...the Ultimate Law of the Universe, the source, origin and fount of all other laws which exist throughout Nature. Karma is the inerring law which adjusts effect to cause, on the physical, mental and spiritual planes of being. As no cause remains without its due effect from greatest to least, from a cosmic disturbance down to the movement of your hand, and as like produces like, Karma is that unseen and unknown law which adjusts wisely, intelligently and equitably each effect to its cause, tracing the latter back to its producer. -- p. 201, orig. edWe have already examined the creation of karma from moment to moment. We understand the nature of the law of action and consequence: that every action produces an effect, and each effect is in turn an action that produces further effects, and thus, further causes. This creates a cycle of perpetual motion, a engine that runs continually, fueled by it's own output.
And we examined how our mind, because of our lack of awareness, is continually generating a stream of effects, and thus creates our own future. In the Dhammapada, the first line of this great teaching is:
Your mind creates your life.The Buddha is telling us that our minds, our internal processes, are the fountain from which our entire life flows. As we think, so shall we act. And as we act, so shall we receive.
You become what you think.
Just as a cart follows the ox it is tied to,
so suffering follows evil thoughts.
But why do we act the way we do? Why do we live the way we do? Why do we have the friends that we have? Why do we choose certain types of relationships? Why do we feel the way we do about work, about love, about honor, about justice?
Do we have any real direct understanding of why we feel justified in expressing our anger? Why do we value anger?
What we need to recognize is that karma is self-created. Our lives, our experiences, our situations, our happiness, our despair, all of these things are simply the effects of past actions. Everything we experience in life. Everything. Every moment is a result of our state. Nothing is without purpose.
And so if we have some goal, some intention, some understanding we want, or some experience we want to have, we must understand that it is not up to anything outside of us. No one else can produce the life that we want. It is not dependent on anything outside of you.
Karma is the Law of Action and Consequence. So if you want a certain consequence, a certain result, all you need to do is produce the right action. That's all. It's simple.
But to do that, you must understand first of all where the process of action begins. Because action in itself is a result. Physical action, deeds, are a result of certain conditions. You cannot perform an action if the conditions are not right.
So we must understand the conditions. We must understand the entire process of action and consequence.
Action begins with intention. Intention is will. Willpower. Desire. For you to read this course, you had to want to understand Karma. Some part of you wanted to read this, and that intention was there, and from that you had certain mental processes: planning, arranging, organizing. And feelings: an urge to learn, to understand. And the conditions of your life had to support this: your computer needs to work, you need the time, and your health must be good enough, and you must have your responsibilities for the day complete enough, etc. A lot of things need to be in place. But none of those circumstances would matter at all if the intention was not there. The will to come.
So what is our will? What do we will in life? Do we even know where our intentions come from, and what they are?
Gnosis tells us very clearly that we do not know. Most of us do not really know why we do what we do. Ask us a question today, and we give one answer; but tomorrow we answer differently. And the day after that, another answer.
Today I love my spouse. Tomorrow I am having doubts. Next week, I will consider divorce. Next month, we are madly in love again. And the cycle repeats. THis is true with our jobs, our families, our friends, our politics, our taste in food, etc.
There is no consistency in the mind. There is no clear consciousness of what drives us to action.
This is because we are filled with conflicting desires. We have a multiplicity of conflicting wills. Therefore, we are not one: we are many.
And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.We are not aware of what is really happening in our minds, in our hearts, even in our bodies. We are not aware of the subtle processing that is going on all the time in the back of the mind. We do not see what is happening in the subconsciousness. It is ‘sub': below consciousness. Neither do we see the unconsciousness or the infraconsciousness. We have fallen psychologically asleep.
And when he (Jesus) was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs (among empty forms: the Klipoth, the "World of Shells": the unconsciousness, subconsciousness and infranconsciousness. This man lived among the illusions of his own mind, among perceptions and ideas that have no life, or God, in them);
And no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. (Because he is filled with conflicts: he does not keep commitments or respect the bonds of friendship; he cannot keep his word. He says one thing and does another. He is only interested in serving himself).
