Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Law of Cause and Effect

Every action generates a force of energy that
returns to us in like kind . . . what we sow is what we reap.
And when we choose actions that bring happiness
and success to others, the fruit of our karma is
happiness and success.
Karma is the eternal assertion of human freedom.
. . . Our thoughts, our words, and deeds are
the threads of the net which we throw around ourselves.
~— Swami Vivekananda

The [universal] Law of Cause and Effect 
The third universal law of success is the Law of Karma. “Karma” is both action and the
consequence of that action; it is cause and effect simultaneously, because every
action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind.
There is nothing unfamiliar about the Law of Karma.
Everyone has heard the expression, “What you sow is what you reap.”
Obviously, if we want to create happiness in our lives, we must learn to sow the
seeds of happiness. Therefore, karma implies the action of conscious choice-making.

You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are
in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices. Some of these
choices are made consciously, while others are made unconsciously.
But the best way to understand and maximize the use of karmic law
is to become consciously aware of the choices we make in every moment.
Whether you like it or not, everything that is happening at this moment
 is a result of the choices you’ve made in the past. Unfortunately, a lot of us make choices unconsciously, and
therefore we don’t think they are choices — and yet, they are.

If I were to insult you, you would most likely make the choice of being offended. If I were to
pay you a compliment, you would most likely make the choice of being pleased or flattered. But
think about it: it’´s still a choice.
I could offend you and I could insult you, and you could make the choice of not being
offended. I could pay you a compliment and you could make the choice of not letting that flatter
you either.
In other words, most of us — even though we are infinite choice-makers — have become
bundles of conditioned reflexes that are constantly being triggered by people and circumstances
into predictable outcomes of behaviour. These conditioned reflexes are like Pavlovian conditioning.
Pavlov is famous for demonstrating that if you give a dog something to eat every time
you ring a bell, soon the dog starts to salivate when you just ring the bell, because it has
associated one stimulus with the other.

Most of us, as a result of conditioning, have repetitions and predictable responses to the
stimuli in our environment. Our reactions seem to be automatically triggered by people and
circumstances, and we forget that these are still choices that we are making in every moment of
our existence. We are simply making these choices unconsciously.

[Go on to Part 2]
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