Why do things happen?
Do things just happen? Are they created by causes and conditions? Or do things happen by design?
Buddhism says, everything is created by causes and conditions: everything depends on something else. Our present moment of self-identification depends on a previous moment of self identification.
Anything that is created can be traced back to a cause, even a leaf randomly falling on the ground. In spirituality, everything can be traced back to the creation of an “I”.
Are there accidents? Maybe…maybe not. Certainly, the karma (our mental filters) we carry around with us has an effect on whatever happens. It will ripen in the near or distant future, when conditions are ‘right’: this is cause and effect. For example, if we hold on to anger, and the ‘right’ person comes along and pushes our button, we will explode again…and again…
But what of things happening by design – unseen design? This must still come under the heading of karma, but it is interesting to look into this, as there are influences that seem to be creating problems for us at times. In our religious books, these problem would be termed ‘the devil’s work’. In Buddhism, it is called Mara.
There are entities that do not wish us well: they hate compassion, and try to disturb pure practitioners, feeding off our emotions. Our emotions are the key – Mara are attracted to our likes and dislikes. If we drop these, Mara cannot lie in ambush to cause us trouble!
We are all weak, and are governed by our own likes and dislikes. But there those with heavy karma, who are greedy, ambitious people, easily swayed and influenced by the promise of power. As we know, power can corrupt because it must be maintained. These people are easily controlled by Mara, not realising (or realising!) that they are doing the devil’s work.
Mara plays with ego! As we all have egos, Mara is busy in this world.
There are some who are heavily in debt to their karma, and so desire more power than most. These are very dangerous people, who are so controlling because of their desire to maintain this power and wealth that this becomes an addiction; “A rich man has as much chance of entering heaven, as a camel passing through the eye of a needle” (there is no inherent problem with wealth – it’s the clinging to it that causes the problem!).
Their actions affect others’ lives. One could say that ‘they’ are part of our karma, and I know this may not be easy to accept. However, it’s important to be aware of this, and not over-react, thereby creating more karma for ourselves. Tricky isn’t it?!
Just knowing what is going on can release us from complying, and being corrupted. This therefore frees us from unwittingly becoming involved in another’s karma. Ignorance is no excuse…claiming “I was only following orders,” still generates karma, bad karma. We have been corrupted by association. The implication of this is that we have a duty not to ignore.
There are those who have a long term plan for control, which may not be easily seen. The big spiritual problem for us all is that, if we can realise the frailty of human nature…so can others! In this way, they can gain what they want, without us noticing it. Tricky, isn’t it?!
Just take a look at the world. Is it one of openness and love? Or is it one of constantly changing manipulations and control, and above all, a tendency to blame someone else? Even parents use ‘bogeymen’ to control children!
Is it possible that people’s karma is being used against them? Is our frailty being exploited? To do this requires sophisticated thinking. Could a few people control the many? It’s easily done, if one thinks long term, and if many disciplines work together.
So, do things just happen? That is up to you to decide.
Just consider one scenario: manufacturing is being moved from one country to a cheaper country. Wouldn’t that have multiple effects on the culture of the country that no longer makes things? Then, thirty years later, a mass of problems occurs as a result. Did that just happen, created by causes and conditions? Or was it by design?
It appears to just happen, but was there design involved, utilising causes and conditions that naturally occur in frail humanity? If so, very clever, but unwise…
A word to the wise…Karma never fails!