Thursday, May 03, 2007

Some thoughts on the tragedy in Virginia

Tragedies like the murders at Virginia Tech provide fresh reminders of the fragility of our lives. Why did this happen? What does it mean?

We live in a time that esoteric literature has described as the Kali Yuga, or the Iron Age. I first ran across this term when I was studying Hinduism and later encountered it again in Eckankar, the religion of the Light and Sound of God.

Wars, strife and disharmony characterize the Iron Age; it is also called the Dark Age. Events like this are a stark reminder that this is indeed the age we live in. We could see the war in Iraq as more of the same.

A Yuga is an incredibly long period of time. Scholars differ as to its length, which is traditionally described as 432,000 years but some think is shorter.

Do your remember spinning a top as a child? It spins beautifully for a long time, but then it begins to wobble. Once it starts wobbling, it will soon fall. The Kali Yuga is the time when the top of the universe is wobbling madly.

Each age is shorter than the previous one, and there are four. The first is the Golden age which is remembered as the garden of Eden and in many other utopian legends.

How is this relevant to the tragedy in Virginia? Remember the serenity prayer? One of the things we cannot change is the time into which we have incarnated. So we have to learn to deal with it.

How? By remembering that Soul is eternal and we are all sparks of the Divine. This is the central truth of Eckankar and most of the world's religions. Further, Eckankar teaches that Soul exists because God loves it. So even though the reasons for the deaths in Virginia may be unfathomable, we must know that Soul does not die, only the body.

Is their some karmic connection between the murderer and the people he killed? More than likely. It is a given that more bad karma has been created, but who knows what karmic drama was manifesting?

Detachment is the key quality that is taught in Eckankar and it can be a very useful skill in times like these. Detachment does not mean not to care. It really means to realize that you are not your emotions. So grieve, but as the Chinese say, do not let the bird of grief build a nest in your hair.

I personally would like to hope that this incident might cause the lovers of guns and their freedom to buy same to take a fresh look at the tragic consequences of the easy availability of automatic weapons. The only reason for the existence of these weapons is to kill large numbers of people.

One could hypothesize that a determined person can always find a way to get access to what weapons he wants, but why should we continue to make it so easy? You have probably seen the statistics about the number of violent crimes involving guns that occur in America versus every where else in the world. This is something we can change in America if we have the will.

Each moment of our lives we have a choice where we put our attention. This is a freedom that we always have and always will. We create our reality by where we continue to put our attention.

If this incident can serve as a wake up call perhaps that is the lemonade. Remember that we are Soul, that our life in this body is a gift and can be taken from us at any moment. Let us live accordingly.

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