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March 21, 2007

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Interesting post... I want that book,,, where i can buy the book?...:)

HI, this is interesting as I actually caught sight of this book by you but was not drawn to it as I had decided that I would make up my own mind about such things and had very many other sources to draw on anyway. I was moving then into my own heresy stage I guess. In my view its simply not possible to be "OFF" my own individual path no matter what happens.
Expectations are best shattered.Learning how to think and feel for myself and become an authentic human being who does not seek to deny "what is" "as it is" but can rather work with it and transform it into an ever opening mind and heart is a good start and a lifes work. So happy to be here and alive and free. Have always loved cats but have found my love of dogs has grown year by year and in my view are one of the best places to learn real loving devotion and friendship. Amen

Thank you for this article, Brian. I've had a copy of "Life Is Fair" for a long time, and what always bothered me about it was the fact that, if you study the Sant Mat teachings (I am an initiate, but my own personal views are much closer to Buddhism), they actually say the opposite. Yes, according to Radhaswami Sant Mat, there is Karma. But Maharaj Charan Singh-ji, and other Gurus in the lineage, also said that "souls" were put in the "creation," as it were, against their will (many of them, at least). In other words, "souls" did not "choose" to be part of this whole Karma process to begin with. What is fair about that? So, even with Karma & Rebirth, Sant Mat clearly teaches that life is not fair at all, because of the arbitrary will of the "Supreme Being." Now, according to Buddhism, life really IS fair, because there is no beginning to Samsara, no arbitrary act of Creation, no sentient beings "forced" into Samsara/Karma/Rebirth by an All-powerful Creator. So, if a Buddhist had written "Life Is Fair," I would have no problem with the book.

Been waiting several years to share this feedback with you.

Thanks again.
Todd

I've been lurking here for a while, but this post deserves a comment.

What an absolutely brilliant insight, that events are deemed "fair" or "unfair" according to a human-centered perspective. Seen with a wider lens, events "just are," unfolding perfectly, according to precise laws of cause and effect. For some reason, this post supplied an answer to a concern that I never knew I had in the first place. So thank you for defining the problem and offering an insightful solution, all in one tidy package.

Also, thank you for taking the time to share your insights. I have really enjoyed pondering what you have to say.

-Brian

Human consciousness tends to view life according to its own pleasure or pain. If life is pleasurable, then humans say that it's fair. If it is painful, then they say that it's not fair.

But I don't think it's a matter of either. The universe does not specifically revolve around humans. Although apparently the human existence seem to be an integral part of it at this point. But we as humans, are confined to our own limited point of view.

The idea of "fair" or "not fair" is a kind of value judgement that humans impose upon life. However, all sorts of life experiences happen, regardless of whether or not humans view them as being fair or not.

The ideas of karma and re-incarnation and their proponents find their justification in this concern for the issue of fairness, but who is to say what is really "fair" in the big picture? And how can humans ever possibly know the extent of that big picture?

Dear Brian,

Perhaps a more revealing title for your book might have been _Don't Eat Meat_.

Robert Paul Howard

Robert, vegetarianism indeed was a central theme of the book. But I was asked to focus on the karmic rationale for vegetarianism, rather than vegetarianism itself, or why meat is bad.

On that count, I think "Life is Fair" succeeded. Whether or not karma is real, it's indisputable that (1) animals suffer when raised in factory farms and killed inhumanely, and (2) by and large meat-eating is deleterious to health.

As long as nobody can say the WHY of creation then even the Masters don't have the right to tell about transmigration,imo(karma and falling back in lower species the weel again and again)
Because when there is no reason it is just sillyness.
Karma to grow in understanding is understandable,but to just fall back,for what reason,if it is not to grow?
What is fairness..?
What do we understand..the unknowing..
Talking about scaring things,without a reason is not even nice.imo.
Sita

Brian,
I agree with your point (1) that animals suffer in factory farms. This is clear.

However I disagree with point (2) that meat is by and large deleterious to health. This is not so clear.

I have studied the subject for years and can sum it up this way...depends on the meat, depends on the person. Generally, humans do best with some animal food in their diet, but not everyone needs it to be healthy.

If someone wishes to avoid eating meat because they don't want to participate in killing and eating animals, or don't like the taste of meat, those are indisputable reasons to avoid it and a good veg diet will suffice for anyone who feels this way.

However, if someone believes that avoiding meat, per se, is healthier either for people or the planet and avoids it for that reason, then the debate begins.

My brain is unfair.
My brain is trying to skew the results.
My brain wants win at any cost.

There is a case before the supreme court, argued by Ken Starr. A high school student wrote "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" on a banner and held the banner up. This was during the Olympics run, when runners were televised as they ran across the country and around the world hold up a burning torch.

The case is about messages. My brain is unfair.

"She has had more than one stroke, she has fluctuating blood suger, she can't walk well." My brain wants to skew the results. "She was a nurse." My brain wants to win at any cost.

