Friday, February 5, 2010

Karma, Death, and Empathy

Imagine a large pond. This looks like a pretty boring pond, nothing's really happening in it. Yeah, a frog swims around a little bit, some ripples form, and then once again, all is still and nothing happens. You sit lazily in the grass, and your hand happens upon a stone. Bored, you pick up the stone, and half-heartedly toss it into the pond. The stone sails through the still air and smacks the water with a light plop. Ripples form and expand from the point where the stone touched the water, and a small drop of water flies out and lands on your pantleg. A frog swims away from this strange rocky predator. This train of thought seems quite interesting, and so you decide to throw a larger stone in. Louder plop! More ripples, more drops of water shoot out of the pond and land on your shoes, this time. Feeling the flow of excitement from relieving boredom, you eye a cinderblock. You stand up, and rush over to it, heaving it above your head, grunting from the weight. You cock back, and sling it into the now-still pond. Huge splash, large waves, fish and frogs run in fear and even jump out of the pond. The splash is so large, you're hit with a large wall of water. Wet and annoyed, you walk away from the pond.

This is karma. The choices we make affecting our reality and changing it. It's not some strange sling-shot of energy that does some weird u-turn and dials in on your life just because you said something mean. It's your life being altered by your conscious decisions, both good and bad.

Now, some people believe in past lives, and others do not. The key here, is that the universe couldn't care less about what you believe or not, it just is. It would be like you telling me you don't believe I exist, or me telling you I believe the moon is made of cheese. Whether I'm right or wrong, the universe just is.

Personally, I believe in past lives. I see circles in all aspects of life, cycles... so why should life be any different? But the key here, is why we go from life to life, and not the how. So what could constantly remain constant throughout all lifetimes? Your soul. The you separate from your body, whatever you call it, remains constant.

Imagine a room in your home. This room is special... it's secret. You have no clue what's in this room, and when you try to open the door, it's locked. But, this is also one of those old-timey doors, so it has a keyhole. And what you see through that keyhole, is amazing. You see yourself, standing there. Now, we stand at this door all our lives. And when we die, we are given the key to it. Death is simply opening that door, and walking into the room. But that is not the end. Right after that, you walk out another door of the room, and shut it, and it locks behind you. Suddenly, the room is secret. You have no clue what's inside, and so you curiously peer into the keyhole of that locked room. You were only in there for a moment, vast changes could've taken place! However, while you're on the outside of that door, you have many many options. You can stand at that one door, and stare through that keyhole until you're given the key, or you can walk away, and look through another keyhole. The object is exactly the same, but yet, you have a different view of it. And you can visit every door, and look through every keyhole as many times as you wish. But there's a secret that all of us forget when we exit the room... We've had the key the whole time. At any time you want you can enter and exit the room at your leisure. You just have to remember you have the key.

This is life and death. Our job here is to learn as much as we can. You can learn many things from one keyhole. A great many things. So just imagine how much you can learn from looking through them all. And since we retain these things we learn once we leave the room, we have as long as we need to learn these things. And then, think about how much you can learn from being able to enter and exit the room any time you want, from any door you want, looking through any keyhole you want.

But you might be wondering, "If we can walk into the room and see it any time we want, why would I want to leave it, or worse yet, keep staring at it through a keyhole?"

Good question. And the answer is quite simple. I'm going to ask you, right now, to solve this equation:

((x+3)2)/(z*7) = x(94z)

Seeing the entire equation is being inside the room, looking around and at yourself. Can you stare at the entire thing and solve it, learn it's answer? If the answer is yes, then I applaud you, mr. or mrs. genius, go work for NASA! But for the rest of us earthlings, we need to break it down. We need to get all the variables on one side. Working it out step by step is like looking through a keyhole, with each step being a different keyhole. We learn what we need to and go on to the next step, or go on to the next keyhole. Sometimes we need to go inside the room and look at the big picture, to get an idea of what we're looking at because of what we learned, or to simply figure out what keyhole we need to look through next. But once you solve the entire puzzle piece by peice, then you have no need to look through keyholes anymore.

Now, I seem pretty ADD here. Right from Karma to life and death? But I have a point. One pretty common view of karma is that it works through lifetimes. Like if I'm an ass here, I'll come back as a roll of toilet paper. However, that's not entirely true. To show you what I mean, I have to jump to empathy now.

Empathy is the capacity to bond with another human being. I have empathy for someone by putting myself in their shoes, and feeling what they feel to better understand them. It doesn't mean I have to be nice to them, it just means I understand them. However, to someone who is also hypersensitive this can be a bit of a burden. You feel what they feel tenfold. It's more than just understanding, it's being slapped and slammed with emotion. A tidal wave washing over you and drowning you. And it can be hell. It can be a deep and never ending torment of pain and misery. The common view of karma dictates that you were an ass in a past life to deserve this hell. However, you could've been a saint, and still end up in this position.

How is that possible? It's because of choices. We choose to look through the keyhole we are at, we choose to stand in front of the door we are in front of. At any time, you can simply walk to another door, or stop looking through the keyhole. But some people stand on nails and broken glass, feet bleeding profusely, and still they look. They are looking at a vast and barren hellscape, while the door to the left, with it's nice soft carpet shows a view of fluffy clouds, green grass, and bunny rabbits.

Karma is the result of our choices. We choose to look through particular keyholes. We move from keyhole to keyhole by learning from them. We open doors by remembering the key. And we stand before each and every door with a lesson to learn.

Karma says you are here because you have something to learn. You can choose to learn it, or not. If you die before you learn it, that's okay.

Because you'll just end up back at this door trying to learn the lesson it holds.

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