for the individual soul and the larger groups of souls to play out their eternal battles, we will be able to deal with that apple, understand that the dark and the light are two sides of one coin that each exists because of the other. One cannot exist without the other because both exist within each of us. Only when we have a balanced mind and heart, can we be released from war and suffering.

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We Share One Body and One Soul

Suppose you and I have had an argument. If you have beaten me instead of my beating you, then are you necessarily right and am I necessarily wrong? If I have beaten you instead of your beating me, then am I necessarily right and are you necessarily wrong? Is one of us right and the other wrong? Are both of us right or are both of us wrong? If you and I don’t know the answer, then other people are bound to be even more in the dark. Whom shall we get to decide what is right? Shall we get someone who agrees with you to decide? But if he already agrees with you, how can he decide fairly? Shall we get someone who agrees with me? But if he already agrees with me, how can he decide? Shall we get someone who disagrees with both of us?… But waiting for one shifting voice [to decide for] another is the same as waiting for none of them. Harmonize them all with the Heavenly Equality, leave them to their endless changes, and so live out your years. What do I mean by harmonizing them with the Heavenly Equality? Right is not right; so is not so. If right were really right, it would differ so clearly from not right that there would be no need for argument. If so were really so, it would differ so clearly from not so that there would be no need for argument. Forget the years; forget distinctions. Leap into the boundless and make it your home!

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Around the age of nine, I found my need to find the “right” path to God overwhelming most other things in my life.  So while attending a Yiddish school on Saturdays, I reserved Sundays to attend as many different churches and Sunday schools that I could get to and also gain entrance.  It seems now to have been a young age for such a quest, but at the time, the world in which I lived seemed so chaotic and unjust, that finding the way to God felt to me to be the only journey that could in anyway offer me peace.  My Jewish upbringing taught me to question and so, of all the churches that I attended, my shortest stay was in the Catholic Church where, because of my insistent questioning, I was asked to leave and not return.  I think that my Jewish experience, on a whole was the most enriching in my life, yet, at the same time, the words that I learned were spoken by the Christ resonated profoundly in my heart.  As I went from church to church, somehow I found it difficult to feel that I had found the home that I was seeking.

Yet, even when I ran out of churches to attend, Jesus stayed with me insisting that I find a way to accept Him into my life.  Part of my problem was I felt that to embrace Jesus was to betray my Jewish heritage, which I so deeply valued.  The other problem that I had was that it seemed a contradiction to say in one statement that we were all children of God and then in another that Jesus was the only begotten Son of God.  I spent many hours in silence asking God to help me find a way to make peace with this contradiction.  Other times I just wished that he would go away and leave me alone.  I debated the concept of Christ for hours on end with my Christian friends but never mention it to my Jewish ones.  Inside I had no peace.  My intense questioning and debate caused one Catholic Priest to actually come to my door and ask me to stay away from the Catholic friends that I had who were members of his church.  It was not my intention to cause them to question their faith, only to seek a way for them to convince me.

Then there finally came a time when my life was so consuming that I did find a way to push the entire question away from my conscious attention.  I did this for some years, although during the whole time I heard myself time and time again quoting something that Jesus had said.  And then one day, I simply felt the Christ consciousness within my soul, without explanation, without intellectual understanding, and contrary to popular belief, without invitation.  From that moment on, not only did I have a new vision and understanding of the Christ, but of God and the Universe.  My level of comprehension was lifted above the world of form and shape to a world of essence and consciousness.  I began writing things that I thought were my own words to only later find out that they were in fact his.  What was even more profound was that these words of his, were spoken by Krishna, and the Buddha before him – I was expanding.  I started to rise above the judgments and classifications that were once in my mind to a place of wholeness and acceptance which had no real words to explain.  And this was only the first step on my journey.

Each scripture is written by the same hand.  Each one is speaking in a different symbolic language.  Each different scripture resonates for the souls who vibrate to that language.  We each vibrate to different symbols, and God, in all His Wisdom, comes in the shape and speaks in the symbols understood by all.  Still, as I read through the scriptures and the mythology of various peoples, the characters may seem different but they are basically the same.  The exact description of their experiences may differ, but the underlying message is the same.

