“And when I’m gone, rest on the wind…I’ll come right back to my mother again.”– Déjà vu Blues- Cm (Borrowed from The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran)
Good morning dear friends. Today marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11th we will never forget. I would like to discuss karma and reincarnation with you this morning.
This past Friday, I read words written by someone about a group of people; words that were so hurtful and deplorable…my heart sank reading them. But my heart did not sink because I happen to be among the group this woman was writing about; it sank because the woman who wrote them is considered a good person by most standards. And I realized the darkness of a world where a “good person” can take such action.
This evoked a response from yours truly, that you may get a chance to read if published. In it I wrote about true writers, “…they simply open their heart and record the words as they move to its beat.” As spiritual beings, we realize that the I-me-mine that we identify with owns nothing in this world. We are merely vehicles for something far greater. That which compels me to write this weekly Tune-up, is the very same well I draw my music from. I simply listen & move the pen! I listen, and hear the music! The words I read this past Friday came from a different place. They came from the same darkness that has denied a seat for prayer at today’s ceremony at Ground Zero.
It is no accident or mere coincidence that I write to you about Karma on the day of our worst national tragedy. Our lives are like floating pieces of a jigsaw puzzle…until we connect with source. The endless struggle of I-me-mine becomes the magically connected dots of the greatest puzzle in the world…just as soon as I-me-mine gives up the wheel!
Karma is simply the cause and effect-consequence of action. The seeds of our actions bear the fruit of our karma. We have all been taught this rule one way or another; perhaps using different words. But make no mistake, Karma is a universal law that none of us escapes. None of us, that is, unless we happen to become a Buddha.
Reincarnation –We are recyclable eternal beings inside of a disposable & biodegradable physical shell. Reincarnation, as taught by the Buddhists, is simply the journey of our spiritual being from physical host to host. We have re-manifested this way…forever; and will continue to do so until we get it right!
The two are very much inter-related! The Buddhists believe that through devotion to Dharma (teachings of Buddha), spiritual practice and the virtue of right living…the endless wheel of suffering and the cycle of death and rebirth will yield to the enlightened state of the Buddha mind.
So there are two basic ways we can think of karma: Our individual karma and our collective (societal) karma. This brings up a very uncomfortable notion when we think of the horror of 9/11! September 11th was in fact a ripening of our collective karma. This raises the question of who we are as a nation…as a people. There are some who say that we are a bad nation, and that we got what we had coming to us. Do you remember the words from the illustrious Professor Churchill who referred to the 9/11 victims as “little Eichmanns”? Regrettably, we have a sitting president whose ideology stems from one Churchill’s camp, whereas most Americans (myself included) share another, more famous Churchill’s view of America. We could debate the opposing views and miss the point.
How many times have you witnessed really terrible things happen to really good people? The givers in our lives who none of us could find anything but kind words for? And yet, despite a lifetime of proper exercise and diet and no smoking or drinking, they die of lung cancer at age 50…or an act of terror? The point is that the karma that ripens for us today may have resulted from the seeds of our actions in a past life! The realization of this concept places terror and relief on the head of the same pin! On the one hand, it is terrifying to know that my fate holds what I-me-mine cannot control. And on the other, it is a relief to know that the only thing that I-me-mine can control is my action of this moment…which is quite liberating when you really contemplate it!
In fact, as the politicians gather today to smile for the cameras; you and I could quietly resolve to dedicate our words and deeds (actions) from this moment on, to the memory of those of us we lost 10 years ago today. Imagine the beauty of a world this could bring…
“The Americans will always do the right thing… after they’ve exhausted all the alternatives.” — Winston Churchill