In the New York Times Magazine, it was reported that the incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs more frequently in women that are sexually assaulted than in anyone involved in battle. (My brain wants to win at any cost.) The occurance of PTSD is difficult to estimate for those who experience both sexual assault and combat. (My brain is trying to skew the results.)

Daylight Savings Time was moved ahead three weeks, but there is no change in the length of the day.

The dollar is up, or the dollar is down, compared to the other dollar. The house is twenty percent more valuable now than it was two years ago, and no one has moved. Beer is cheaper than orange juice.

My brain wants to win at any cost. For Mega Millions, overall chances of winning on a $1 play: 1:39.89.

Eventually, I will not even be able to sit in a full lotus. My brain is unfair. Eventually, I will have trouble talking.

"She ate fruits and vegetables, and found out she has a kidney infection." My brain is trying to skew the results.

According to Randy Newman the World Isn't Fair:

"When Karl Marx was a boy
he took a hard look around
He saw people were starving all over the place
while others were painting the town
The public spirited boy
became a public spirited man
So he worked very hard and he read everything
until he came up with a plan

There'll be no exploitation
of the worker or his kin
No discrimination 'cause of the color of your
skin
No more private property
It would not be allowed
No one could rise too high
No one could sink too low
or go under completely like some we all know

If Marx were living today
he'd be rolling around in his grave
And if I had him here in my mansion on the hill
I'd tell him a story t'would give his old heart
a chill
It's something that happened to me
I'd say, Karl I recently stumbled
into a new family
with two little children in school
where all little children should be
I went to the orientation
All the young mommies were there
Karl, you never have seen such a glorious sight
as these beautiful women arrayed for the night
just like countesses, empresses, movie stars and
queens
And they'd come there with men much like me
Froggish men, unpleasant to see
Were you to kiss one, Karl
Nary a prince would there be

Oh Karl the world isn't fair
It isn't and never will be
They tried out your plan
It brought misery instead
If you'd seen how they worked it
you'd be glad you were dead
just like I'm glad I'm living in the land of the
free
where the rich just get richer
and the poor you don't ever have to see
It would depress us, Karl
Because we care
that the world still isn't fair."

Reg. post by Errol Larkan. I Agree, souls had no free will. I also read in some Sant Mat book that at the time of creation 1/11 souls said they dont want to go to the creation and 10/11 souls wanted to inhabit the regions and the God (whatever he is) said that you all go and I will come as Saint (whatever that means) to bring back the 1/11 souls who didnt want to leave. These 1/11 souls are the marked souls for which these saints come into this world and the rest are eternally condemned never to be liberated. That is why some applications for initiation are approved, some not. What a pity? And a person like me, who gives false undertaking that I have not taken alcohol and meat for one year is initiated (I am marked soul!!!) and then I divulge the five names (sacred?!!) to my friends to prove that this is nothing. Just plain nothing. Just mind games played by wise men interest in money, property and free labour from gullible people. Incidentally, have you ever wondered why most of these saints and mahatmas and perfect living masters come from India.

Someone asked Edison what is electricity?
He said: Electricity Is, USE IT.

Likewise Life Is, LIVE IT.

There is no greater megalomaniac than God who has made all this for his glorification.

I should imagine that you already know this story Brian, but I thought it worth submitting here:

*There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. "Such bad luck," they said sympathetically. "Maybe," the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. "How wonderful," the neighbors exclaimed. "Maybe," replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. "Maybe," answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. "Maybe," said the farmer.*

One event flowing into another...

Helen, yes--that's a good tale to keep in mind, as "good" things and "bad" things enter our lives, transforming one into another until it's impossible to tell which is which.

The Secrets of the Yin-Yang Symbol video that I shared a while back contains this story. I liked hearing it there, and I liked reading it via your comment. See:
http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2007/03/it_takes_two_to.html

nice words

while acting in the movie or drama the actors don't ponder on whether the character's life is fair or unfair.their only duty is to act.he can't change the script or label it fair or unfair.
so why so take so much pain about the issue?????????

Pooja,
Your example, at best, only applies to movie and theatre actors, and not to real life. In a movie or play, the actors are merely playing fictional characters, so yes, their "duty" or job is to act and play a particular part or character.

You also said: "he can't change the script or label it fair or unfair." While that may be true as it applies to movies and plays, it does NOT apply to real life. In real life we CAN and we DO label it "fair" or "unfair", and rightly so. We CAN also "change the script". Real life is NOT a movie or a play with a fixed script and fixed characters. It is open and fluid. And as for "pain"... well pain (as well as pleasure) is all part of the fabric of human life. To deny this, is to be senseless and blind.

So therefore, I CHOOSE to view your philosophy as you expressed it in your comment as being rather backwards, faulty, and downright lame. It is a disempowering and fatalistic and poisonous attitude and philosophy which I strongly reject.