So, when someone begins to speak in the language of their religion, and I feel the urge to correct them and explain the “right” way – I push myself past that impulse and find that regardless of what the differences are in our spiritual convictions, we can always meet in the common area, called Love.  It is my belief that God would not have created us with such diversity if it was His intention that we look, think, live, or believe in exactly the same way.  I also don’t believe that He meant for us to be repelled by our differences or to see them as conflicting differences of better or worse, but simply enhancing differences, each offering a new shade of beauty – a different level of experience.  Just as we have seven major charkas, each one vibrating to a different color, between each of the seven are many smaller ones in varying shades of the colors that they lie between.  Throughout our many lives, each one of the charkas is dominant in our experience of ourselves and of our lives, until we finally reach the crown chakra.

Just like different sizes of shoes, each size fits different feet, but no one fits “better” feet than the other.  They are just different.  Each is a joyous expression of God.  And He experiences Himself through us and through our experiences.  The more varied we are the more varied His joy.

Like everyone in the world today, I have been seeking an answer to why we have arrived at this difficult place in history.  The most simplistic reason is that we really are not able to share this planet – we have not learned the true meaning of being a neighbor, and so we have not learned the meaning of brotherhood, because if we had, than sharing would come naturally. If we knew the meaning of brotherhood, no one would WANT to have more than anyone else – not more things, or more land, or more food, friends more status or a more sacred knowledge of God.  We would want, to have enough, and to be sure that our brothers had enough.  It was Cain who questioned being his brother’s keeper and we all know how that worked out for him. Jesus was not the first to mention the idea of brotherhood, and He taught it 2000 years ago.  The Initiates of the Eleusinian mysteries between 1500 and 1425 BCE were called adelphoi, which means brothers, a Philadelphian was someone who practiced “Brotherly Love”, which is where the name of the city comes from.  The So why is it that we have since traveled to the moon, but not journeyed one step closer to true brotherly love.  Certainly, we know how to say it better now than before and we create stories and books showing the joys of brotherhood, but the concept is as much science fiction as the movies showing the year 2520 with desolate nuked out cities run by mutant robots chasing the five humans left who haven’t killed each other – or is the latter more realistic?

“Do unto others as you would have other do unto you”, why is it that the simple things are the most difficult to grasp?  We can communicate over distances thousands of miles in a matter of seconds, but we can’t “Do unto others as we would have other do unto us”.  I know in my heart that God doesn’t make mistakes, so the fact that it is easier to wrap our legs around our necks and act like a pretzel than it is to love our brothers like ourselves must be a sign along the path.  There must be a real message there for us.  Have our brains grown at the expense of our hearts?  Or did we have to master the easy stuff first, like colonizing Mars before we could be ready to tackle the difficult tasks, like learning to share a planet that we have lived on together for tens of thousands of years.

I believe that thirty percent of the people in the capitalist countries hope that there is a God, and thirty percent fear that there might be a God, and another thirty percent hope that there is a God but that either He is too busy to look at what they are doing, or that He has left much more room to maneuver in His Commandments than meets the eye.  This leaves ten percent who truly believe in their hearts that there is a God.  However even of that ten percent who believe that, there is a God, five percent believe that in the end we will find that He did not give us Ten Commandments but the Ten Suggestions.

If everything in the Bible was meant to be taken literally, few of us alive today would make it through the 613 commandments without passing directly to the down elevator.  It is difficult to believe that after thousands of years of floods, plagues and pestilence, God finally grew so frustrated with man that He decided that the only way to secure mankind’s entrance into Heaven was to beget a son, send him to live a life of the highest form of unconditional love for all, and then have him publically tortured and killed.  I believe with all of my heart that God Almighty, All knowing, All seeing, creator of Heaven and earth could find another way.  And I believe that the other Way is through the experience of our lives on earth.  We have been given Teachers, Jesus being one of them, but not the first, nor the last to show us the Way. In Isaiah 13:15-16 the way to Heaven is stated clearly:

15He that walketh righteously,

and speaketh uprightly;

he that despiseth the gain of oppressions,

that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes,

that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood,

and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

16He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.

