We usually understand something to be a problem only when it negatively impacts out awareness. If we don’t take notice of the situation or issue, we don’t see it as a problem. This is the common understanding and it is not correct. Problems have depth. We don’t have to identify a problem immediately for it to exist. A situation can be intolerable at an unconscious level without our even knowing about it. We can experience distress without knowing the cause. And sometimes we can be totally oblivious to the possibility of a greater level of happiness in our lives if only the hidden problem was resolved. For example, a deer has a specific range of living. It never goes beyond a particular distance from the place it is born. If a fence is put up around the deer just beyond the furthest edge of its self-imposed range of movement, is the deer free? Only under some extraordinary circumstances would the deer ever come into awareness of the fence and realize it is confined. The same is true for humans. We typically operate within a self-designed comfort zone. As long as nothing pushes us beyond our personal range or space, we feel free and content. If we keep within our own comfort zones, we might never have any problems. The deer will never go beyond its self-imposed limits, so the fence is not a problem. Yet, psychologically, the potential problem is always there.
As mystics we have embarked on a journey designed to push us well beyond all limitations. Sooner or later, if we continue our efforts to grow, we will come to the end of our free range space – we will come face to face with the hidden fences that seem to contain us and we will need to act. If we don’t want to take action to expand our horizons then we should get off the mystic path (not really possible) and stop pretending we want to run fee.
The poet, Richard Lovelace, once wrote, “Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage; minds innocent and quiet take that for an hermitage.” Circumstances are what they are. They are not, in themselves, good or bad. Problems arise in our awareness colored by the natural deletion, distortion and generalization of information. Problems, so-called, have a psychological basis that involves the conscious and subconscious mind. Understanding the NATURE of any problem as it arises in one’s life, can enable a person to better resolve it. Meditation can work wonders, but if deep layers of inner conflict and unresolved emotional attachments exist, you might need the help of a counselor or metaphysical practitioner. Yet, aside from psychological and emotional concerns that might exist, there can also be psychic and karmic issues dwelling at the deepest levels of the mind.
Karma is a mystical law of ACTION. It relates to the flow of events in life, most often sequential. Karma is often described as the Law of Cause and Effect. On the physical plane of awareness, this is perceived as the natural order of things. A stone is dropped into a still lake, and this action results in ripples flowing out from the source of the disturbance. Karma takes on a more complex nature in the case of advanced mystics or when dealing with Temporal Mechanics – processes involving time and consciousness. It is possible for effects to generate causes and it is possible for effects and causes to be related but still independent of each other. It is possible that there is no FIRST CAUSE of events in the universe. The stone and the ripples in the lake may be related in other ways or not related at all. Highly advanced sages are not bound by the limitations of karma at all. Even people not long on the PATH demonstrate some independence from Cause and Effect principles. For example, a journeyman astrologer can prepare a natal or birth chart for a person that predicts their life in great detail. Yet a similar chart is meaningless to a person on the PATH who is no longer bound by the impact of past events. A master astrologer (and there are but few of them) will be more attuned to this possibility and interpret a chart accordingly.
If a great many disturbances seem to be impacting your life there are three types of Karmic Cause that might be operating. While about 95% of conflict in life is due to present life events, there may be some past life issues that are also being worked out.
Three Types of Karmic Cause
ONE REASON for numerous disturbances is that you are refusing to accept the obvious consequences of your behavior and really need to wake up to your own way of being. A man breaks all the light bulbs in his house and then wonders why he sits in the dark. A woman smokes three packs of cigarettes a day and wonders why she is always coughing. Fast food restaurants report record high profits and people wonder why a high percentage of American children are overweight.
ANOTHER REASON for an increase in disturbances is that you are increasing your awareness and are pushing against your comfort zone in ever more ways.
A THIRD REASON is that you have determined to travel the mystic path and your decision has signaled your deeper mind to hit you with every lesson your TRUE SELF ever felt you needed to learn to reach self-mastery.
The first reason is the most common. It can be handled by accepting responsibility for your life and making conscious decisions to manage your situation. The second reason is one most likely to be faced by people who read articles like this: there are practical, meditative techniques and principles available that can handle the apparent discomfort that is actually “growing pains.” The third reason is very rare. It is responsible for knocking people off the PATH of light and sending them either into the “dark night of the soul” or onto the dark side of mysticism where other strange experiences await them. Those who are not knocked off the PATH have the potential to be great teachers and initiates.
The basic method for resolving problems, whether of a Karmic nature or not, is to remove the cause in your own mind. Detach yourself from any emotional need you might have to participate in the troublesome experience, reframe it or relieve it of energy, and when the psychic reason for it is withdrawn, so too will be the problem itself. Carl Jung once said that “one doesn’t solve problems; one outgrows them.” When you, as the metaphorical deer, stumble upon the hidden fence and decide to go past it, more resources, choices and opportunities become available and old problems become irrelevant. The teachings of Mysticism are designed to help you accomplish this growth by promoting a sensitization of self to higher spiritual consciousness.
The Effect on YOU
Expanded human awareness permits more control over the mind and the energy of the universe. Mystically, the energy you project reflects back on you. That doesn’t mean that what you wish on others will befall you, for good or ill. It means that a psychic flow generates results – internally as well as externally. For the mystically untrained person, there is more internal concentration than external because without experience it is difficult to focus energy outwards towards a specific result. Energy flows out of most people randomly and dissipates in all directions. However, there is less opportunity for the energy to dissipate internally and thus the effects are more strongly felt. There is more than mere anecdotal evidence that feelings of anger, hostility and hatred create internal stresses leading to heart disease, ulcers and nerve damage. It can also be seen that happy, content and caring people have fewer health problems and tend to live longer.