And I think that people like you don't even think or bother to apply intelligent reason and logic to their nonsense beliefs... they just blindly parrot whatever bogus spiritual dogma or doctrine they have already bought into and/or have been influenced by.

My suggestion to you: Don't be stupidly fatalistic. Live your own life free of such disempowering ideas and presumptions.


Life is Fair but humans don't believe its fair because sometimes our worldly circumstances are poor and are not going according to our will. If it were that easy for life to go with our will then we as humans would not need God. We would not have to come down in this creation because we would be pure. Why would he send us here in this creation? He has sent us because of our karma's. If humans had no karmas we would be with the ultimate one. Christ has said I have come from the will of my father to collect my marked sheep. Christ refers marked sheep to marked souls. Once Christ has alloted his father marked souls they are free from death and will experience everlasting life. Remember Life is hard but we must face it with courage and smile. God is watching us all the time and knows what is best for each individual. The Supreme one always has a solution we just need to be patience because in time even grass becomes milk.

"Life is Fair but humans don't believe its fair because sometimes our worldly circumstances are poor and are not going according to our will."

>>Life is neither fair nor unfair. It is our interpretation of it that makes it one way or the other.

"If it were that easy for life to go with our will then we as humans would not need God."

>>Why would God care if he put us in this misery to begin with? Obviously he likes it that way. I'm not looking to him for help. He's like a kid tormenting an animal and then giving it a reprieve if it suits his fancy and the animal behaves a certain way. I think this God you're talking about is mentally ill.

"We would not have to come down in this creation because we would be pure. Why would he send us here in this creation? He has sent us because of our karma's. If humans had no karmas we would be with the ultimate one."

>>If we originally were where it is pure, how do we get karmas that send us into this creation? If God sets things up so that we get karmas where it is pure, then it's his damn fault we're all screwed up. I don't think I like this guy. Not at all. Also, how do we know we won't "catch" more of these karmas when we go back to where it is pure. That's where we got them in the first place. Right?

"Christ has said I have come from the will of my father to collect my marked sheep. Christ refers marked sheep to marked souls."

>>Why does God mark souls? A soul is a soul. Why does God need some kind of mark? Is he forgetfull? Why is God so mean that some souls are unmarked and have to live in torment for ever with the karmas that he gave them? Again this God sounds like a cruel guy. He makes earthquakes famines, disease, Joy Behar and the snide, arrogant Bill Mahr so that souls suffer agony and misery. What kind of loving God pulls that kind of crap? If God is all love and mercy why doesn't he just take everybody back to heaven? After all, he is all-powerful isn't he?

"Once Christ has alloted his father marked souls they are free from death and will experience everlasting life."

>>What is so bad about death? Maybe everlasting life could be a bummer. Imagine living 345 trillion years and that would be just the beginning (that's 345,000 billion years). In fact, 100 million trillion years would be just the beginning. It wears me out just thinking about it. I need a break..like death, at least once in awile.

"Remember Life is hard but we must face it with courage and smile."

>>Hard to do when a hyena is chewing on your liver.

"God is watching us all the time and knows what is best for each individual."

>>Like having a hyena chew on their liver?

"The Supreme one always has a solution we just need to be patience because in time even grass becomes milk."

>>Well, I wish he'd hurry up and figure out this solution. He seems rather helpless in this regard. What a mess he's made. Now he can't seem to clean it up.

Katy,

I'm gonna pray to Almighty God, that he gives that hyena a really good spanking. There, I said it, my soul feels good, right now.

Katy,

As a sant mat practitioner, did you ever wake earlier than your required sleep time to meditate? I would wager a bet that you didn't do that. In terms of having experiences from meditation, this kind of timing for meditation is crucial. Brian also probably didn't do this.

But this is not to say that your musings are incorrect. Far from it.

It stands to reason that meditating at certain times has more profound effects for different people according to their natural clock and psychological predisposition. I would not be surprised to find persons that rise early to meditate coupled with a strong belief in a spiritual teaching to hypnotize themselves into a dream like state of reality, as opposed to those that are less suggestible that don't sacrifice sleep to meditate.

David,

Why do you think I am/was a sant mat practioner?

Some types of meditation are self hypnosis. Mantra meditations tend to be that way. I agree. I meditated many times before dawn. I experienced no advantage at that time of day other than it was quiet.

Now I do no formal meditation. However, I enter quiet, receptive states at various times of the day that some people might call meditation. Others might call it watching TV.

Katy Lyst, you sound like the wife of TAo. Your comments had me laughing, thanks for that.

People would rather have an obviously insane, and cruel God than no God at all. Thus faith persists. Also, we rather like throwing spitballs at our imaginary Friend or Enemy. For that matter we also like throwing spitballs at our Gurus, or Idols, or whatever when things do not go our way. I know a Hindu that threw her statue of Ganesh in the recycle bucket in her garage after a bout of worldly misfortune. The next day she retrieved it and apologized.

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