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Karma, Reincaranation, Nonduality and Spirit

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Karma, Reincarnation, Nonduality and Spirit

By Remez Sasson

Karma means that the individual's actions determine his fate, whether in this or in a successive life. Every action has to be balanced in some way, in this or another life. It is not punishment. By doing certain actions, certain energies are set in motion, which bring certain effects. There is a tendency towards balance in the Universe, and karma is the law that restores this balance.

Reincarnation is the rebirth of the soul in a new body. Karma affects the new body and determines the circumstances into which it is born. Both of them can explain a lot of things in each one's life. A life of comfort and success means that the person performed good deeds in a previous life, and a life of difficulties, failure and adversities is a retribution for negative past actions.

In the East they say that there are three kinds of karma. The first is the one, which a person is paying and undergoing now, in this life, and which is the result of his past actions. The second kind is that which waiting in store, and will come out in a future life. The third is that which a person is creating right now, with his present actions.

Who is it that reincarnates? Is it the physical body? The physical body does not reincarnate, but it is the body that undergoes the effects of karma.

Are you your thoughts and feelings, and do they reincarnate? They are passing visitors. One moment certain thoughts and feelings may pass through your mind, and the next moment you may be aware of different ones. This means that you are not your thoughts, neither your feelings. You are their host for a little while. They affect your karma and reincarnation, but are not a definite entity which goes through them.

Who are you then, and who is it that undergoes reincarnations and is affected by karma?

Most people will say that it is the soul that reincarnates, but what is the soul? It is an ambiguous term. If someone says, "my soul reincarnates" or "my soul is eternal", he is actually saying that there are two different entities. There is he, and there is his soul, which means that he is not the soul. Excuse me for the comparison, but it is like saying, "I have a pair of shoes", "I have a car" and "I have a soul". It is regarded as a possession. This means that it is possible to be "with a soul" and "without a soul". Does this sound reasonable to you?

If a soul is a "possession", then who is the owner? He must be more important then the soul.

I would like to introduce you to a perspective that comes from the Eastern nonduality tradition. It says that there is just one kind of energy, power or spirit filling the whole Universe. This power "playfully" expresses itself through myriads of forms it has created from itself. Each form erroneously considers itself as a separate entity, and passes through various experiences. It is one and indivisible power seeing the world through the eyes of the many forms it has created.

Each entity feels that it is living a unique life with past present and future. The mind that is attached to each entity builds all kinds of theories about life, evolution and fate. Are these theories real? If we accept the nonduality philosophy, we have to accept that there is just One Spirit, not many, and that this Spirit never actually reincarnates, and the karma it undergoes is illusory. Then who is it that experiences karma and reincarnation?

The practical conclusion is that though we encounter various situations, and live in different circumstances, deep down we are all the same One Spirit. This Spirit is not touched by any situation or circumstances. If you wake up to the awareness of this Spirit, where is then karma and reincarnation?

When the consciousness of the Spirit is directed towards itself, through concentration and meditation, and not towards the body and the surrounding world, one realizes that he is an integral part of the eternal and undivided Spirit. He experiences a spiritual awakening, and then both reincarnation and karma lose their meaning, power and reality.

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