Then later in Isaiah: 56:1, the 613 commandments are summed up further this way:

1Thus said Jehovah:

`Keep ye judgment,

and do righteousness,

For near [is] My salvation to come,

And My righteousness to be revealed.

The Way is again made clear by Jesus in Matthew:

19 matt16Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17″Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”
18″Which ones?” the man inquired.
19Jesus replied, ” ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,'[4] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.'[5] ”
20″All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
21Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
26Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

This is really one of the foundations for my belief in reincarnation.  It seems I have believed in it as early as I could imagine anything, but it really began to make sense when it dawned on me that God is always looking and that fact doesn’t seem to have any impact on most people.  I mean – we can justify our actions to ourselves, and we can allow ourselves an ‘E” for effort, but it seems to me that in actuality God does not really ask much of us considering what we receive.  And I don’t think that He is really all that vague on His Commandments, but being a Loving God, I do believe that what He does give us is time, and He gives that to of us in the form of reincarnation.  After all, God knows that we can’t make the leap from colonizing Mars ALL the way to “Loving our neighbors” in one lifetime.  It takes many lifetimes, with frequent rest periods in between to stretch that far from human to humane.  Each incarnating class doesn’t have a really high number of graduates at a time, but we all do, in our own time, make that final leap off of the wheel of incarnation.

One thing that is very clear, from Osiris, to Horus, Dionysius to Jesus, and from the Buddha, to Krishna is that the first and most difficult step is non-attachment to the material.  God tells us not to make idols out of gold and silver, but we forget that we are also told not to make gold and silver into idols.  We must begin that journey of separation from our very closest traveling companion, the ego.  We have a lot of history with our egos and they have served us well.  What makes it even more difficult is that at no other time in history has the climate been so perfect for an ego.  All the toys – all the battles – and all those big, big, guns.  It was a great deal easier to make a clean brake a few centuries ago when we were too busy needing each other to give the ego that much room to move and groove.  Now, it seems so hard to hurt the egos we love, the egos, which aid in serving us the world on a silver platter.

The spark of God lives within all of us.  The journey towards that spark is one that every living being on the planet shares, and, with or without knowing it, we need each other to complete that journey.  Life, what is really life, is God.  That life which is within each of us also connects us one to the other.  It guides all of us, loves all of us and creates the one common thread that unites each living being to each other and to the Source of Life itself.   For just as we each have a body with many parts, but just one soul, all of creation is also one Body with just One Soul, and that soul is God.

35And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.  Leviticus 25:35 (King James Version)

7If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:  8But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.  9Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.   10Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.

11For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land  Deuteronomy 15:7 (King James Version)

Psalm 15

A psalm of David.

1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy mountain?

2 Those whose walk is blameless,
who do what is righteous,
who speak the truth from their hearts;

3 who have no slander on their tongues,
who do their neighbors no wrong,
who cast no slur on others;

4 who despise those whose ways are vile
but honor whoever fears the LORD;
who keep their oaths even when it hurts;

5 who lend money to the poor without interest
and do not accept bribes against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.



Accepting Responsibility for our Lives

To be responsible is not simply to accept burdens, more than anything else it is to accept power. We are the actors in the play that is our lives – we are at all times spiritually responsible for our actions in that play. However, until that spiritual responsibility becomes emotional and material within our lives we will be destined to enact the same play over and over again with nothing changing but the period wardrobe and props.

When I was a child my father taught me how to play Gin Rummy. We would play for hours and most of the time that we played I would win. One day I was feeling very full of myself as a great card shark and I decided to play for money. My father tried to talk me out of it, but I insisted. I bet my entire allowance and in about five minutes my father won. Now the game was over and he had won and I believed that he should give me my money back. My father refused. I cried, I begged, I sulked, I even tried to borrow the exact amount, but he absolutely refused. I could not believe that my father could actually love me and not give me back my money. I decided that he did not really love me. I believed that if he loved me he would give me anything that I wanted. This was what I really felt. It took a long time for me to understand that my fathers’ love had nothing to do with my responsibility for my own actions.

