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Posts tagged ‘karma’

death & all his friends.

Every time you are in the vicinity of death, something changes. A certain part of you grows, matures, thinks, wonders. Life is uncertain, yes, but seeing that uncertainty float in the air, right before your eyes, makes you question the very essence of life.

Often times, I have thought that our lives are reflected in the eyes of other people. Once you leave this mortal world, the only thing that matters is how you live in the memories of people, if at all you live. That thought changed yesterday.

I was part of a memorial for a colleague, and people he’d known professionally poured in large numbers to offer their condolences and pen their thoughts in a little black book. The book will most likely be given to his family, and probably contains very fond memories. And you know what? He’ll never know. He’ll never know how people spoke of him, remembered him, missed him. He’s gone. May he rest in peace.

It brings me back to my feeble assessment of life. How you may or may not be remembered doesn’t matter at all; once you are gone, that is your only reality. Is there something that could evaluate our lives better? The definition of a successful life varies greatly. Some define it by money, others by fame, status, relationships and accomplishments. No one knows what it means to lead a full life; no one that is, if you discount what other people think. No one knows either, what it means to be happy, though I suppose those who truly are don’t need to ask the question.

I guess my point is that if you believe that death is really the end of life on earth, the closer you get to it, the less your actions matter. Assuming that death is uncertain, you can never exactly know how near or far from it you are, shrinking the probability that your actions will have consequences. An anti-karma theory, aye?

Many Lives, Many Masters

Whether or not you believe in science, this is one book that’s bound to give you food for thought.

manylivesmanymasters

Penned by a psychiatrist, Dr Brian Weiss, Many masters, many lives is what he claims to be the true story of one of his patients. Catherine, a young girl troubled by inexplicable phobias, seeks his help, and when typical psychiatric treatments don’t bare results, he resorts to the rarely used practice of hypnosis. What follows is plain bizarre. In her hypnotic state, Catherine appears to visit her past lives, reincarnations of herself in varied geographical locations and time periods. Often, Catherine reaches an in-between stage, where she’s dead but not reincarnated yet, and she communicates to the doctor the messages of highly evolved spirits (called the Masters), including personal details from his own life.

I know it sounds like the plot of some psychological thriller, and as I re-read it, even the highly predictable story-line of a horror Hindi movie. But that’s the beauty of it – what you believe is completely your choice. At one point, I passed it off as a self-help book in disguise, one that will make you feel more aware about life and why it throws what it throws at us.

What makes me think though, is why there are barely any conspiracy theories about what might have happened in Dr Weiss’ office. The book was first published in 1995. There are tapes which recorded the hypnosis sessions, there are psychiatrists who have reviewed the treatment, and if anything, Dr Weiss has abandoned his practice to teach fellow psychiatrists the art and benefits of hypnosis. It sure makes me wonder; if we are to buy that life and death are really the way the book defines them, it will undoubtedly put into perspective everything else we have believed thus far. It’s a matter of faith, yes, but the ideas the book puts forth have an uncanny similarity to Hindu ideologies. For instance, it affirms the entire cycle of life, karma, death and rebirth. I must confess that the book tempted me to abandon my recently acquired nihilistic stance, at least briefly.

If you have ever questioned life and the after-life, pick up a copy and read it. There can be no firm evidence for or against the book, because as google says of the topic, all evidence is anecdotal. It sure however, is an enticing case to brood upon.

Reverse gratitude

Whether or not you believe in karma, it sure feels good to help someone in need, or at least volunteer to help. So I’ve started to think that gratitude should really work in reverse. We should be grateful to the people we help, for giving us the opportunity to accumulate good karma and find satisfaction in our deeds. Imagine if everyone was self-sufficient and never in need of help. That would mean no ‘satisfaction’, no good points, nothing to negate the bad karma. Remember that the next time you’re helping somebody. Reverse gratitude. Help and be grateful.

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