By Sri Harold Klemp
What do you suppose makes people unhappy? A survey would probably list a hundred reasons, both real and imagined.
Now how many of those people do you think would like to hear the true reason for their unhappiness? Just a guess—very few.
The choices you’ve made in the past are the direct cause of all your unhappiness today.
If this answer doesn’t suit you, don’t read another word. You have better things to do. But maybe you’re one of the few people who doesn’t absolutely reject the above explanation for your unhappiness. Then keep reading. Perhaps you’ll see how and why individuals make bad choices.
Most important, you may learn how to stop making them.
How We Get Here
Soul enters this world to pursue a series of tasks, for each is an exercise in spiritual purification. Taken as a whole, these assignments make up one’s destiny. To set the tone for Its mission, Soul enters a new lifetime with a body of strength or weakness, of great intellect or a simple mind, in a popular shade of skin or not, either as a male or a female, into wealth or poverty.
The idea of destiny as a concept is out of fashion in much of today’s Western society. People want to be captains of their own lives. They wish to run their own fate. They will shape their own tomorrows. Yet how can they do so without a knowledge of and an appreciation for the meticulous Law of Karma?
Or especially, of the Law of Love?
In spite of all fictions about who is the master of their own fate, they cannot even set the conditions of their birth. So the rules of karma and reincarnation remain a mystery, and they find a great deal of sorrow and disappointment in the outcome of their plans.
How could the stiff rules of karma include them?
Many would like to think they don’t, sure of being above the common pool of humanity and thus exempt from these rules.
The Lords of Karma
By and large, though, the Lords of Karma—not the individual—select a family for each Soul. They are responsible for the distribution of karma from the time each Soul first enters this world.
The Lord of Karma is like a minor’s guardian. He administers a trust on behalf of a spiritual infant, arranging for him or her to join a family with the best prospect for that Soul’s unfoldment. In selecting the time and place of reincarnation, the Lord of Karma is the sole judge. He is the sole arbiter in the choice of a body, health, family, or future. The Lord of Karma alone sets the conditions of most people’s fate.
Placement is a simple karmic detail. The Law of Karma governs all such placements, and he is only its agent.
The primal seed for each incarnation exists under the umbrella of destiny, which we also call past-life karma. On a practical level, genetic, cultural, and social elements combine to decide Soul’s place in this world. For people on the lower end of the survival scale, the Lord of Karma alone chooses the time and place of rebirth.
Soul Follows the Script
Soul then follows the script of destiny and enters a physical body.
After birth, the name of the game is survival. The survival scale, by definition, is a measure of one’s can-do instincts.
But karmic placement does set other standards for individuals on the high end of the spiritual scale. Most of them enjoy a voice in the choice of a human body or place of birth. They sense the need for spiritual freedom, a view gained from many past lives, and the self-responsibility that goes along with the package. So these Souls demonstrate creative ideas and inventiveness in their incarnations. For the most part they are cheerful, upbeat people.
Spiritual gains in past lives have given them a voice in choosing some of the conditions in their present incarnation.
They have earned the right.
Think of destiny as the equipment, talents, or gifts that one brings to this life. They carry a divine mandate to use them for the good of all life. It’s our responsibility to do so, with wisdom.
The idea of destiny, or fate, is poked fun at in many Western circles. Yet it is an age-old principle of the spiritual life.
What is the basis for a cultural bias against fate?
People are in a state of confusion about it. They wonder, How can fate and free will exist side by side? Destiny controls the conditions at birth. Much of what an individual does after birth is an open book, an exercise in free will.
To sum up, fate governs the conditions at birth; free will allows a choice as to how to move beyond them.
Free will can offset or even overcome the drawbacks of destiny, but only through the awakening of one’s consciousness. One may thus reshape both his material and spiritual life.
—Excerpted from ECK Wisdom on Karma and Reincarnation