Tuesday, January 10, 2012
“If you wish to see truth
then hold no opinions for or
Seng-Tsan, Zen patriarch
The Law of Mirrors
After painting for several days in late summer, I felt a great relief from this apparent endless but enjoyable task when master Lobsang approached me one morning and stated, “Young man it is time for you to learn the next principle of Karma. Come. Walk with me for awhile.” I easily admit I looked forward to these walks with such a great teacher. He had such depth in his understanding of life and its intricacies most of which we all miss in this part of the world. As informal or fascinating as they may turn out, I always gained an immense amount of information and understanding when we walked and talked. Master Lobsang turned to look at me and I remember him saying, “Young man, your life is a direct reflection of you as is true for any individual you are always the first cause in your own life,” he informed me with smiling eyes. “Every thing in your life is attempting to tell you who you are in any given moment.” Continuing, “What you see in another human is actually you looking at your self in the mirror of life. All of life reflects your image of you.” The truth is I can now say, by not knowing or understanding the Law of Mirrors, our ignorance of this single principle can produce self-imposed slavery to our life and events. This is true because we may never know the cause of all that occurs around us unless we look at ourselves first in complete objectivity. We should always be objective with our own actions and activity whether it is external or internal objectivity is the most important approach to understanding and appreciating ourselves and our lives. It is the only path for seeing the truth of the house, you, we have built as we have created our lives by placing one brick at a time with each seed we have planted along the way.
“Through all our personal experiences in each and every moment, life reveals to each of us, individually, precisely who we are. It is this principle that attempts to show us only our self in all its aspects, no one else’s,” master Lobsang offered. Of course, my face once again wrinkled into a look of utter bewilderment as images of other people I have known flashed into my mind like a slide show on fast forward. “I am condemning myself? Not them?” as I crooked my head only slightly. He further explained, “This concept of your reflection through life is correct and is part of the reason for the Law of Attraction, the major reason. This is why we attract to us what we are and not what we may want or desire to have in our life. This is the basic idea behind the Law of Mirrors.” Master Lobsang paused then continued, “What we see in another person or, more importantly, what we think we see as wrong about them is actually Karma’s way of showing us what we do not necessarily like about our self. Whether or not we acknowledge this, is totally irrelevant.” Master Lobsang concluded his thought, “Whenever you think there is something wrong, the truth is, there is something wrong in you is the essence of this law.”
He could easily see my expression of deep contemplation about this totally new concept of life. Americans can be so completely befuddled by these principles, for I certainly was! In this part of the world, we generally look only through filters of right or wrong, good or bad, without ever considering the concept that every thing and every one is exactly as they are supposed to be right where they are! Excuse the grammar but, you see, there is nothing wrong out there in this wonderful world of ours, and there is nothing wrong with any other human being because they are simply who they are. To this very day you will not hear me utter or write the words “right” or “wrong,” “good” or bad,” unless used for explaining truth, for they do not exist in my vocabulary nor any monk that I have ever encountered. Besides they are forms of judgment or opinions as stated above and nothing else. After all the Christ Himself stated very succinctly to not judge and it is my sense that this is what He was attempting to tell us that all things are precisely the way they are supposed to be and that we have no right putting it into some form of personal concepts based on judgment. Besides the truth is that when we judge it actually has the power to blind us to what is real and not illusion.
Now a question for you, “Do you believe in coincidence?” Please do not jump right to your answer. First consider the question and acknowledge how you feel about it, for this question will assist you to understand this principle, along with the others we have looked into thus far. If your answer is no, you then believe everything has a reason or purpose attached to it, that all things are precisely the way and where they are supposed to be, is this correct? This reasoning further implies there is neither any such event called an accident, nor any failure, nor any mistake, for there exists nothing wrong out there in our world. Bluntly put, those words are human labels, illusions, and are not real. Perhaps without even being aware of it, this means you believe in Karma because you do not believe in coincidence!
The ever-present, guiding principles of Karma bring these events to us purely as an opportunity to become further educated and to understand the truth of who we are in those moments and to grow from them by making a different choice. I ask you, “With Karma, just where is the coincidence?” The truth is, every moment and experience, in and of itself, is neither right or wrong, nor good or bad, because they all just are; rather, it is each of us, in and of our self, who simply do not agree with what we are seeing in that particular moment or experience. What am I offering here? We are simply looking at life backwards, from the outside in! Does this make any sense to you? This powerful concept is simply letting us know that we need only spend our time making the necessary internal adjustments in our own mind instead of expending all our energy and effort with making external adjustments to others and our environment. By doing so, we rectify our self rather than the outer world. Master Lobsang simply stated to me, “Change you and this changes how you see events.”
