"The Karma News" by Past Forward, Past Life Healing
"The Karma News"
is a FREE E-zine from Past Forward, Past Life
Healing, of Marlton, NJ, USA. Prepared for friends, clients, and opt-in subscribers
Read by the spiritually aware and karmically minded world wide.
IN THIS ISSUE: This Month's Theme -
Morals & Manners
Consider these words of Adlai Stevenson on the evolution of karma on Earth...
better known to most as the "Common Human Tragedy":
"Most human beings have to spend their lives in utter vulnerability.
All are murderable and torturable, and survive only through the restraint
shown by more powerful neighbors. All are born unequal, in terms of capacity
or strength. All are born in the inherent frailty of the human condition,
naked and helpless, vulnerable all through life to the will of others,
limited by ignorance, limited by physical weakness, limited by fear, limited
by the phobias fear engenders."
"For nearly three thousand years now, the political and social genius
of what we can permissibly call 'Western man' has struggled with these brute
facts of our unsatisfactory existence. Ever since the Hebrews discovered
personal moral responsibility and the Greeks discovered the autonomy of the
citizen, the effort has been made.
"With setbacks and defeats, with dark ages and interregnums and
any number of irrelevant adventures on the side - to create a social order
in which weak, fallible, obstinate, silly, magnificent man can maintain his
dignity and exercise his free and responsible choice."
This is the true power of "morals and manners" to create a social
order. In this as Edmund Burke said "Manners are of more importance than
laws. Upon them, in a great measure the laws depend. The law touches us but
here and there, and now and then."
"Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase,
barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation,
like that of the air we breathe in. They give their whole form and colour
to our lives. According to their quality, they aid morals, they supply them,
or they totally destroy them."
Take the modern phenomenon of "Road Rage" which exists where manners
and morals are nowhere to be found. Everyone has seen "Road Rage" in action:
people "tailgating 'the idiot who can't drive' in the car in front of them,
people flashing high beams and honking horns when others are too slow, or
people giving others "the finger, passing them, and then slowing down in
front of the jerk".
Even people who do not harass others by making it "impossible
for the idiot to get into another lane" or by "slowing down, then speeding up,
then slowing down again and slamming on the brakes" will still spend time in
their cars "ranting and raving" against others.
To see the civilizing power of manners and morals at work, consider
how unacceptable those behaviors would be outside the "protecting" sphere
of a car. People who walked right behind others "tailgating" them in a
hallway would be considered rude and strange.
People who flashed light in your eyes or blasted a horn in your
ears would risk arrest for assault and battery. People "giving you the
finger" as they ran rings around you or blocked your movements in the mall
would attract the attention of mall security. People "ranting and raving"
in a threatening manner in public would soon be arrested.
Morals and manners have evolved simply to stem the tide of bad
karma that results when the conventions of civilized society are ignored.
When their useful operation is suspended, like inside most cars, bad karma
gets piled up at a tremedous rate.
Cars make us "faceless" and so bring
out the worst in us. The next time you find yourself cursing the
"idiots on the road" take a look in the rear view mirror.
I guarantee you will not like what you see.
There is only one way past road rage and that is to act as if your
car is an extension of yourself. Do not do anything in a car that you
would not be comfortable doing if you met the person face to face. That
will cut down on karma and make your time in the car more pleasant for
you as well as for those you share the road with.
Consider the following words of Charles Handy ("Waiting for the Mountain
to Move: Reflections on Work").
"Some of my unhappiest moments have been in organizations. Somehow
it seems to be quite respectable to do things in organizations that you
would never do in private life. I have had people insult me to my face in
front of colleagues."
"I have had my feelings rammed down my throat on the
pretext that it would do me good. I have been required to do things which
I did not agree with because the organization wished it... In my worst
moments I have thought organizations were places designed to be run by
sadists and staffed by masochists."
