Friday, August 05, 2005

Navigators of the Karmic Sea

Navigators of the Karmic Sea

I'm actually relieved that I don't have to be travelling again next week, as was originally planned. It gives me a chance to work on other things. There's a pipeline of tasks that I have to deal with. But as usual, I will tackle things one at a time.

Certain things cannot be rushed. They have to unfold at their own pace. I've mentioned before that there's a natural rhythm to everything in the universe. As you get older, you know how to sense this natural rhythm better; you learn to flow along with it instead of pushing or forcing things to go through. Everything will unfold in its own time.

The river cannot flow faster than it already does because its present rate of flow is determined by the dynamic equilibrium of the forces that are present in nature. The river follows its optimum path, effortlessly to the sea. It cannot choose any other way because its path to the sea is already determined by "fate"--the cummulative effect of all natural forces.

We, like rivers, are also "predestined" to lead a certain kind of life because of our own natural tendencies that are already present with us at birth and the peculiarity of the environment which we are cast into. From a macroscopic perspective, there will be certain "patterns" that will emerge in our lives, even though the actual details of their unfoldment will vary, depending on how we exercise our free will.

Yes, I do believe we all possess free will and we can be free from the circumstances of our fate. But we have to understand the macro-currents of fate that are present in our lives so that we can nagivate through them safely. These macro-currents are generated by the intersection between our in-born impulses and the forces that are present in our environment. They cannot be prevented. It is our karma.

The river's karma is to flow to sea, roughly along a predetermined path. Our karma is more complex, for the forces involved in determining the path that we follow exists in four dimensions: physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. The free will that we can exercise modifies these forces--sometimes neutralizing and at other times, augmenting them.

Are our lives predestined by fate? The answer is: to a certain extent.

If we do not know how to exercise our free will, then our lives will definitely unfold as predetermined by this nexus of natural forces. But if we choose to exercise our free will, based on our reading of the forces around us, then we have a chance to flow along these macro-currents with a lot less friction, and perhaps even be able to harness their energy. The macro-currents of karma are neutral--they are neither good nor bad. It is only our reaction to them that brings about such value judgements, and ultimately pain or pleasure.

We must therefore, in our lifetime, learn to be skillful navigators of this karmic sea. The alternative is, to be like the mass of humanity out there, allowing ourselves to be carried away helplessly, like flotsams on its mighty currents.

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