BY DAVID RICKEY — Americans play a role in the political crisis in Egypt. Politically, we find ourselves wanting to support the emerging democracy, but fearing what the loss of Mubarak would mean for our own security. This is a perfect example of how Karma plays out in our world. I believe that the whole Middle-East conflict is a Karmic result of our own choices.
Our economy has prospered partly as a result of how we have been able to exploit the riches of other countries (the exploitation of others, as demonstrated in the huge divide between the “haves” and the “have-nots” has been the major fuel for both our economic prosperity and subsequent financial melt-down).
We have supported leaders who have stabilized countries like Egypt, without regard to their treatment of their own people. Or we have worked to overthrow leaders who threaten our access to the resources these countries possess. This political game has worked for us economically, but the evolutionary principle of self-determination is now changing the game, adding a very powerful new dynamic.
Having cake vs. eating it
Karma is, fundamentally, the way the universe works with human evolution to advance consciousness. It’s not about punishment so much as about the lessons we need to learn. Humans seem to need painful crises as motivation to advance consciously. Carl Jung called this the “Tension of Opposites.” In the case of Egypt, our desire for democracy is in tension with our desire for economic growth. It’s fascinating to watch the Obama administration wrestle with trying to balance the two desires.
We have unconsciously created that tension, as Jung describes it, to force us to seek a more enlightened resolution. Here’s what typically happens: we might resist the next step, but the force of evolution will take it for us and give us an even more painful lesson. The insights we gain from this painful lesson are what eventually lead to a higher level of resolution.
There is a cause for optimism, resting in another sub-plot in Karmic unfolding. The rise of alternative energy sources offers both a way to move beyond dependence on the Middle-East energy resources and a way to increase local job creation. Oil Companies — those that haven’t evolved enough to embrace the possibility — resist alternative energy, and here again is that Tension of Opposites. The Karmic process is pushing us by giving us greater insight and initiative to find this higher resolution.
Let Karma do its thing
Embracing Karmic unfolding is always a win-win situation. This is because the purpose of Karma is positive evolution. Karma always intends growth, both personal and societal. It doesn’t eliminate the pain, which is really the pain of releasing old belief patterns, false visions of how things work. Karma is our friend, albeit frequently a harsh taskmaster.
The US “solution” in the present situation in Egypt is, I believe, to support the protesters and not interfere in the evolving conflict. Rather, we should step back and re-evaluate our own intentions and possibilities. Meanwhile, Karma will unfold. As with the financial crisis we are already in, new insights into how to work together on a global scale are seeking to emerge into our consciousness. Our job is to let go of old fears and false visions.
The ego, both personal and corporate, always resists change. Jesus’ insight that “those who seek their life will lose it and those who [are willing to] lose their life will find it” fits perfectly here. If we hold onto old patterns we will lose. If we are willing to risk loss we will find new life.
David Rickey is an Episcopal priest, Soul’s Code co-founder and counselor in San Francisco who does a weekly ministry at a residence for the elderly in northern California. Follow David on Twitter.
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