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accidents and other aspects of karma

Nov 03, 1993 01:06 PM
by eldon

Karma is said to govern the happenings in life. Nothing is due to
change. There is a meaning behind every apparently random external
event. Our unexpected misfortunes are due to something that we've done
in the past. Everything that happens in life is deserved, and justice
rules the world.

On the other hand, we hear about accidents, how things can happen,
unintentionally, that affect us. How can these be explained in light
of karma? One example is where a man dies prematurely, before his
normal span of life, and spends the remaining time asleep in kamaloka.
An apple may fall off a tree and hit me on the head. A careless driver
may crash into my car. A mosquitoe could bite me and give me malaria.
None of these effects on me were intentional, were knowingly done
by the other party, and I may not have a personal karmic connection
with them, but the events may happen anyway.

Besides accidents, there is the problem of someone interfering in the
karma of another. I may, of my own free will, choose to be and act in
a certain way. Because of someone's intervention in my life, I may not
be able to freely be myself. I did nothing myself to bring this on, it
was an act of the volition, of the free will, of someone else, yet it
affects me.

The third question is regarding new versus old karma. When is something
but old karma coming back to one, a stored-up experience that is now
taking its turn to come out in life, as opposed to new karma, something
entirely new to one, that is created by the free will of the moment?

These three problems arise when we try to view life from the standpoint
of the personal self. When we view things from the standpoint of the
separation of you from me, of subject and object, of one being from
apart from another, there will be certain aspects of life that just
cannot be explained. The higher standpoint of buddhi, of the
interconnected nature of life, of how we co-create our world, must be
taken in order to find the solution.

It is important to realize that we create the world together,
cooperatively, as a negotiated action. Our very selves are the living
connections with everyone else. We are, in our essential natures, in
our buddhic principle, a living bundle of relationships, and not
distinct, separate selves.

In creating the world together, we draw into manifestation those others
who will play a part in our upcoming lives. We bring them into our
lives, and they bring us into their lives. It is something negotiated,
something that is based upon the living links between us and them.
The world is not a puppet show, animated solely by your or my karma!
And you or I are not puppets dancing to the show of someone else's
karma. We and the others bring about the world, no one has special say
over everyone else.

An accident can happen because life is not predetermined. The potential
for a certain sequence of events in life may be present, but what
actually happens is subject to the free will of the moment. When an
accident happens, it only seems such from the standpoint of our
personality. Other parts of us are participating in the event, and
there is always the possibility that the free will of others was
involved in making choices that impacted us.

When someone interferrs in the karma of another, he is constraining
the other's free well, his motivation, his ability to choose and
direct his life. Something has been done to the other person, a new
state of affairs exists between the two. Their relationship has
changed, and the two of them are thereby different. This change has
brought the two of them out of a state of harmony, and adjustments
need to be made. They will just naturally come to have experiences
together again in live, because there are new things between them
that need to be worked out.

And I would not make a distinction between old and new karma. We are
forever linked to all living beings, there is a connection, a tie
that binds us, a connection with them that helps define them as being
what they are and makes us what we are.

Making new karma is really change the nature of the relationship
between us and others, changing ourselves and thereby changing the
others as well. In fact, as we strive towards nirvana, towards
liberation, we cannot help but uplift others towards the same goal.
And we cannot fully enter that bliss until every last trailing soul
following us also crosses the threshold, because there's a part of
ourselves left behind with everyone that follows. We're not truly
liberated until all of life can join us in the same bliss!

                                 Eldon Tucker (

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