Acts of betrayal Betrayal is the worst Karmic action. In the case of betrayal, one consciously and deliberately sets out to un-do another person or another person's project or idea, in order to profit in some manner from its destruction. Betrayal is the exact opposite of Cosmic Love--the Christ Principle. Of all betrayals, it is betrayal by a trusted friend that carries the most destructive Karmic effects because in order to betray a friend, one has to know something intimate--to be privy to the secrets and confidences of that person--in order to commit such an act. History has always judged betrayal to be the most heinous of crimes. From Judas' betrayal of Jesus for money, to Brutus' betrayal of Caesar under the delusion of saving the Roman Republic, the act of betrayal has continually been considered the blackest of dark deeds. The human psyche has always cringed at the mere mention of the act of betrayal with the possible exception of our modern society which has raised it to a high art in the form of "tell all" books and magazine articles. Today, government, big business and the entertainment industry especially are rampant with betrayals. The act of betrayal creates its own Karmic vortex of energy which cycles around with each succeeding incarnation, exerting an even stronger impulse to betray again. Correspondingly, the betrayer can fight it and ofttimes overcome it, but it's extremely hard to do so. That's because Karma is especially disposed torid the earth of betrayers. The betrayer creates his own destiny, which, in extreme cases, ends up with the destruction of the soul of the constant betrayer. We should all pray that we never become betrayers and enter into this strong, dark vortex. Unfortunately, the mind can manufacture an exceedingly subtle complex of rationalizations and convince itself that a betrayal is really not a betrayal. Take the betrayal of Caesar by Brutus, for example. Brutus thought he was doing a noble deed. He allowed his ego to be convinced by the flattery of conniving Roman politicians--who had their own interests in mind--that by killing Caesar he would be the savior of the Roman Republic. Even though in his own mind his motivation was noble, his act of betrayal actually threw the whole Roman Empire into 13 years of Chaos and war. Finally, after losing a crucial battle, he fell on his sword and ended his own life. Karma. There is a proverb of the Ancient Wisdom that goes, "It matters not how the cage of a wild beast came to be open." It means that if an action leads to a disaster, the one who is responsible for the act--regardless of motive and regardless of whether the act was deliberate or accidental--gets the Karma for the deed. This Karmic concept should cause us all to stop and think. It shows us to what lengths Karma goes in identifying personal responsibility regardless of the lengths the human psyche can go to rationalize away personal responsibility. This is especially true concerning an act of betrayal. All sorts of noble justifications may be legitimately given, but in the end Karma will always out. The Ancient Wisdom says, "There are no small betrayals." Acts of deceit Sir Francis Bacon said it all: "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." Deception is the art of making that which is, appear to be that which it is not and vice-versa. Thus an act of deceit begis with a dishonest motivation. Deceit is also cyclic in its Karmic effect. The more we practice it, the more tangled the web becomes. Such webs sooner or later break up and crumble because, unlike the strong web of correctness, the fragile web of deceit is particularly prone to self-destruction. Everyday we see some web of deceit fall apart. It's right there in the newspapers and on TV. We see it in politics, in the government, in corporate board rooms, Wall St. and on used car lots everywhere. The Karma of deceit is eventual exposure. It's as simple as that. As Abraham Lincoln said, "You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." The Ancient Wisdom says, "Deception succeeds first of all in deceiving one's own heart." Acts of revenge This is the most completely useless act of all. The act of Revenge just multiplies and renews the energy of the original action which prompted the act of revenge. The idea that revenge is somehow justified is the biggest mistake of earthly thinking. Usually, it is justified by the "an eye for an eye" passage in the Bible, but this passage is just a statement of Karma--like "Live by the sword and die by the sword." The fact that the concept of "an eye for an eye" cannot be contained along with the concept of "vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord" is directly due to the fact that the priesthood and the rabbis have withheld the Law of Karma from life. Only the Law of Karma can contain both concepts with complete