October 12, 2018 | Jon Mostad
The idea that I could expand my life, was actually given to me through reading a book about death. Dalai Lama's wise insight led by Jeffrey Hopkins in the book "Advice on Dying," gave me inspiration to understand death and therefore life, in an extended perspective. In this text, I reflect on Dalai Lama's thoughts.
Man has the choice to be in the lead for the development of own life. Man is an individualized soul and have developed the necessary mind to reflect on own behavior, choose new action strategies and create new insights based on experience. Man is a discerning and responsible being. This perspective is the basis of my texts. Weekly I post my blog Friday at 1700 European time and post it on to Facebook. My Instagram account updates daily with Quotes and Captions, where the weekly theme is deepened.
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«Everyone dies but no one is dead» (unknown)
In one of the many sayings that inspire me and unfortunately I can not remember the source. The student asks his master about what happens after death. The master answers «can you ever remember you have not lived?».
I smile at the answer and think the answer holds great insight. Obviously, the student can not remember when she / he has not lived, even everyone dies, no one is dead!
You must be led into an Oriental idea of life, to know the confidentiality of a lifeview where you live life for life, through (the closest) infinity of incarnations. The body dies, but you do not die. You are an immortal soul that uses a physical body to develop your soulful insight and ultimately gain enlightenment. The Western performance is far more reserved for the story of reincarnation of the soul. It is beyond the limitation of my text this time to discuss these two views of soul, body, life and death. I only assume that the Oriental narrative gives me another starting point for understanding my present life in a context of past and future.
Once you were a stone
If I ever met you - and that would be nice, I would meet you with the knowledge that you have become an individualized human soul through an infinite long journey via the realm of minerals, the realm of plants and the realm of animals. Part of the hidden and forgotten wisdom, which was delivered to ancient people by a civilization that we can only see through symbols and codified stories today, tells us that "we have come from dust, and from dust we shall resurrect."
The universe is energy and therefore you are energy, and as energy you are immortal. No energy in the universe can disappear. It can dissolve in its form but not disappear. Today, even our Western science of nature is of the opinion that the universe seems to develop based on an intelligent, conscious and self-formulating formula.
Life - a karmic tissue
Many in the West know the word "karma" and use it in daily talk and jargon. I would think most would have enjoyed a deeper understanding of the term and perhaps benefiting from listening to the great religious narratives about karma. When I read what Hinduism and Buddhism teach us about karma, the accounts give life my opinion, support and comfort. You will surely be delighted to put into these stories if you have not already done so.
Life is a karmic tissue. What can I do with it?
Everything is energy. Thoughts, emotions, words and actions are energy. The universe is a "thought image" created by a transcendent force we call God, whom we can not understand. This power of God choosed to create itself in a picture, a tissue, and this weave are you and I co-creating. We weave our lives through thoughts, feelings, words and actions. As long as our lives create new karma, we will continue in the infinite circulation of life, which in turn creates new karma, etc. We can first escape the incarnation treadmill by creating lives that do not create new karma. How do we do that? Through enlightened actions. When we act without separation, in emptiness as form, our actions will be enlightened and they will not create new karma. This is the way to enlightenment. The illuminated need not to incarnate. Karma is probably more complicated to explain and to understand than I get in this short text. You can let my text be a simple preliminary sketch.
The purpose of life - your dharma
Yes, many people know the term karma. Fewer people know the term dharma. Both concepts are understood and explained somewhat differently, depending on the tradition in which you apply for the explanation. I would recommend you to seek a deeper understanding of both concepts, an understanding that may be valid for you.
I can explain Dharma as my «purpose of life». I also see that the term is explained as the «duty of life». By living my dharma into action, I can find a way to wind up my karma. Dharma and Karma are connected and assume each other.
I know many people who seek «the meaning of life,» and some of them also more specifically seek their individual «life’s purpose». To me there is a big difference from finding an opinion with life and finding the very purpose of life. In my spiritual teaching to the one who asks, the story sounds like this: you are born for a life purpose. Life is anything but a random meeting between a woman and a man. Life is predetermined, thoughtful and planned. You are born into life for one purpose - with a dharma. Part of your karmic challenge is to seek out the wisdom you need to understand life in this way, seek the way for insight into your dharma and take the choices that make you deliver your dharma into action.
Expand your life
The above story is a picture you can choose to make sense with or not. You can put the picture away or use it to make sense in the life you live right now. You discontinue karma by seeking and acquiring a greater knowledge of life, about your life's purpose, and by putting your life’s purpose into action. Your physical body limits your biological life span. After a number of years, you will lay your body away. Your soul will enter the life after the physical death and stay in what is commonly called "afterlife". Here, your soul is cleansed and prepared for a new journey into physical life.
Here I find trust in the wise story of Dalai Lama about the preparation of the physical body's death and the afterlife's stay. The knowledge that I will return to the physical body for a new life gives me inspiration. By "expanding my life" I can prevent and prepare for the new life that follows.
The fewest see life in this way and do not hold the conscious knowledge of the possibility of "expanding their lives."
The teachings of karma explain to me that pain and adversity in life is the creation of imbalances from past lives, from failures I myself have been responsible for. By being active looking for my present dharma, I can create past failures and create prerequisites for a new rich life to come after this.
Such is the story of karma and dharma, in a simple sketch that requires your specialization. The key to a rich living life and a rich future life is about what the Dalai Lama understands with the term "get an extended life."
I think the narrative is a beautiful teaching.