Study of my own life's discoveries works to realize the efficacy of Socrates' famous quotation, "The unexamined life is not worth living."
The Karmator—pronounced "karm-uh-dur" or "karm-uh-tor"—is my newly coined term for the Divine Reality (God, Creator). It is created from the word "karma" and the suffix "-tor"; "karma" is the law of cause and effect, while "-tor" is a suffix indicating agency. Common examples are janitor, orator, terminator, and victor.
The Divine Reality—being almighty, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent—controls and directs everything in creation; as the director of the workings of "karma," that aspect of God may be called the "Karmator."
The Karmator knows the answer to every question, the solution to every problem, and the remedy for every illness. The Karmator is taking care of each of us even as we engage in our folly: Helpers helping. Writers writing. Readers reading. Healers healing. Politicians politicizing. Liars lying, Robbers robbing, etc.
The Karmator is not a super-sized, venerable person, such as an elderly gray-bearded gentlemen sitting on a throne up inside the blue sky. Metaphorically, the Karmator resembles more a force or energy, that is, not a being detected through the senses, but nevertheless intuited from the acts and facts of creation.
To those who have stayed with this piece to this point, I pose the following question: How can I help you? I do have the answer to it: Only one way—by pointing to what I have experienced. It is often by our experience that we can be most useful to others, for example, if we have experienced the efficacy of eating fresh vegetables and fruit and exercising daily, then we can offer our experience to others, knowing that it is then up to them whether they follow our experiential pointing.
Thus, I am pointing to the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda that assert that the purpose of the life of each human being is to connect his/her soul (self), which is a spark of the Creator, to that Creator. The great guru offers techniques for achieving that momentous connection or self-realization.
A useful introduction to the teachings of "the Father of Yoga in the West" is Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi. If after the first few pages, you just don’t get it, well, that’s ok. The soul exists eternally; you will eventually find your soul; we all will. Our timetable remains between us and our Maker.
We can then relax and know that we have not wasted our time in our search for meaning and fulfillment. The Karmator will become clear to us eventually, one way or another. And eventually, we will remember that our soul is immortal, eternal, just like the Karmator. That information is what I consider most valuable for living a balanced life free from overbearing sorrow and worry, and I received it from the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda.
Of course, we can all help others in practical, outward ways: parents helping children by providing them with food, clothing, and shelter; children helping parents by performing chores around the home; friends helping friends by creating pleasant, respectful relationships. And then there are the little things like helping someone carry groceries or offering advice on the best plumber in town.
But this musing is not about the little pleasantries and practical assistance that keep life well-oiled and running smoothly. This musing is about the possibility of offering some real assistance that might change a life from misdirection to direction, from sorrow to gladness, from misinformation to information.
Because it is merely a musing, it offers no guarantee that it can accomplish anything of substance. It may be taken with a large grain of salt or not taken at all. I offer it with hope because that is what I do.
Do You Like to Help People?
I would argue most of us do like to help others. My own answer to that question is somewhat complex. I am a private person. Yet, I am a writer. Those two things might seem contradictory. Writers have to write about something and that equates to sharing information with others. A private person is loathe to do such sharing. A private person likes to keep to herself. But . . .
Doesn’t it depend on what you are sharing? And doesn’t it depend on how open you think you are? Although I consider myself a private person, I also consider myself quite open. I want people to know where I stand on issues. And I want people to know that I am willing to change my stance after I have been shown conclusively that I am wrong.
So back to the issue of helping people. I do like to help people. But knowing when you are helpful and when you are not can be tricky. I truly believe that the only real way I can help others is to point them to the source from which I have been helped with every issue I have ever faced in life: the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, which promise to "teach you how to live a balanced and successful life by awakening your connection to the Divine."
A Handout or a Handup
Oh, sure, I give a little money from time to time to charities, but a little money never actually helped anyone achieve anything of lasting value. I’m reminded of the adage: "give a man a fish and you feed him for one day, but teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." And that adage points to the unequivocal fact that what we do for ourselves is more efficacious than what others do for us.
A hand up vs a handout . . . that’s essentially the difference between the two political parties of the United States: the Republicans and the Democrats. The Democrats have amassed a huge following promising to give various groups stuff, including a guaranteed income and free college, and also including self-esteem.
