Karma - is it all so bad?

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Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by sarah » 14 Mar 2008

Look, firstly I just want to say I am really dealing with the not so intellectual basics here. I just wish there was a section on this forum called, "BK beginners guide" or a section called, "Idiots guide to the BKs" because I know this is really very basic, but ...
  • this whole karma issue, I know it is not limited to the BKs, but it kind of affects my every wakening hour.
Every day I go to bed and I have this awful feeling that my day was not so good, I was not that compassionate or I did not give enough and, alas, it naturally follows that I will be forced to go around the next 5,000 years with the rest of the losers ...

Could there be an alternative to karma? Is karma so negative, so punishing?

I sat on a bench in the woods today. I was surrounded by trees and birdsong and I watched my dog running around happily, chewing a stick ... It was so beautiful, and yet tainted with a horrible cloud hanging over my head, a horrible feeling that I just was not giving enough, that I was simply not using this birth to its potential, that I was not serving or meditating enough. In spite of the beauty, there was a horrible feeling that I was wasting this birth.

Is there a positive alternative to karma? Could it just be that we are all a bunch of souls, doing the best we can with the tools we have been given at the present moment. Could it be that our upbringing, and our parents have nothing to do with any past behaviour? Could it be that we are, at this particular birth, fresh and innocent and we are simply making the best we can of what we have and that there is not sense of punishment and that it is all going to work out o.k in the end?

Alas, it is Friday night. A night when most people in England are probably drinking too much and watching dvds. I just wonder if I am the only one sitting here in Devon, pondering the question that as I am having a rubbish time, is it because I am a rubbish person and have been really awful to people in all my births? How on earth am i supposed to reconcile myself to the fact that for the next 5000 years I have to deal with that?

Sarah xx

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Re: karma - is it all so bad

Post by jannisder » 14 Mar 2008

sarah wrote: I was surrounded by trees and birdsong and I watched my dog running around happily, chewing a stick.....It was so beautiful, Sarahxx
There Sarah, you have your blessing right in front of you!!!

No need to ever worry about a karmic account, for you, it disappears while enjoying the above. ENJOY!!!

love Jan.

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let go of it

Post by alladin » 14 Mar 2008

Hi, Sarah, your playful and joyful dog running around contented with its stick, is a good image and a simple answer to your questions.

People make things very complicated and even if your nature is pure and simple, you may loose it because of the costant contact and interaction with the madness humans developed , carry with them and impose it on the rest of creation. Try to implement the old hippy motto of "living in the now". I strongly feel, and felt when I was a more definite BK, that the main thing is our state of mind, our peace, love and happiness, and the consequent vibrations we can radiate.

Many dissatisfied, bitter and bossy BKs are restless and busy in service: they spread unhappiness and peacelessness, whilst we maybe surfing, skiing or walking in the woods, or swinging in a hammock.

An old friend, famous maharati BK taught me this lesson long time ago. He was serving both in the center and laying down by himself on a deserted beach. There's no need to feel useless or unworthy. When we manage to keep a good internal stage even whilst crossing adverse circumstances, or when apparently we don't do anything flashy, we actually practise what Baba asks us to do: be a lighthouse and mighthouse. :wink:

Do not feel judged or that you have to report to any human being. God has the record of what goes on within us. It doesn't matter what people think of us and we should not get caught up in appearances. Every thought of ours affects the atmosphere and it's our responsability to remain cheerful. No matter what. People go out, get wasted on drinks and drugs on week-ends, precisely because feeling "naturally" high, with simple things, is a privilege few can enjoy.

I had a good day with my pets too, and am dancing by myself with the help of a good radio station and the half moon. I feel connected to all of you, my spiritual friends, and the Great Spirit, dancing Shiva, Natraj. I don't miss anything. In the end, all these religious and philosophical stuff, including karma, can become "waste thoughts" and rather than helping us, represents one more trap. Possibly, Zen was born out of the need to free oneself from such yokes.

