Life should be gentle flowing, flowing, flowing from event to event without worry or fear. Feeling peace within and love for all we sail contentedly through life whether it brings us good or ill.
Sadly, for the majority of us this is just a distant ideal. Our lives seem to be one long struggle for material survival, discord with our spouse or in-laws and confrontation with our teenage children. We feel stressed out and ill. So how can we change our lives from outer turmoil to peace and tranquility? The answer to this is that we have to change ourselves, our attitudes, possible our jobs and our relationships; we have to learn to let go for all our desires for all desires causes sufferings, in fact life seem to be a constant cycle of desire, anticipation and disappointment. Then we have to put into practice Divine Law. This is not easy to do and cannot be accomplished overnight. It may take a lifetime, and in some cases maybe several lifetimes, but change we must sooner or later, so we may as well start now. But first it would be useful to look at how we got ourselves into this mess in the first place and for this we must go back to the beginnings of existence.
There was a time when we dwelt with God in perfect bliss. Then we separated from God into our higher selves, this Higher self being an individualized spark of God. In this state we where perfect. We had all knowledge but were without experience, in other words, we knew that hatred and resentment were wrong but had no idea what it was like to feel these emotions. We then decided to take physical incarnation and for this purpose we created the soul. The soul contained everything it needed for that first life. Depending on the circumstances that the Higher Self had chosen for it the soul would have brought with it certain strengths and weaknesses. SO if it had chosen to learn patience in its first life it would find itself in a situation where demands where always made of it, either as a servant or the mother of several children. The Higher Self would then experience through the soul’s trials and tribulations various feelings and emotions.
Whether the soul learned patience or not depended on how much of this Higher Self/God Self it could reach in that lifetime. If it mastered the concept of patience in a practical sense, then another re-birth would be chosen, by the Higher Self, which would be favourable but with a different learning experience and so on until all negative emotions had been mastered and the soul become a Master Soul. If in the first life the soul had not mastered patience, become angry and resentful and say murdered his employer out of jealousy and greed ( assuming he took the servant life), then his next rebirth would be most unfavourable and he would have to learn the same lesson.
If after several re-births he still failed to learn, this soul would become bitter and twisted and, if born into the 20th century, he could well resort to drugs as a way of escaping his responsibilities, become a joy-rider or something similar as a way of paying everyone back for his problems. Of course, you can see from this example that the problem is entirely his.
So, to recap, during our lives we are learning something particular like humility, patience, or self-sacrifice. In some lives we have helped people and been kind whilst in others, as our example shows, we may have done just the opposite. The actions in our first life would have determined our second and the outcome of that would have shaped our third and so on. Our personality would have been formed by what we did coupled with what we learned. The accumulation of actions both good and bad from past lives is called Karma. But karma is not just brought about by actions but by thoughts as well. Everyone makes karma and we cannot end the cycle of re-birth until the bad karma we have made for ourselves has been paid. Therefore, should you deprive someone of their livelihood in one life then you will suffer the same fate yourself, this may be part of the reason why so many people in this country today are jobless, it is karma.
So here you are now, in the 21st century, born into a family that you have chosen in order to learn and to work out your karma from previous lives. To overcome past mistakes and to enjoy past triumphs.
Next we have to add environmental and parental conditioning for either good or ill. Not forgetting that we also absorb our parents attitudes, negative traits and feelings unconsciously.
From an early age we are taught both at home and at school to be competitive, to strive to succeed. Hardly anyone says ‘Just do your best and if you can’t do it. It doesn’t matter’. It’s always, well if you don’t pass your exams you won’t go to university and get a good job. Maybe he wants to do something simple like working in a restaurant doing the washing up so that he can meditate on God all day without any distractions.
So we grow up either rebelling against our parents who are trying to make us do something we don’t want to do. Or being overly competitive and therefore aggressive in a bid to succeed and win all hearts. This ultimately leads to selfishness and a false sense of ego. Or if we are weak we will become a wimp, walked on by all and sundry.
Having survived our childhood in one form or another we now look at our teenage years. The ego is supposed to be build from the age of 7 but the first real emphasis starts at puberty and goes on through our teens. Most teenagers imitate their peer group in order not to feel left out. It is very important to belong as most teenagers feel insecure. We do whatever the ‘in thing’ is. It can be fairly harmless depending on the type of friends we have or it can destroy us.
From the time we enter our 20s, 30s and 40s we are fairly screwed up. We could be in the wrong job, the wrong marriage or trying to kick the drug habit. We know that something is wrong but not all of us will be able to face up to the challenge of finding out just what ‘it’ is. Those who do not are obvious heart attack and ulcer candidates.
So now we have come full circle. You know why you have the problems you have, you understand why you are not in harmony with yourself let alone anyone else or the universe, the next step is, what do you do about it?
Firstly, you have to stop and evaluate your circumstances, your attitude to your job, relationships, as well as your hopes, fears, wishes and desires. In other words you have to turn yourself inside out. This is called self-analysis.
