Travel in the Spiritual Worlds
Controlling Impulsive Action is One Way to Overcome Karma
Karma is an omnipresent feature in the life of human beings according to many Eastern religious traditions. But these traditions generally do not give an in-depth description of how it manifests directly to the individual. Let us add some depth to the common notions of karma, the law of cause and effect as we describe how it directly affects individuals. Karma is split into two parts - first the conditions that are encountered in life and second the behavioral tendencies that are inherited by the individual from the past. This article describes how the individual can deal with these inherited tendencies which can be quite destructive.
First, we note that karma can be personified. Positive karmic forces can be seen as angelic images and voices of luck and optimism. Negatives effects can be experienced as demonic images and voices of despair. The balancing of Karma between lives as a rebirth is chosen for the individual can also be personified as Lords of Karma, Halls of Cosmic Justice, guardians of heaven and hell, and angelic guides or demonic jailers who appear at the time of death. But beneath the imagery lies the forces set into motion by the person's past actions.
Karmic forces sweep people into impulsive action, for good or for ill. When people are impelled to act against their own desires and even against their better judgment, we see the forces of karma at work.
Doing good works (Karma Yoga) can control and remove some of the passion from these seemingly random impulses and lessen their impact. As actions are slowly and rationally weighed and judged, the power of impulse is lessened. Such action acts as an anchor for the soul which can otherwise be blown in different directions by the winds of karma which often manifest as impulsive or highly emotional action.
Karma pushes people into actions and relationships that will reward and punish them. It can be conceptualized in Western ideas such as destiny and fate, and can set the stage to determine how relationships will work out from the first meeting. People's ideals and values dance together, conflicts balance and rebalance, all of it occurring unconsciously.
Without control of karmic impulse, life becomes chaotic. People are continuously angry, aggrieved, and resentful. In the political sphere, countries avoid taking responsibility for their negative actions and cannot understand the resentment of other countries towards them. Individual karma can combine with national karma when the person identifies with the country's decisions as a patriotic citizen supporting a leader's rush to war.
Karma yoga and improving ones karmic destiny deals with specific situations. Broad general beliefs and policies can be very destructive in the sphere of personal events. They can show a kind of blindness following a belief stubbornly regardless how destructive its results. Following principles regardless of the results justifies not caring about individuals. Much human suffering is caused by people who impose values instead of perceiving the situations that result from imposing such values. Power brings a desire for greater and greater authority. The desire for control become all-embracing and it alienates those it wishes to embrace. But egotism is blinding and control can be pleasurable.
The focus of this article is encouraging people to think twice about their actions and relationships, and avoid impulsive actions that are destructive. So much of destructive actions that need to be justified later originate from blind egotism and impulsive actions that arise unconsciously.
People can learn about their karma - they need only let their instincts and inclinations come to the surface. Karmic forces represent the winds of the soul but skillful sailboat captains can learn to sail on course no matter what the direction of the winds. They just need to plot a course and consistently sail in the right direction. It is advisable to learn about the head-winds, cross-winds, and currents of karma, and ultimately how to stay on course in spite of their destructive and chaotic influence. This is why it is important to have educational, work-related, relational, and spiritual goals in life. Such goals allow people to plot a course to counter the destructive winds of impulse karma.
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