And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones (he is lost in the painful wilderness of life, lost, directionless, with no sense of where he is going or what he is doing, suffering, damaging himself with the abuse of his own stone, the Mercury, the sexual energy).
But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, (because he still has the consciousness inside, and can recognize the Christ)
And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. (already he contradicts himself: he goes to Jesus because he wants the Light, then he tells Jesus not to torment him. We seek out the light of Christ by seeking for Gnosis, yet when we find it, we make demands and want the teaching to come according to our taste, our desires; we want it in accordance with our ego).
For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. (the ego)
And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. (because we are a psychological legion: we have millions of inner contradictions. This is the Doctrine of the Many "I's"). - Mark 5:1-9
We have not learned to be watchful, to be observant of the mind and it's activities. So we do everything out of habit, and as we are accustomed to do. We act the way we want to, we think the way we want to, and we feel the way we want to, because it satisfies our sense of self. What we do not realize is that this sense of self is a delusion. And everything we do to satisfy it is simply complicating an already complicated delusion.
The delusion is this: we believe we are the body, and the feelings we have, and the thoughts we have. We believe we are the ever-flowing uncontrollable flow of thoughts, this chatter in our heads. Somehow, we believe we are this body, and we are the ideas we believe in.
But Gnosis teaches us, in fact, that we are not our mind, and that the mind is the cage that traps our true self.
We go through life mechanically, without any real awareness of our thoughts and feelings, and without realizing that our actions are actually just reactions to subtle thoughts and feelings. As events happen in life, we experience subtle feelings, sensations and thoughts, and we react to these things without being aware of it. So when someone is telling us something unpleasant, there are subtle sensations produced in our mind, in our heart, in our body. And these sensations are deemed unpleasant, we don't like it, so we react. We get angry, or we run away. Or we build resentment for the person.
The energy of that resentment processes in the mind and creates a formation in the mind: an "I." That resentment has an agenda: to make the other person pay, to make them suffer, to make them feel pain. That resentment exists for one purpose only, and it becomes hardened and strengthened by unconscious processing, and more so by nursing those feelings consciously. That resentment is an individual will, and separate a distinct entity in the mind. We say "I" resent this person. "I" hate them. "I" want them to pay. And notice: when the feeling passes, when they do something surprisingly sweet for us, we change our mind, and we feel contented. Where is that "I" now? All that has happened is that the conditions have changed, so the "I" is now passive. But if they again stimulate our anger, that "I" will rage up with as much strength as before, if not more...
The experiences of life enter into our five senses, this body, and are taken in without consciousness: they are dumped into the mind in an unconscious way. Thus, they produce effects in the mind. Things happen here, sensations are produced, memories are triggered, and because there is still no awareness present, reactions bubble forth, and we are provoked to act.
This is very subtle. This is something that takes effort to see directly. But you see something of this when you meditate. For example, you may feel good. You've had a mocha frappacino, so you feel pretty good, relaxed, happy, etc. And you go home and prepare to meditate. And after a few minutes of just sitting still, the pain you feel in your legs is so excrutiating you think you are going to die. You cannot take it. And you become angry, and impatient, and your mind goes faster and faster, and you begin to plot, maybe pretending to be really sick or injured, something, anything, to just not sit any more. Why? Why do you feel pain just from sitting still? Why were there pleasant sensations before, and then suddenly a lot of unpleasant sensations? What happened? In meditation, even if you cannot concentrate at all, you can directly observe that discomfort, unpleasant sensations, create a powerful impulse to react: to get up, to move. And we do not have much willpower, we do not have much control over this. Likewise, pleasant sensations are very, very powerful. We do not have any real self-control when faced with pleasant sensations. Not only that, we see no reason for self-control: we want it! And we believe there is nothing wrong with that. Now here is an important point: it is not the sensation that is the problem: it is the attachment to sensation, and the lack of awareness in our actions.
