Destiny, Free-Will & KarmaFrom Awakening to Wholeness
F – Destiny, Free-Will and Karma
Destiny (Our Chosen Life Path)
Our destiny is not the product of our past – our past actions do no not propel us into the future; our past actions hold us back and impede our development. It is the potential energy of what we have chosen (our intent) that creates our destiny and leads us through life.
Our choices create a “vacuum” in front of us that pulls us along our chosen life path. It is in this “void” of pure potentiality that our life unfolds. We have already chosen our destiny (prior to this present moment), so now we must let go and allow it to manifest in the eternal present moment. I don’t mean that we should just sit back and passively wait for a new life to fall into our lap. We have to engage with life in the present moment to ensure we don’t miss life’s opportunities for growth.
Our past actions and our old limiting beliefs prevent us from achieving our full potential. The parts of us that are stuck in the past (exiles and ego structures) are the resistance that hinders our development. In order to move forwards freely we need to heal the parts that are holding us back.
Our approach to life can influence our destiny, but we cannot directly control what Life sends our way – we just decide how we are going to respond to it. This is where our free-will comes into play. But just how much free-will do we really have if we live most of our life on autopilot? Will is not free if it is bound by the effects of our conditioned behaviours. Will is only free if we have sufficient conscious awareness to use it in a considered manner. Without conscious awareness we cannot respond, we can only react. Will is an essential quality of the soul. If that quality of our soul is ego-identified we will not have access to our essential-will; we will only have access to the ego’s mentally constructed version of will (false-will). False-will is rigid and stubborn, and is better suited to resistance than positive action. False-will is based upon the ego’s fears and coping strategies, which often conflict with Life (universal-will). We can consciously exert our will to work with the natural flow of Life, or we can consciously exert our will to resist the natural flow of life, or we can unconsciously lie back and do nothing:
- A wise fish proactively swims with the flow and makes great progress.
- A stupid fish actively swims against the flow and gets nowhere (just very tired).
- A sleeping fish passively goes with the flow, but learns nothing because he is asleep.
The development of consciousness requires awareness and action (will). Getting the balance right requires continuous awareness of the subtle changes in Life’s currents. When we become attuned to Life and actively engage with it, our lives open up with a sense of flow, ease and grace. Grace occurs when we allow life to naturally unfold within us and flow through us without any resistance. Will is not a force to be exerted upon the world. There is no outwards expression of true-will, or trying to make things happen. True-will is the firm yet flexible ground on which our true being stands. It is from this unshakable core that our intention flows through us in full alignment with Life. Intention is consciously committing to how we are going to live our life. Every morning, we can simply state our intention to evolve psychologically, spiritually, creatively, intuitively, peacefully and patiently into an awakened and enlightened being. Once our intention has been set, we must drop any agenda about how or when it will occur. We must drop all investment in the outcome and leave that up to Life.
Karma is a Sanskrit word meaning “action”, but is generally understood to mean the consequences of our actions. The word “karma” is commonly used to indicate bad karma, and the word “merit” is often used to indicate good karma. The Law of Karma is often described as “cause and effect”, because every action (or cause) has a corresponding consequence (or effect).
Ego structures are one of the main mechanism through which karma operates, in two ways:
- Ego structures are the primary cause of our bad karma; i.e. they are responsible for the “bad” behaviour that generates bad karma.
- Ego structures are the mechanism through which we experience the effects (consequences) of our bad karma; i.e. our unnecessary suffering is the result of our ego structures getting triggered.
Suffering that results from ego structures is unnecessary suffering because it is not directly related to the Self’s evolution. The Self may choose to experience “suffering” (e.g. a terminal illness) in order to grow and evolve – this is necessary – this is not karma.
- The Self’s chosen path through life is the optimum path for the development of our consciousness. It is fast and direct, taking us only to the places we need to go. And provided we learn from the experience, we don’t need to go there again. It involves only the pain that is necessary for our growth (no more, no less).
- The ego’s path through life is slow, indirect and repetitive. It results in a lot of unnecessary suffering – suffering that we bring upon ourselves as a consequence of choosing the ego’s path. Now there’s a great definition of karma: the suffering that we bring upon ourselves as a consequence of choosing the ego’s path.
Karma is not divine justice or retribution. It is not “an eye for an eye” or “what goes around comes around”. Karma is the universe seeking to restore balance, but not in the way people commonly think. Karma is stored within us, by us. Karma is the stuff that we choose to hold onto (beliefs, stories, justifications, principles, thoughts, emotions and hurts). This is the mechanism by which karma is stored. Karma manifests as a result of our negative emotions and thoughts (fear, shame, guilt, anger, regret, hatred, self-loathing), not towards other people, but towards our self. If we let go of all this stuff, we can be free. If we fully accept and fully forgive ourselves, we can be free.
The thing that makes a murderer feel the subconscious need to be murdered in a future lifetime is his own subconscious guilt, shame and regret. He mistakenly believes that he can only forgive himself once he has suffered the same fate as his victim. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If the murderer can heal his own guilt, shame and regret with loving-acceptance, there is no need for him to suffer the same fate because he has already learnt his lesson – the easy way. The hard way involves all the unnecessary suffering that we sub-consciously impose on ourselves. The continuing cycle of: victim > attacker > victim > attacker, etc. The hard way doesn’t actually restore balance; it just keeps the pendulum of karma swinging from one side to the other. Balance is only truly restored when all the negative beliefs and emotions associated with our actions have been neutralised. Note: I am not in any way implying that all murder victims must have been murderers in past lives; I am merely using a scenario to illustrate one possible mechanism of karma.
The Root of All Evil
The world is the perfect environment for the development of human consciousness. Everything that occurs in the world happens for a reason, and that reason is the development of consciousness. So we should stop resisting life, stop judging everything, and stop wanting things to be different, because it is all perfect and it all serves a higher purpose. Everything, no matter how wrong or evil it may appear to be, happens for a reason and that reason is the development of consciousness. The ego-mind can rarely comprehend the intricate reasons why “bad” things happen, so it resorts to judging, blaming and condemning.
Evil behaviour is the result of highly disturbed ego structures. Ego structures are the result of childhood traumas and confusion. Traumas and confusion are the result of the innocence, immaturity and incapacity of our young consciousness to deal with challenging events. So the origin of evil is innocence! You can’t go back a generation and blame the parents for inflicting the childhood traumas because they were the product of their childhood. And their parents were the product of their childhood, and so on. So ultimately there is no one to blame. We simply have to take responsibility for our own lives, our own behaviour, our own impulses and our own actions.
While I am on the subject of “evil”, I will take a few moments to explain about heaven and hell from a psycho-spiritual perspective:
- Hell is the world of the sub-conscious. We descend into the depths of our sub-conscious to release our exiled parts from their eternal suffering, and reintegrate them into the wholeness of our being.
- Purgatory is the world of the ego. We spend most of our time in this semi-conscious world of lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride (the seven deadly sins). This is the world we are attempting to awaken from.
- Heaven is the world of the super-conscious. We ascend into our super-conscious to connect with and realise our (divine) Self. This is the world we are attempting to awaken into.