Therefore the Democrats have gone after groups that have historically been thought to be unable to compete in the world because of prejudice and unfair discrimination. On the other hand, the Republicans formulate and establish policies that foster an atmosphere wherein each individual can strive and thrive to earn their own financial security.
And even though the Republican Party was founded on the issue of abolishing slavery and giving the black citizens a hand up, the Democrats managed to co-opt that principle and turn it into the handout principle.
After Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, Peggy Joseph effused, "I won’t have to worry about putting gas in my car and paying my mortgage." A typical reaction to the election of any Democrat since FDR, but unlike too many true believers, Peggy got over it!
Watch Peggy Get Over It: There’s No Place Like Utopia.
Altruism Is a Good Thing, However . . .
So back to helping people. Sounds like such a good, altruistic thing: Helping people. Don’t you picture Mother Teresa, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and all those other charities that do help people? And it could easily end there but for one thing: people are more than their bodies.
Mother Teresa helped people who were sick in body. The Red Cross appears at disasters like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes—all physical events that destroy property and injure the physical body.
How helpful is the Red Cross, et al, in helping people whose issue is a mental or spiritual one? And I would suggest that the mental and spiritual adversities far outnumber the physical.
Helping those with physical needs is important, but so is helping those with mental needs and spiritual needs. My guess is that if it could be calculated in terms of need, the numbers would stack up from lowest to highest: physical, mental, spiritual.
But because humans can see and hear the physical issues, they are most aware of them and know that they need to be addressed. But they cannot always see and hear the mental issues, so they are less likely to try to address them.
And forget about the spiritual: no one can see, hear, taste, touch, smell the soul. So quite a large number of folks, especially atheists, would argue that no such entity exists—much less that such an entity needs help. I suspect that much of the world’s population is unaware of two of the most important forces that work in the world: karma and reincarnation.
Karma and Reincarnation
Karma and reincarnation, in a nutshell: (1) Whatever happens in your life was set in motion by some action you took in the past. (2) Your soul never ceases to exist, and until it becomes once again aware of itself and it union with its Creator, it will continue to incarnate in a physical body: the sum of these two statements equals karma and reincarnation.
According to Paramahansa Yogananda and all avatars who have incarnated upon this Earth, until we have attained soul-awareness (self-realization), we will continue to reincarnate on a physical, worldly sea buffeted by the winds of change or Maya delusion. Until each of us knows our own self as a soul who has a body and mind, we will remain under that delusion, according to yogic and other spiritual teachings.
Likely the best way to be helpful is the remain open to offering one’s services when they seem to be necessary. The worst is to offer help to those who have not asked for it, for they will likely resent the arrogance attached to trying to help someone who feels that s/he has no need for your help.
Personally, I feel that my most useful act of helpfulness is in the act of pointing; I can only point to Paramahansa Yogananda and his teachings as I make the claim that those teachings changed and saved my life, as they have done with many others.
- Linda Sue Grimes. "Naming the Ineffable God." Letterpile. Updated: January 14, 2021.
- Editors. "Lessons for Home Study Programs." Self-Realization Fellowship. Accessed November 24, 2021.
- Linda Sue Grimes. "Paramahansa Yogananda's Spiritual Poetry: 'Father of Yoga in the West'." Owlcation. Updated: January 3, 2021.
- Bookstore. Autobiography of a Yogi. Self-Realization Fellowship. Accessed November 24, 2021.
- Editors. "Give a Man a Fish." Know Your Phrase. Accessed November 24, 2021.
- David Harsanyi. "Don’t Let Democrats Turn The US Into Europe." GOPUSA. October 23, 2021.
- Betsy McCaughey. "Democrats Are Trashing the American Work Ethic With Their Spending Bill." RealClear Politics. September 17, 2021.
- Joel Gilbert. "There's No Place Like Utopia." YouTube. July 12, 2014.
- Brother Sevananda (Swami Sevananda Giri). "The Cosmic Mystery of Karma and Reincarnation." Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. Accessed November 24, 2021.
- Editors. "Maya: Cosmic Delusion." Paramahansa Yogananda: Royal Path of Self-Realization. Accessed November 24, 2021.
- Editors. "What Others Have Said." Self-Realization Fellowship. Accessed November 24, 2021.
© 2021 Linda Sue Grimes