The Many Layers of Karma

By Desmond Yeoh SC

Paul is going through some problems and there is some knowledge in the universe that can help him overcome that problem. Whether or not he gets that information and benefit from it will depend on his karma.

Photo by Teona Swift on Pexels.com

Firstly, he must meet a person who has that knowledge and shares it with him. This is an external factor and many causes and conditions must come together to make this happen. Paul must be at the right place and the right time to meet that person and their topic of discussion must somehow lead to that knowledge.

Secondly, Paul must have the intelligence to understand the knowledge passed to him. This is partly external and partly internal as his genetic makeup and education background are major contributing factors.

Finally, Paul must be flexible and open to that knowledge. If he clings on to his past knowledge, mental conditioning and beliefs, he may brush of that knowledge as pure nonsense.  On the other hand, he may somewhat accept those teachings but may not find the motivation or the will to apply them. This is as good as not getting that knowledge in the first place. These are internal factors that affect our karma.

Spiritual seekers change their destiny by working on the internal aspects of karma. Contemplative meditation involves contemplating spiritual teachings learnt and associating those teachings to One’s own experiences or observation. Doing so turns knowledge into experience like tasting a dish instead of just looking at a picture of that dish.

Spiritual teachers who understand this do not feel disappointed when the students are unable to absorb and apply their teachings because they understand the workings of karma. They also know that the world itself is the best teacher.

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