Take it easy. Love and light and Jannis, say hi to your terrier. :D

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Re: karma - is it all so bad

Post by andrey » 15 Mar 2008

One feels bad about karma if he feels he had done bad acts in the past, so the result will be bad now. If one feels he had done good acts in the past, he will feel well - that the result will be good now. Bad things are definitely due to our past actions, but good things as well. There is no such an individual in the whole world in whose life there is only good or only bad things happening. We can always start anew (refresh). If some bad feeling, bad situation etc. comes to us we should not be perturbed with this. These are just some small things remaining.

If we do good actions now we will feel well and we will feel well about our future. We can forget about the past. We don't remember and don't know what we had done in the past, so the way we can tremble with fear that we had done many wrong things in the past we are to be punished about, we could think that we had done many right things we are to be rewarded for. Based on our thinking our fortune is in our hands. Who knows about the future? It entirely depends on us. The way we think, this way we will act and we’ll receive the reward accordingly.

We do perform to the best of our potential. If a voice says I am not doing my best maybe it is right. There is always margin for improvement. We don't know how far our potential goes. Feeling of regret is wrong. It is connected with the past. Guilt comes when we don't understand that to fall is part of the drama. There is nothing wrong. We fall, we raise.

We are concerned with removing our sins. Whatever we may had done in the past we can remove it painlessly, we don't have to pay, we don't have to suffer. This can be done with the remembrance of the Supreme Soul Shiva who is ever pure and has come in the body of an ordinary human being.

In a single day our mood changes up and down, but we should aim to keep it high. The example Baba (via Virendra Dev Dixit) uses is - we learn riding bicycle but we fall, but we don't give up, we get up and try again. And we learn. And the method of remembrance brings good feelings and has good result. If we think of something or someone else we feel bad, for everyone may give some temporary happiness, pleasure or feeling of achievement, but later on they definitely turn to be givers of sorrow as well. So we also need to develop some sense of detachment form the whole world and connect all of our connections with this one Supreme Soul to our hearts content. No relationship should be missing.

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Re: karma - is it all so bad

Post by john morgan » 15 Mar 2008

Hello Sarah,

I've read some of your past posts and today it seemed a fair idea to respond.

There seems to be good karma and bad karma. Understanding of karma can make clear what does not otherwise seem to make sense.

There is a BK saying "Past is Past" this means that what has happened up to this point is in the past. It may sound a little silly saying the same thing twice, its a deep point and well worth repeating.

The way I've made use of karma is to understand

1) there is past karma which is affecting me now
2) The fresh karma that I create now can be an improvement on the karma I have created in the past.

From a BK point of view the highest karma is to introduce people to Baba. For those of us who seem to be estranged from the BK family the question of how to create good karma is still an issue. One guideline is that an action containing virtue creates good karma.

I manage to muddle through somehow. How one directs ones attention seems important, for example, deal with positives and don't beat your self up with negatives. The conscious creation of qualities such as honesty, respect, tolerance, kindness etc is to be cultivated. The thinking I am not like this or lack that is best avoided. This morning I was thinking about the creation of hope, the opposite of this is despair but deliberately I chose to think about hope. I am not saying close your eyes and your faults will vanish what I am saying is that if you identify a fault which you wish to remedy the antidote is practice of its opposite. To practice Patience instead of trying not to be impatient is an example.

No matter how things are now the deliberate creation of actions with good qualities in them will change your future. To forget the past when creating in the present can improve the quality of your creation. As you perform good action in response to life's challenges hope grows. As you learn to focus your attention it (attention) strengthens and hope grows. The understanding that through sowing good karma the future that you desire can be created also gives hope. Having a goal gives focus. I enjoy thinking around and about such things.

By the practice of taking ones time and making everything clear patience grows. Hopefully, in my case, this sort of attitude will eventually make me much clearer about how I create. As one begins the process of deliberate creation past karma can come tumbling down and interfere, don't worry about this - just continue. An important understanding for me is that I am work in progress, the mould is not set for all time because I am creating myself anew each day. I humbly suggest that you should understand the same for yourself and through the creation of new thoughts attitudes and actions change your current reality into something much more agreeable.