You visit a friend. They place on the table a giant, beautiful triple layer chocolate fudge cake and steaming coffee. What happens? YOU WANT IT. Desire arises. Desire for the cake? No - desire for the sensations that the cake produces. The sensation of taste. The flavor, the texture. The sweetness. Is your mouth watering right now? Notice: is your mind stimulating this desire in you? Are you already plotting a trip to the café nearby? You see, these subtle things arise in us, and we do not resist them. We are slaves of sensations. We have no real will.
So when anger arises, we do not resist it. When fear arises, we act the way it wants us to. When lust arises, we become animals, desperate and without control. When vanity arises, we become completely controlled by it's wishes. The "I" that wants to look good will have it's way. And we won't even be aware of it.
It is these influences that prompt us, that urge us, to constantly and repeatedly seek for external comforts, sensations, satisfactions. This is why your father buys a car, keeps it for a while, then wants a new one. This is why we become disastisfied in a relationship and we want a new partner, some new flavor, some new experience.
Your mind needs to be watched very carefully. This is extraordinarily subtle and difficult, and should not be taken lightly. At the same time, it is possible for all of us to develop the capacity to observe the mind, to become aware of how the mind is doing things. Everyone can do this, but we must stop being so lazy first.
Terrible is the effort and the vigilance needed from second to second, from instant to instant, to not fall into illusions.We see before us a goal that we want to achieve. It is not far. It seems very close, and we walk toward it. Sometimes, we may run. But always our eye is on it: "A marriage." "A new car." "A college degree." "A retirement account." "The lottery." "A bigger house." "My own business." Whatever it is, we have an idea of what will give us happiness and contentment, and we pursue it, however quickly. It is there before us, and we watch it continually. In this we demonstrate that we do know how to pay attention to some degree, to be focused, to be dedicated, at least until another idea comes along, or a bigger goal, or a quicker path to financial security: whatever it may be. Unfortunately, we do not realize that we are watching a carrot on a stick, and we are tied to a post and walking in circles, repeating our mistakes and sufferings, never really getting anywhere.
One minute of unawareness is enough and the mind is already dreaming upon recalling something, upon thinking of something different from the job or deed that we are living at the moment. - Samael Aun Weor
All the while we dream of having what we desire, and we complain endlessly about our sufferings. We blame everyone else for our problems, and sincerely believe that we have been wronged, that there is no justice in life...
We need to see the truth of our situation.
Laziness, inattention, lack of awareness. These things keep us in bondage. And desire is the carrot that keeps us marching on... We need to wake up and look around.
As we experience life without real awareness of what is happening inside of us, these impressions, these sensations, flood the mind and become lodged there. They fill the mind up with images, feelings, thoughts, etc. This is why when you meditate, there is chaos in your mind and body. Our mind is an accumulation of past experiences, desires, anger, lust, jealousy, memory, fantasy, laziness, self-grandisement, self-depreciation, etc. etc. It is out of this mess of murky garbage that we react and react and react. And we run after friends, lovers, cars, clothes, new and different experiences, travel to other lands, jobs in different cities, etc. etc. etc.
All the different ideas that surge and make us believe that we have the need for something exterior in order to be happy are obstacles to perfection.
The Inner Being is happiness and bliss by it's own nature; knowledge (of that) is unfortunately covered up by past impressions. - Samael Aun Weor
Our real self, that which is our true identity, our true core, is trapped in all of this garbage. It is the Buddhata, the Essence, that spark of divinity, that seed, which can awaken and grow into true individuality, into true Being. But it has to be freed. It has to be nurtured. It has to be grown, moment by moment, consciously. This does not happen as a matter of course. It does not happen on its own, according to evolution. If that were so, then we would not have wars, rape, murder, theft, lying, deception, homelessness, poverty, etc etc. This true self, this true identity, is something that must be earned.
It is earned by stopping the bad habits of the mind.
It is earned by cleaning the mind, by purifying the heart, by becoming deeply sincere with oneself.
It is earned by sacrifice and by work on oneself.
It is compassion, and it is consciousness. They are the same thing.
