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Did I Create My Pain?

by Michael Ketterhagen

The Law of Karma, in the Yoga Tradition, says that I can create my own world and I live in the world that I have created. Does that mean that I have created my pain? Is this agony or joy that I experience coming from my own doing? Am I pre-destined to experience the pain that I am experiencing?

The Yoga Tradition also says that “all of creation, both the external world and the internal world is perfect and it is the essence of eternity.” The external world is constantly changing and that is perfect. It is “eternity in flow.” The external flowing eternity only becomes painful when we want that ever-changing world to stay the way we want it.

It is the expectation that things not change that causes our pain. Why do we want things to stay the same? We want to control our future lives, usually because we want the beauty and joy of the present moment, that we consider perfect, to continue on forever. We want it to be constantly perfect. We want this certainty of safety and joy to always be with us.

It is only in the internal world of stillness that eternity is constant. We long for constancy. We long for it to last forever. So, we can find that constancy in our internal world of meditation. There we experience eternal joy and happiness, unless it is constantly changing because of our roaming mind.

In order to create joy for eternity we just need to look for change and flow of life in the external world and to look for stillness and constancy in the internal world. We just have to look for our joy in the right places—eternal constancy in the internal world and eternal flow in the external world.

Like my mom always used to say, “Get your focus in the right place. Look for what you want in the right place.” If we don’t, we will be creating our own pain.


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