Most importantly be kind to yourself Sarah, be very very kind very gentle and merciful. You merit being nurtured as the temporary feelings of punishment that you have somehow picked up don't seem to be that useful. They are most likely based on an erroneous conclusion because you are work in progress, aren't you?!

Each day is a learning experience, in the school of life and consciousness its very much a teach yourself thing. I have practiced forgiving those who have harmed or I think have harmed me for some time now. Its very interesting that once I have forgiven someone for all time the same complaint arises at a later date and I have to forgive again. I don't worry about this, I just go through the process, grow stronger, and look forward to the day when I am so much master of my own world that when I forgive I really do forgive. :)

It seems that another way of burning off karma is powerful Yoga. There are pitfalls in trying to do this before one has developed the necessary strengths. The sense in "Seek Wisdom before Power" is considerable though some still wish to open a building before the scaffolding has been errected!

No its not all so bad. Better to deal with bad karma (negative energy) now than at some time in the future.

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by bansy » 15 Mar 2008

Sarah wrote:I sat on a bench in the woods today. I was surrounded by trees and birdsong and I watched my dog running around happily, chewing a stick ... It was so beautiful, and yet tainted with a horrible cloud hanging over my head, a horrible feeling that I just was not giving enough, that I was simply not using this birth to its potential, that I was not serving or meditating enough. In spite of the beauty, there was a horrible feeling that I was wasting this birth. Is there a positive alternative to karma?
Hi Sarah,

You (and everyone else) have the potential to give and to love and to help and to care. If you feel like it, do it, as if your intent is good, it will work. If you feel not giving enough, then yes you are not giving enough, it is a negative thought. A half full glass is a half full glass. Is it karma caused ? Doesn't matter. There is no need to theorise and be burdened over theories of karma, prove it or disprove it. A person seeking to clear karma will never clear it because it will thus endlessly always be there !

So don't be burdened with more things in your beautiful mind, and enjoy yourself, enjoy what you have, give a little, help a little to slowly fill your glass, do it in a way that makes you well, not what others think is well. Don't dump rubbish on yourself, and don't dump it on others if you can do things yourself.

There are lots of people in the world you can love, but first love yourself.

So my alternative to karma is to forget it, and just remember that you are a good, friendly, helpful, kind person. Maybe others have already told you that before, but try telling yourself that too. It's not pride, it's accepting oneself with a touch of humility. Then results will come but there is also no need to seek out for them. You aren't wasting your birth, you mean a lot to others more than you may actually be aware of.

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Re: karma - is it all so bad

Post by fluffy bunny » 15 Mar 2008

john morgan wrote:There is a BK saying "Past is Past" this means that what has happened up to this point is in the past ... It seems that another way of burning off karma is powerful Yoga.
Actually, should it not "past is passed"? One of those simplistic little ditties the Hindis love so much and repeat ad nauseum for the lack of any deeper understanding.

Karma ... we have chewed it over here before and, from my point of view, gotten no where. Or exhibited at least 'no one nos nuttin'.

Life is vast and largely random. Our lives are as important and in as much control as little mices living in some other farmers wheat field. We busy ourselves every day with our worries but we are largely at the mercy of the cosmic weather patterns ... and the farmers for when they chose to reap and sow. Sometimes are the fields are full, at barren empty. Now and again we are at the mercy of the teeth combine harvesters. In our egocentricity, we think it is all about us ... but to the farmers we do not even exists. And then there are the farmer's cats ... more of which later.

I keep asking the simple question to silence, not "what is karma?" but "where is karma?".

If karma exists as we understand it, and let us face that the Brahmakumaris' theory is, as usual, very slim and full of holes, where is it? It something exists and causes material effects, it must exist in some form and act through some medium. What and where are those? Either they don't exist, the BKs cannot tell or no one knows.

However, the "Theory of Karma" is used widely as a social tool, a tool of mental conditioning, especially by the farmer's cats I mentioned above. And the mental muddle and insecurity you and we are all experiencing is one by-product of it. Indeed, what do we do or do we do nothing?

