Dharma is like karma…it’s unavoidable.
The moment you’re born, you’re given an identity—a sex and a gender, a race, a name, a nationality, a religion. You’re even given a surname and status based on the family you’re born into.
In the birthing process preceding this moment, you may have been exposed to brutality via well-meaning doctors and nurses. Toxic pain-numbing drugs, harsh unnatural lighting or even pulled out by cold metal forceps; your umbilical cord severed the moment you entered human life, and so on. Our society places most value on a quantitative medical approach that highlights shock-first avoidance of imminent dangers, and dealing with the consequences later. Environmental and qualitative factors have been neglected in the medical establishment to make way for clinical “efficiency.”
Without your consent, you’re given pharmaceutical vaccines that may or may not affect you within the first months or years of your life. In some cases, depending on culture and the personal beliefs of your family, you are circumcised, a surgical intervention for life. Most families create a scenario for you that includes the type of style and design of your life, from room colors, to crib design, to scents, toys, even down to your clothes.
You may be given a brother or sister, a father or mother, or all of the above. There are factors at play based on where you rank within the family, for instance whether you are first-born or the youngest, and on and on.
So many identities are imposed upon you without your agreement.
All these identities are false at worst, or incomplete at best—due to the body being a vehicle for the soul. Empty your mind of all these false identities that reflect circumstance and karma, shape your destiny and every aspect of your beliefs. Imagine for a moment being formless, having no identities applied to you. Consider your true essence that is beyond identity or ego. Whatever the identities given to you, you are actually a soul housed in a human body. That’s the most important aspect—not the sex bit or the religion bit, or any other bit for that matter.
The more we have been sucked into conventions of the false identity and the ego-created self, the more we feel “lost.” Our disconnection in itself is an illusion fashioned by the mechanization of our spirits. It is not an actual loss, but an imagined one. We are the ones who have created this separation between us and our nature, us and the maternal Goddess, our Creator. What we truly are is beyond all notions of separation or non-separation. As Adyashanti said:
“The Truth of what you are is beyond all duality and all notions of non-duality. Yet it includes both. Like an ocean that is waves and stillness and yet un-definable as either one of them.”
How has this loss of power and understanding occurred and how can we get back our soul connection? How can we feel and operate from unconditional love for ourselves and others and re-introduce the sense of brotherly and sisterly love that was experienced by our ancestors living and surviving in communities? How do we transform our thinking into our true self beyond identity, and in the process, find our dharma?
How we understand ourselves is essential in philosophically facing this question.
When the Buddha described the concept of dukkha in his first teaching, he was talking about the nature of life being unsatisfying based on his experience of wealth and status that didn’t fulfill his heart. The Pali word “dukkha,” often mis-translated, has many meanings including that everything is “temporary” or “imperfect.” It was his destiny to see beyond the opulence of his kingdom – to see and feel the suffering of his brethren, and take that personally, take it on himself to transcend suffering, to enlighten their path. It is our dharma to perfect the world, and not sit by and surrender to ill-will, distortion or suffering.
Our culture has bred consumers that are half-asleep and numbed out by drugs, alcohol, television and systematization. The more you’re sleeping, the more you will follow each other like sheep, without questioning. Our society takes away the love, meaning, soulful connection and joy of being, and replaces it with the myth of consumerism. We are so hungry for soul love, for divine love, for feeling “whole and complete,” that we will keep buying things, and endlessly consuming to fill these insatiable needs. The void can never be filled with consumable things, status, money or drugs. It can only be filled by love, peace, connection and presence.
Our very divinity or connection to spirit is the harbinger of joy, because as spiritual beings, we are infinitely connected and never alone. The keeper of happiness is not the banks, economy or monetary system. It’s not in working harder.
Awaken, dear friends.
We are all collectively creating this dream of life. We are creating our happiness, our wellness, our world as it is. As co-creators, we thus have the individual responsibility to create a peaceful and harmonious world. If we each imagine our world as safe and filled with the joy of all life, it will be so. And so it is.
If our world is not as we wish, it is our duty and responsibility to change it in living action, not just as wishful thoughts. It is actions that make a significant difference living in this, a material world. Kindness in action will shift our entire reality—not only in how we behave toward fellow human beings, but also how we treat the animal and plant kingdoms.
Many are so afraid, even terrified to be themselves. They would rather choose not to be visible than to be seen, than to be who they are. One of my most important missions is to empower people to be themselves. If we are naked, then we reveal our true selves. Our soul essence arises from this space of authenticity. What this means is that in revealing all, we allow all parts of ourselves and others to be okay.
It is not our differences that define us. We are far more similar than we realize—feeling, breathing, dreaming creatures. We are all the same—as the poet Rumi wrote,
“Longing to find our way back.
Back to the One,
The Only One.”
We don’t need to suffer—we are not here to suffer.
The spiritual teacher, pragmatist Byron Katie writes in Loving What Is, “The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. When the mind is perfectly clear, what is is what we want.”
Pure acceptance of what presents itself removes the power of the suffering mind. When we accept what is happening, and accept whatever experience presents itself; whatever conditions we encounter are just so, conditions that will always be changing in the current of existence. All conditions are changing, all of life is transient. All of life is a teacher of impermanence. Streaming awareness is a dance that can transform in an instant to be something completely different.
Hate can metamorphose into love when awareness shifts.
The suffering “victim” asks, “Why me—why is this happening to me? It shouldn’t be happening this way. This is unfair. Why, why, why…?”
There, often in our nature, we feel an unfairness when we face challenging circumstances, particularly if we are not used to being resilient or not used to life being hard. If one is the recipient of a difficulty, particularly those that are unforeseen like an accident, or the sudden loss of a loved one or one’s own imminent death, it’s almost a natural response to resist, to ask “Why me?” and to question God. Our society does not teach us how to encounter grief and loss, how to process suffering, how to accept change.
We tend to create a lot of drama from the why me perspective. This trait is common to all of us, as it’s one of the fundamental archetypes. Important to note if you observe it in yourself, is that you are the creator of this conceptual framework and you are its victim. Seeing oneself as a victim prevents one from taking responsibility. It creates dependence and a lazy mind that surrenders—instead of taking action.
I do believe there is an implicit order and every story is a slightly different tune played with the same instruments or theme. We will all have to face the demon of unfairness at some point in our lives. Out of suffering, have emerged the likes of Helen Keller, Martin Luther-King, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela and so on. The famous psycho-analyst and holocaust survivor, author of the classic self-development bible Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl, believed that everyone has a specific purpose in life:
“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life… Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.”
If we view life from this perspective, it helps us to see and accept experience for what it is. It helps us to realize that each person has a unique karma, a unique journey—we each have a specific and important part to play. All that is happening is part of the Divine plan, a wondrous energy of love beyond our understanding. When the heart is opened, all else disappears and we become one with love, one with one’s purpose.
The moment your mind is connected to your heart, and you become clear and present in the experience and embodiment of love, you will know your purpose, because it will cease to live just in your thoughts—it will be felt, known, experienced and lived.
Will you take ownership of your own happiness and start being a person of purpose and integrity—orientating yourself to come from a heart space?
What is your purpose? Will you write your dreams in the sky and make them a reality by taking action today?
About the Author: David G. Arenson ND
David G. Arenson ND is an international SOUL-COACH who travels the world as a transformational healer and speaker. He is working on a book on self-empowerment, and developing journey retreats to places of spiritual activation. David is actively seeking partners to co-create his vision of an enlightened and unified planet of choice. He can be reached via email (davidgare[email protected]) and websites, findshambhala.com and mretreat.com