Karma under a new paradigm (part 2)

In a previous post, we have indicated the idea that every suffering is a condition of moral imperfection. Therefore, karma is not the result of our past deeds, but the reflection of our present state of consciousness.  In fact, our deeds are also a reflection of our present state of consciousness, so to change our karma, we must evolve beyond the moral imperfections that lead us to fall into unethical deeds. Before continuing, I’d like to take the precautionary measure to note that not all of our life circumstances are necessarily a result of our merit or demerit. The law of love that govern human relations in a multitude of lifetimes is certainly more complex and accepts, for instance, that souls who have already triumphed over certain moral flaws come in missionary tasks; demonstrating what is possible and teaching by example. This said, we can now discuss the process of self-actualization and redemption as noted by the excerpt below from Allan Kardec’s book Heaven and Hell.

“Repentance is the first step towards improvement; but repentance, alone, is not sufficient to deliver the wrongdoer from the consequences of his or her wrongdoing; to affect this result, atonement and reparation are also necessary.  Repentance, atonement, and reparation are the three conditions necessary for the effacing of a fault and the suppression of its consequences.” [1]

If you haven’t read the part 1 of this article, though, consider accessing it using the link below:

https://awakesel.com/2018/03/02/karma-new-paradigm-1

What is Repentance

To discuss repentance, it is helpful to observe the excerpt below of The Spirits’ Book, by Allan Kardec. Th that book, the following question is answered by the communicating spirits:

“1002. What happens when individuals acknowledge their faults on their deathbed, however, they do not have time to make amends?

‘Is repentance alone enough in such a case? ‘Repentance accelerates rehabilitation, but it does not absolve it. Don’t they have the whole future ahead, and new opportunities to make amends will always be open to them?’” [2]

We see then that repentance is simply a sincere regret. This step can be considered as a spirit’s realization of a moral flaw it still needs to rid of. Realizing a “mistake” is an important step towards moral progress, but is not sufficient to efface self-actualization. Obviously then, more needs to be done. We can also understand repentance as the phase when the spirit finally opens its eyes to something neglected until then, listening to the moral compass it brings within its consciousness. The following passages further clarify this matter:

“Repentance mitigates the sufferings of atonement, because it opens the door to hope and paves the way to rehabilitation; but it is only reparation that, by destroying the cause of our suffering, can annul the suffering which is its effect; the granting of a free pardon to the wrong-doer would be merely the granting of a favor and not an annulling of the cause and consequences of the person’s wrongdoing. Repentance may begin in the spirit-life or in the life of the flesh, and at any period; if a spirit’s repentance is tardy, it suffers for a longer time.” [1]

 

“991. What is the consequence of repentance in the spiritual state? 

‘The desire for a new incarnation in order to become purified. The spirit perceives the imperfections that deprive it of happiness, and seeks a new existence to be able to make amends for its faults.’” [2]

Before we move on, it is worth sharing passages from two different books from Francisco C. Xavier. (and if you do not know who he is, it time you learn some more about one of the most remarkable mediums of recent centuries). Those excerpts highly enriches the debate on the topics covered by this article.

“The individual is not simply subordinate to the criterion adopted by the world’s magistrates, who may be seen as skilled surgeons in the treatment or extirpation of social gangrene. Both on and off the earth, the more enlightened the individual, the more responsible he or she becomes through the shackles of his or her own conscience for falling into the thorn bushes of guilt.” [3]

 

“The fault committed operates in our mind a state of perturbation which do not simply gather the mad forces of our repentance, but also the waves of grief and accusation of the victim and all of those who associate with the feeling, instituting disharmonies of vast proportions in the centers of the soul, to reverberate on our own instrumentation.” [4]

What is Atonement

“Atonement consists in the sufferings, both physical and moral, that are the results of a spirit’s wrong-doing – whether in the course of the same earthly life in which it has done wrong, or in the phase of spirit-life succeeding it, or in a new earthly life – until all traces of the spirit’s wrongdoing have been effaced.” [1]

Although the term atonement might suggest the idea of punishment, in reality, no punishment understood as the infliction of a penalty as retribution for an offense is involved. Repentance alone doesn’t free up the spirit from a moral flaw; it simply “opens its eyes”. The spirit is still pray of its own imperfections and will naturally suffer its consequences. At this state, the spirit will demonstrate ill tendencies relative to the moral imperfection(s) in question. It may still make unethical choices (wrong-doing, sin, miss the mark – you call it as you wish!), although it is sensitive to them – in other words, it now can listen clearly to its internal moral compass, knowing even if intuitively, whether its actions are in harmony or not with the universal moral laws that governs the cosmos. This internal compass, a divine gift, is independent on religion or culture and in fact is what allow us to exert autonomous morality.

  A classic passage of the bible illustrates what we are talking about here.

