Be As You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi Edited by David Godman

Ramana Maharshi was one of the most significant spiritual teachers to emerge from India during the first half of the century, and remains widely admired. This recent collection of conversations between him and the many seekers who came to his ashram for guidance contains the essence of his teaching. His concern throughout his long life of imparting his experience to others was to convince his listeners that self-realisation – or enlightenment – is not an alien or mysterious state, but the natural condition of man. This state can be easily discovered by undertaking the self-investigation clearly described in these talks. The lucid instructions to each section provide further illumination of this greater seer’s message.

What is Karma?

Karma has many different names, such as fate, destiny, the law of attraction, what goes around comes around, you reap what you sow, everything comes full circle, likes attract likes, the ebb and flow, and balance in the universe. Basically, karma is an automatic effect or consequence. Most people think that when something bad happens to them, it’s because some “other” person or thing “caused” it to happen.

Say a person was hit by a car; the average person would say that it was caused by the driver of the car who wasn’t paying attention. But with karma, that person was hit by a car because of something that he himself did in the past, or maybe even in a previous physical life. If a person has their house broken into and robbed, it’s because of that person’s OWN previous actions, choices, perceptions, views, attitudes, feelings, intentions, opinions, beliefs, ideas, concepts, and thought processes. This is why “bad” things happen to “good” people. It’s because of something that person did in a past physical life.

So karma means that there is no such thing as a co-incidence, accident, random event, fluke, luck, or chaos. Everything is happening exactly as it needs to according to what we make ourselves to be. Absolutely every little thing, good and bad, eventually catches up to us. There is no outside “cause” of anything. Everything is happening spontaneously on its own, all by itself, as an automatic consequence. What you make yourself to be is a choice. What happens to you as a result of what you are, is not.

If a person likes to eat lots of unhealthy foods on a regular basis, over time that will contribute to disease and illness, but this illness wasn’t “caused” by any outside thing. It was just an automatic consequence of eating unhealthy foods (or stressful negative emotions). It was an effect of one’s own choices, thought processes, and actions. It was one’s own karma.

But karma isn’t just of the negative kind. It’s total balance in the universe. So if a person loves others, in one way or another that love will also come back to that person, from others. You make love happen to yourself by being it yourself. That which supports life, is automatically supported.

Even our thoughts, opinions, and beliefs create karma for oneself. Our thoughts are not just in our heads, but they are literally creating one’s “outside” life as well. What you allow to happen inside of you (in your mind and heart) will happen in your outside world. The outer is a perfect reflection of the inner. The inner and outer are one and the same. They are not separate, they are not different. They are the exact same thing. Your individual world is exactly what you believe it to be. If you believe that other people hate you, they will, and they will treat you that way. If you believe that other people are kind and caring, they will be to you. Every one of us creates our own individual reality with our thoughts and beliefs. Everything you believe, is the truth, but only to you, and only because you believe it’s the truth.

If a person continuously focuses on being financially poor, or on not having enough money, that will be exactly what continues to happen to that person. But if that person were to suddenly change their way of thinking and instead started focusing solely on abundance, plentitude, and having lots of money, that will become their reality. If you think like a poor man, you will be poor. If you think like a rich man, you will be rich. Poor people focus on not having enough, and wealthy people focus on having plenty.

When a person is caught in a hurricane or natural disaster, that’s their karma. When a person is murdered by somebody, that’s their karma. When a person’s body is disfigured or injured, that’s their karma coming back to them. When a person receives a helping hand from somebody, that’s their karma coming back to them. When a person is bitten by a dog, that’s their karma. When a plane crashes, that’s all of those individual people’s karma. When a young child seems to have an amazing gift in playing a musical instrument, or in doing mathematics, that’s their karma from their previous life, and the life before that, and the life before that. What every individual sees in the mirror is their karma. One’s genetics are pre-determined by one’s karma. One is born into the exact life situation that suits their karma. Absolutely everything, all of the time, is karma.

