Planning for the Future (part four)

Life is a fluid learning experience changing and adapting to situations we want to influence as well as influencing us. Experiential learning becomes incorporated into every strategy we use to take charge of our life. We use and gather information like a squirrel gathering acorns in the fall to store away and nibble all winter long, only the is about our family dynamics, and other obligations such as work to help decide where to go from here. Now we know more because we have experienced it as well as remembering and telling others what we have discovered and become more skillful.

However, even this information gathering is superficial by comparison to the internalized knowledge that becomes part of the deep nature. This real and meaningful change is the only thing that matters after passing away. It is not what we know, or have experienced and learned but what has been internalized and become part of our nature that remains, whether that is positive or negative.

Since you are perfectly capable of making effort, are you where you want to be in that growth process? If the uncertainty of lifespan should catch you unaware, do you have your own personal assurance that after you pass away from the hustle and bustle of this life, you will be capable in your deep nature, or are you now less capable due to hardships and damage of this lifetime? Are you ready, or would you like a bit more time to work on yourself before you pass away from this experimental station called human life? You want more time? Good!

The dictionary definition of proactive: "Description of any event or stimulus or process that has an effect on events or stimuli or processes that occur subsequently.” This defines the issue and the positive environment where planning for the future takes place.

If the answer to the problem of what exists beyond this life is that you are not prepared, then there must be something that is lacking. That deficiency could simply be related to not having enough positive karma regarding the need to learn, or to remember the importance of spiritual growth.

Karma is very simply cause and effect. Everything from making a cup, to making an airplane needs modules of elements, and linking of systems within those elements to actualize a final form. These are the direct causes of either a cup or an airplane. A cup can be made of many different materials, with many artistic elements added, such as a kitty cat peering over the rim, its tail, curling very cutely becoming the handle. It can be made of tin, or ceramic. There are many ways to construct a temporary cup also, even by twisting a piece of paper to use for holding water. There are many different configurations, all called cup.

Like that, developing spiritual karma can be quite varied also. However, the relationship between you and the cup delivering liquid to your lips is not fraught with peril. It is not that earthshaking, but it can be fun. Like that, a try at spiritual fun does have little danger, but there is also little benefit, true? There is a tremendous amount of spiritual activity that is pure fun and creativity, from naked romps in the woods, pounding on drums without knowing for what purpose, to exclusively eating one kind of food or exclusively avoiding another kind of food as a spiritual experiment. A certain kind of fun and creativity enters into your perhaps boring routine by these methods. I am not saying your life is boring, but on the other hand, maybe it is if you need to romp into the woods naked under the guise of spiritual creativity. These are like fanciful spiritual cups. Nobody really cares, you are not hurting anybody, but there is not much that happens either. This is spiritual fun.

However, the exacting dynamics of creating an airplane that will really fly means something very different. You will need every element finely tuned, finely machined, and finely tested before it goes into that system to be put into the airplane, isn't that so? This is serious because nobody is going to get off the ground until and unless it is tested and safe to fly. There is very little creativity, fooling around, or experimentation possible with the dynamics and structural integrity of what will actually fly. This is like the life of a real practitioner in the advanced Buddhist practices, honing the very elements of their own being, which are their energies. These modules of energy become trained rather than wasted in frivolous activities.

The airplane of the Mahayana, the vehicle of the bodhisattva hero who would save all living beings, the altruistic Mount Everest of motivations, will get off the ground carrying all living beings to freedom. Perhaps the reason you are not where you want to be or feel that you should be, is that you lack the karma or causes and conditions to be the experiencer of spirituality with muscles. To be continued…

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