Unfortunately, this is too often the state of manners and morals
in the modern workplace. And yet "one can begin to reshape the landscape
with a single flower." If you decide to be that flower, you can effect a
change in others around you... without even having to say a word. All you
have to do is be yourself wherever you are.
For example, years ago, I worked for a man with a well deserved
reputation for taking delight in "sticking it to" those who "rubbed him
the wrong way." One day a woman who he especially disliked wanted our
group to do something for her that technically fell into the category of
a favor. His impulse was to "show the bitch who was boss" which he said
aloud to those of us waiting for his orders.
Then he looked at me and said, "I suppose you think I am a miserable
stack of s*** for sticking it to her." I just replied quietly, "You must
do what you think best." Then he gave reasons for why he should "stick it
to her", asking my opinion again, and to which I gave the same answer.
It got to the point where he was shaking with rage.
Everyone looked at me as they were too afraid to face the boss.
One of them later told me they wanted to get a good view of me in case the
boss decided to hit me (which he had done to someone else before and got
away with it). Finally, the boss threw up his hands, glared at me, and
said, "put the bitch's transactions in. I don't care if you have to stay
late to do it!" As it happened, a coworker assisted me and we both got
out on time... and we thought it was done.
Yet a remarkable thing happened after that. The boss noticeably
began to cut down on "sticking it to" other people. This was not because
he had been told to do so (his nasty behavior was always overlooked by his
superiors because he "got the job done"). It was because he could see
himself as clearly in the expressions on the faces of his staff as if he was
looking into a mirror. Needless to say, he did not like what he saw... and
so he cleaned up his act.
When just one person sticks to morals and observes manners in the
workplace, it allows the energy of love to start flowing through it more
freely. This is true no matter "how bad, strict, merciless, etc" the workplace
is, just being love will work every time.
Love can always turn it around. So the next time you come to your
workplace, be sure not to check your manners and morals at the door. It
may make the place better for everyone. "One can begin to reshape the
landscape with a single flower."
Consider these words of John Naisbitt ("Technology & Our
Search for Meaning") on the karmic consequences of living "in a culture
of electronic violence". "Images that once caused us to empathize with
the pain and trauma of another human being, excite a momentary adrenaline
rush. To be numb to another's pain - to be acculturated to violence - is
one of the worst consequences our technological advances. That indifference
transfers from the screen, TV, film, Internet, and electronic games to
our everyday lives."
There is one advantage to electronic violence... that is you can
turn it off. Years ago, American television undertook an experiment in
Great Britain which suggests a cure to violence induced indifference.
They recruited local people to do news, weather, sports, talk, and entertainment
shows as a way to introduce them to American style cable programming. At
first, there was a lot of interest as people enjoyed watching their friends
and neighbors make complete fools of themselves over the airwaves. The
cable companies were thrilled.
Then, a month later, after the novelty had worn off, viewership
had dropped to almost nothing. Worse, most of the local people trained
to be celebrities, lost interest and dropped out of the program. The cable
companies were told, in no uncertain terms, by celebrities and viewers alike,
that while TV had been fun, it was time for them to return to their "real
lives". Clubs, socials, sporting events, church groups, and the like were
flourishing before TV arrived. They did not need TV to fill up their hours
and their lives... their lives were already full.
These people explained that their "real" relationships with others
in their community were more interesting and compelling than watching "fake"
relationships scripted by writers. So, millions of dollars later, the
American cable companies ended their British experiment. And yet, ironically,
someone eventually did get that lesson... which has resulted in the spate of
"reality" programming so popular now.
So there is only one way to counter electronic violence... that is by
turning it off and by turning on your life. Start by connecting with the real,
interesting, and compelling relationships around you with family and friends.
TV is not going anywhere... it will not miss you when you are gone... only
family and friends do that when you are watching TV.
If other people's rudeness has got you down... or if you want to chill out
from road rage, then the "Anger Cure" is for you.
