I have been reading Ravi Ravindra’s book on the Bhagavad Gita and one of the things that has stood out for me is his treatment of the law of karma. Or the law of Cause and Effect. I find Ravi’s approach to understanding this law very logical and consistent with broader spiritual literature.
He states the law in two parts:
First Part: As you are, so you act
Second Part: As you act, so you become
In the first part, “as you are” speaks to our whole conditioning from the past, with all its patterns and responses. And one acts according to this conditioning. While the second part implies that your actions determine who will become.
The common thread between the two parts is the action. And action is always in the present moment. While our past conditioning limits our action, injecting awareness or mindfulness into the present moment has the potential to change the trajectory of our lives.
You will notice that ‘action’, which is always in the present moment, is the pivot that connects who we are, which is our conditioning with all its patterns, to what we can become. Action, in the present moment, offers the opportunity to transcend the arc of our life that is operating from the patterns of the past. This is an invitation from life that is worth taking up.
This view of cause and effect or Karma dovetails very nicely with Eckhardt Tolle’s eponymously titled book “The Power of Now” and many other spiritual traditions and masters who emphasize the importance of the present moment aka “now” and its potential to transform our lives.