So the effort to pay attention, to be present, to be watchful, is the effort to observe the experiences of life, and to observe them entering into us, and to observe them being received by the mind, to observe them producing effects in the form of thoughts, feelings and sensations. Having done all of this consciously, everything changes for us. First, we do not react immediately. We can choose how to act consciously. Second, the impressions that entered into us are processed in a healthy way and the mind is no longer filled with garbage. And third, we have learned something, we have gathered conscious experience, and wisdom. This strengthens the consciousness, it nurtures our true self. And gradually, this opens to door to true, direct, conscious, mystical experience.
To earn this we must first understand the way we are now.
Those who live in accordance with the divine laws without complaining, firmly established in faith, are released from karma.
Those who violate these laws, criticizing and complaining, are utterly deluded, and are the cause of their own suffering. - Bhagavad Gita 3.31-32
The Twelve Nidanas: The Chain of Causality
This is a formula taught by the Buddha Shakyamuni, known as Pratityasamutpada.
Pratityasamutpada is otherwise known as the Twelve Nidanas, the Twelvefold Chain of Causality, or Dependent Origination. There are many translations for the original terms, and all of them are correct. This is a very deep, very profound teaching, and it is not something your intellectual mind will ever fully grasp. Even when the Buddha's primary disciple Ananda claimed to understand it, the Buddha corrected him, saying:
- pratitya: meeting, relying, depending.
- samutpada: arising.
Profound Ananda, this is Pratityasamutpada and profound does it appear. It is through not understanding, not penetrating this law, that this world resembles a tangled ball of thread... and that a man does not escape... suffering from the round of rebirth.On another occasion he said:
Who so understands the Pratityasamutpada understands the Dharma, and who so understands the Dharma understands the Pratityasamutpada.Many aspirants to the Path see this Twelve-fold Chain and disregard it, fearing it will be too complicated or too intellectual. Truthfully, any teaching can become too intellectual if we make it that. It is necessary for us to understand the teachings in a very profound way; these structures and laws were not explained in order for us to fill our minds with intellectual complications: they were given for us to use in a practical way so that we may escape suffering. That is their sole purpose. If we take the teachings in an intellectual way, that is our problem. It does not mean the teachings themselves are intellectual.
It is necessary for us to learn how to understand the teachings consciously, in all three brains: in the intellect, in the heart, and in our actions. Typically, we learn through the intellect first. That is why we are reading these materials.
When we understand it, when we grasp how it relates to our lives, we enter into comprehension in the heart.
When we change our behaviors and act in a different manner, then we are begining to grasp it in our motor-instinctive-sexual brain.
But our comprehension moves into levels beyond this when we have these three in equilibrium, and our every moment is filled with the awareness and respect for the laws expressed in these teachings: it becomes intuitive, spontaneous, without thought or concept. At that point, we live the teaching. It is then that we truly become conscious of the teachings.
So we should treat this knowledge with a lot of respect and without any preconceptions, and with the understanding that this teaching will need to be revisited again and again in order for there to be any real conscious understanding of it.
Remember always that we are beginners in this knowledge, and as children, as beginners, it takes patience and practice to learn. Reading something once does not mean we know it. As children in early schooling, we had to work slowly and consistently in order to learn what then seemed overwhelming to us: how to read, how to add, how to speak. The same is true of this knowledge for us now: we are children.
Returning to our theme, the whole formula of the Twelve-fold Chain of Causality could be boiled down to a simple statement:
This being present, that arises;One example that you may have heard is that if fuel, air and ignition are all brought together, fire occurs. But if any of these elements are missing, there will be no fire. This is pretty simple, but this formula takes us into matters that are far from simple, and may even seem to some of us as being downright unacceptable.
Without this, that does not occur.
Basically, this Chain of Causality teaches us that everything that is existent is dependent on something else. Nothing exists independently. And naturally, this can lead us straight back to how the universe was created and what about a creator god, etc. We will not have time to go into those questions in this course. Our purpose here is to focus on our lives and see the Chain of Causality in our own activities.
This twelve-fold chain is illustrated in the Tibetan "Bhava Chakra," the Wheel of Becoming, otherwise known as the Wheel of Samsara or the Wheel of Life. We will be studying this wheel for the rest of the course.
