Disobey your expectations.
Throw away the list of things to do.
Live today as if there was no tomorrow. Or, better yet, as if Death will greet you sooner than you imagine.
That realization came to me today as part of a dream about reality. And how I can live my life with the dual expectations offered by Buddhism and Christianity. Both involve dying. And being “born again.”
You live your life with the expectation of an “afterlife.” Christianity calls it Heaven. Buddhism, Enlightenment. Both suggest that I live my life along two tracks of, let’s say “consciousness” for want of a better word. One life is for today — the daily experiences, hopes and dreams for a family, a career, as well as my community and the spirituality that blossoms from within and also from sacred teachings and a group of fellow travellers along my journey.
The other is for the next life.
Karma exists in both “worlds” of consciousness. What I do, has an effect either in this life or the next. Both the good and the bad. However, pleasure derived from a wrong motive or wrong action may have a major effect on where I arrive after Death. Right action and right motive could do likewise.
Revulsion from taking action or refraining to act in the face of unpleasantries, could force the same outcome. Unless I treat what I dislike with a sensitive viewpoint, and ask why am I repulsed, what causes me to take such an offense from another person, place or thing that appears harmful?
Jesus told me to “turn the other cheek” when confronted by an enemy who has struck me. I always believed that this lesson was more of a request to forgive that enemy and not to retaliate. To become meek. Passive.
Buddhism tells me to not only refrain from “acting out,” refrain from retaliating, but also to seek the possible hidden message in the harm I receive from an assault, from an aversion. Treat that harm as a “gem,” treasure it for the lesson I can learn from it.
The suffering being imposed might be caused by actions or ommisions I committed early in my life, my youth, my career, my search for Higher Understanding. Or, those from a previous life in one of the Six Realms that exists and will be my new home in an additional life or several lives, according to Buddhist teachings.
Either way, karma predicts that for every thing I “cause,” there is, or will be, an effect. Quantum physics holds me responsible for the reality I create in my “individual universe,” and must deal with my actions. I have also found in my present journey that most belief systems end with the same conclusion:
“. . . the Love you take
is equal to . . .
the Love you make . . .”
— The Beatles
I want to make more love today for a rebirth through death tomorrow. That’s how I plan to live from now on.
At least, that is my new intention. How about you?