Let us look briefly at the primary alternative theory. About ten billion years ago, the Universe began in a gigantic explosion. A whole bunch of atoms were randomly propelled out into an expanding universe. By chance, some of them stuck together to become us and created our lives. We and the universe are still expanding and bound by a number of scientific laws. No one really knows where it is all going. The key element here is either that the it is all VERY random and out of our control ... or so complex that NO ONE can even come to understand it.

Whatever it is, or however the karma theory has its effects, I would say that the main issue is that it will or does only effect a small aspect of our lives and that our lives are still very largely subject to random effects completely and utterly beyond our control. So, yes, to that extent, the Zen concept of just "being here now" is probably the best one. Take the position bansy is showing you.

The BK karma system is full of highly simplistic, child-like even; carrots and sticks. Golden Palaces, nice saris and lots of diamonds if you do what they say; tears of blood, tooth grinding torture and a screwed up eternity ... for ever ... if you do not do what they say. It could be taught in about 3 minutes. Does that sound very enlightened to you? No, they have no more idea than the next chicken waiting for the sky to fall on its head.

Of course, we do not know WHAT and WHEN the BKs became enlightened enough to KNOW this. All we can know for sure is that they keep re-writing their history and philosophy to suit external changes. I mean, take this miraculous "karma burning Yoga" they and only they have ... when did it start and what is it? If you look closely at what they do and say, and the re-written history, no one really knows.
The sense in "Seek Wisdom before Power" is considerable though some still wish to open a building before the scaffolding has been erected!
... or open a university before they have even read a single science book. I mean, I think open discussion and transparency are very good karma by any system and look how the beakies responded to this forum!!! So, please, don't worry yourself. Just know that whatever karma may or may not be ... what we can be sure is that it is used and abused by others who want to eat our lives up. Where the big farmers actually put in some work and investment to effect our lives; the cats are just along for the ride, play with our minds and then eat us.

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by john morgan » 15 Mar 2008

Sometimes I ask the question "Am I happy?" Lack of happiness indicates that karma is present. The good news is that we are fluid, sanskaras are inevitably being modified in everyone. A theory is useful in that it gives a constructive framework with which to proceed. Which sanskaras result in great happiness? Which actions are harmful? Whatever I bring into action will grow, whatever I put my attention on will grow. We are all different, we must find for ourselves the most useful tools for self improvement.

The wind blows, ships set their sails, karma, far from being an unnecessary complication is in my view a theory of action (cause and effect) which makes sense of much. As I increasingly pick and choose my thought, intent, actions etc. in the light of the theory of karma it does seem that it may well be true. It is an impersonal law with no favourites that gives great hope - even the smallest action has its effect, as does each thought. A good reason to make effort!

This is my point of view, thanks for the opportunity to express it.

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by fluffy bunny » 15 Mar 2008

john morgan wrote:Sometimes I ask the question "Am I happy?" Lack of happiness indicates that karma is present.
It could also be a food allergy, a genetically defined chemical imbalance, the weather, a sense of being subject to personal or systemic abuse ... the problems being that few of us are smart enough or have the time to invest to find out which particular influence at any given time and it is a system which is far too open to abuse, e.g. "that is bad, you are doomed ... but, here, I have the cure".

The BK Karma laws also quickly buckle under scrutiny into a simplistic, "Oh, its far too complex to understand ... just remember Baba ... and invest in us".

Again, if something is present, where is it present? Through which mechanism is it having its effect on which part of us? I am not saying that there is not some system at work, I am asking for concrete evidence of it ... and an understanding of it.

The way the BK system works, it is far too malleable, e.g. senior sisters can be "karmateet" (free from karma) and then become terminally ill. Immediately, that is then re-invented as the "karma of the body" (as if the body has its own karmic accounts separate of the soul) or, recently, one senior claiming that her suffering was working out the karma of the group. Its all a mud. Where is the clarity? Ditto, how does doing meditation burn away karma? Its more honest just to say, "we don't know".

