Lectures by
Charlie Lutes:

Lectures by

Charlie Lutes

Charles F. Lutes
Charlie Lutes

"To be free of karma one must transcend all limitations of time, for time is the field that karma operates in."

                                                                                                           - Charlie Lutes

Karma in Life

Lord Gautama Buddha stated that the First Great Noble Truth is that there is more suffering in life than there are moments of happiness. Not only did Lord Buddha say that there is suffering in life, he also stated that there is a cause or reason for that suffering.

Lord Buddha said that the Second Noble Truth is that craving is the cause of all suffering. Craving is said to be the attempt to continue something that has ceased to be or has passed away. The event or condition may have passed, but the memory clings to the event. And in so doing, sets up a sense of anticipation which is but the seeking of a fulfillment of a past event, or even so, condition in the future.

Also, one peculiar fact of life is that the more security one seeks, the more insecure he becomes. The real security comes in living from moment to moment and not by attempting to give the moment a continuity of time-sequence. For, by projecting continuity on that which is basically discontinuous the human has injected life and death into the problem, as he has now separated death from the process of living. The human believes that living is a process of life and death is discontinuity.

The truth is that life and death are interwoven. The mystery is the fact of discontinuity in the midst of continuity. Anyone who does not discuss moments of death in the process of living does not know what it is to live. So, to understand why we have afflictions in life we must first understand the conditions that give birth to afflictions. To discover this we must go back to the what, how and why of life. Afflictions come from the ego, or I-ness, which sets up the ignorance in life, the attraction and repulsion in life, the desire for continuity and finally the fulfillment of life, and all this on the platform of desires. Hence, this is a desire world.

Also, when one discovers the cause of the afflictions in life one is not free from afflictions. Although this may clear up the problem from an intellectual point of view this is only the starting point in the total dissolution of the problem. It is only in meditation that a complete cessation of afflictions is made possible.

To start with, meditation lessens the impact of numerous afflictions that came into one's life, and slowly takes one out of all afflictions. Slowly we rise above them through a process of purification and lastly, by infusion, we are liberated from the wheel of birth and death itself.

It is only when one rises above the problem that one can look into the cause of the problem; otherwise one is fully absorbed in the effect. In order for one to dissolve the affliction one has to go beyond the intellectual process. So, afflictions can cease only as a result of the state of meditation.

Also, it is only in meditation that the distance between cause and effect is completely eliminated. It is also meditation that enables one to see the cause in the effect.

In afflictions lies the whole functioning base of karma that in turn expresses itself in the present and in the future. So, the entire structure of karma lies in the field of afflictions, which also takes in cause and effect. So, afflictions contain both the effect and the cause. Therefore, the solution to a problem is in the problem itself. It is in suffering that one finds both the cause and the effect. So, for its dissolution, one must focus on the suffering. Karma, which is the cause-effect phenomenon, lies rooted in the affliction. So, to free one's self from affliction, the answer lies in affliction.

Another important fact is that the quality and duration of one's life is determined by karmic factors and these are restricting factors in one's life; the fruits of karma must be reaped.

All changes in life arise from the play of opposites, from the play of the quality and duration of time. So, to be free of karma one must transcend all limitations of time, for time is the field in which karma operates. So, the human is tied to the operation of karma by being subjected to the impacts of the ever-changing environment, be it subjective or objective.

Life is said to be of the three-fold misery; the obvious conditions of misery arise due to the functioning of the three gunas. The problem lies in the conflict between the functioning attributes and the mind. It is the distortions in the mind that set up the conflict in the functioning of the three gunas. The gunas are objective and the mind is subjective. So, all suffering in life can be traced to the conflict between the gunas and the distorted mind. This is the play of opposites, and from this comes all the afflictions in life.

The human is forever concerned with the problem of sorrow and suffering, as happiness presents no problem in life. So, the main thrust in life is to avoid pain and suffering that forever threatens to overtake one as life moves on relentlessly into an unknown future. Therefore, many have a desire to consult astrologers and others to find out, if possible, what the future holds for them. However, most of these predictions are far from being totally reliable because life is not static, or that is to say, completely fixed. We may all have a destiny and dharma, but that does not mean we follow them, mostly because of free choice or free will.

Many would like to know the future in order to prepare to meet the oncoming challenges, but for most people knowing the future is not possible. To really know what the future holds for you one must learn how to live in the present. The only one who really knows how to live in the present is one who places his faith in God and meditates each and every day. For in meditation God talks to us and we experience God each and every day. That is the real meaning of living in the present, and if each day is lived in harmony with nature, then the future will take care of itself.

Hence, we have no reason to fear the future, or to fight the windmills of life. The past determines the present and how we handle the present determines the future.

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