Recap of Part One: We feel like Humpty Dumpty. We fell off the wall (symbol for our life, our identity). We feel traumatized. Shattered. Damaged. Rattled. I relax when I understand that, when karma from past lives ripens, I cannot change it. The only choice I have is the attitude I adopt.
When we’re in a serious crisis or have experienced some trauma, well-meaning friends give advice about what we “should do.” Some suggest “roll up your sleeves,” or “pull your socks up.” Others might suggest that we try to “get motivated” to change our situation, to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Others suggest that we should try to “solve” the crisis.
I myself embrace the following perspective:
How do you know when you don’t need people? When they’re not in your life. How do you know when you do need them? When they are in your life. You can’t control the comings and goings of the people you care for. What you can do is have a good life whether they come or go. You can invite them, and they come or not, and whatever the result is, that’s what you need. Reality is the proof of it.How do you know you don’t need to stand up? You’re sitting. Life becomes much simpler this way. How do you know when you need to do something? When you do it. To think that you need to do something when you’re not not doing it is a lie. It puts you in an uncomfortable position, full of shame, guilt, and frustration. Lying in bed, you chide yourself with the thought, “I need to get up,” and you don’t. But the truth is that you don’t need to get up. Not until you do.Do you try to motivate yourself with the thought tht you need to do something, and end up doing nothing? That would be an interesting discovery. “I need to do it” is just a thought. Try the effect of the turned-around version: “I don’t need to do it,” and notice that the only time that you need to do something is when you do it. It’s a wonderful experiment. Start small: Just lie in bed in peace, unpestered by yourself, until you notice that you’re getting up.You think you need to make a decision. You don’t — not until it’s made. Afterward you may notice that you didn’t actually make the decision: It made itself, right on time, the moment you had all the necessary information. (How do you know you had the information you needed? Because the decision made itself.)The direct route leaves you needing and loving [only] what’s going on in front of you.<source: Byron Katie: I Need Your Love – Is That True? paperback edition, page 189>
Another way to put this is that a shift in focus is needed from “Don’t just sit there. Do something!” to “Don’t just do something. Sit there.”As this weblog is about an indepth exploration of karma, the tie-in with that general theme in this particular webpost is that volitional action creates karma.