#truelove #allowing #dating
This human spirit is a gloriously confounding thing to behold. In the cosmic scheme of things we are small; but at the same time, the essential nature of our inner being demands that we know ourselves as large. Our ability to love, to hate, to cherish, to yearn and to ache mark us a giants plowing the universe. We are power and perversity packed into fragile, unprotected bodies that create magnificently and destroy mightily.
The wonder of the human spirit roaring to life, reaching for purpose and striving for the glory of living fully realized, is utter magnificence. Our passion for life — for meaning and self-knowing — charges through every cell of our makeup, urging us to stand tall as we stride this journey. And yet, our hearts are so gently needing and so very delicate at the same time. What a remarkable and divinely beautiful confluence of living we embody.
The soul, the breath, the heart of man reaches out to conquer, to control, to embrace and to be embraced. We strive to be unique as at the same time we hunger to be encased in the comfort of others — to know that we are not alone. It is this beautiful hunger that separates us and makes man stunning in our ability to create and mark the land — to leave evidence that we have lived.
And, to have lived well is a mighty undertaking, a journey of mind and heart. It can be loud and sonorous, quiet and intense or breezy and bright. Each of us has a heart song to fling to the universe in our quest to be realized, to be counted, to make a difference. What that difference will be is the eternal question of bards and poets, criminals and saints, children and elders.
Yet when all is done, when our spirit departs, what is left is simply bone and tissue — a quiet husk so similar to other creatures that live and breathe and die. So the days of our living should be registered one to another. The acknowledgement that a soul, just like mine, walks in the person beside me is the grit of this living thing. There I am, as are you.
And we are magnificent!
The Indian spiritual tradition argues that life is completely fair, down to the fall of a leaf, because the universe is morally balanced by the Law of Karma. The Vedic scriptures go into extensive detail about the operation of karma — in Sanskrit the word simply means “action” — but the gist of a moral universe is simple, as stated by Saint Paul in the New Testament: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7)
In this advice there is an implicit warning about not trying to fool God, who sees every good and bad act. Jesus makes the same point without the warning: “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38) The idea of God balancing good and evil goes back to the Hebrew Bible, as for instance in this verse from the Book of Job: “As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.” (Job 4:8)
But as soon as you mention Job, you’re reminded that he was a totally righteous man who suffered horrific afflictions essentially because of a wager between God and Satan. Job doesn’t know that God is testing him, only that the only way he can endure his predicament is to have faith and not renounce the Lord. And the fact that Jesus, the very emblem of holiness, died on the Cross would seem, on the face of it, to defy and mock the notion that God, the universe, and life are fair. The game seems rigged to the benefit of evil, which can have its way without divine interference, and if you decide that there is no force of cosmic evil, then the alternative is a blind fate, striking down the innocent and the guilty alike.
Yet somehow none of this has eradicated the widespread belief that goodness is rewarded and evil punished. Delaying the reward and punishment until the afterlife or Judgment Day is one way to patch up the holes in the law of Karma. A similar way is to postpone them until a person’s next incarnation (this escape route is quite common in India, where ill fortune is often passed off, usually with a shrug, as the result of bad acts in a former lifetime).
If you want to save the Law of Karma in a serious way, one that makes a difference to how people live their lives, there are a few genuine alternatives that should be considered:
1. The balance of good and evil can be taken as basic morality, leading one to live a virtuous life.
2. Evidence of the balance of good and evil can be sought within, through insight and intuition.
3. The doctrine of the afterlife, with or without reincarnation, can be accepted and justified.
The first option is simple and practical. It says, in essence, that the balance of good and evil belongs in the human world. It is we who do good and bad things, so it’s our responsibility to be moral. That’s why a stable, workable society values justice, sets up laws and a court system, adopts a constitution, etc. Human nature may contain much badness, but our better angels — and centuries of experience — have guided us to choose morality over immorality (with a lot of secret slippage). Even gross evils like war can successfully fit into a model of justice, hence, the “good war.”
The problem with this version of karma, making it a human responsibility, is that we are left with a potentially cruel, indifferent, or absent God. We are also stuck with a dead-end universe that offers nothing but random events at its foundation. Beneath the surface of a civilized society lurks monstrous things — crime, famine, cruelty, repression, despair, famine, poverty — that call humanity itself into question. Indeed, the weight of inhumanity and suffering in the world has been a major motivation for religions, which promise a better life, higher, consciousness, and a transformed world.
Which bring us to the second and third versions of karma. They argue that life isn’t meaningless, that religions aren’t indulging in fairy tales to distract people from total misery, and that a moral creation is, in fact, the one we live in. these points seem ridiculous to many doubters and outright evil to militant atheists, who argue that surviving in the reality of a cold, meaningless universe requires true courage — accepting the nonsense of religion is pure myth and fantasy papering over the countless wrongs committed in the name of God.
To counter this rational, secular position requires a deeper look into the Law of Karma and why there are viable alternatives than either blind faith or blind skepticism.
(To be cont.)
HuffPost Live is celebrating “Thrive” all week, including an interview with Arianna herself and an exploration of each of those four themes. We started with giving, and on March 26 HuffPost staffers shared the best words of wisdom they’ve ever gotten.
Hear our favorite wise words in the video above, and see the full HuffPost Live conversation about wisdom below.