When we think about karma we are transported to India. In the Indian culture it is often said that the caste you are born into is a result of your karma in a previous life. This oversimplified belief structure simply supports the existence of the caste system.
The caste system has 4 castes into which you may be born. It then tries to dictate what kind of relationship you can have with members of your own caste and other castes.
The four castes are Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. The Brahmins are of a spiritual order and are said to be the higher caste. The Kshatriyas or Rajanayas are from the class of rulers, administrators and warriors. Vaishyas are from the class of merchants and artisans. The final class, considered the lowest caste, are Shudras, who are amongst the labouring class.
The caste system in India was derived from inaccurate understanding of spiritual texts and then used to control the people of India by both the Mughal Empire and the British Empire in India.
The caste system is the same as the four suits of the Tarot. As we look at the two systems together we can see that the Brahmins are the same as the suit of Cups. The Kshatriyas are depicted by the Suit of Swords. The Vaishayas can be attributed to the suit of pentacles and finally the Shudras are depicted by the suit of Wands.
The Tarot is simply the Philosophical system of the Kabala hidden within a deck of cards. In the Tarot there are two parts. The major arcana depict the Path to Freedom through the 22 cards or Pathways within the Kabala. The remaining cards depict the stories of life within the four suits.
As with many ancient texts they are oversimplified and then misunderstood. The true understanding is very different from the current use of the caste system to create vehicles of population control.
Millions of Indians are born into the lower castes and are made to believe that they deserve this due to their actions in a previous life. Similarly, millions believe they are born into higher castes and that they deserve that due to their actions in a former life. This attitude to the lottery of life has seeped into many cultures where there has grown a disdain for the poor and a sense of entitlement for the rich.
This is clearly a misunderstanding. The true understanding of the Castes and the Suits within the Tarot are completely different. As with true understanding there is a much less divisive interpretation, which is supported by a deeper wisdom.
How can one human being deserve a life of poverty and destitution whilst another deserves power and huge resources ?
In the True understanding, there exists within each individual a Spiritual Aspirant, a Warrior, a Merchant and a Labourer.
All humans have some work to do which is sometimes plentiful, sometimes sparse, sometimes easy and sometimes hard. Each human has a relationship with their work and can choose to be a master of their trade.
All humans have to bargain and exchange their work and property to be able to live, eat and enjoy life. Again there will be a many different relationships with the Merchant aspect of our life. We can choose through experience to become a better merchant.
All humans have to protect at times through their actions both their properties, emotions and thoughts or belief structures. There is a Warrior inside all humans.
Finally, there is a Spiritual Aspirant within each human. There is a desire to be a better human being and more fundamentally a desire to know the Cause of our Being and our reason for being. These are the journeys of the Spiritual Aspirant within.
All humans have to balance these 4 aspects of themselves within their lives. It is simply the nature of life. The ridiculous use of the caste system, which not only keeps millions of people in poverty but also seeks to make them believe that they deserve their lot in life, is a disgrace. Similarly it is a disgrace, as it seeks to say that some people have a divine right to great riches, power and wealth.
The simple Truth is that all humans should be treated equally. This is clearly a more reasonable understanding of the human condition. In some religions you may be told that you can only realise your freedom or Enlightenment in a number of lifetimes or when you are reincarnated as a man. This is another gross misinterpretation of Spiritual texts. These are the results of people without any true knowledge seeking to control others through manmade laws and ideas.
It is possible to realise Enlightenment within this lifetime. There are many texts referring to this. In the book about Kabir, The Weaver of God’s name, you can easily find poems and references to the Enlightened state. The Tao te Ching is an entire book dedicated to a number of poems describing what Enlightenment is not. This is particularly astute as it is impossible to describe the Enlightened State, as it contains everything and nothing is separate from it. The only way we can come close to describing the Enlightened State is by describing what it is not.
Those who have realised the Enlightened State can easily read these texts and recognise the genuine Truth of their statements. It has been shown throughout history that the Enlightened State can be realised within 1 lifetime through the Grace of a Living Enlightened Master.
These references to past lives are a red herring. They are simply another distraction from doing the work upon yourself in this lifetime. Those who do not meditate are simply prisoners of their own minds. It does not matter how beautiful the cage is, they are simply held hostage by their five senses, which are the instruments of the mind. Everything is simply a reflection perceived through their sight, hearing, smell, taste or touch. All these reflections are simply comparing or contrasting each other. All these comparisons exist within time.
How then can we be free from time ?
Only by sitting in stillness can we begin to challenge time. Even beginners to meditation can be surprised at how fast time seems to go when they are meditating well. They sit for an hour and it feels like 10 minutes. They can sit for 6 hours and it feels like only an hour. The better we get at meditating and being still, the more we challenge time. Time is dependent upon our noticing it. The more we pay attention to it the longer it persists. If we are moving, walking, hugging or listening to stories we are aware of the passage of time. Simply by doing we are entertaining time. Only when we sit still and go inside, can we begin to be free from time. On the first initiation on this Path you can be given access to the energy of Light and Sound. This connection results in a series of wonderful insights about the nature of life, the universe, space and identity. On second initiation you are freed from the prison of the mind, which naturally includes being free from, creation, duality and time. You can ask any on this Path, who have received second initiation, what it is like to be freed in this way.
Once you have received this state of awareness, you can let go of your personal identity and realise the state of being which exists before you were born and continues to exist after you die. This State of Awareness is beyond Time and contains all of creation and its many permutations.
From this perspective it is abundantly clear that there is no such thing as past lives. From this State of Awareness all of time is within it and yet it does not touch time. There are no attachments from this state of awareness. The philosophy of non-attachment comes from this State of Being. Once you have let go of your small personal identity and realised this State of Awareness there is no attachment to forms, desires or time. There is no attachment to the products of mind or their reflections glimpsed through the five senses of sight, touch, smell, taste or sound.
A person who has realised this state of awareness can go about daily life easily. They can live a frugal monastic life or live in a grand castle. It makes no difference to their true State of being. Their true State is free from the trappings of Mind. They are free from this little world many call reality.
One final comment about this State of Being, as beautiful and freeing as it is, this Awareness of Second State is not Enlightenment. It is not total freedom. This state is neither Completion nor Self Created.
Only Enlightenment is SELF Created and Complete Freedom.
As the Master says, “I will give you a Freedom from which you need not escape.”