While conducting a seminar a few years ago, a female participant told me she would prefer not to know anything about karma. “Knowing that even my thoughts are creating karma is overwhelming,” she said and sighed.
“And the motive and intent and desire behind your thoughts,” I added.
“Even worse,” she said. “If I didn’t know these things, my life would be easier.”
The incident reminded me of the story of an Eskimo hunter who asked the local missionary priest, “If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?”
“No,” said the priest. “Not if you did not know.”
“Then why,” asked the Eskimo, “did you tell me?”
... which reminds me of another story in response to some recent emails. For those who need a “cosmic sign” to point the way, I love the following from Charlotte Joko Beck’s book, “Everyday Zen” (Harper & Row 1989):
To avoid the rising water during a flood, a man climbed up on the roof of his house to await rescue. Eventually a rowboat arrived and the rescue team shouted for him to climb into the boat.
“No, no. God will save me,” he said. “I’m praying.”
The water rose higher and higher until it covered the man’s legs. Another rowboat happened by and they tried to coax him into the boat. Again he said, “No, no. God will save me. I’m praying. I’m praying.”
When the water had risen to the man’s neck, a helicopter arrived and hovered above him. The rescuers shouted, “This is your last chance, grab the ladder.”
“No, God will save me,” said the man as his head slipped beneath the water and he drowned.
When the man got to heaven, he said to God, “Why didn’t you try to save me?”
God said, “I did. I sent you two rowboats and a helicopter.” ï ï ï ï
And while we’re on the subject of heaven, let me share the story of a young man who crossed over into spirit and upon his arrival at the Pearly Gates, was welcomed by St. Peter. “You’ll like it here in heaven,” said St. Peter, “we play a lot of sports. Monday and Thursdays are tennis. Tuesdays and Fridays we play baseball.
“Well,” said the young man, “I’m really not into sports.”
“Then perhaps you’ll enjoy Wednesday nights where we have a big dinner and plenty of wine is passed around several times. Cigars. You’ll be able to let your hair down.”
“I really don’t like to drink or smoke,” said the young man.
“Oh well,” said St. Peter. “You’ll certainly enjoy Saturday nights. We have a dance and some beautiful women always attend. There is plenty of goings-on, if you know what I mean.”
“Actually, I don’t really enjoy the company of women,” said the young man.
St. Peter starred at the young man, then nodded. “Are you a homosexual by chance?”
“Oh no sir.”
“Pity, said St. Peter, “you won’t enjoy Sunday nights either!”