BTW, I think an Idiot's Guide to Brahma Kumaris is a great idea. Why don't you start one in the newcomers thread?

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by john morgan » 15 Mar 2008

Hello ex-l,

Its interesting that you seem to box the theory of karma with BK teaching.

Buddhism has studied the theory of karma for thousands of years. Electricity is to all intents and purposes invisible though very constructive things are done with it. Christianity's "turn the other cheek" seems to contain a deep understanding of karma.

Somehow one has to make sense of life and in my previous posts under this topic I have mentioned a few ways in which the theory of karma has been helpful for me. As far as concrete proof is concerned no one can give you that. The Christian "As you do so will be done unto you" is a useful understanding. My reason for helping others is not that I may get a reward. I consider that it is a privilege to be able to help even if in a very small way. The creation of respect for others helps me too. Attitudes are not automatic, they must be created, each of us creates our own thoughts attitudes and actions unless we have unconsciously adopted them.

I feel for Sarah, the BKs are good at creating painful situations I have written what I think may help her within the constraints of the information given, so why am I sidetracked into discussing whether karma exists or not? It must be my karma! :)

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by fluffy bunny » 16 Mar 2008

Well surely, as any BK teacher would tell you, "Buddhism is the path of ignorance from which no benefit can be derived" ... least of all liberation from life or one's karma. But ... according to Buddhism, the belief that all happiness and suffering arise from previous karma (Past-action determinism or Pubbekatahetuvada) is wrong thinking. As indeed is Issaranimmanahetuvada, the belief that all happiness and suffering are caused by the directives of a Supreme Being (Theistic determinism). So where does that leave sarah?

In Buddhism they also categorise 5 processes (or niyamas) which operate in the physical and mental realms only one of which is directly what you would call "karma". They talk about Utu Niyama, Bija Niyama, Karma Niyama, Dhamma Niyama and Citta Niyama each with its own realm or order. There are also lengthy classifications of karmas according to functions and priority of effects, their time frames, the planes they work out on etc, none of which exist in BK-ism. So how can BKism appropriate one bit of a working Buddhist theory and ditch the rest?

So what point am I making? Oh, the usual sideswipe that the kindergarten teachings that masquerading as a "university" level spirituality is limited and has been corrupted and sarah can quite safely ditch them and not have the sky fall on her head.

I have seen and felt electricity. The difference between it and karma theories is that simple rules or experiments can be defined and repeated identically without fail. Electricity can be described. We know how and where it works. Karma is just largely used as a tool of social control. This is both good and bad. Religion is a useful tool in creating social cohesion but also abuse. Get people afraid to act according to their own conscience and intuition, according to their own life lessons ... and you are more than half way to creating a handy slave caste.

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by john morgan » 16 Mar 2008

Well ex-1,

There you are asking me about karma and you give me a lesson :).

At various times I have faced what was for me very difficult situations, to accept a situation is to face it. The advantage of seeing a situation in the context of karma is that once I have accepted it I can do something about it - create new karma! As I do this I change my situation, everything is temporary, even now and even heaven. If Sarah reads my posts and understands them, simplistic as they may seem to the more learned, I think they may help. After all she was asking about karma and everyone else told her to forget it.

The Brahma Kumaris dish out punishment at various times, to me it seems premature and more a reflection of their failure to understand their students and teach them properly. Karma, if true, will do the punishing, could there be a more merciful way of helping students to progress? I can easily see that if someone steals punishment may deflect them from a life of crime and a wasted life but making someone feel that they are damned forever has to my mind no useful purpose. That sort of feeling will only hamper a person who desires to sow good karmic seeds and I strongly suspect that Sarah is a very genuine and good person.

I write here in my own name, I do fear having to reap terrible karma but have the faith that I too am a good person despite the Brahma Kumaris edict that I cannot receive Murlis and can only attend public events. It may be that the BKs are protecting me from experiencing too much holiness and realising my current state of sin or it may be that they do not consider me good material for their purposes, only God can say.