After many months, perhaps even years, I finally understood what he had given to me. I could never again act in any way or say any words that I was not prepared to be responsible for the outcome of. I realized that my father would never make idol threats, if I wanted to do something that I should not, he would tell me the punishment that I would receive if I did it. He was no longer attached to my choice, and when I ultimately did what I wanted to do anyway, he was not attached to the punishment. I am now grateful for this lesson. The one good thing about this lesson is that it is never too late to learn, and never too late to teach to your children. It only takes one time, which was all it took for me. I may have pushed the envelope many times after that, but the difference was that I was responsible and prepared for whatever the outcome. I was in my power.

I suppose that when our belief in reincarnation was taken away from us, so too was the possibility of ever really being right – so we went for the next best thing which was appearing to be right. Of course if we could do neither, we had to place the responsibility for our being wrong on someone else – blame – so that we could escape whatever repercussions we envisioned. The concept of reincarnation has always felt right to me. I always knew that God was Love, and it just made sense to me that placing us in the darkness and giving us only one chance to find the right light – without a manual was not a loving act. To me, it was like taking your child and putting her out at night having this discourse:

Parent: Go find it and you can’t come home until you do – and if you don’t you will be lost forever.

Child: Find what?

Parent: Figure it out.

Child: Which direction do I go?

Parent: Look in the Book.

Child: Which Book – there are so many?

Parent: Figure it out!

Then having the parent close the door on the child. So, reincarnation made sense to me. As someone who has practiced Astrology for many years, I have looked to the chart for past life content. But a chart may be easily verified in this life, but when referring to past lives it is really theoretical. However, since I started doing past life regressions, I find that the chart does give very accurate information as to the issues we need to take responsibility for in our lives that we have failed to do the same in past lives. I see people repeating the same theme over and over again. In the sixteenth century the theme may have been “Romeo and Juliet”, while in the twentieth century it may have been “West Side Story”. Over and over again I see people making the same ultimate choices, life after life, suffering the same consequences only with a slightly different story line. My father put the responsibility for my actions in my lap. I am still growing into that lesson, it is still a work in progress, but at least there is progress. I thought that my choices were pre-determined. I now realize that they are not pre-determined but they are hardwired into my make-up, because they are the choices that keep my ego where it is the most comfortable – on familiar ground. I love the saying, “Better the hell you know than the hell you don’t”. That is straight from the ego’s mouth. When we take responsibility, full responsibility – “The buck stops here” kind of responsibility, we will very likely end up in unfamiliar territory. I know how to function in a bad relationship, but do I really know how to function in a good one? Even happy is scary if happy is unknown. I always go left, maybe I should go right. I always wait, maybe I should act. I always go for the one who needs love, maybe I should go for the one who has it.

We choose the lessons we will learn. We have to accept responsibility for the choices we made before we came here as well as the choices that we make while we are here. We did not choose to suffer; we chose to learn we chose the areas of growth we would work on in this lifetime. This was how we determined our moment of birth<!–[if supportFields]> XE “birth” < ![endif]–>; we chose that moment so the energies of the planets would create the right atmosphere for the growth we came in to achieve.

Taking responsibility automatically puts us in the present. It puts us in a situation in which we have choices to make. As soon as we acknowledge that we have choices, we will realize that we have power. Finding someone or something to blame for our situation relieves us of the responsibility of changing it. It also prevents it from changing. Even if we blame ourselves, we tend to blame something that we label as an inadequacy rather than our own action or inaction, which we can do something about. I will not permit my children to say, “I can’t”, they have to say, “I won’t”, “I can’t” is a great deal more comfortable than, “I won’t”, “I won’t” implies responsibility.

Some people prefer to be miserable; they prefer to be victims. These people are constantly seeking and rejecting answers. Everything that goes wrong in their lives is the responsibility of someone or something other than themselves, and no amount of facts will convince them otherwise. This is a pattern built up over lifetimes.

The wrong people find them; they don’t find the wrong people. They remember the harsh things said to them but not what they might have said to provoke harsh words from others. If they are ever wrong, it is because they were provoked, tricked, or in some way forced to do whatever they were being held responsible for doing wrong.

