|[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 398 ]
To the average person, life might appear to be random and chaotic -- but everything happens according to Divine law. The cosmos is organized. Man is disorganized and confused. There are no accidents in nature -- only causes and effects.
"According to the occultist [spiritualist], nothing in existence is outside of the realm of law… He [the yogi] does not subscribe to the absurd doctrine that in one half of her realm [pertaining to the physical sciences], Nature works strictly and precisely according to law, and in the other half leaves everything to chance. He does not believe that when you set into motion a 'cause' in the field of physics and chemistry that there is always a reaction corresponding to that action, but that when you inflict terrible suffering on large masses of people, or bring happiness and comfort to others, that Nature does not take notice of such things and merely lets you do as you like or consider as necessary. And yet this is precisely the attitude of those who say that they do not believe in the law of karma, which governs human life and conduct. And it is this chaotic thinking, even among those who profess to be rationalists, which is responsible for much of the chaos and conflict which we find in the world today."
~ I.K. Taimni, Glimpses into the Psychology of Yoga
In yoga, we recognize three primary sources of karma. The First is called Adhyamika Karma.
This is the karma which arises from one's own Self, or the internal Self - the wheels which are constantly being set into motion throughout every moment of our daily lives as a result of our thoughts, intentions, words and actions.
It is important also to consider that not only our actions have certain ramifications, but so too do our 'omissions', or that which we should have done, but didn't. That which we fail to do can have equally powerful effects in the cause and effect chain of events. Thus, yoga is defined as skill in action. It is cultivating the ability to do the right thing, in the right way, at the right time.
Adhyamika karma can arise out of our long-forgotten childhood past or even from past life activity, as much as it can from actions and omissions within the realm of our current mental recall. Everything that IS in your life today is a combination of everything that was created through all of the past moments in your life leading up to now.
Karma, then, is a vast and intricate web of inter-connected influences. This lays great confusion upon the linear-thinking mind, which wants to see only direct, 1:1 cause and effect relationships. If I were to ask you what has caused your current situation in life, it would be impossible for you to answer me, unless you could recount every single event, thought, word, action and omission throughout the entirety of this life and all lives past, which have collectively combined to place you exactly where you are right now.
Knowing this, however, we can see the great power that we have to consciously influence our future life situation. Each and every thought, each and every action or omission that we engage in today sets in motion a chain of causality which lays out our unseen future. This is precisely what is referred to by the expression 'creating one's own reality'.
Knowing this, the yogis have given us a road map, teaching us what behaviours will unfold for us a higher, more fruitful life, and which will lead us to a life of constant pain and frustration.
NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.
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