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Natural Disasters

by N D Jayaweera

The activation of the Law
However, one can look at these natural natural disasters from another standpoint also, which completely absolves God from responsibility for them.

Scientists concede that the physical universe is governed by law, i.e., by the laws of physics and chemistry and biology, etc. and that if we violate them we incur certain consequences. For instance, if I were to step out of the window of my upstairs house, I will most certainly break my bones. However it would be quite silly of me to implicate God in the outcome because all that has happened is that of my own freewill I have violated the law of gravity and incurred the consequences.

However, what scientists cannot comprehend is that the universe is governed by moral and spiritual laws as well, and that if we violate them, we will incur certain consequences, just as we would incur the consequences of violating the law of gravity. It is not God who imposes the penalties but moral laws enforce themselves as does the law of gravity.

The claim that the universe is governed by moral and spiritual laws as well, and that their violation will always incur penalties, is not just my opinion but a doctrine that is at the heart of all religions. Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism account for pain and suffering in the world as an outcome of "maya" or "avijja" which triggers the Law of karma and Christianity accounts for pain and suffering in the world as the outcome of the "fall" which triggers the Law of sin and death. Basically, what they all say is that every thought or action, positive or negative, good or evil, of ignorant or fallen man, begets a proportionate reaction, or, that as they sow they shall reap and that as they do unto others it will done unto them.

It is not God who prescribes the outcome but the Law. The Law ordains that the fruits of man's initiatives will be returned to him, inexorably and inevitably, even if it takes an illness, an accident, or a 9/11 or a 26/12, or whatever, to do so.

Religious Masters
We may invoke the quantum view of the universe to get a better understanding of how moral and spiritual laws operate. The quantum field is an infinite ocean of energy and a carrier and repository of intelligence and information. Just as radio, TV, radar, X Rays, etc. use frequencies at the lower end of the quantum field for transmitting information, our thoughts, words and actions also impact on the quantum field generating their own specific reactions. Consequently, even our hidden intentions and motives, and even the slightest flicker of our subconscious minds, being embedded in the energy field, set off ripples across the entire field, generating responses according to whether our thoughts and actions are positive or negative, good or evil. One scientist, a meteorologist in fact, called this the butterfly effect, which was his way of saying that the energy field is so densely interconnected that a butterfly flapping its wings in one corner of the globe can set off a typhoon in another part of the globe.

The great religious Masters had articulated this truth, though in different words, thousands of years ago. One of them said, Mind is the forerunner of all conditions and all things are mind made and another said, According as you think, so will it be unto you. As you sow you shall reap and as you do unto others it will be done unto you. They both meant that all things arise in consciousness before they manifest on the outside as space-time events.

There is no way we can hide from the consequences of violating these moral or spiritual laws. We may hide in caves or lock ourselves up in temples and churches, we may make vows and pray to high heaven, we may roll on the dirt and walk through fiery embers, we may go on pilgrimages or offer penance and alms, but the consequences of our thoughts and actions, accumulated over time, down the generations, will come knocking on our doors demanding payment, as surely as we would break our bones should we step out a tenth floor window.

It is the Law itself that fashions the instruments that come knocking on our door, inexorably and relentlessly, and not God, although primitive minds anthropomorphize these instruments as the will of a malevolent God. Sodom and Gomorra, World Wars 1&2, 9/11, and 26/12 and all space time events, share alike the same quantum field
This is not a philosophy of fatalism at all, as some would characterizes it, but the recognition of reality as it is and therefore a prolegomena or a sine qua non, to deliverance from it.

Prescriptions for Deliverance
However, the story does not end there, for there are ways whereby man's subjection to the Law can be broken or at least mitigated. All the mainline religions have their own prescriptions for delivering the human race from captivity to Law, whether we call it the Law of karma or the Law of sin and death, and just as we may invoke the laws of aerodynamics to overcome gravity or harness the law of internal combustion to overcome inertia, we can tap into these prescriptions for deliverance, according to how we are called.

Hinduism, the oldest of the religions, prescribes a fourfold path of jnana, yoga, bhakti, and poojas as the way to attain moksha or deliverance.

Theravada Buddhism prescribes the Arya Ashtangika Marga (The Noble Eight-Fold Path) and vipassana bhavana, practised over numberless cycles of births and rebirths, as the way to deliverance.

Christianity prescribes faith in the absolute sufficiency of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ which in turn triggers the Law of Grace, (and not merely the observance of the Ten Commandments as is popularly believed) as the way to salvation.

And, Islam demands absolute submission to the will of God through the observance of Shariah law and the Five pillars of shahadah, salat, zakat, saum , and Hajj.

Which of these prescriptions one adopts should be a matter of choice for each individual and it is not my purpose here to expound them or to commend one or the other, except to say that I have made my own conscious choice for my own journey.
However, it is important not to confuse any of the a fore mentioned models with the edifices of superstition and animism which masquerade in their name, which reflect more the ignorance of their so called devotees than the wisdom of the great Masters whom they claim to follow.

Absolving God
This article has two objectives. One, to refute the argument that in some way God is responsible for natural disasters. Two, to suggest that calamities that confront man, collectively or individually, are the outworking of powerful underlying causes, spiritual tectonic plates if you like, or unexpended reservoirs of negative energy trapped deep down at the u -manifest level, generated by man himself, which will continue to bubble up as greater and greater disasters at the manifest level, unless drained and neutralized effectively.

One word of caution, however. The view that unredeemed man is inexorably subject to Law and begets his own circumstances, is not to suggest that the afflicted and the sorrowing should be abandoned to their fate. Rather, it is one of the most powerful arguments in favor of precisely the opposite. Which is that, because at the quantum level we are all One, alleviating the condition of those under Law is incumbent on us all. When any one suffers we all suffer, and when anyone dies, in some degree, we are all die.
Love and compassion, forgiveness and charity, joy and peace, are expressions of a spiritual law that transcends the law of cause and effect. Hence the commandment, to love one another and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, the neighbors in question being not just our literal neighbors, but all forms of life throughout the universe, for we are all One.

At the quantum level, we are all One, in spirit and in body, members of each other, and therefore committed always, with humility and integrity, to uphold the truth as we see it, to combat want and poverty, strive after justice and righteousness, to promote peace and reconciliation, to bind up the wounds of the afflicted, feed the hungry, heal the sick, and comfort the sorrowing, regardless of friend or foe, wherever and whenever the need arises. Is there a task more noble, or a glory more luminous, to which man or woman can be called, than that?

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