Life as a whole is a lesson. What the lesson on hand is is not apparent because most of us are unaware of past lives and deeds. Our lives are only important in the way we interact and affect the lives of others. A good honorable life is filled with self-sacrifice and giving. Lacking these attributes gives a glimpse of certain shortcomings of the beholder. Most of us have lived thousands of lives, we have been black, white, Asian, men, woman.
We have been murderers and spectators of murder. Our evolutionary progress in the spiritual reams takes us through time and space, incarnating from body to body with some short interludes on the subtle plane. The ultimate purpose is to stop the cycle of the robotic repetition of the same mistakes and fall of the wheel of karma. This is the Buddhist terminology of Enlightenment.
Karma is life’s “cosmic bank account”. We accumulate good and bad karma with every deed and thought. Our karmic balance predetermines the condition we incarnate into, our economic status, parents, race and environment we are born into is all set even before we were conceived, and all is choreographed to perfection.
Dharma is the all encompassing path of achievement that suits us for this incarnation. This is what we are to do in this life. However, get this, we are free to turn away and chose other purposes and vocations.
The storehouse of heaven is filled with unfulfilled prophecies because we always have the freedom to choose! The catch is, fulfilling your Dharma will make you happy. Joseph Campbell knew this and advised all to “follow your bliss”. If you, for some reason not following your bliss, you will eventually have to, you are prolonging the inevitable. In the next life you will face the same set of conditions as in the one you went astray. In a sense, you can push the pause your own progress, however the next time life’s lesson will be harder than in the first.
Following our Dharma will lead us to the life lessons and situations that we are to work out hence we are fulfilling out purpose. Whether we pass the number of tests given to us is a whole different story.
This cyclical nature of succession of lives is very much in line with the cyclical nature of time, seasons and lower forms of biological life. We see flowers bloom, whither away and bloom again. There is no reason to think that our path is any different.
As one wise old lady (HPB) once wrote;
“The LAW for the birth, growth and decay of everything in cosmos, from the sun to the glow-worm in the grass is ONE. It is an everlasting work of perfection with every new appearance, but the Substance-Matter and Forces are all one and the same.”