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What Is Real And What Is Unreal?

 

      III
     

Is it by seeing that I was paying off some karma? Some well-intentioned friends told me that now I had removed a big chunk of negative karma. It provided a possible explanation but no solution, and it certainly didn't make me feel good, because it left open the question of how much more negative karma I might have to undergo, whose effects I might experience at any time. I wanted a solution that would guarantee the end of all suffering, and that solution hinged on my discovering why I would do such a thing to myself. Karma does place the responsibility on me. It considers whatever happens in a situation to be an effect of a previous cause for which I am responsible through my past actions. Karma will attempt to heal a specific incident, specific actions of one body doing something to another, but it does not address the one purpose for all my actions. And so the law of karma cannot free me. It does not address the real underlying purpose of the body, which is to maintain my separation.


Karma is based on the ego thought system which sees another body outside of me that can hurt me or that I can hurt, which then leads to future retribution, in line with the idea of 'as you sow so shall you reap'. But once I realize through direct experience that there is nothing outside of my mind, and that the world and the body that's within it are all part of a dream I am dreaming which is not real, then the law of karma has no power over me. I now know with certainty that I am not bound by karma, and nor are you. Karma binds only as long as I retain the purpose of separation and body-consciousness, within which it applies. But I am not a body. I am as God created me, whole and perfect. My mind joined with God is all-powerful. In the past I misused my mind to make a meaningless world of illusion. I imposed an idea of time and space on the seamless eternity which is the omnipresent now. But, I cannot be bound by the past. I can choose to totally let it go. Baba teaches, "Past is past. Forget the past. There is no past. All there is is the everpresent now."


To be free of karma the idea of separation has to be rooted out in its entirety, and that will happen only when I realize that all of it without exception is playing out only in my mind. It is my dream of death, the nightmare I made up to prove to myself that I can be a little being separate from others, with friends and enemies and a wide world out there that define me and affect me night and day, and that whatever in this short lifetime I manage to accomplish in this world, I inevitably end in death. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. My mind is all-powerful and it is my dream. Whatever story I make up and whatever world I fabricate, I place it all there to reflect my wishes, my purpose and my thoughts. There is no rapist outside of my mind. If I accept suffering as a way of paying off a karmic debt, I have stated a purpose for suffering. As long as I have that purpose there will be the suffering. But this need not be. Fortunately I was ready to see another purpose.


Everything that happens to me is because I want the purpose that it serves. Think about it, what is your purpose right now? Undoubtedly your first thought will be that you are here in a spiritual retreat, diving into the experience of Sai Baba's presence and imbibing his teachings. But go deeper. Are you a body sitting there listening to me? Is there someone else sitting next to you? Or is there just you and is everything you experience only happening in your own mind and orchestrated by you? Could you even conceive that the person sitting next to you is an image you made up to keep your reality of separate existence alive? Or can you see that you as a body and they as bodies are all within your mind, not separate from you? And I am just a part of you speaking to you within your mind? Even if you cannot immediately accept all this, do you see that you can always have only two possible purposes? It is either to abide in the One Self, the truth of who you really are, or it is to maintain a separate self-identity. One is of God, the other is of the ego. One is real, the other is unreal.


There is nothing that will not be undone instantly when I see no further purpose for it. I am all-powerful because I am not separate or different from God. Can we imagine God being victimized? No. Well, then neither can I be victimized, unless I want to be, because He created me just like Himself. I am not a helpless victim of circumstances beyond my control.


I once had a dream which came to me at a time when I had been struggling with the question of free will. In this dream, Arjuna and I were chatting like brother and sister. "You know Yaani," he said, "I saw the whole Mahabharata war from start to finish before it ever began." Upon hearing that, I threw up my hands and exclaimed in dismay, "Oh Arjuna, does that mean that I have nothing to say about what happens to me in my life, that I have no free-will?!?" "No, Yaani, it is not like that. When your consciousness changes, your destiny changes." In other words, it is my dream and I can change it from a dream of death into a happy dream of eternal life. All I have to do is change my mind from body-consciousness to God-consciousness, from untruth to truth. Every thought I think is either real or unreal. My real thoughts are thoughts I think with God. All the other thoughts are unreal, yet they will have their consequences. There are no neutral thoughts. That is why Baba constantly reminds us to watch our thoughts.

 
         
     

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