“Whatever you may be, you are being ‘lived’. You are not travelling, as you think: you are being ‘travelled.'” – Wei Wu Wei

Something (positive or negative) is ONLY going to happen to a person if their karma calls for it to happen. In other words, the world is PERFECTLY SAFE and there is nothing to worry about because everything is self-created and brought about by oneself. What’s going to happen, will happen, and there is no avoiding it. One way or another, karma must be worked out. So live happily by choosing to be happy despite life’s circumstances, be kind to “others” at all times, and work on changing yourself inwardly instead of constantly reacting negatively to outside circumstances about which you attracted to yourself in the first place. Self improvement is the answer to everything.

Source: The Truths of Life

3 Strategies for Fusing Science and Spirituality ~ Hiroshi Tasaka

What is the most important thing that will happen in the 21st century? The fusion of science and spirituality. That will happen. Why? Because this world in which we live changes, develops, progresses and evolves according to a certain law: the Law of Interpenetration of Dialectic. This law, advocated by German philosopher Georg Hegel, teaches us that “things which oppose and compete with each other come to resemble each other.” If this Hegelian law is correct, science and spirituality will come to resemble each other, merge with each other, and fuse into a higher and greater “something.”

Then, two questions arise in our minds: how will this fusion happen? And how can we promote this fusion? The latter is especially of great importance in the 21st century because now at the beginning of this century, both science and spirituality are faced with their limitations. So I would like to propose three strategies to promote the fusion of science and spirituality.

Strategy 1: Teach Modern Science in the Religious Community (Natural Sciences Approach)

When we learn the latest findings in the forefront of modern science, a sense of wonder naturally comes to our mind. For instance, according to the latest scientific knowledge, this universe was created from a “quantum vacuum” 13.7 billion years ago. At the beginning, the quantum vacuum created a countless number of bubbles that are called “baby universes.” And most of the baby universes disappeared shortly after their birth. But among those countless baby universes, the universe in which we live has miraculously survived. A sense of wonder naturally comes to our minds when we learn this scientific fact about the creation of the universe, and this sense of wonder is indispensable for a religious mind and spirituality. Therefore, teaching the latest science is one of the best ways for people to gain a religious mind and spirituality in today’s world.

Strategy 2: Deepen Modern Psychology Through the Wisdom of Traditional Religions and Spirituality (Human Sciences Approach)

The most important question for the science of psychology in the 21st century is “Who am I?” To answer this profound question, we need to explore the depths of our mind, especially the world of the subconsciousness advocated by Sigmund Freud, and the world of the collective subconsciousness advocated by by Carl Jung.

But the wisdom of traditional religions and spirituality has already been exploring such worlds for the past several thousand years. For instance, Buddhism has been exploring the world of the collective subconscious through the notions of manas-vijñāna (the seventh consciousness) and ālaya-vijñāna (the eighth consciousness) for several thousand years. So, we need to deepen modern psychology through the vast wisdom of traditional religions and spirituality fostered throughout its long history.

Then, one important question arises in our minds: Where can we find and observe the world of the collective subconscious? In the Internet communities. If we look into the Internet communities, we can see and feel the world of the collective subconscious of people. Also, in the Internet communities, we can express different aspects of ourselves, multiple personalities, by using “avatars” or being anonymous. And this is one good way to find the answer to the deep question, “Who am I?”

Strategy 3: Create a New Economic Principle by Combining the Internet Revolution and the Wisdom of Compassion in Traditional Religions and Spirituality (Social Sciences Approach)

Modern capitalism has been based upon “monetary economy,” which refers to economic activities of people motivated by acquiring money. That is the reason why modern capitalism tends to stimulate the greedy mind of people, and tends to become so-called “greedy capitalism.” But the Internet revolution that started in 1995 has been reviving an old economic principle called “gift economy” or “voluntary economy,” which refers to economic activities of people motivated by satisfying the mind, through, for instance, affection and compassion for other people. So, if we combine the Internet revolution, modern economic science, and the wisdom of compassion in traditional religions and spirituality, we will be able to create a “compassion capitalism” in the 21st century.

These are the three strategies that I propose in order to promote the fusion of science and spirituality. And this is not just a vision or strategies for the future; this is a movement that is already starting to happen in the world.

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