“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” [5]

 No wonder the spirit suffers for its present state. It feels regret, perhaps remorse even.  It may wish to go back in time and make different choices. It longs to make amends. We all have been there! And here we must say that no one gets everything right the first time. We first crawl, then we walk, then we run… Nature does not evolve in big loops and this is how we progress as well. So forgive yourself and forgive others. Remorse is never necessary.

“Though nobody can go back and make a new beginning, anyone can start over and make a new ending.” [6]

If in the repentance phase the spirit learned about a flaw of character, it is in the atonement phase that it makes changes to its own consciousness by confronting situations in new reincarnations that puts it in direct contact with the moral elements it aims to revise. As it still have imperfections; confusion, suffering and perhaps errors may still certainly come true. However, through its own will-power and efforts (desire for improvement and actions towards effacing this), its moral dispositions are slowly perfected. The understanding of this broader reality allows us to appreciate the struggles of life, instead of complain about them – although no one should consent to suffer, hoping to “resolve” past debts and acting as if it deserves to suffer. The value of atonement is not on itself, but on the direction it provides the spirit to implement inner transformation. The appreciation of vicissitudes we mentioned should be understood as the possibility to face life’s “problems” simply as opportunities to demonstrate solid learning in the realms of justice and charity. In fact, a life without such opportunities might be desirable by some individuals when in the physical realm. However, from the perspective of the spirit, such life would be unproductive and meaningless. “The Spirits’ Book question 988 indicates what we are talking about:

” 998. There are individuals whose lives are perfectly calm, who have nothing to do for themselves and are exempt from all worries. Is their good fortune proof that they have nothing to repent from any former existence?

‘Do you know many such people? If you think you do, you are mistaken. Such lives are often only calm on the surface. A spirit may have chosen such a life, but after leaving it, it realizes that it has not helped it move forward, and it regrets the time it has wasted in idleness.’

‘Bear in mind that a spirit can only acquire knowledge and elevation through activity, so if it sleeps without a care in the world, it does not advance. It is as though it (according to your world) needs to work, but goes off for a stroll or goes to bed with the intention of doing nothing. Bear in mind that each of you must answer for voluntary uselessness, and that such uselessness is always lethal to your future happiness. The sum of that happiness is exactly proportionate to the sum of the good that you have done, while the sum of your unhappiness is always proportionate to the sum of the wrongs you have done, and how many you have made unhappy.’” [3]

What is Reparation

“Reparation consists in doing good to those whom we have wronged. Those who, through lack of power or of will, do not make reparation, in a given life, for the wrongs they have done in that life, will be brought again, in a new earthly life, into contact with the parties they have wronged in that former life, and under conditions which they will themselves have chosen beforehand, and which will have been contrived in such a way as to give them the opportunity of proving their devotion to them, and of enabling them to do them as much good as they formerly did them harm.” [1]

Inserted in a historical religious context that for centuries have overemphasized values of meekness, patience and charity, we might not be used to seeing justice as a regulating factor of cosmic balance. Yet, just as yin/yang, male/female or positive/negative, we may as well have a duality between mercy/justice as two intrinsic and fundamental elements in our path towards perfection. A person who lacks the sense of justice fails to set boundaries and a person who lacks the sense of mercy fails for attempting to over-control. Now, this said, I find important to clarify that the excerpt above does not support the traditional idea of karma as described in the part 1 see this article (see link to it in the beginning of the text). In its context, it is totally plausible to do good for others in service positions, including those of leaderships. Doctors, nurses, politicians and so many other functions allow us to do good to many. It is therefore through reparation that a spirit finds its enduring freedom and glory. Reparation does not entail suffering, but redemption. There is no need to pay for suffering with suffering – according to a millennial old idea of “an eye for an eye”, which we know is far from fairly representing pure love. This is, at least, my opinion and at this point I let you thing further on all we have discussed thus far with a final excerpt that concludes this text.

“There are faults of which individuals may be guilty, but which do not cause any direct and personal injury to other people; in such cases, the reparation of a fault is accomplished in one or other of the following ways: – by doing, in a subsequent incarnation, what they ought to have done, but did not do, in a former one, whether by discharging duties which they neglected or did not see to be incumbent on them, or by fulfilling missions which they failed to fulfill in that former life, or by practicing the virtues which are the opposites of the vice in which they then indulged; that is to say, by being humble if they have been haughty; gentle, if they have been harsh; kindly, if they have been unkind; hardworking, if they have been idle; helpful, if they have been useless; temperate, if they have been dissolute; setting a good example, if they have set a bad one; and so on. It is thus that a spirit progresses by turning to profitable account the experiences and the lessons of his past existences.” [1]

 References

  • [1] Kardec, Allan. Heaven and Hell.
  • [2] Kardec, Allan. The Spirits’ Book
  • [3] Xavier, Francisco Candido. Action and Reaction.
  • [4] Xavier, Francisco Candido. Thought and Life.
  • [5] Holy Bible, Romans 7:19, New international Version.
  • [6] Quote from Xavier, Francisco Candido.
  • LINK TO PART 1: https://awakesel.com/2018/03/02/karma-new-paradigm-1

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