~We are in full control~
Some of us are born to privileged circumstances while others are born to troublesome or mediocre circumstances.
Why is this?! Why have we been born into the family and circumstances that we have been born into? Is it our fate or is it something else?
Some traditions say that we chose our lives before we came into this existence. Some say we have been put in this body for us to learn certain lessons.
In this post I want to share my perspective on this topic which is influenced by my Buddhist upbringing.
It is said in Buddhism that everything in existence is here because of a cause. Nothing can exist without a cause. This is known as the law of cause and effect which is further explained by the concept of dependent origination.
So what does this mean? Well it means that we are here in the family that we are born into and in the circumstances we are in is due to some causes or actions we did in a previous incarnation.
You may ask the question how do we know we had a previous life and whether reincarnation is real. To this my answer is I don’t know whether it is real. To me the idea that we come back in a different form makes sense just from my observation of the nature around me. For instance, if we look at rain, once it lands on the earth, the heat makes it evaporate and it turns back into clouds. It then comes back to earth as rain. The cycle continues. Similarly, when our bodies decompose, it seems fair (at least to me) to think that we come back in a different form. Also, there are accounts of people who remember their past lives if you believe such stories.
So to continue, the conditions to which we come back is dependent on the law of cause and effect. when we do any action we give rise to a cause and this cause will inevitably will have an effect. We may experience these effects in the same life time. But some effects may take longer to ripen and will come to expression in a different life time.
When we come to our current birth we bring with us the Karma or the results of our past deeds into this incarnation. Based on our Karma or causes we created, we will attract parents and life circumstances that are most conducive to expressing results of our Karma.
Therefore it is due to our own actions in our previous lives, that we are in the circumstances we are currently in. Not only that, we are also constantly in the process of creating new Karma in this life time. This means that our present actions will give rise to the effects we will experience later in this life time and the next.
So the point to take home is that according to the concept of Karma we are in full control of the life circumstances we attract as our own actions is the result of our circumstances. This means that if we want to attract good life circumstances not only in this life but the next, we must perform good deeds from the three avenues of Karma. The three avenues of Karma include thoughts, words and actions.
As for the Karma we have already set in motion, we can minimise the effects of these by becoming more mindful of our current actions. And we can choose to create positive Karma from now and forward.
Therefore, no matter what our circumstances are, we can learn to think pleasant thoughts, speak pleasant words and do good deeds and we can create good Karma for our future.
Hope you enjoyed the read.