If there is any good in their lives they find someone to compare it with who has it better. They do not compromise, because if it is all or nothing there is a much better chance of getting nothing. These same people tend to be luckier than most, they tend to be taken care of although they don’t notice it. These people probably live the most tortured lives because they have to keep validating the external source of their misery. The catch is that when we are not responsible we are not in our power, we hand over our power to those people or circumstances that we consider to be responsible. We are not blocked from having a wonderful life, we miss the chances life presents to do so because we are so deeply engrossed in our need to elude responsibility. “I won’t call her because she hasn’t called me”, “I won’t show love because it is never appreciated”, “I won’t try because I always lose”. Even when we blame ourselves, we say, “I am not tall enough, smart enough, attractive enough, strong enough…” We blame an attribute or lack of an attribute; we don’t take responsibility for an action or lack of action, a choice made or refusal to make a choice. We do not take responsibility, as beings.

This is all perception. If you perceive yourself as not responsible, as helpless then the positive side is that you are off of the hook, you didn’t make a mistake, fail, etc., the negative side is you are helpless, a victim of an unsafe world.

Lets look at an example, say that you have a good job, you have never been late, and have never been sick. One day you walk into the office and the boss’s lover is sitting at your desk and you’re out of a job. Well that is a classic case of victimization if ever one existed right? Perhaps, it really depends on ones perspective. This could be an example of how nothing you do works out, so it is a good reason to go get drunk, or lock yourself in your room. You can add this to the list of wrongs done to you. Or you could tell yourself that you’re lucky that you got away from a losing situation. Perhaps you might perceive it as a sign from the Universe to go on your own, or that it is just a sign to move on.

Most people are afraid of responsibility because they fear being responsible for the outcome of our actions. However, taking responsibility for the outcome is unrealistic. When we take responsible for a child or a valuable piece of jewelry or anything left in our keeping this is in a moment. It is not something that we do twenty-four hours a day. However when we accept responsibility for our actions we are taking responsibility for everything except the outcome and we are taking that responsibility in every moment that we are alive. It is being responsible for each thought, each movement and each word that we say. We cannot control the outcome of anything. I may drink and drive and have an accident or not. I am responsible for having been drinking. I am neither responsible for the fact that I had an accident nor am I responsible if I did not have one. To be responsible is to be present and aware in each action that we take in each thought that we have. This is to be in each now of our lives.

There is a part of our brain that works automatically. It regulates our body, it breathes, it pumps blood to our organs it does not take our presence or our awareness in order to function.

When we are toddlers and we begin to walk we are present. Each step is an effort it takes mindfulness. After we walk long enough it becomes automatic. I watched my son focus and strain while he tries to put his socks on. Eventually he didn’t even notice that he was doing it, because it became automatic. Even when we drive to a certain destination enough times it too becomes automatic, as though the car just knows where to turn.

How often do we bump into a piece of furniture and say, “excuse me”? When our living, becomes automatic we cannot be responsible, we are sleep walking. We are not present. Many times the loss of passion in our relationships and even the loss of growth in our relationships emerges simply out of our having sent the functioning of the relationship to automatic. Where once we experienced each word and movement of our lover and were present within the relationship now the relationship becomes automatic. The relationship becomes part of our unseen unfelt automatic world. So we cannot find where we went wrong because we were not really there. We need to relegate the functioning of our bodies to the automatic brain and the functioning of our lives to our active selves.

When we meditate we are taught to focus on our breathing because that connects us with the present. That connection is the key. When we are connected with our present, with our actions we can then assume responsibility for our lives. When we are truly responsible we are again empowered and in control. It may take work and time to disengage our lives from automatic. It will certainly take walking through our own fears. Yet once this is done we are finally connected with our lives, our loves, our souls and our God. When we are awake we can hear sounds that the sleeping cannot hear and feel things that the numb cannot feel.

When we are awake and responsible nothing gets past us or slips through the cracks. When we say something it has value because it is not just an automatic response. When we are awake we awaken those around us, merely by our presence. Our lives do not just happen; we don’t wonder where the day went. We are aware that we have lived it. Each moment is fuller because we are aware of all the wonders within it. In a relationship we feel all the things that we felt in the beginning because each moment is a beginning when we are alive. Life becomes awe inspiring because we are in it. We feel empowered in the knowledge that we are responsible for how we have lived our lives.