These paintings (thangkas) are used as teaching and meditation aids. They are not meant to be literal in any sense: they are meant to aid the practitioner in visualizing concepts so that the imagination and the consciousness can be utilized, rather than the intellectual mind.
Traditionally, the wheel is represented as a vast panorama in the grip of Yama, the Lord of Death, who represents delusion, ignorance, (impermanence) that which supports the whole mechanism of samsara, or the round of life and death.
In the center are three animals, eating one another, sustaining themselves on one another. They are the hub of the wheel, the central axis:
- a rooster (craving and greed; desire)
- a snake (wrath and passion; hatred or self-centeredness)
- a pig (ignorance and delusion; sleep)
This process is the center of all suffering, and thus it is the center of the Wheel of Samsara. It is because of this process of selfish, unconscious desire that our reality is what it is.
Everyone, manipulated by the subconscious elements in the mind, acts selfishly over and over again, under the influence of the "I's" of anger, greed, vanity, envy, laziness, pride, fear... Because of this, tremendous energies are put into motion, creating what we now experience as life, and we see as our modern world. All of this unconscious thinking, feeling and leads to unconscious action: and the results are what you see in life. Suicide, discontentment, brutality, rampant illness and physical suffering, disease, disability, accidents, disasters, rape, adultery, divorce, poverty, homelessness, anxiety, loneliness... Everything has been created by particular actions. Everything.
How does this manifest? The outer ring of the wheel has twelve pictures, twelve interlocking parts that make up the means of travel: it is by this interlocking chain that the wheel has structure, and it is upon this that the wheel moves.
This is the Twelve-fold Chain of Causality.
Now we will move through the twelve links.
1. Avidya: Ignorance. This refers specifically to the ignorance of right action, to the ignorance of causality, or ignorance of karma. Because none of us fully comprehend karma and the effects we generate from moment to moment, we are steeped in Avidya, ignorance, (represented by a blind man) because we ignore the truth of our actions, and we act selfishly. We believe in our sense of self, that the mind is real, that the mind is our true identity. That is ignorance, because it is directly opposed to the truth, and from that place we unknowingly act out of balance, and create effects.
2. Because of this condition of ignorance, we, by not paying attention, dump all the impressions of life and our reactions into the mind, creating formations in the mind called Samskaras: egos, psychic aggregates. This step is called Fashioning and is represented by a potter. These are formations or crystallizations of energy, and they produce effects.
Every action that you perform produces a two-fold effect. It produces an impression in your mind and when you die you carry the Samskara in the Karmashaya or receptacle of works in your subconscious mind. It produces an impression on the world or Akashic records.
If you eat a mango, if you do any kind of work, it produces an impression in the subconscious mind or Chitta. This impression is called Samskara or tendency. Whatever you see, hear, feel, smell or taste causes Samskaras. The acts of breathing, thinking, feeling and willing produce impressions. These impressions are indestructible. They can only be fried in toto by Asamprajnata Samadhi. Man is a bundle of Samskaras. Man is a bundle of impressions. It is these Samskaras that bring a man again and again to this physical plane. They are the cause for rebirths. These Samskaras assume the form of very big waves through memory, internal or external stimulus. - Swami SivanandaBecause we have built a mass of formations in the mind, the energy of those formations is pure potentiality; that energy must produce effects: thus the condition is set for the next link: Vijnana, or consciousness.
3. Vijnana in this case is the necessity for existence. Traditionally this is represented by a monkey playing with a peach, which symbolizes the animal mind tasting good and evil.
The effects we have put into motion must be completed: this is the law. So, the energy of samskaras, the energy that we have locked into the mind, causes the mind to remain in existence. Thus, even if we die physically, these formations continue, and create pressure to manifest themselves again: thus we are reborn in accordance to their energy. This means that our past actions determine our next rebirth. Thus, the energy of the mind, the samskaras (our latent karma) produces rebirth, and this sets up the conditions for Nama-Rupa.