integrity. The Ancient Wisdom says, "Forgive and forget; that is the best revenge." Acts of hatred Harboring hatred against someone is like keeping a hot poker aglow in your bowels. It will ulcerate very organ there. Hatred devours and destroys its bearer. Hatred is the most negative use to which we can put our imagination. The Karma of hatred links us irrevocablywith the one we hate. If we become obsessed with our hate, it will take over our life and eventually open up our consciousness to invasion by the dark forces which inhabit the subtle planes of existence. Hate has its beginnings in self-love--the kind of love of self that is so sensitive that it needs to lash out when that self becomes hurt by something. Unable to contain even trivial gestures of opposition to its own ego, the hurt person immediately isolates its opponent in a circle of hatred. Hatred ends, becomes inoperable, when we are able to kill out all prejudice and any exaggerated sense of self-love. This must be done because no one full of hate will be able to find the spiritual path until that demon of demons is vanquished. The Ancient Wisdom says, "Hatred of another is first of all a deep hatred of oneself." Acts of dishonesty An act of dishonesty is a lie to one's own soul. It's a deception of self more than anything else, because one cannot help but actually know the truth in his own heart. Thus an act of dishonesty is a conscious thing--we know what we are doing, yet our need to be dishonest is so overpowering that we cannot summon the inner ethic we need to do the right thing. Some are born with this inner ethical censor; others have to develop it. Regardless of how one finally acquires it, it is a fundamental necessity of life because the world cannot progress without ethics. We are taught honesty from the mouths of our parents in our youth, but we are taught dishonesty by their actions. When someone rings the doorbell and we are told to tell the caller that so-and-so is not home, we are taught dishonesty. When the waitress in the restaurant forgets to put the soup on the bill and we notice it but do not talk to her about it, we demonstrate our dishonesty to all at the table. We do this because we think we're getting away with something, but we're not. We will surely have Karma to pay for our personal dihonesty, but we will also be partially responsible when our children do the same thing we did. The Ancient Wisdom says, "Honesty is the best policy." Acts of inaction Can inaction be an act? Yes. Because inaction can cause a void which was meant to be filled with a positive action, to be filled by a negative action. Thus if one does not act rightly in certain situations, one creates an opening for the invasion of chaos. We are responsible for what goes on without us. Inaction is usually caused by fear. In fact, fear is so potent it can paralyze one into catalepsy. My guru used to say, "When you come to a fork in the road and don't know which way to go, the worst thing you can do is hesitate. If you plunge ahead down one road and find out that it is wrong, then you know the other one is right. If you hesitate out of fear of making the wrong decision, you can miss an opportunity. The thing is: conditions will have changed during your period of inaction." The Ancient Wisdom says, "When you write to friends, advise them to act." Acts of Irritation The Ancient Wisdom tells us that "Irritation, fear and self-pity can be consciously ejected." This is a wonderful thing to know because it means we are in control of these demons. Irritation is the worst because it instantly cuts off all communication between our lower and our Higher Self. Thus when we allow ourselves to be irritated at something, we eliminate any possibility of receiving a clear thought that could bring us out of the very dilemma which caused our irritation. If we allow our irritation to grow into anger, we will upset our whole physical system for a full eight hours. If this happens often we invite all kinds of sickness and disease into our body. If we are filled with joy, we receive good thoughts from our Higher Self. If we are irritated, we interrupt the current and cut ourselves off. One of the main aspects of he spiritual path is to learn to endure all. The concept of "This, too, shall come to pass" is one which is based on perfect wisdom. Irritation can come to us from many different directions, but it also can be ejected in many different ways--playing music, dancing around, a change of labor, a walk in the country or by the seashore, or just sitting down in a chair and reading an uplifting book until the darkness has passed. Anything will work if you want it to, because you are in charge. All you have to do is change your rhythm. The Ancient Wisdom says, "The poison of irritation can do more harm to one's system than the poison of a rattlesnake."