The first step in curing anger is to understand what it is. Anger
is a signal from your Astral (Emotional) Body that an important personal
boundary has been violated. Since anger is the guardian of emotions (Energy
in Motion), it often is like the great winged dragon that put us on it's
back and flies away out of our control for awhile. It carries us along for
awhile until, weary of our ride through the whirlwind, we stop because we
have spent all our emotional energy.
The spiritual purpose of Anger is twofold. First, anger signals
that some action is needed. Second, it teaches you to manage the actions
flowing from your emotions. From the "emotional" actions that you take,
you will either resolve the karmic issues flowing from the situation or
you will create more karma to be resolved in future.
For if you try to deny your anger, it will turn inward, causing
anxiety, depression, hypertension, and self destructive behaviors. Yet if
you indulge your anger, turning it outward without moderating it, you may
take actions you will be sorry for later (as in "committing "crimes of
passion" or saying things that "cannot be taken back").
In responding to anger, remember
that it is a signal, like pain in your physical body, that is trying to
tell you action may need to be taken. Whatever action you take based upon the
anger signal is something that you decide to do. Many people get so caught
up in the anger that they simply pass it on… dumping it full force on
whoever "caused it".
The best way to respond to anger is to start by thinking: "Forgive
them, God, for they know not what they do". This will most often cut the
anger signal off at the source.
The first step in the journey toward forgiveness is the realization
that anger is most often born out of ignorance. The final step in the
journey towards forgiveness is to practice "better responses
to anger". These include: 1> Cultivating Calmness, 2>
Resourceful Redirection, and 3> Appropriate Asserting as
detailed on this month's featured page.
Take a moment to cure your anger: the life you save may be yours.
The past is still present even in the present day news.
Historians will tell you that people have complained about the
decline in manners and moral for centuries. Here are the latest complaints!
From ABC News Daily News: "Yammering on cell phones in public;
driving obnoxiously; leaving people on hold; cursing and littering.
Americans across the country say we are ruder than ever, according to a
new survey released today (04/03/02)."
"Survey respondents singled out a few reasons for our apparent
increasing rudeness - particularly the impact of new technology... More
than a third of survey respondents said they were subjected to loud and
annoying cell phone conversations. They also emphasized road rage and
rude drivers as a serious and growing problem. People also blamed parents
for not instilling courtesy in their children, and popular culture for
encouraging rude behavior..."
"Some thinkers have dismissed etiquette and manners as relatively
trivial compared to serious issues of morality. Others have argued for
the central importance of etiquette in maintaining a civilized life."
"Defenders of the importance of politeness say manners govern virtually
all of our everyday interactions, from dealing with co-workers to waiters
to people we pass on the street, and are a reflection of the age-old precept
to love thy neighbor."
As Martin Luther said, "There can be no be no better instruction...
than that every man who is to deal with his neighbor to follow these commandments.
'Whatsoever ye would that others should do unto you, do ye also unto them,'
and 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.' If these were always followed, then
everything would instruct and arrange itself; then no law books nor courts
nor judicial actions would be required. All things would quietly and simply
be set to rights, for everyone's heart and conscience would guide them."
For the whole story from ABC News "Missed Manners: Americans Say We
Are Getting Ruder and Ruder, Poll Finds" by Oliver Libaw.
What most people might have missed about "Cruel Intentions" is that this
movie is an astonishingly faithful update of the classic historical novel,
"Dangerous Liaisons" by Choderlos de Laclos.
Although the scene has moved
from the aristocratic decadence of France before the Revolution to to
affluent decadence of modern day America, the cruelty of the original plot
has been brought to the next level by the updates to it's modern counterpart.
In this version, Katherine Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and
Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) seem on the surface to be bickering
step-siblings who cannot stand one another. In reality, they are always
working together behind the scenes to quietly control the social lives and
loves of the unsuspecting innocents in their affluent prep school... who
never realize they are being played.
