The third Spiritual Principle is the Principle of Karma – karma is simply action. With each action, there is a response, a reaction. Each time we make a choice, we are taking an action. Each and every action results in a reaction.
At each moment we are presented with infinite choices: I can stand-up, sit down, walk, lie down, speak, laugh, cry, quit my job, bake cookies or any one of a million choices. And, at any given moment, there is ONE choice which is karmic-ally appropriate. That seems frightening. How do I know what is the right choice for that moment?
It’s actually quite simple: the choice that makes the choice-maker (you) fill with joy. In each moment, we are invited to be conscious and ask ourselves: what is it that I can do at this moment that will bring joy to me? This seems like a selfish approach. And think about it. If I am truly filled with joy, how is that going to affect everyone around me? I can only take responsibility for how I feel since I can only “control” how I feel.
Each time you make a choice, it creates a result. When one makes choices unconsciously, they affect them as much as the conscious choices. When we make a choice unconsciously, we aren’t aware that we have made a choice. We are responsible for our own actions, for our own choices. The choices one makes today impact the future.
A few years back I was working with a young man who was dying of cancer. During the course of his healing he expressed a desire to have his sister visit him before he died. He asked me to call her. When we spoke she sounded tense and stressed. I explained what her brother wanted from her. She explained with a list 20 items long why she “couldn’t” visit him. I told her I understood the choice she was making. She angrily said, “I am not making a choice! I want to come, I just can’t!” To that I said I respected her choice. She repeated several times that she was not making a choice, she just couldn’t come. I could here her arguing with herself – though she thought she was arguing with me.
By the way, she did visit her brother bringing photos of their childhood. They spent several days reminiscing, laughing and crying together. And then he left. Did she make the choice that made her heart sing, that brought joy to her? Only she can answer that. The point is that when we first spoke, she was making an unconscious choice – automatic. By letting her know that she was choosing not to go, it created space for her to go.
”Rational” choice is choice from the place of ego. It’s the times when we ask the question: how will I look making this choice? Begin to make conscious choices – observe or witness your choice and notice the outcome. This is taking full responsibility for the choices you are making. It really is fun to realize that “I am NOT a victim” and if I don’t like the choice I made it’s quite simple to change, all I have to do is make another choice!
As we are more conscious, as we make conscious choices, we become active participants in our own lives. And the more we are conscious, the less we need to involve the mind; it becomes automatic. We move to a place of joy in each moment of our lives.
And no, I haven’t gotten there … yet. And I must admit that life is certainly getting easier!