We like to flippantly refer to good karma and bad karma, but is there any truth in karma? What is karma? Can I change my karma?
My search for answers to these questions has provided me with interesting information. For example, I have always thought of karma as Buddhism or something that is unique to Buddhism. Since I am not an expert on this philosophy, I have kind of left it there.
But important things tend to come back to us time and again (karma?), and my curiosity was stimulated to the extent that I did some reading about Buddhism and karma. And guess what? I discovered that the same concept is expressed in many diverse sources, including Buddhist texts.
Here is a puzzle that has kept me awake for a few nights, and the answer is still eluding me.
The kabala (Jewish Mysticism) teaches that every letter of the Hebrew alphabet has three values. For example, Aleph (A) is the first letter of the alphabet. It also has a numerical value of 1, which reflects unity. Aleph is also represented by the head of an ox, as a representation of purpose and the generative power of nature.
All the letters of the Hebrew alphabet have these triple meanings, and they capture the essence of our existence here. These letters have many other meanings, but these three meanings (the alphabet, the numerical value and the symbolic representation) are the most significant ones.
Can you remember the last time you really looked forward to something and it did not turn out as perfect as you anticipated? Can you remember your disappointment?
Let's look at what happened here. You had particular expectations that were not fulfilled because your expectations were unrealistically high. You attached an emotional value to the outcome, and you focused on the emotional value rather than on the outcome.
The outcome was not equivalent to the emotional value that you attached to it, and as a result you attached a different emotional value to it, namely disappointment. You did not accept the outcome or actions for what they were worth, but discarded them on the basis of an emotional judgment.
Then there were other occasions where you felt that something was a chore and you did not really look forward to it but did it anyway, and it turned out to be quite enjoyable. Why would that be?
I am sure when I refer to the dark night of the soul many readers will sit up and say 'Ah . . . is that what it is called. And I thought I was the only one in the entire world that has experienced it'.
What is the dark night of the soul? I will explain that by means of an illustration. Of course there are as many variations to the story as there are people in this world. Once you have read the story, you can always re-write it by adding your life's detail. And remember, this can happen at any age, and it can happen more than once to any person.
See yourself as an innocent little baby that has just come into this world. You grow up trusting that everyone loves you and wants to take care of you. You have a happy childhood with all the skinned knees, first love, sibling rivalry and so on. You are truly an image of
Life is a rollercoaster at the best of times. When times are good, we feel the elation and fun of being here, and we want to share our joy with the world. When times are bad, either we do not want to face anyone, or nobody wants to face our misery.
Where do we find our solace and peace during the bad times? And why do we only seek solace during the bad times?
I grew up in a culture where I was taught that during the worst of times, I can find solace in the church. When I hit my first adult crisis, I went to the church and found an empty, cold building. I went to the people of the church, but they chose to avoid me. I became an outcast because I was getting a divorce. I then went to the church minister for the solace that I so desperately needed, but the reception – and the judgment - was cold and hostile.
That was not solace. I kept searching.
Why is it that we hold on to relationships long past their natural end?
Think of a friendship that no longer exists. Do you still remember how your friend insulted or deserted you? You gained new friends, but you still feel that hurt.
Remember that supervisor who made your life such hell that you left to get a new job? You smile every time you think what a sad sod that supervisor is, and how much better off you are now. Or you still resent the opportunity that you missed as a result of that person, even though you gained much more from the new job than from the old one.
Then of course there is your marriage. You have known for a long time that
There was a time when 'meditation or no meditation?' was a serious issue for me. I come from a Protestant background where in my (admittedly biased) view prayer was a practice of reciting long-winded and important-sounding words. I struggled for years with the concept of prayer. It did not make sense to me that in church other people should pray on my behalf - but then I thought that was just me being the rebel again, and I kept quiet about it.
Outside of church I read books about prayer, and the prayers of other people. Still, I had this feeling that something was missing. Eventually I gave up on figuring out what prayer is about and just got on with life.
Of course I had conversations in my mind with God, but none of the books that I read described these conversations as prayer. The conversations were also quite one-sided, because I told God
Imagine one massive drop of water, as big as the earth, falling from a great height. What will happen when it hits a flat surface?
Yes, the massive drop of water will split into tiny droplets – myriads of them. That is similar to what happened when we got separated from God. We became humanity, and there are a few billion of us on this planet.
Imagine that each one of us also broke into pieces at the beginning of time. Each one of us strive to become whole again, and then to become part of God again. How do we do that?
Imagine each of those tiny droplets that form you, wanting to unite with the other droplets again, and then wanting to re-unite with the other individuals that are part of the gigantic drop that is God. It would be like watching a reversed film of the droplets becoming a gigantic drop again.
Can a psychic reading change your life? If you buy an item that was blessed by a spiritually gifted person, will you get your wishes fulfilled?
I want to tell you about an experience I had years ago. I was going through a period of massive change. I was discovering my psychic abilities and had no idea what to do with these abilities. It was not possible to discuss any of this with a friend or relative, because I knew they would be shocked and quite judgmental about me exploring the occult and other "sinful" things. I was not in a relationship at the time.
Of course this was quite a lonely time for me, but also intellectually quite stimulating. I discovered a whole new range of