In order to follow with life and to transmute all our fears we have to eliminate all negative traits because negativity sets up blocks in the system which interfere with our relationship to ourselves and the outside world; not only people but events too. This is because everything we do works on all planes at once; this physical, the emotional and the spiritual.
We also attract people and situations to us that not only mirror what we are but also what we need to learn.
For example, I knew a lady who had a really awful mother. No matter what this lady did for her mother it was always thrown in her face, so in the end she gave up trying. I don’t blame her for that the problem was she felt resentful towards her mother for making her life a misery for years when really she should have just send her unconditional love. This lady took a job as a secretary and was horrified to find that out of the 13 girls she worked with 8 of them where the same astrological sight as her mother and displayed the same temperament. These 8 girls refused to speak to her and would turn their head away when our example gave a cheery ‘Good morning’. If that wasn’t enough they sabotaged her work whenever they could.
She couldn’t leave because she was under contract. She spend a whole year sending these ignorant girls unconditional love several times a day!
From this you can see that if you don’t learn, situations and people appear in our lives in order to make us learn.
It is, therefore, very important to look at the people and situations surrounding your to evaluate what is happening in your life and what you should be learning. You may find that someone you know gets angry when you try to tell them they are wrong. Buy do you do the same, can you hear to be criticized even if the criticism is justified or constructive? Think of the people you know and the traits they have, do you have the same, or the opposite?
After doing all this you might feel worthless and depressed. That’s good – it shows your soul is growing!
Apart from relationships you must also look at the kind of work you are doing.
I tend to cause uproar at talks when I mention this point. Someone says, ‘I can’t stand my job, it’s making me ill.’ To which I reply, ‘in that case, give it up.’ They reply they can’t because they have a family and a hefty mortgage. My answer to that is to sell the house and move somewhere cheaper, do a different job, stop being an executive or director and become a postman no stress in that and plenty of fresh air and exercise, very healthy. That really throws them because secretly they are attached to the prestige and power their high earnings and job title gives them. In other words they have big egos and a big ego will stop you progressing spiritually – to be happy one has to be humble.
But in truth, I am always very sympathetic and should anyone have a real problem as just outlined above, I would tell them to come and see me and we would look at the possibilities – however, sometimes drastic change is called for.
The way to tackle this problem in general is not to be attached to anything – job, home, relationships, because through being non-attached we can become centered and balanced within ourselves. If we are flowing along the path and a disaster occurs we should accept it and look on it as an opportunity to grow whilst also looking to see if there is any past karma involved or whether it is our current attitudes and actions that have brought this about. Also, what may appear to be a disaster can sometimes be a blessing in disguise, as this little anecdote shows.
A man lived with his son in a remote village, their only possession being a horse. One day the horse ran away.
‘Oh that is bad’ said the neighbours.
‘How do you know?’ said the man
The next day the horse returned brining several wild horses with it.
‘Oh that is good’ said the neighbours.
‘How do you know?’ said the man
The next day the son broke his leg trying to ride one of the wild horses.
‘Oh that’s bad’ said the neighbours.
‘How do you know?’ said the man
The next day government troops entered the village and enlisted all the young men for a war up on the border. Most of them never returned. They didn’t take the man’s son because he had a broken leg.
So if you find yourself in a difficult situations you need to :-
a) Evaluate the situation honestly
b) Accept it
c) This may then lead to change.
However, in order for a change to take place you may have to help bring it into being. For instance, if you do not have enough to eat its no good saying, ‘Okay I accept the situation,’ and then sit there thinking that a box of groceries is going to materialize, because it won’t. What you may find is that out of the blue you are offered a job that suits you down to the ground and solves your financial problems.
By now you may be feeling really miserable. After all you do what to enlighten yourself, in order to solve all your problems, to flow with life and never have any more worries. And so you shall, but habits that have been build up over many lifetimes cannot disappear overnight. They have to be worked through carefully and steadily. Have no doubts you will make it – but when is entirely up to you. You may have to make major changes in your life which you many not feel mentally, emotionally or physically capable of doing at this point in time. But you don’t have to do it all at once. A Master will tell you that a 1,000 mile journey starts with one step, and you have already taken the first step – you are taking the time to read this.
Your next question may well be that you accept that negative thoughts and actions create negative conditions but why is such honesty and purity of thought necessary? After all we live in a hostile world, if someone is rude to us surely we have the right to respond likewise?
Sorry to disappoint you but this type of attitude is not acceptable for two reasons. Hatred and violence only breed more hatred and violence and negative thoughts and behaviour produces more of the same. It is at this point I feel we should move onto the Divine Principles. These principles, if followed with humility along with the practice of meditation, will lead to inner peace, contact with our Higher Selves and one-ness with the Divine, Our creator. Although God permeates everything and is in everything, it is also possible to have a personal relationship with +Him and to hear His voice. Although this blessing is granted to few, it is possible to reach this level in one lifetime.
+ Several religions refer to God as masculine, but of course He has no gender. However referring to God as ‘it’ seems somewhat irreverent.