Using the same analogy as mentioned in chapter one, I feel it best to realize the full composition of that brown silt resting at the bottom of our individual pool of consciousness rather than to completely ignore it. Which is what most of us do thinking it will remain settled permanently or, worse yet, believing it will all utterly disappear through some miraculous future event all the while we ignore it. Wait! Forgive me, for I just now realize there can be a miraculous future event! It shall arrive when Karmic action returns to us that perfect moment of turbulence, an experience wherein our peaceful silt becomes totally agitated, swiftly cavitating towards the surface of our pool yet once again. And the so-called miracle moment occurs because now we understand Karma is our guiding, prodding principle for personal growth. And we now fully realize and seize this event to rid ourselves of the brown silt entirely, or we have this option once and for all or at least rid that part which had agitated and created the apparent turbulence.
Wherever you go, there you are, remember? While looking directly into my eyes, master Lobsang softly said, “Young man, when you become angry, remember you are still there. What does your anger prove to you in that moment? It simply proves that the reflection of that mirror upon which you look reminds you of who you are, bringing to the forefront your anger rising from within. It does this because you thought you had changed; yet, you have not, so the reflection remains the same.” This is precisely why the settled silt stubbornly remains within us, traveling with us like gum on a shoe, no matter the direction or distance of our journey, and is why Karma will cause it to rise, providing us the perfect experience at the perfect time to remove it forever. If we could see it through these eyes then we would understand the circumstances and why they appear as they do in any given moment.
My insightful teacher asked me four questions during our walk that day in late fall, important questions intended for my deep consideration regarding my path of life and impetus for a crystal clear pool of consciousness. I now pose them for your careful consideration regarding you and your life: 1. Do you believe you are immune from what goes on around you? 2. Do you blame others simply saying that someone else did it, that you had nothing to do with the event? 3. Do you try to excuse yourself from the parts of life which are too difficult or hard? 4. Do you accept life with grace and see yourself as contributing or creating a difference? Remember, the Law of Mirrors revolves around the idea that things are not the way they may appear, solely because there is nothing wrong out there, keeping in mind that there are no coincidences. Let us peer more deeply into the above four questions, one at a time, to find what they may reflect back to us about our self.
1. Do we believe we are immune from what goes on around us? If we go around thinking we are immune, then are we not actually saying we are better than others or too good to have this kind of experience? This is an incredibly large illusion for no one is immune from any experience. By believing in personal immunity, then things only happen to others, not to us; in fact, we need not accept any responsibility, correct? It is believed that a young insightful man who lived around two thousand years ago said something like, “Nothing is above the Law.” It is strongly guaranteed that Karma, through its return action, will bring an eye-opening experience directed specifically to that person whose mind is rigidly entrenched with personal exemption, a mind stubbornly thinking all the while that the event belongs to others. Do you suppose they are denying the reflection in the mirror? It is repeated that no one and no thing are immune because, remember, our experience is exactly what we already are. So it is suggested that you neither deny nor avoid it. As my teacher offered, sometimes it is best to go ahead and climb over the arduous mountain, for it may be the best path even though it appears frighteningly formidable.
2. Do we blame others by simply saying someone else did it and we had nothing to do with the event? Allow me to follow-up with more questions: “Do we blame others for our anger? “Is it the other person’s fault for the argument?” “At times, do we think another is stupid; yet, in reality, do they not think as we do and we now think they are stupid because of this?” Employing subtle expressions, blame takes on many faces, the most obvious one being the “you make me” complex, which has already been discussed earlier in this book. Forgive my repetition on this subject; however, I feel its level of importance is worthy of repeating, especially in light of our current subject, the Law of Mirrors.
When operating under the “you make me” complex, we lay the blame on either the outer circumstance or the other individual, essentially transferring personal responsibility to an external event. By doing so, we dis-own our personal feelings and actions by attempting to dis-connect their integral part from us. By so doing we end up actually denying our ability to control our own emotions and to properly look at our very own mirror, its glaring reflection now showing we are not in control of our own life. Just how can another person or thing, external to our self, physically control how we feel internally in any given moment? If we do this what we are actually doing is admitting another is in control of us and this law is here to assist in this for us so that we see our selves. The Law of Mirrors attempts to correct the current situation, guiding us to reclaim our personal responsibility of our emotional energy by watching what we do in that particular moment, as the observer, instead of what we think we are seeing as the victim of the “you make me” complex. The truth is what we actually see is how we are judging that moment, nothing more.
