By Andrew Shykofsky
The Truth, the Life and the Way as demonstrated by Jesus can take you off the Wheel of Karma
The Mystic Rumi wrote a poem called Spring Giddiness. Here is an excerpt;
I would love to kiss you.
The price of kissing is your life.
Now my loving is running toward my life shouting,
What a bargain, let’s buy it.
Let’s imagine Rumi is talking about love for God. In order to get so close that you feel you are in such an intimate embrace with God, you must give up your life. The part of you that loves, runs toward your life, metaphorically and proclaims tremendous enthusiasm. “What a bargain. Let’s take it.” You can feel the unbridled certainty in the decision. It’s a no brainer. Why wouldn’t you give up a life of struggle, uncertainty and aloneness for a life in constant union with God?
We might say that the one whom is speaking in this poem recognizes that it is a steal to simply give up the life you are trying to live in exchange for that closeness with God. This is true and slowly but surely, a disciple on the Way comes to accept this teaching and strives to live it in its entirety. We can feel somewhat euphoric when we pronounce our desire to do just that. And then there is some hard work ahead.
Before we discover and open to Jesus meaning we recognize that He was the promised individual sent by God to free mankind, we don’t yet understand Grace and its companion, forgiveness. These are the gifts that Jesus brought as part of His Mission. He taught that by forgiving those who had hurt you, loving your enemies and seeing the good in people created a dynamic where God would in turn forgive you.
The reason many people reject this teaching is that they haven’t allowed themselves to realize their need to be forgiven. This is a defining moment on the Path when you can allow the hard shell of protection to crack and you see yourself more clearly. In future lessons, we will probe deeper into this phenomenon because it is one of the most liberating experiences when you awaken to how you have lived without God and all the errors you made while trying to get your needs met on your own.
In tonight’s lesson we want to highlight and direct you to the Way of Grace. Before we choose this Way, we find ourselves on the Wheel of Karma. This is where life kicks back to us the very same energy that we put out. In America we hear the expression ‘What goes around comes around.’ And most are comfortable agreeing that this is true. We could say that it’s fine to live karmically because it is a self-correcting, precise system that is totally fair. It can get a bit tricky when we experience karma from activities done in prior lifetimes as most of us found our family of origin quite lacking. Let’s simply consider that we went through what we did and that God made sure it was just.
But there is no reason to continue living out your karma since most of us generate a lot of hardship until we learn about Grace and forgiveness. God could see that we humans had an uncontrollable tendency to act out of accord with the commandments He provided and were continually building up negative karma. It is as though we all carry a debt and we can’t pay it off fast enough while continuing to build up more debt. God saw that we were digging ourselves deeper and deeper in the hole and so He sent Jesus to bring a new covenant.
The new covenant is the Way sometimes referred to as the Way, the Truth and the Life. The reason the Gospel is proclaimed as the good news is that taking on and partaking of the new covenant frees you from the karma that is like a heavy burden on the soul. Like it or not, we all have a serious debt load for the errors and misgiving of our past. If you get angry about this and fight it, it means you are still blinded by your pride. It is a very strong pattern in us that when we get caught doing something wrong, we get angry because somewhere we had justified our actions.
These incorrect concepts have been born out of bad decisions tied to old wounding. Jesus’ covenant and life in accord with His Way will eventually free you of all that negativity. The key is that God has instructed us to participate in the covenant through Christ. And this is the very thing that tends to block participation for so many. Our pride and wounding have led us to be very suspicious when were are told we have to do something. Add a particular person in the mix, as in it has to be through Jesus and many people freak out.
For tonight, let’s try to forget about the actions of people that have proclaimed allegiance to Jesus and then acted out of integrity. Let’s instead set our hearts on having the experience of knowing Jesus, His Love and the liberation that is promised. Again, the liberation is from all the karma that sits on our backs like a sack of heavy rocks. Jesus’ promise is that He will lift it from you if only you give your heart to Him and acknowledge the Truth, that He is the Begotten Son of God, sent as the Redeemer of mankind who have been shackled by sin for thousands of years.
It is a choice. You can reject Jesus because Christians have irritated you or disappointed you or you can forgive those who have fallen short and keep your eyes upon the Sovereign Lord who did not falter in the face of the challenge He was given. Jesus was given the task of being the Sacrificial Lamb for all of Mankind. In truth, it was Him and Mother Mary as both the masculine and feminine aspects of humanity needed to be transformed. These two sacrificed themselves, acting as though they were the guilty ones, which the Christian masses proclaim as ‘taking on the sin of the World’ yet they were totally innocent and undeserving of the torture they endured.
You might say this one act overrode God’s Law of karma for in not deserving to suffer but choosing to, out of love for all people, God granted an eternal pardon to us. He accepted Jesus and Mary’s act of selflessness to be such a perfect expression of Love as to wipe out karma for all of humanity up to that moment in time. Imagine you had been swallowed under financial debt and one day, the bank calls and says they won’t require any further house payments. It’s all yours free and clear! This is the reason we fall to our knees and Praise God for the miracle of Christ.
The hardest part appears to be first recognizing the true nature of your sin. Being self deprecating, self hating and being too afraid to participate in life, is not the core of our sinfulness. It is the hard heartedness that has us treating our brothers and sisters so callously. Letting fear dominate you is an act of selfishness because you haven’t done the inner work to be liberated. Most people who walk the Path at some point cringe when they allow themselves to see how they have chosen to live prior to knowing God. It is in that moment when the wave of humility sweeps through them and they thank God so completely for the Way of Grace brought by Christ Jesus. His commitment to fulfil his Mission was the act of Love that now permits us to apologize in remorse for how we have been. And in that moment, God smiles upon us and forgives us.
Do you not see how a man who is truly remorseful and recognizing of their errors deserves your forgiveness? When you really see this and have the courage to bring yourself before the Lord, you will feel a kind of Love that boggles the mind. It baffles us because we have not been able to get there towards others. God through Jesus shows us this example. The whole system is so beautiful because in the process, we experience the power of love.
So remember, the choice is always available. Stay away from Jesus and live out your karma. Even aim to live a good moral life. You’ll reduce your negative karma and good things will come to you. But choose the Way of Christ and you enter into a realm of accelerated growth and gifts that are totally undeserved meaning not earned by your actions. They are God’s way of saying you are on the right track.
Teacher: Andrew Shykofsky