Tag Archives: karma

The Hypocrisy of Belief

I don’t believe in karma. I don’t believe that our actions in this life dictate the quality of the rest of our lives or what happens in the next life, and I don’t believe that what happened in a past life is responsible for what this life has in store for me. I believe that our thoughts, actions and words contribute to the world around us, and to not be mindful of the energy we emanate is irresponsible. I believe that we are meant to fuck up to then see the error on our ways and learn from it. I also believe that our responsibility in this life is to be as authentic as possible, especially when that authenticity’s expression is diametrically opposed to popular opinion.

I believe in a healthy dose of doubt. Doubt can be an absolute killer, or it can be the road to salvation, truth and knowledge. I believe that questioning is necessary, that to take what others present as being true is to totally and irrefutably give away your personal power and the opportunity to expand your knowledge of your own unique truth. Truth is subjective, and we all have different understandings of what is true based on our own sentient experiences. To adopt another’s concept of truth blindly is to abandon one’s own journey towards becoming an awakened soul, aware of itself by experiencing everything that is its specifically to live, learn from and which contributes to its expansion of awareness.

I only believe in what I know to be true on a level where words somehow minimize the knowing. There’s a difference between not knowing something and being unsure of it, and feeling a deep-rooted sense of doubt. I believe that visceral doubt is way more a pure expression of the energy that animates my body than the adoption of a concept like karma that keeps us adhering to laws that may not resonate entirely but to which we attach for fear of getting it wrong and suffering the consequences.

You know what lands well with you and what doesn’t. You know what lies in the space between what you say you believe and what lands in your body and your soul as being true. You may KNOW karma as reality because every fiber of your being tells you this is so, and so your truth is unwaveringly yours to live. But if you somehow don’t align with its principles but adhere to them anyways, you’re living outside of your truth, and I know, viscerally, that our purpose in life is to abide in that which resonates undeniably within us. It’s for this exact reason why certain principles from the Ashtanga Yoga System seem completely unrealistic and impractical to me, while certain principles from Tantra and Kashmir Shaivism ring true. On an energy level.

I use karma as an example, but we blindly ally our beliefs to ideas and regulations that ring absolutely untrue to us.

And so…ask yourself…how are you giving your personal power over to dogma and doctrines that you know you don’t agree with? What risk would you run of detaching from them and being inwardly and outwardly honest about what you truly believe?

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Enter The Devil

I got into a conversation with a friend of mine yesterday about spirituality and faith, and it got me thinking.

Some of the questions I was asked by my friend were:

– do you believe in God?
– do you believe in luck?
– how do you reconcile being born into privilege versus being born into poverty in a third-world country?
– do you believe in reincarnation?
– do you believe in ghosts?

Midway through last week’s yoga retreat in Bali I got into another conversation with one of the students there who had been a teacher and who told me about the fallout she experienced by bringing the first Harry Potter novel into the classroom to read with her students. She told me how visceral some of the parents’ reactions were to having their children exposed to magic and sorcery, and how these parents equated the concepts of magic and sorcery with the devil and with hell.

Our beliefs dictate how we live, what we cling to, and, more importantly, what we recoil from in fear-based judgement. Personally, I believe that the devil, the embodiment and gatekeeper of hell, is simply the mystical figurehead of living a life based in fear, based solely and specifically in the lower chakras, based in attachment to and sole belief in the tangible, the material world experienced through the 5 senses. I believe that living in fear and doubt as a result of being afraid of the existence of more than the physical is literally hell on earth.

Enter the devil. Watch yourself cling to him for dear life. God forbid we should maintain open minds. God forbid we should pay attention to and trust our intuition, or sixth sense. God forbid we should know ourselves as contracted forms of God and reside in that Awareness and witnessing as a seventh sense. God forbid we should let go of the devil we know so that our faith in something else can carry us to a place of awakening, knowing, connection and deep spirituality.

My friend who asked me all the questions mentioned earlier is also a student of mine who has participated in classes and retreats. I understood that despite being privy to my take on things in the classroom environment, she still had some fundamental and relevant queries that needed to be asked to help guide her closer to her own understanding of spirituality and connection to forces greater than us. And so we got into it. God, ghosts, luck, work ethic, life, death, karma, reincarnation… It was a great exchange. We discussed our beliefs and allowed them to be challenged as the conversation evolved, and eventually walked away from it deep in thought and contemplation.

And so I ask you: what do you believe? How would you answer the questions I was asked? Have you ever considered what your beliefs are and what your answers would be about birth, death and everything that happens between the two? What about what happens after death? Do you believe in karma and reincarnation? Is luck everything to do with success or do we earn our glory? Why are you alive today and how do you think your time on earth is supposed to be managed? Is the path you’re on already set out for you or do have any degree of influence on its trajectory?

I bring these types of questions up at every possible opportunity because I know the meaning of life to be the unifying force behind these topics, and I want to help focus others to the issues that matter so they can begin to see past the literal to the symbolic, replete with underlying purpose.

This is an opportunity for you to do some work, work that will matter long-term. Go ahead and ask yourself some of these questions and see what you come up with…and if you feel like sharing, the forum is open!

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