4. Nama-Rupa is the manifestation of the physical body and is usually represented by two men in a boat. This is the impulse of consciousness, of awareness, giving rise to name and form: to personality, and the embryo of the physical body. When the embryo begins to grow and develop, the conditions are set for Sadayatana: the Six Faculties.
5. Sadayatana is the six-fold base, represented by six empty houses. The senses of the physical body: sight, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and the sixth which is the brain that coordinates them all. When the senses are developed and organized, the conditions are created for Sparsa.
6. Sparsa is the contact between the internal and external. (pictured as sexual union). This is the boundary between senses and sense objects. Life is received by the senses as impressions before being received by the mind itself. This is the stage where physical birth occurs. Once we are born, and have senses active, we enter the next link: Vedana.
7. Vedana is feeling. (Symbolized as being blinded by arrows in both eyes). Sensations are received and are interpreted: pleasant, unpleasant, neutral. This is where past effects begin to manifest in our lives, and are interpreted and reacted to. The reception of sensations, and the evaluation that occurs set up the next link: Trsna.
8. Trsna is craving or thirst, represented by a person drinking. As we label incoming sensations, we experience delight, desire, and we crave for pleasant experiences to be repeated over and over. This craving reactivates all our past cravings and passions. More and more passion is stimulated, more and more craving, which calls up more and more latent samskaras: thus by craving, we create more craving, and by craving one thing we also crave other things, and desire grows and grows. This is the condition for the next link: grasping.
9. Upadana, grasping and clinging. (Pictured by a monkey snatching fruit). We, in our delusion, constantly chase pleasure, not realizing that everything is impermanent. We ignore the impermanence of all things, and chase after pleasure. We suffer because we are not content. Believing sensation will give us contentment, we chase sensations, but because sensations are impermanent, any contentment we find is short-lived, leaving us again in suffering. The pendulum always corrects its balance: the more we push toward pleasure, the more the pendulum pushes towards pain... As we grasp more and more after pleasure, we set the stage for Bhava...
10. Bhava, the process of becoming. (Usually symbolized by a pregnant woman). From the impulse of desire and in a state of ignorance, we seek more and more pleasure, acting out of balance with the reality of impermanence, and thus face more and more things we don't like, and run from, and we seek more and more pleasure, all of which creates more and more thrust in the overall motion of the wheel... In this stage, there is a massive energy propelling the arising of conditions that promote the arising of more and more latent formations, which in turn brings on the creation of further effects. All of this energy, this motion, must find fulfillment, because energy cannot be destroyed: it must manifest. The pregnant woman must give birth...
11. Jati, birth, or re-appearance... (represented as childbirth) ...because of the pressure created by past actions and their indelible effects, the whole sum of formations, in the mind, must re-appear... thus, there is a constant manifestation of effects which must occur, and there is a tremendous impulse toward existence, toward manifestation... so birth must continue...
12. Jaramarana: decline and death. All things are impermanent: they arise, and they pass away. It is this way with plants, animals, lakes, continents, worlds, and it is this way with us, and with our actions. Every action brings its effect, and then passes away. Everything has its cycle. Within one physical life, we are propelled by the effects of our previous existences, and we add the actions of our new existence. Some karmas are paid, others accrued. We enjoy the fruit of dharma, or not. But inevitably every life ends: and without the balance of the scales being achieved: death arrives and we continue carrying the weight of our past actions, and thus must be reborn again in order to satisfy those debts...
Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. - Jesus of Nazareth, from Matthew 5So in the death of worlds, in the death of the body, we are returned to the beginning of the wheel, propelled by past actions, by energies placed in the mind by unconscious, selfish, hateful, desirous action. And we begin the whole round once again.
2:12. A man's latent tendencies have been created by his past thoughts and actions. These tendencies will bear fruits, both in this life and in lives to come.The Twelve-fold Chain of Causality is the structure of the Law of Recurrence.
2:13. So long as the cause exists, it will bear fruits--such as rebirth, a long or short life, and the experiences of pleasure and of pain. - Patanjali
Because we are psychologically asleep, we upset the balance of life, and we do not process the energies of life properly. These energies enter into us and are improperly digested, creating serious mental indigestion. And these energies, these impressions and psychic energies, become latent, trapped atom bombs, that must release their energy in some way: they must produce results, and they will do so in accordance to how they were made.
