Saturday, May 13, 2006

Reincarnation and karma revisited

Sūkyō Mahikari teaches that reincarnation occurs, and that our karma from previous lives determines our circumstances in this life. Perhaps you believe in these concepts, or perhaps you don't. These teachings are key concepts in Okada's teachings, to the extent that I don't think anyone can believe Sūkyō Mahikari teachings without accepting these beliefs. However, reincarnation and karma must be accepted on faith, or rejected (or put in the "I don't know" basket).

If you do believe in reincarnation and karma, then read on, because these concepts are key elements in the manipulation of members' perceptions of the effectiveness of practicing Sūkyō Mahikari.

Sūkyō Mahikari teaches that putting the teachings into practice and regular okiyome (True Light) leads to spiritual growth, spiritual purification, and a rise in spiritual level. In practical terms, Okada's teachings in primary kenshū promise that people who practice Mahikari diligently will achieve health, peace, and material well-being. He said that even the slowest people would notice improved circumstances within 3 to 5 years after receiving primary kenshū. He did not say that disasters will not occur, but he said that big disasters will become medium disasters, medium disasters will become small disasters, and small disasters will become no disasters.

So, after kenshū, if someone receives a pay rise, for example, the person will think that his improved financial position resulted from practicing Mahikari and thereby erasing his spiritual impurities. But what happens if, for example, someone loses his job? Does this mean that Okada's teachings are not true? Well, no...that is where the teachings concerning past lives and karma come in.

If someone loses his job despite practicing Mahikari diligently, it is assumed that he has a lot of negative financial karma from a previous life. Incidentally, the loss of the job is also regarded as a blessing, because God is arranging for him to erase this negative karma by losing his job. Accordingly, the person is encouraged to apologize to God for whatever he did in previous lives, and also to express gratitude for the financial "purification" he received.

You'll notice this is a win-win situation for Sūkyō Mahikari.

The person who lost his job may start to doubt the effectiveness of Mahikari, because his fortunes have declined despite the promise of material well-being contained in kenshū. If so, he'll be told that his karma is so bad that he should have lost his job and had his house burn down as well, for example, but that he received a medium disaster rather than a big disaster because he was practicing Mahikari.

Does that sound reasonable? It has a certain logic...if you believe in reincarnation and karma. However, even if you believe those concepts, Sūkyō Mahikari's claims still cannot be proved because there are two unknown variables in the above scenario, and only one objectively observable variable.

Firstly, we have no way of knowing what we did in past lives (if they exist), or how bad our karma is...Sūkyō Mahikari simply regards our current circumstances as evidence of our degree of karma.

Secondly, we have no way of knowing if practicing Mahikari raises our spiritual level...Sūkyō Mahikari just claims that practicing Mahikari purifies us spiritually (raises our spiritual level), and that therefore our circumstances improve. (Sūkyō Mahikari seems to equate spiritual level with degree of karma, with our circumstances being the indicator of our karmic level/spiritual level.)

So, if we have a medium-sized disaster, do we assume we have lots of bad karma, but practicing Mahikari has erased some of our spiritual impurity, resulting in a medium disaster? Or, do we assume that we have really good karma, and that practicing Mahikari has created spiritual impurity, again resulting in a medium disaster? Or do we assume that we have medium karma, and practicing Mahikari does nothing at all to our level of karma, so we had a medium disaster?

Since we don't know what our karmic/spiritual level is (what size disaster we "deserved"), we obviously can't conclude anything about the effectiveness of practicing Mahikari on the basis of one disaster.

However, the Sūkyō Mahikari teachings on these matters also factor in time as a variable. They claim that our karmic/spiritual level rises over time as we continue to practice Mahikari, and that there will be observable improvements in circumstances in 3 to 5 years. So, perhaps we need to make objective observations that compare members' circumstances when they join Sūkyō Mahikari with their circumstances 3 or 5 years later.

If members' circumstances have in fact improved over that time (if the size of disasters has progressively decreased), can we assume that practicing Mahikari does indeed raise members' karmic/spiritual level? At first glance that would seem reasonable. However, as indicated above, Sūkyō Mahikari also teaches that experiencing disasters or misfortune in itself erases negative karma. Supposedly, each misfortune or disaster that occurs erases some karma and raises the person's spiritual level. If this teaching is true, shouldn't we expect subsequent disasters to become progressively smaller and the person's circumstances to improve? If so, we would have no way of knowing how much (if any) of the improvement in circumstances was due to practicing Mahikari, how much (if any) was due to karma being erased by experiencing the disasters, and how much resulted from unrelated factors.

Life is not quite that orderly though. Typically, people don't experience disasters in decreasing order of size, or any other pattern. If karma does cause our disasters and misfortunes, it seems to apply itself at whim, with random timing and random changes in disaster size.

Perhaps, the disasters and misfortunes we receive, just like the happy occurrences and good fortune we receive, are determined simply by a combination of good/bad luck and good/bad management in our current lives. Do we really need to look to reincarnation and karma to explain why things happen?

1 Comments:

Anonymous Butterfly said...

Anne

We create our reality. So based on the Law of Attraction, we attract into our lives more of the same whether its good or bad according to what we are putting our attention on. If you want to erase more karma and by holding the belief that "cleaning" is so good for that purpose together with focusing your gratitude on erasing sins and impurities, then obviously you open yourself up to receive more opportunites to erase. It never ends! Its woeful this self flagellation. Is this the reason it is called the Wheel of Karma? Its time to step off to experience joy now!

May 15, 2006  

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