The difficulty I have in dealing with God is that those who could and would advise me don't have a clue that he is well hidden and comes in Madhuban. Many religions consider a meeting with God the ultimate experience. Pre-Madhuban I was told that Baba was full of anticipation at meeting me, though it did seem when I met him that he did not have a clue who I was and had to be told what I had recently done. I can easily reconcile this as why should he reveal himself to me in some special way, it would be unfair for the rest of the world!

There is no doubt in my mind that the knowledge works and is an expression of the truth but, and it is a big but, why are the BKs at certain times so very very unkind? I know karma is my friend and that if I perform good action over a long period of time no one and nothing can stop me from gate crashing heaven. I currently seem to be making reasonable progress, this is a far cry from when I changed from being a true seeker to a total undesirable worthy of great punishment.

I personally find the Law of Karma a godsend, other true friend's are "take your time and make everything clear" and "you cannot put a foot wrong." Another great mantra is "when something hits the fan I have every resource I need to deal with it."

Let's hope that Sarah finds reading this post just a teeny weeny bit helpful.

Kindest regards to all, especially Baba and the BKs without whom this website would not have been possible :).

p.s. May we all become skillful at creating happiness sanskaras.

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by fluffy bunny » 16 Mar 2008

Sarah, if you make it this far, the answer I provided from a Buddhist point of view basically confirmed your initial starting point that, no, it is not all that bad ... yes, there are other issues at play ... to which I would add, and we "field mice" are all so small and insignificant in the greater picture of things that we really ought not worry ourselves about it too much.

I am sorry John but I don't think the rest of us are saying "forget karma theory". I think we are just saying it is safe to think and step out of the BK box. Actually, I think increasingly the most important karma from the BK point of view is not to "introduce people to Baba" (which is far more likely to lead one to being socially excluded and possibly sectioned if done to excess) but introduce money to Baba's box.

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by john morgan » 16 Mar 2008

Well ex-I,

As regards stepping out of the box, I agree totally. Learning to think for oneself in a creative, intelligent and empowering way is essential.

What you say about money is interesting.

After deeply examining the reasons why I left the BKs, money attitudes were very much an issue. One day I was asked to take a businessman from the centre to where they wished to go and agreed. The person asking me then then said, "He might give Baba some money". I then said no as I did not consider that in about 20 minutes the visitor could really know who he was giving the money to. Had the person said drive him to the other side of the country I would have readily agreed, but the mention of money spoilt it. I was astounded to realise that the matter was not up for discussion, thereafter I was given the detached treatment and opportunities for service were removed. My reaction to this was very very negative. I was hoping that BapDada would sort it all out when I went to see him but he had not a clue or at any rate did not open the topic.

Since I have learnt to control or at least modify my reaction to anything anyone says or does, I have more love than emnity towards the BKs, have remarkable experiences at various times, love the knowledge, love service but still have lots of faults. Though the BK experience has been ultimately to my benefit would I go through it all again? No, I would find a place where more effort was made to truly understand others and where superior attitudes did not exist. Banned from receiving Murlis, banned from all but public talks, yes my friends the BKs despite being very special have over time expressed certain traits that are no better than a bad joke. I recall the words "No mercy, Shiva Baba may be stupid but Brahma Baba is no fool" is this really the work of God? By golly, I'll probably get sent to hell for this! Or is it fair criticism?

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by paulkershaw » 17 Mar 2008

To add my own way of thinking to this subject:

K - k(c)an
A - a
R - Recluse
M - Manifest
A - Abundance?

Just playing with words here but I feel that the aspects of self-mastery I am resonating with at present requires me to understand my own 'abundance' and ability to be abundant in all aspects, and I am thinking that as long as I try and remove myself from the world and its people, then I cannot possibly receive COMPLETE abundance as I may be limiting myself in my inter-action with those that will teach me to achieve or manifest this.

In other words, should I try to link into one single group or one belief system (perhaps due to a need for group struture or support, to be part of a 'family' system) then I will only receive part happiness, love and joy etc as that group or belief is limited and not interacting on a universal level of awareness.

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