The question could be asked, “Well, is reincarnation a good thing or a bad thing?” You talk to one person and he says, “Oh, it is great. I can come back again and again.” That is a person who is experiencing the results of his good karma, “Oh, life is good.” But talk to a person who is experiencing the results of his bad karma. He gives another reaction.
There was one boy who read a book by our spiritual teacher “Reincarnation explained.” He really liked the book, it is so complete. He took it home and showed it to his mother, “Mum, look. I want you to read this book.” She looked at the title “Reincarnation explained.” She said, “Oh, no. I am not reading that book. If it is true I don’t want to know about it.”
What kind of reaction is that? You see, we call this “the ostrich approach.” The ostrich knows, here comes the enemy or some danger and he sticks his head in the sand: everything is all right, no problem. We don’t consider the ostrich the most intelligent bird. If it is true we should want to know about it.
But whether we think it is good or we think it is bad, the truth is – it is not good. Reincarnation is a problem.
You see, and the reason that it is a problem is because this world is not our real home. We do not belong in the material world. We belong in the spiritual world, this is our original home.
The moment we come into this material world the difficulties begin. We are like a fish out of water. The fish is an aquatic, it’s natural home is the water. The moment you take that fish out of water it starts to suffer, gasping and flopping.
- Oh, mister fish, I want to help you. Let’s go to the movies. “Jaws” is playing. It is a great movie.
The fish is gasping.
- Hmm, let’s go to the restaurant. It’s a real good fish restaurant, sea food restaurant.
The fish is gasping.
- Hmm, I know, let’s go shopping. Shopping makes everybody feel better, it works for me.
The fish is gasping.
(The audience is laughing).
- What about ladies? I know many very nice ladies. I will fix you up.
You can’t help the fish, this is the point.
But you can help the fish, you put it back in the water and problem is solved. You see, and it is like that with us.
We cannot solve the problems of life as long as we are in the material world because it is not our home. But when we return to the spiritual world which is our real home, all problems are solved eternally. If we see there is a problem and we want to solve it, we have to change our method of problem-solving.
Let’s say there is a guy and he hears about karma. He takes it seriously, he starts looking at his life, the way he is living it. He realizes, “I need to change a lot of things. I am creating a lot of bad karma.” He continues to think deeper and deeper and he realizes, “Even my eating is creating a lot of bad karma. What to do about it?”
He thinks some more and he says, “Aha, I have a solution. I am going to be a vegetarian. I am not going to eat those cows and pigs, and chickens, and things any more. Because when they are killed they suffer. I eat their bodies, I am responsible for all this stuff, I get that karma. No, no, I am a vegetarian.”
We say, “Very good, that will greatly reduce your karma. It is good, but it is not good enough. Because even though you are vegetarian you still have to kill. You have got to kill the carrot. You have got to cut the head of the cabbage.”
He goes, “Oh, man.” (The audience is laughing).
He thinks some more, “Ah, I know, I am going to be a fruitarian. I will just eat fruit, I don’t have to kill the tree.” Well, all this thinking made him quite hungry and he is right beside an apple tree. There is a big apple right there. And he starts to pick that apple, then he stops, “No, I am not going to pick that apple. I might hurt the tree. I am going to wait till the apple falls on the ground. So he waits and he waits, very hungry. Finally, the apple falls. Immediately he grabs that apple and quickly eats it. “Ah, no karma.” But what about all those people he stepped on to go and pick that apple? What about all those people living on the apple? What about that long guy living inside the apple? (The audience is laughing).
You can’t avoid karma like this. So we can’t figure it out. We have to accept the guidance and instructions of the higher authority. This is where it becomes very difficult because we like to be the authority. So here is how it works. We have free will, right? Eternally, we have been given free will to choose to do what we do. So that becomes the center of our life. Our mantra is “my will be done.” I am in the center and everyone and everything is revolving around me and my will.