Perhaps another perspective may give clarity. You tell a friend, “So-and-so makes me so happy!” for example. Notice your word choice? Without ever realizing it, you have just given up or released the responsibility for your feelings, your power, over to so-and-so. Guess what? They now have the ability to also make you angry or sad as you have now given you away. Have you ever felt drained? If so here is why and we shall cover more of this later. And what do we generally call such an individual who “makes” us feel or do a thing, one way or the other? A manipulator perhaps? Unfortunately, I hear the following all too frequently today, “I love you because you do things for me and are so good to me.” Or, “Because you never do what I want, I no longer love you.” By literally giving our self away in these moments, we have just become easy to manipulate, even though we do not enjoy being manipulated at all, no one does. Why would we do this to ourselves? We have been conditioned away from personal control of our own selves and our own lives.
Alright, I understand your desire to feel empowered all of us look for this in our individual lives. So what does the Law of Mirrors do for us in this arena? Two things are going on here. First, it shows we have transferred our responsibility to an external source and, second, it lets us know how to accomplish the feeling or sense of empowerment by not giving ourselves away in the first place. In fact it shows us where we are giving it up simply look at your reflection and it will show the cause to you. Ultimately our personal responsibility is non-transferrable, non-promotional, non-discountable, and non-refundable, with no expiration date. To believe otherwise is an illusion. You see, when happiness is an innate part of our own nature then we are purely happy, through and through, for if it truly belongs to us. No other human or thing can give or take it away since we can only share in our idea of happiness that is generated by us. Such is genuine happiness, unlike its façade. If another can take it away then 1) the happiness was not genuine in the first place, 2) the other person has just stolen the happiness from us, which now becomes their Karmic return. The reason is that this principle now sees them as no different as a thief. Stealing is the same action, whether taking an object or an emotion, since both are taken away unrightfully so. It is suggested that it is best we turn things around, to objectively see our self as clearly as does the mirror right in front of us, the so-called manipulator, be it person, place or thing, and watch it instantly transform into one of our greatest teachers. There is a simple rule of thumb here. Each time you point your index finger at a person or an event in the name of blame, notice how the three fingers below it point right back at you! As a gentle reminder, allow those three fingers to represent an aspect of your self in that moment: 1) how you are thinking, 2) how you are judging, and 3) how you are feeling. They are all yours simply because they belong to you first and they are all emanating from within.
3. Do we try to excuse ourselves from the parts of life which are too difficult or hard? This activity has become all too common in our part of the world. Yet on the one hand it does make sense because who among us truly enjoys a difficult mental or emotional experience? Is a difficult moment nothing more than how you perceive and judge it to be? From my teachings in the
Far East, it has been realized that life is not about personal enjoyment; rather, it is solely about personal growth, change, and the comprehension of our true nature, with which difficulty may at times be associated. Though for the most part our physical aspects can be worked out with general ease, it is our internal affairs on the other hand, which can be significantly more difficult to resolve due to their depth and complexity.
Are we doomed to difficulty? Not at all unless we choose this as our experience! By no longer participating in the blame game and the “you make me” complex, the burden of difficulty will lift, for the truth is, when anything becomes difficult we are simply applying too much physical, mental, and emotional energy on the event, thereby creating resistance. And it is this very resistance which increases the level of difficulty. Why?
’s Third Law - for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction which, by the way, works together with the third law of Karma: whatever you resist persists for you. Coincidence? Nope! No exceptions. Even the second principle of Karma concurs: you attract to you what you are, not what you want. This applies simply because if we resist, we actually attract more resistance. There are now three laws working against us? No, not against us, yes and think to in reality that they could work for us instead. These are just three simple and natural principles, all of them behind us, prodding us and supporting our personal growth toward full realization and empowerment. This is their purpose! Newton
What is really going on when we run into a difficult moment? Instead of throwing wide the stage curtain as we frantically stumble into a multi-act drama as we generally do from the material sense, it is suggested that we rest in our peaceful nature as we calmly stop the chattering monkeys in the tree of our mind. For we know there is a perfect reason for this moment to occur, right here and now, because there is no such thing as a coincidence or accident. Perhaps soul is attempting to attract our attention in the only manner it can, communicating that a different direction has now become necessary in our life, or it has placed something right in front of us yet again since we successfully avoided this issue in the past. In truth, our higher divine self works in union with Karma, constantly and continually. Not to harm or punish us, please, but as its attempt to bring on a natural and complete healing to every individual involved in our so-called difficult situation.
