The alternating nights and days of this rotating Earth, and the alternating sorrows and joys in people’s lives, are like a checkerboard in multi-dimensions. The rules of the game are set by Karma, the law of cause and effect.
View life’s ups and downs with a serene mind, as you would a movie. After viewing a good drama, even a tragic one, you exclaim, “What a good story! I learned much from it.” Similarly, even after experiencing tragic events in your life, tell yourself, “I am grateful for that experience! It taught me much.”
Life needs variety to be interesting. If a novel makes us laugh or cry, we appreciate it. Think of life as a good novel, or a good movie. Step back from it a little, mentally. If you don’t like the plot, remember: the freer you are inside, the greater will be your ability to change it.
A wise and just law
This law of action, which dictates that you reap in this life what you sowed in a past life, is a just and wise law. It explains the apparent injustices in human life and gives faith in the justice and wisdom of the working of God’s laws in the lives of men.
Medical doctors would say that John inherited insanity from his insane father. The metaphysician would say that John attracted an insane parent in this life because his soul brought back the tendency of insanity from his former life.
If a person lives one hundred years, he has time to struggle against evil and to become good. But if a child dies at the age of five he does not have time to use his reason and free choice to win the battle of life.
Such a young child dies because of some former, self-inflicted transgression. He must be born again and again in various schools of life until he educates himself to right behavior.
People are conditioned to blame others
Every human tendency is self-acquired either in this life or in former lives. It is the result of individual choice. To rationalize one’s shortcomings by such claims as, “I am bad only because my karma makes me so,” or, “Satan pushed me; it is his fault, not mine,” is to reason dangerously.
Unfortunately, many people take this line of argument. Somewhere, they hope, hidden in the vast, crowded warehouse of their past experiences, there must exist some good excuse: some long-forgotten sin committed not by them, but against them, some influence before which they were but victims.
In modern times, with psychoanalysis a subject of widespread fascination, people are conditioned to blame their problems on others’ treatment of them—on the cruelty or indifference of parents, teachers, society—anything, to avoid having to face the need to improve themselves.
It is mere subterfuge on the ego’s part to plead helplessness in the face of difficulties. The root causes of our problems grow out of sight, in the subconscious. We put down those roots ourselves, originally, by wrong deeds that we performed in the past. Today, however, if anyone behaves badly toward us, it is him we blame for our hurt.
That we might in some way have attracted that hurt never enters our minds. If our “luck” turns against us, we blame anything and anyone but ourselves. Yet it is we, by the magnetism projected by our own karma, who drew that hurtful behavior, or that “rotten luck,” to ourselves.
Every circumstance in our lives, every characteristic, every habit, however much we now repudiate it, was something we ourselves created, whether recently or in the distant past. Each one is due to our misuse of the free choice God first bestowed on us.
Blame no one for the evils that beset you. Accept responsibility for your own life, and for whatever misfortunes you encounter. Do your best, with firm resolution, to eliminate the harmful tendencies in your own nature.
The karma of over-eating and suicide
If you transgress the laws of health by over-eating, it is quite likely that you will be born with indigestion or tendencies toward stomach trouble, which result in an early death. After you pay the karma of overeating in the next incarnation, in the third one you may be born with the tendency to overeat, but may also live long enough to overcome greed, if that is your choice.
Babies who die in their mother’s womb are usually suicide cases from before. They spurned life in the past, and in the process of re-birth they emanate spasms of latent repulsions of life, which derange the body so much that it dies in the embryo.
Those who had acquired riches, health, prosperity, wisdom, or spirituality in past lives are born with specific advantages from the beginning of their present lives. Likewise, those who created poverty, disease, and ignorance through negligence in past lives will meet those conditions from the very beginning of their present lives.
Equanimity is the secret of freedom
Equanimity is a secret to freedom from the need to reincarnate. If we can remove the consciousness of sickness and not fear sickness if it comes, nor desire health when we suffer from ill health, then we can remember the soul, which is forever well.
Of course, if we are stricken with ill health, failure, or ignorance, we need not continue to remain so. We should strive for health, prosperity, and wisdom without fear of failure. But we should remain non-attached and even-minded, throughout.
It is best to feel, by visualization and by divine contact in meditation, that you are already in perfect health, wisdom and abundance, rather than to beg for these things. In fact, since the laws of cause and effect govern man’s mortal efforts, he cannot get more than he deserves.
The constant desire for health and prosperity, which is so much harped upon in modern spiritual organizations, is the way to slavery. We must seek God first, and find our health and prosperity in Him. By realizing his oneness with God, man can acquire everything he needs.
Physical pain comes from Satan
Satan, the outward flowing force which struggles to keep all things in manifestation, created the illusion of pain, which is a purely a mental phenomenon. But Satan is defeating his own purpose. It is physical pain and sorrow that cause matter-imprisoned souls to seek freedom in God.
A child’s pure soul feels very little pain. A doctor friend in an orthopedic hospital told me that children vie with each other to get their deformed limbs operated upon, whereas adults have to be coaxed for weeks, and at the time of surgery they are usually overcome with emotion and fear.
Originally, man had great self-control and a mind that was unattached and impersonal, and so he did not feel pain when the body was injured. He could behold his own body without pain, even as one can witness an operation on another person’s body without becoming mentally excited or suffering physical pain.
If you have no fear or nervous imagination, you will feel less pain. The farmer’s waterproof, heatproof, less sensitive child feels much less physical suffering than the sensitively brought up son of the rich man.
Do not waste this hard-earned human life
Reincarnation requires souls to travel through the mineral, plant, animal, and human kingdoms, including all the races of brown, white, black, yellow, and red, so that they may transcend confinement to one body or one race, and may learn to perceive themselves as omnipresent children of God, present in everything.
As long as one has hatred and repulsion in his heart, so long must he keep roaming through the corridors of incarnations. According to Hindu masters, after eight million prior lives, human life is finally attained.
Do not waste this precious, hard-earned human life wading in the mud of the senses and ignorance. Realize that you have the chance, by conscious unity with omnipresent Spirit and by feeling brotherhood with all creatures, to know yourself as not wholly belonging to any group, or to any race, but as belonging to everything and to every being.
You must long for freedom
The Bhagavad Gita describes reincarnation as a wheel, constantly turning. To get off the wheel, you have to desire freedom very intensely.
You must long for freedom as the drowning man longs for air. Without sincere longing, you will never find God. Desire Him above everything else. Desire Him that you may share Him with all: That is the greatest wish.