We Are Slaves to Our Habits and Conditioning
Most human beings refuse to be guided from within, by higher wisdom. Instead, they live influenced by the deeply entrenched habits they created in the past. Their lives, in consequence, are like balls struck at the player’s whim
As the ball in a game must go where it is sent, so mankind, habit-driven, has no choice but to live out the results of his karma as dictated by his own former actions.
Most human beings are slaves to their conditioning, which may appear as an outward cause but in fact has its origin within themselves. They are controlled by their habits. Although those habits were created initially by themselves, a habit, once formed, is self-perpetuating.
Very few people have any idea how insidiously their action-generated habits of the past influence their present behavior, their mental outlook, the companions and environment they attract, and what they mistakenly call their “luck,” whether good or bad.
People—Westerners, especially—believe they have free will. Others—mostly Easterners—imagine just as erroneously that there is no way out, that all is Kismet: Fate.
But there is a way out! That way is to renounce the false notion that we demonstrate freedom by giving free reign to our egoic desires.
In Karma’s realm, Karma rules supreme.
Yet human beings have the power to withdraw to another realm altogether, by attuning themselves with the infinite wisdom behind the karmic law.
This much freedom is ours eternally: to accept God and his guidance from within, or to continue to be guided by our egoic desires.
The more we live guided from within, the greater our control over the outer game of life. For when we live at our own center, in superconsciousness, we live in the only true freedom there is.
In soul consciousness we are no longer helplessly controlled by habits and desires.
To the extent, then, that we develop soul consciousness, we free ourselves from karmic slavery.
How long—how tragically long—have habits kept you bound. To be free, seek the only solution there is to life’s endless puzzle: deep meditation, and increasing attunement with wisdom through daily contact with the ever-free, Infinite Spirit.
Excerpted from Karma and Reincarnation by Paramhansa Yogananda