Friday, August 29, 2014

Destiny & Free choice

Destiny and Free Choice co-exist and is inter-connected. The Destiny is not something that is absolutely fixed. Destiny is more of one’s overall natural inherent tendency. Within that given limit one has Free Choice. We can understand this by an example. Suppose a person is put into a very large and rich palace and someone locks the palace from the outside. Here he will have Free Choice to go to one room or the other, where to dine, in which bathroom to take bath, in which bedroom to sleep and so on, but this all his activity shall be within the limits of that palace.

And, if he realises that he has been jailed in this rich palace, he may try to seek somehow the help from outside and try to break the jail, instead of merely indulging the luxuries of that palace. Here in this allegory, that person’s being locked in the palace is Destiny, and his doing anything he wants within that palace is his Free Choice.

Destiny is one’s natural inherent tendency, and it reflects in the way one feels, reacts, relates and thinks. This tendency is the result of accumulated effects of thousands and thousands of choices one had made, knowingly or unknowingly, in the past up till now, including those made in the past lives (if in fact they exist!). So the Destiny is the result of Free Choices one has made in the past. And fortunately, all this also mean that there is possibility of altering certain (not all) aspects of the Destiny, if one understands it rightly & decides to.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Science of Karma, Destiny & Evolution

(1) Inner psychological structure of Human being

To feel & understand the meaning of Karma and its effect on one's life & destiny, first we need to briefly understand the structure of human psyche in nutshell from any one point of view. Human being is made up of three aspects (1) the conscious, (2) the sub-conscious and (3) the unconscious.

The conscious aspect here means visible & known aspect of one's life, and it includes activities of Thinking faculty, Emotional faculty and Physical Impulse.

The Sub-conscious means that which is stored up deep down in one's psyche and is not visible or known directly, but manifests as one's inherent tendencies, nature, or roughly what Gurdjieff calls as the Essence (However, the Essence encompassed many other aspects), and which determines the destiny & quality of one's life.

The Unconscious is that about which one has no direct experience though it is a part of one's overall being, that is, realm of one's Soul or Atman, which in its purest form is untouched & uncontaminated by one's conscious & sub-conscious.

Vikarma, Karma & Akarma

Let us try to understand The Bhagwad Geeta's concept of Vikarma, Karma & Akarma. Vikarma means any human action originating from one's like, dislike, learned psychological programming or tendencies of one's inherent nature, be it propelled by thinking faculty, emotional faculty or physical impulse; and it encompasses almost entire spectrogram of human activity. If one's entire life is filled with Vikarma, then one's inner richness & inner quality will not change, even though the circumstance of life may change.

Karma means action coming from one's intentional & deliberate decision, overcoming one's inner psychological compulsions of like, dislike, programing or tendencies of one's inherent nature, etc. For example, if one has deep-rooted tendency of, say angrily reacting or cheating or lying or over self-indulgence or of lethargy (be such tendency is developed either by pressure of life situations, childhood grooming or inherent nature), and one decides to act against that tendency and successfully carries out that decision in real life situation, at critical moment, then this would be a example of Karma, and such accumulated Karmas have power to effect & modify, little by little, one's inner richness, one's sub-conscious & one's destiny, over a period.

Akarma means transcending Karma, it is not merely an inactivity; it becomes possible only for one who has complete mastery over Karma. For us, at present, it is difficult to even feel & understand the true meaning of Akarma.
Practical Application of this knowledge

The practical question is, how to move from Vikarma to Karma. First one need to think & feel that this is possible for me. Then, one need to gain control of one's attention, and try to be aware of oneself, try to be aware of one's inner & outer activity, try to bring back one's attention to oneself, whenever & wherever possible. This is what the 4th Way teaching describes as the practice of dividing attention (dividing attention means, keeping part of one's attention on oneself, and simultaneously keeping another part of one's attention on whatever one is doing in the moment); this is the chief thing, and is so important that everything else depends on this. If this becomes the way of life, it would bring about the self-remembering, and one would experience moments of different level of consciousness, where unconditional love, wisdom & spontaneous joy happens on its own.

Generally, one's action is propelled & dominated either by thinking faculty, or by emotional reaction, or by physical impulse depending on one's Center of Gravity, that is, one's general outlook towards life & inherent predominance of any one of the three in one's psyche. Chief weakness of human action is that it is unduly dominated either by thinking faculty, or by emotional reaction or by physical impulse, and it does not involve the harmony of thinking, feeling & physical impulse. If one realizes this fact by one's own inner observation, and try to bring harmony & simultaneous involvement of all three in one's actions wherever and whenever possible, it starts becoming Karma and would touch one's Sub-conscious or Essence, and little by little this would bring about the Unity in one's being.

One way for this is to let go & loosening of one's too much, unnecessary & uncontrolled thinking, if one is predominantly a person of thinking-type, and letting the fine emotion to emerge, this will lighten the heaviness of head, and little by little new emotional perception will open up.

If one is predominantly a person of emotional-type, one need to let go & loosen the inner emotional reaction that arises moment to moment, by seeing it in perspective and realizing & verifying that this is not real and is only my subjective reaction, and there is nothing to loose in letting it go and in not acting it out. This will bring inner peace, and new level of emotional depth & sensitivity will open up, which we all need for inner richness.

If one is predominantly a person of physically impulsive-type, one need to let go the impulse arising in the moment, and think & feel before acting, and bring attention in one's day to day physical activity; by this one's thinking & feeling faculty will start participating in one's action. Irrespective of one's type, at some point time, one need to work on all three practices.

Above practices will bring about little by little the harmony & simultaneous functioning of all three faculties, and one's action will start becoming Karma, touching the core of one's inner being, the sub-conscious. the Essence, and would little by little start altering the destiny, in the sense of developing new possibilities & new capabilities in one's being.

Still another simple way is to be aware of oneself, not to brood or worry much about anything, keep one's eyes open, not to complain, doing one's best, and then leaving the rest & results on the Invisible, the Almighty. Though simplicity needs much more consciousness & harmony, fortunately, it is possible for all of us, if approached rightly.

- 25/08/2014