Sunday, December 13, 2009

Karmic Consequences

His disciples asked him and said to him, “Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?” Jesus said, “Don't lie, and don't do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed.”………. Logion 6

Continuing in the series of commentaries on the sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas, in this short note let me bring out a fundamental facet of truth that needs to be appreciated. The disciples question is primarily in the mode of living but restricted to the sensory disciplines, which is no doubt important for any spiritual aspirant. This signifies the current preoccupation of mankind. We are always under the influence of our material world both exterior and interior. This is the reason that we assume that controlling the senses and disciplining the body would be sufficient to advance in spiritual living. The radical shift needed from the Mosaic Law-oriented-ritualistic spirituality (which was primarily installed to bring together the twelve tribes of Israel who had been under the slavery of Egypt, into a coherent society in a new land), into a spirituality that was focused on the individual to be liberated from their own ignorance of authentic Godhead, was the messianic mission of Christ. It is not that we have to belittle the mission of Moses and his law keepers, the Pharisees and Sadducees. They inherited the disciplining ways and the ritualistic rules as authentic spirituality from a social perspective. This we see in all organized religions even today. But Christ was on a different mission. This is the reason that he goes beyond the question of his disciples. His answer reveals an entirely new dimension of action, one that is oriented beyond the senses and in the realm of one’s consciousness.

The advice he gives his disciples reflects the advice of the Buddha in which the primary threefold classifications of right path are in the area of wisdom, ethical conduct and right concentration. In these three domains can be fitted every action (by way of body, speech, and mind) that will have karmic results (a.k.a. reaction). Wholesome and unwholesome actions will produce results and effects that correspond with the nature of that action. It is the right view about the moral process of the world and one’s existence as an integral element in it that is important. Apart from disciplining the body, about which the disciples ask him. The right speech and the right intension are of paramount importance.

The last part of Jesus saying here is very powerful and reveals a great ontology. The belief in an external God sitting in judgement over man was not the message of Christ. He already defined the location of the kingdom of heaven as something at the very core of one’s existence. “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
…… Luke 17:21 The individual consciousness, being an integral part of the Cosmic consciousness, is a transparent domain wherein there is no place for concealment. All our conscious actions as living, acting and thinking individuals leave a karmic imprint and it is regarding this revelation that Jesus talks to his disciples. The reason that we have a limited view of the role of individual consciousness is because we isolate it through ego-centric perception as “I am the doer, I am the thinker etc.,” Gnostic Christianity did not believe in eternal damnation but in reincarnation, which to say the journey of the soul or individual consciousness through diverse levels in many existences towards an ultimate evolution to merge with the undifferentiated and unsullied Universal consciousness which is true definition of Godhead.

Love to you all

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