Anger can never bring contentment.
Lust can never bring satisfaction.
Envy can never give us equanimity.
Fear can never bring us peace. So long as any subjective element remains in the mind, we remain enslaved by its mechanical nature, and thus victim to the churning suffering of the Wheel of Samsara.
Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God": for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one; but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full grown brings forth death. - James 1.13-15To be free of the Wheel is only possible when we are free of what belongs to it: all mechanical psychological elements.
So long as we have desire, we belong to the Wheel of Suffering and Mechanicity.
So long as we have craving or aversion or fear or pride or gluttony or self-pity, we will suffer.
If anger is within us, suffering will occur.
If pride is within us, suffering will occur.
If lust is within us, suffering will occur.
In synthesis, the Twelve-fold Chain of Causality outlines the essential structure of all action and consequence in the world of ignorance. When one comprehends that there is a fixed and determined structure to all ignorant action, one can then begin to use Conscious Action, Upright Action, and break the Chain of Causality.
All beings who have ego are victims of the Wheel of Samsara. The Wheel of Samsara is the law for all mechanical aggregates.
Even the Gods are subject to this Wheel, because they remain dwelling in the manifested worlds, and have not reached absolute perfection. Even the Gods have desire, thus they remain enslaved by the Wheel of Illusion. The Buddhas of Nirvana, addicted to power and pleasure, court death, because they remain with attachment, which will inevitably bring suffering. Only the Beings who incarnate the Christ and walk upon the Straight Path are headed toward complete freedom from the Wheel of Samsara. Every aspirant to the Light must comprehend that in the Light there is nothing of the false self: there is no "I" as we can concieve of it: there is no pride, no desire, no worry, no attachment... to enter into that Perfection we must become like it. We must eliminate within ourselves what cannot enter there. To do this, it is necessary that we comprehend very well the entire mechanism of the mind: and that mechanism is outlined in the Twelve-fold Chain of Causality.
We have understood that psychological sleep is itself a cause of results. There is karma from unconsciousness, karma in the form of samskaras, or "I's."
But this, my friends, is only the first stage. Samskaras are not the end of karma. They are, in an of themselves, yet another cause, another form of action. They produce effects as well. This seemingly simple concept of action and consequence is the mechanism behind the tremendous complexity of life. The awesome, overwhelming structure of all existence. The movement of planets, down to the movement of your hands. This is no simple formula. It is the fundamental law of existence.
There can be a modification of circumstances and of problems, but they will never cease repeating themselves and they will never have a final solution.Do not feel despair or overwhelmed because of this knowledge. Yes, it is awesome and very deep. But suffering is not permanent. Remember: one of our fundamental flaws is that we ignore the truth about impermanence. Everything changes, all the time. And we make choices all the time, choices that can create change. So it is possible for everyone to change, and to come into balance.
Life is a wheel that turns mechanically with all the pleasant and unpleasant experiences, always reccuring.
We cannot stop the wheel, the good or bad circumstances always process themselves mechanically. We can only change our attitude toward the events of life. - Samael Aun Weor
In each class we have outlined the most basic and important things we can do to begin changing this process: self-observation and meditation. These two actions produce tremendous results. There is no doubt of it. It is assured, that if you have the intention, and you take action by meditating seriously, regularly, and make effort to be aware in every experience, in every situation, there will be strong effects upon your life. This is the law. This is not an opinion. It is the Law. These activities, these actions, work directly upon the processes that we have outlined in this course, and as such they directly change our experience of life.
With the activation of the consciousness comes the possibility of negotiating one's own karma.
Series do not exist for the Self-Reailzed and Diamantine Spirit; only the eternal present exists for him; he lives from instant to instant; he has freed himself from the Twelve Nidanas. - Samael Aun Weor
Truly, truly I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin (because he is enslaved to the results of his actions, and will not be free until those debts are paid). - John 8.34