One of the highest principles in life is to be helpful to one another yet nothing in life could be more misunderstood. Most of our helpfulness actually interferes with a person’s efforts to use their karma effectively.
This stems from our inability to see ourselves as a greater being incarnating many times throughout history in an effort to become ever more conscious. These advances in consciousness are no different to the concept of advances in technology – we all have to upgrade our operating system.
If we can try to imagine the collection of lives we live on this earth then we can view ourselves more broadly as having a past, a present and a future that straddles all our incarnations. Then we can see that our actions in the past give rise to our present circumstances. Therefore, what we prepare in this life will have its rewards in a future life.
This being the case, it becomes obvious that we need to adjust our attitude towards those people who annoy us in life. It is true that no man is an island because we need each other to become aware of who we really are. It is through our interactions with each other that we become aware of ourselves and our place in the scheme of things. The tool for doing this is our karma.
We know that in life we always want to be with those we like, and we avoid, as much as possible, those we don’t like. This does little to assist any of us to upgrade our operating system. We need to find ways to view our difficulties differently. Whenever we have difficult interactions with others, instead of blaming them, we need to find a way of being grateful to them for giving us the opportunity to reap the reward we set up in a past life. Unless we do this, the situation keeps repeating, through various people and situations, until we do.
In this sense, we must have compassion for the one who presents our karma to us. They have accepted the task of assisting us to achieve our potential. It may well be through the circumstances of their own karma – but that is their affair. If we really understand this then we know that our destiny is created by us, not by some impersonal power. When we understand that our karma gives us the opportunity to become who we really are, then we can love our karma and transform our relationships.
Rudolf Steiner puts it this way. “In reality, karma is a redemption of man by himself, by dint of his own efforts as he gradually ascends to freedom through the series of incarnations. It is through karma that man is able to draw near to Christ. … Karma is gradual redemption, Christ is the Redeemer.” An Esoteric Cosmology Ch 17
Image: El Rio de Luz (The River of Light). Church, Frederic Edwin: American, 1826 – 1900