I have had a book for over 10 years in my collection that I read from time to time, and every time it changes my day, my life and possibly the entire world, because of the radical way this author brings the reader to greater freedom, to make changes that did not seem possible.
Here is a passage about Karma, and the different way it is viewed by the “Hawaiian Way of the Adventurer”:
In some Eastern traditions (as well as some Western metaphysical ones) your present circumstances are the effect of decisions and actions in past lives. If those were good decisions and action, you have good experiences now, but if they were bad ones you have pain, suffering and sorrow to the the same degree you gave it out in one or more of those other lives. This is called “Karma” , a Sanskrit word usually translated as “cause and effect” or “reward and debt.” The good actions you perform now create “good” karma and the bad actions you perform now create “bad” karma for our next lives. In these traditions karma isn’t usually something you can change; all you can do is reap the rewards or work off the debts of the past.
One common Western tradition holds that you are rewarded in this life for obeying specific social or religious rules, and punished in this life for breaking those rules, no matter how long ago you obeyed them or broke them, nor whether or not anyone was there to see you do it. Some people trained in this tradition may carry twenty years of guilt for having driven past a stop sign in the Arizona desert at 2 A.M. a hundred miles away from any other human soul.
Another more Western tradition lays the praise or blame for your present attitude, actions and circumstances on heredity and your early social environment. The implication is that you were shaped by forces beyond your control and cannot be held responsible for what your genes, your parents, or society did to you.
The Shamanic tradition, both warrior and adventurer, is in stark contrast to the above views. It says that the past did not give you what you have today, nor make you what you are today. It is your beliefs, decisions and actions today about yourself and the world around you that give you what you have, and make you what you are. KARMA exists and OPERATES only IN the PRESENT moment. Your environment and circumstances in this moment are the direct reflections of your mental and physical behavior IN THIS MOMENT. (caps mine). Thanks to memory we may carry over habits of body and mind from day to day, but each day is a new creation and any habit can be changed in any present moment–although that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Your genes do not determine what you are or what occurs in your body. Instead, as an effect of your beliefs, you select out of the immense resources of your gene pool those characteristics that best reflect your present beliefs and intentions. In the same way, your parents or social background have nothing to do with your present circumstances, but what you believe about them now and how you react to those beliefs now most certainly does. To the degree that you change yourself in the present moment–your thoughts and your behaviors–you change your world.
Thanks for reading. I will post more from this material next time: The next post will touch on how the “present moment” is defined – and how that definition empowers you to change the past and the future in ways you only thought possible in your fondest dreams.