Meaning, Life and Karma

Meaning, Life and Karma

This came up recently in a non-duality forum. I thought it worth sharing here.

In the philosophies around non-duality, they indicate that all life has meaning and that the principles are simple. However, due to the vast intricacies of how those principles interplay, the complexity is “unfathomable”.

Essentially, you could say there are several layers to what is being experienced. There is the dynamic of life itself, seeking expression and a return to its source. People will typically describe this as happening through them, such as a creative muse or awakening or intuition.

And there is the surface dynamics of action, karma or what we’d call energy in the west. The play of action with itself. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Simple principles, complex outcomes. Mixed into this is how we’re responding to what is here. What do we cling to, what do we resist, and what do we allow to be as it is? As the Serenity prayer puts it:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Part of the awakening process is disengaging from the surface dynamics and learning to be with the flow of life itself. This is an effect of discovering the underlying reality of being.

Related to all this is the debate over free will vs determinism. How much of all this is choice and how much is determined? It turns out this is directly related to how we’re seeing it. For example, the choices of the past are the determinism of the present. And the choices now, determinism of the future. Similarly, our stage of development will shift our perception. People in survival mode will experience a lot of determinism. Someone self actualized, a lot of choice. And someone newly awake may experience the world as predetermined and that there is no me to make a choice. At a certain point, it is seen as concurrent and essentially the same thing. When you are that from which all arises, you are that which chooses and that which determines both. There is no distinction. That would be a non-dual experience.

Meaning is found in the flow of life, not in the dynamics of action. We find it first within, then through that, underlying the dynamics of the world.

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