fear not…

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

~ Yoda

such wise words. such a succinct quote on how (in a simple, general sense) karma works. the popular notion of karma being “you get what you deserve” is not accurate and feeds the ego with its desire for vengeance and misguided justice (which isn’t really justice at all).

in Buddhism, karma is simply a law of nature, like gravity. you plant a seeds and from that seed, something will grow. you plant love, for example, and that love reverberates and grows. you plant fear or greed, etc and they will grow eventually into some form of suffering. our thoughts, words, and actions are seeds. our thoughts can give rise to words, and words to actions and so forth. i’m not an expert and it gets more complicated than that in the Buddhist cosmology, but the metaphor of planting seeds is helpful. karma is not punitive, it is simply a result and can be affected by other karma – other thoughts, words, actions.

i’ve always liked this quote though, because it demonstrates the slippery slope of these hot emotions. they so easily (and quickly!) grow into each other after being planted.

i also appreciate that fear is noted as the root issue, as the initial seed. i once read, from a Franciscan Priest, that “fear not” (or “be not afraid” etc) is the most repeated phrase in Biblical scripture. isn’t that interesting?

in our evolution fear has played an important role to avoid danger. fear, like anger, can be a beneficial motivator if transformed (into compassion for example), but they are not healthy places to stay. our fear is often misplaced and so many of us live and react out of some level of fear (anxiety) much of the time. fear blinds us and creates tremendous unease. in our discomfort anger can arise, and we can act with desperation to control or avoid, which can lead to horrible harm and suffering.

to quote Biblical scriptures again, “there is no fear in love.”

let’s plant seeds of love.

~j

(#Yoda #BWphotography from a series of #StarWars i did a couple of years ago)

#TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #love #fear #karma #Buddhism #Zen #JMWphotography #JinpaLhaga

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