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Dharma Will Rock You
Ram: Hi, Kirby. I love this email. You are a very good writer. I will edit it a bit and put it at the website. I made comments at the appropriate places below.
Kirby: This is about your statement that I can change my story. I think I understand what you mean after thinking about it. It never really sat that well with me that I was somehow able to make a particular story happen. It is clear that we are given everything and are not in control of the results.
So it occurred to me that this idea of changing my story is based only on how one views it. If outcomes alter, it is due to attention being redirected, energy opening more clearly to sattva, improved choices made based on corrected values and the inevitable switch in the routing of unfolding occurrence through the apparently infinite range of possibility.
I had an experience in which every important event that happened in my life passed before my eyes. I could see that nothing actually happened except my interpretation of what happened. The gratitude for the scale and immensity for the creation brought every moment to light, resulting in a glittering galaxy of moments that constitutes my life story.
We cannot write the next chapter, but rather are apparently experiencing the continuation and current occurrence of the stories unfolding. This person is revealed in the moment of writing the story. He is ink on paper, finding his way, vibration coalescing into letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, pages and so forth. He only exists where the tip of the pencil meets the paper. The future is unwritten and unlimited and the present is the writing of the story. The past condenses and dissolves into blackness, the future an unwritten white potential – the two being equal, and cancelled in the moment.
I can see components of karma and resistance to feeling life is meant to be positive for Kirby – and I have questions. It is said that we should act according to “our” dharma, and so I understand dharma is related to our apparent, manifest, individual nature. Have I had this wrong?
Does “our” dharma mean humanity’s dharma or the individual’s dharma? As there’s one self revealing itself in one apparent creation, then one set of laws applies to everything?
Ram: Dharma has several meanings. Personal dharma, the samskaras that make up your personality, the basic way you see and respond to life, is called svadharma. You should appreciate it and act in harmony with it. You have an artistic and spiritual dharma (nature), so you gravitate to these activities. Then there is samanya dharma, universal values based on the non-dual nature of reality – truthfulness, non-injury, accommodation, etc. These are ideals that need to be applied in given everyday situations. Applying these values to given situations – situational ethics – is called visesa dharma. That incident at two years ago was an improper application of the samanya dharma to the situation on the ground.
Kirby: Is it correct to say that dharma is universal value and natural law, and that an individual’s karma is where one lives “from” and creates the “terms” by which one lives – as they (can and should) move themselves towards alignment and harmony with dharma? Is it correct to view the matter as: How does an apparent individual with a set of conditioning and preferences learn to live in harmony with dharma, the laws of creation?
Ram: Yes, definitely.
Kirby: It’s not hard to see that where I am in my living situation is a product of “choices” in the field made along the way. While I could question why those choices seemed to be the only ones I was able to make at the time, I suppose the correct view is that we get what we need in order to see ourselves and the world accurately, enabling an harmonic existence.
Is this the purpose of life to discover our true nature and live well from/as/with it? Consciousness cares not about our choices and actions, so living in harmony with dharma is a human objective?
Ram: Yes, absolutely. If you want to be happy as a human being, you need to take your environment into account. Your environment is controlled by a set of impersonal rules, dharmas. If you do not take them into account you will suffer. If you do, life will flow with unspeakable ease. When an individual’s fears and/or desires become too strong, he or she will be tempted to break the rules to get what he or she wants. This will cause suffering. The dharma field will sock you and your mind will rock you because dharma is built into the field, of which your body and mind are a part.
~ Love, Ram