“So if Karma and my soul are working for me, to heal me, then why so much difficulty?” you may be rightfully asking. The apparent difficulty is nothing more than your commitment to judging the situation as difficult! That is all. You see, our judgment determines whether something is easy or difficult, good or bad, pleasing or objectionable. I hear people in our Western culture declare judgmental statements nearly every moment, each and every day, regarding their situation as they focus purely on their judgment. Not surprisingly, through Karma, the individual gets to experience exactly what they pay the most attention to, their judgment. May I offer a change in mind and heart? It is suggested that we strip away all judgment from our vocabulary as we graciously accept the alleged difficult moment as our teacher, and step into it full tilt so we may receive the greater understanding which is about to take place. By doing so, chances are this issue will never return, for it has been fully cleared by our realization of the true purpose of the supposed difficulty. Yes, we then get the message this time, finally! Once gotten there is no need for a repeat performance to occur at anytime in our lives it is now understood so it is now over. The suggestion here is to end things as they occur and the silt is removed from your pool of consciousness and if not it shall rise at a later time for another experience.
4. Do we accept life with grace and see ourselves as contributing or creating a difference? Most of us believe we do; however, from personal observation, it can be assured that you are way off, for the most part, especially when it comes to the idea of grace, the first answer to this two-part question. Does this really surprise you? I list here a few synonyms for the word grace: balance, compassion, decency, ease, etiquette, forgiveness, nimbleness, pleasantness, tact. Are these attributes abounding all about us and through us in our world today? When truly walking or living in grace, would you ever become irritated, frustrated or angered? Would you ever be bothered by what another says or does? Living in grace means: first being grateful for life which naturally leads to grace. Then become totally patient in life and with all people. This allows us to be utterly free of stress, holding a door for another, giving up your place in line for another who is truly in a hurry. Always be aware of honoring and treating others in a graceful manner, remaining calm and peaceful while driving in traffic, and never rude to another. Most importantly, being graceful is fully living to assist others at all times, not just in those moments when it suits our fancy or appears necessary.
Once again, when judgment filters our perception of either an event or person, there remains no room for grace at any time. Why do we judge what we see? I offer this quote by Jean-Yves Leloup, author of “The Gospel of Thomas,” translated by Shambhala Publications, “The eye with which I see God is the eye with which God sees me: one eye, one vision, one knowledge, one love.” From a life filled with conditioning and habits, our vision has become completely prejudiced by our judging minds to the degree we no longer can truly see clearly. It is like watching a blurry movie because of a dusty and oil-smudged projector lens. On the other hand, if we operate through the boundless idea of grace, then our judgments toward life are removed and life now becomes an honor, for we begin to clearly see and witness its true nature and beauty through the guiding principles of Karma. From the perspective of my teachers, if we are not at first internally graceful, then there is absolutely no way we can behave gracefully with any other externally, at least not consistently. We vacillate from being graceful externally to stumbling and mumbling within through self-condemnation, along with our other issues. We, therefore, hopscotch between truth and error, transforming our divine greatness to unnatural smallness all because of how we operate our mind, simply by seeing through a judgmental lens, colored and opaque at the very least.
My answer to the second part of the question is the same. Although most of us believe we do contribute or create a difference, I beg to differ. I am not talking about our career choice or professional accomplishments; instead, I am talking about our personal interaction with all the people whom we encounter each and every day. I am talking about total strangers and those who truly need assistance in that moment when we just happen to appear in their space. Coincidence or chance? Do we stop to help them or to lift their spirit? “First, what is in it for me?” “I do not have the time right now!” is written all over most everyone’s faces. I am not kidding because, again from personal observation, there is a tremendous number of individuals in this part of the world who will assist another, but only when there can be something gained by doing so. Do you recognize any grace in this mindset? This approach is more self-serving and one of vanity than anything else. It is actually manipulation, the truth be told.
If you wish to genuinely contribute or make a difference, it is simply suggested that you give of yourself in silence and grace, being of service to one human at a time, being genuinely humble in your nature as you do so. No need for fanfare, a ticker-tape parade, or major media coverage. If these are offered then why not? As you are now more fully aware of Karmic return, do you truly desire to toot your own brass horn at the expense of the other? It is suggested that you think twice because, rest assured, you will not take too kindly when another toots their horn at your expense. Besides, these external affairs will only feed the ego by eroding your true nature, a nature of harmony, peace and synchronicity.
An Excerpt from ‘The Twelve Sacred Principles of Karma’
The Fifth Principle
Law of the Mirrors