What's It All About?
What's it all about, Alfie? Is just for the moment we live?"
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Is there a holy grail, a genie's lamp, a magic bullet that will set things right?
One answer is that there are no good people. According to this view we all have Karma. Karma is not the law of retribution, God is not mad at you. It's the law of cause and effect. If you walk around hitting people over the head with a hammer, then at some point in your existence, some one is going to hit you over the head. Karma is like gravity. Once you get past the point of no return and decide to jump off a cliff, then on the way down you cannot decide to change your mind. You are going down. You may be able to break the fall and restrict the damage, which is called softening the karma, but once the law of gravity kicks in, it's very difficult to work with. You must have the prior awareness that jumping off the cliff is not a wise thing to do. That's called spiritual awareness.
In the Western world, we consider this view of karma as the law of cause and effect. In religious traditions of the Western world, it is considered the law of retribution, but it is not the law of retribution. It is the principle, or law, of learning. It is a way of nature, or life, getting your attention.
There are is only one factor in life: you, which includes your environment and the communications or non-communications between you and your environment.
Karma, which is based on the habits from the past, is stored in your the astral body, so that when your physical body dies, whether it's cremated or buried, you and your memories are not in that physical body. You are in the astral body, which for all of us ascends upward to a subtler plane, a more prior plane, some people say a better plane. And all the memories, regrets, guilts, all the things we have learned about ourselves and the universe in which we live are carried in that astral body. At some particular time we turn around and descend back down and reincarnate into the earth with a new body, but with the memory tracks and the karma of the past. The body changes, but the karma does not.
This view says that the whole idea of this incarnation is to understand that we are not so much dealing with the external world or the internal world as we are dealing with the memory track of the past, and we have to neutralize it. From lifetime to lifetime, we are trying to balance out the memory track of the past.
All karma is good, if you look at it mystically, because it teaches us to understand ourselves, how to deal with people and how to deal with our world. It is not a punishment.
Many people, East and West, seem to feel that reincarnation is a punishment. It is not a punishment, it's a gift. Reincarnation gives you an infinite amount of time to fulfill all of your wishes, all of your dreams, no matter what you wish. If you want to be a millionaire, you will be--if not in this lifetime, in the future. If you want to be married, you will be. If you want to be wise, you will be. But the whole purpose of going back to karma, back to our memory banks to learn about ourselves, is not to want to be married or wealthy, etc., but to be happily married, happily wealthy. And that is the secret: to balance ourselves, to understand that it's an internal state of consciousness of acceptance and contentment.
The point we may miss, mystically, is that we need to feed the environment that we are in. One level, a lower, but important level, is to feed the culture--the civilization in which we live. We are living in the garden of God, and it's a large garden. For some of us it's a desert, for some of us it's a flood plain, for some of us it's a swamp, and for some of us it's bearing organic fruits and vegetables.
What we need to learn, mystically, is how to take this soil that we have depleted, due to our own greed, selfishness and cravings, and put spiritual, divine energy back into it so that that which we grow within the garden will be fruitful, meaningful and nourishing. You are good, the earth is good. The goal of life is to be happy, or bliss-filled, if you prefer. Be happy, be content, be wise. Gain your happiness and share it.
As for magic bullets, there are none. For example let's say there is a great surgeon. He saves countless lives with his scalpel. Is the magic in his scalpel? No. The magic is within him, in his ability to use that tool to heal, not the tool itself.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be able to move forward in this incarnation to greater love, wisdom, understanding, fruitfulness and creativity not only to gain contentment, but to see and to experience the beauty that is here on this earth plane, this garden of God.