Sebastian loves to make conquests and boasts that he "always gets
any woman he wants." Katherine spends her time taking revenge on ex-lovers
and corrupting naive freshmen. Each takes pleasure in outshining the other
in creating cruelty.
Their battle of wills reaches it's peak when they enter
into a cruel bet. If Sebastian can bed the daughter of the new headmaster,
then he can have what he has always wanted: to sleep with Katherine, the
one woman he can NEVER have. If he fails, Katherine gets what she has
always wanted: his classic car.
Winning this bet is cruel because Annette Hargrove, the headmaster's
daughter, is a spokesperson for "waiting until marriage to have sex" after
having written a national article championing virginity.
It seems that all is lost for Sebastian until he and Annette
unexpectedly fall in love... and he wins the bet by taking her virginity.
In the ultimate act of cruelty, Katherine convinces Sebastian that his
infatuation for Annette makes him look ridiculous. His vanity and wounded
pride lead Sebastian to quickly break up with Annette.
It is not long before Sebastian realizes that he has made a horrible
mistake. In an effort to explain himself, he gives Annette his private diary
which records all of his and Katherine's scheming.
By now karma has caught
up with Sebastian and he is soon killed in a car accident. Karma catches up with
Katherine at his funeral where Annette has distributed copies of Sebastian's
diary which reveals the entire career of her "Cruel Intentions" towards others.
This movie is a perfect example of how cruel people can be when
they operate in a "morality free zone" like Sebastian and Katherine did.
There is no such thing really... for in the end, karma catches up with us
all. So although the plot may have been modernized, the lessons are as
ancient as time itself... cruel intentions will out!
Thanks to those who helped to support our holistic business this month.
God Bless America and Canada... North America is our home and the source
of most of our wonderful clients to whom we are grateful for supporting
our work. Special thanks to international customers for their support
Inspirational Quote for the Month:
"Manners or etiquette ('accessibility, affability, politeness,
refinement, propriety, courtesy, and ingratiating and captivating behavior')
call for no large measure of moral determination and cannot, therefore, be
reckoned as virtues. Even though manners are no virtues, they are a means
of developing virtue.... The more we refine the crude elements in our nature,
the more we improve our humanity and the more capable it grows of feeling
the driving force of virtuous principles." (Immanuel Kant)
"Empathy and fellow feeling form the very basis of morality. The
capacities for empathy, for feeling responsibility toward others and for
reaching out to help them can be stunted or undermined early on, depending
on a child's experiences in the home and neighborhood. It becomes too easy
to turn our backs on fellow human beings... to have 'compassion fatigue.'
Technology, we are learning, is not neutral." (Sissela Bok "Mayhem")
"...on the whole, though I never arrived at the perfection I had
been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell short of it. Yet I was, by the
endeavor, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been had
I not attempted it." (Benjamin Franklin)
"One can begin to reshape the landscape with a single flower."
(Spock to Picard "Star Trek Next Generation": on the impossible task of
reuniting the Vulcans and Romulans)
Good Deed for the Month:
Miss Manner's Advice Columns (sadly has gone offline)
"Rude guests, difficult dates and family friction: What's a Gentle
Reader to do? Get Miss Manners' guidance on how to do the right thing in
every social situation, delivered with her trademark wisdom and wit. You'll
always be on your best behavior with her perfect advice." It's not perfect...
but it cannot hurt to get a second opinion about what is the most mannerly
behavior when you are in doubt.
You asked for it! The ever popular "Rules of the House" are now available
in eBook format! Let the Timeless Wisdom of Ancient Masters Be Yours! Get ANSWERS
to Life's Toughest Questions! Rules of the House Answers These... & MORE!
* WHY ARE WE HERE?
* Why do "bad" things happen to us?
* What is the purpose of our lives?
* What happens to us when we die?
* Is this brief span of life all there is?
* What happens to us between lives on Earth?