Lessons in a Life: Responsibility In The Face Of Karma

Facing the truth of the path that lies before us... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Facing the truth of the path that lies before us…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

We are all, at some time in our lives, faced with having to admit that something just isn’t working for us anymore. At such times we might get angry. We might become sad. We might become defiant, or we might simply give up. But the truth is that when something is not working for us anymore we are being asked to face a truth about ourselves, about our life, and about our future. We are being asked to change something and the decision we make is crucial to what comes next.

Sometimes we might have to act on the behalf of another person, and this too puts us in a unique position. Robert Monroe—documented out-of-body traveler, founder of the Monroe Institute and the developer of Hemi-Sync audio technique—described, during an out-of-body experience, being in a position to have to make a decision on behalf of another living creature, in this case, a dog.

Here is the story: He and the dog are the best of companions. They are taking a walk when the dog, running after a rabbit, is struck by a truck. Monroe assesses the situation. The dog is obviously beyond recovery. In order to alleviate his suffering, Monroe takes responsibility and acts quickly. Soaking his shirt in gasoline from the gas tank of the truck that struck the dog, Monroe places the gasoline soaked shirt over the dog’s mouth and with the most tender and caring embrace helps his dear dog go.

Coming out of the OBE, Monroe learns from his teachers that at another time in his life he would have been swept up in such emotional turmoil that he would not have been able to act as quickly and wisely toward his dying dog. He would have clung to him, but it would have been to the detriment of the dog’s spirit, for the truth was that the dog was dying and overpowering emotional attachment would have offered nothing of substance to the situation. At the time of this OBE, however, Monroe had advanced to a place of utter detachment. He had control over his emotions and could focus his energy where it needed to go. Without pity, but only filled with love, he could do what his doggy friend needed him to do.

Sometimes it’s time to let people, pets, things, behaviors and habits go, as succinctly and with as much love and kindness as Monroe administered to his dying dog. They’d had a good life together, but without regret, and without blaming the truck driver for striking the dog—for he knew there was no cause to fault him—Monroe acted in alignment with the truth of what had occurred. He was so emotionally detached that within seconds was able to read the entire scene. His role was clear. He was there to administer impersonal loving kindness and compassion; a karmic duty was performed.

Our own evolutionary process prepares us, through each lifetime, as we train ourselves to take responsibility, gain control over our emotions, and focus our energy, just as Monroe did, to get to the point where we are able to face the truths of a certain situation without attachment or blame.

Wise knowing comes when we are ready to act upon it... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Wise knowing comes when we are ready to act upon it…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Sometimes we are called to action unwillingly; we don’t really want to, but we feel obligated. Sometimes we are ready to jump in when asked. Sometimes things are thrust upon us suddenly, as in Monroe’s case. On the day he took his dog for a walk he had no idea he would be called upon to do what he did. Such are the moments when we realize our true spiritual state, when our evolutionary progress is made clear.

The question is: Will we be ready, when called upon, to do the thing that is right for all involved, with only goodness in our heart, without attachment, need, dependency, but simply because it is the right thing? Will we be able to transcend the personal and let go?

“Letting go” can take many forms, depending on our lives, how we’ve created them, and how ready we are to change and allow for new life, whether a new phase of life on earth, or acquiescence to the death of the physical body. Letting go is allowing for change that is right to actually take place, changing us in the process.

In the end, we must all take responsibility for ourselves, for our decisions and our actions; if we don’t or can’t then things will be imposed on us. And so it is imperative that we practice taking control of our own letting go now, in full consciousness, not letting even the letting go overpower us, but riding through it with as much grace and love as Monroe did when he realized it was time to let his dog go.

Part of our karmic process now involves letting go of that which no longer serves us, be it old habits or behaviors, attachments, loves, fears, dislikes, resentments; even our physical prowess must go at some point. The list goes on. We all have something to let go of, as we are all challenged to free ourselves to move on into greater life every day. Can we take full responsibility for every aspect of our lives and move on without burdening, blaming or becoming a victim?

The difficulties we face when we are involved in the lives of other adult beings is that we cannot control or really ask anything of them. Ultimately, every decision, choice and action is up to them. We might see very clearly that they are in a critical situation, being foolhardy, putting their lives at risk or burdening others with their behaviors, and although we might see that there is no time like the present to give advice, the truth is that we really do have to let our own expectations go and allow others to take their own journeys, keeping in mind the lesson that Monroe learned from his teachers, that during another lifetime he had not been so advanced. We are all living the life we are living in order to learn a crucial karmic lesson, even those who frustrate us the most!

What tomorrow may bring we don't really know, but we can prepare now... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
What tomorrow may bring we don’t really know, but we can prepare now…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

People will do what people will do, but at the same time if we are called upon to assist we must state the truths as we see them and ask the other being to take full responsibility for decisions made.

We can offer help and guidance, but ultimately we have to step back and let nature take its course, including the nature inside another being. That kind of letting go is as poignant and caring as Monroe’s action on behalf of his dying dog, and learning to let go in such a manner is a sign of true compassion.

Who are we to know the truth behind someone else’s karma? We can only guess. Unless it is our own karmic journey, we only have the outer truth available to us, and that may be very clear to us, though not at all to the other being. At such times, our only recourse may be to administer love, kindness, and compassion, and without attachment send that other being on their journey, into new life in whatever form that will take.

Sometimes love is enough,

The episode with the dog is described in Robert Monroe’s book, Far Journeys.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *