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A discourse on the Art of Questing Life
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A Discourse on the Art of Questing Life
By David Barrett-Murrer

The five jewels of wisdom are a fundamental part of the path of awakening and the way of enlightenment. They provide a source of inspiration for people to draw upon and benefit from. You are not asked to believe, but rather to discover for yourself the truths outlined in these jewels of wisdom and how they can transform your life.

This teaching is essentially a spiritual cleansing as the five jewels (karma, harmlessness, desire, love and freedom), when internalise, can take one rapidly to the threshold of spiritual awakening.

At some point in their lives most individuals ponder the question, 'What can I do to advance spiritually’. Many do not wish to get involved with any particular religion or belief-system, traditional or otherwise. They are looking for a method of teaching that frees the mind and does not restrict their personal freedom.

If a method is true then it will work for anyone who embraces it sincerely. No matter what belief-system you hold this teaching will enhance your understanding of yourself and also enhance any belief-system that you may subscribe to.

It is easy to dismiss the simplicity of this teaching but it can have a truly dynamic potency when understood and lived in daily life. The five truths that are central to this method have been known for centuries. They are like diamonds scattered in the darkness of the secular world. To process these jewels you just need to discover them and to live them.

These jewels are:
(1) The Awareness of Karma
(2) The Spirit of Harmlessness
(3) The Cessation of Selfish Desire
(4) A Sustained Loving Attitude
(5) The Harmony of Freedom



The jewel of karma contains a great and cleansing truth that can radically transform your life for the better. It is a truth that has been known for centuries yet its significance in the life of man is rarely understood and adopted.  When you fully understand this truth then you can choose between suffering and freedom from suffering. In time you will discover that no one makes us suffer we make ourselves suffer by what we think, say and do.

Karma is the law of cause and effect and is also known as the law of reactivity. In science this is known as the law of action and reaction. This law of cause and effect is part of most philosophies and cultures, yet its practical implication in the lives of men and women is seldom taken onboard.

All religions have some understanding of the nature of karma. This knowledge has not been hidden from man, rather it has been disregarded by adopting a superficial attitude of, 'Oh yes, I know that'. But it's not enough just to know it; one must live in the acute awareness of this truth of karma. Only then can it become a jewel of cleansing in one's life.

Many people wonder how they can advance spiritually. What everyone can benefit from is to understand the nature of karma as it is worked out in one's daily life. By thinking and pondering on the concept of karma one will gain a theoretical understanding. From this understanding it is easy to discover that karma is a reality in everyone's life. If you can live with the awareness of karma then the process of cleansing will naturally occur. This is definitely part of the spiritual path that everyone can actively work at, irrespective of who or what you are.

So what is this truth, this dynamic jewel of cleansing?

It is simply this: Every thought that we think, every word that we speak and every deed that we do (good, bad and indifferent) will return to us in some form or other.

The consequences of this are that if we hurt someone physically, emotionally or mentally then someone, sooner or later, will hurt us also. If we love or show kindness then that love or kindness will also return to us in some form or other. It is as Jesus taught us, as we sow so shall we reap what we have sown. These were once words of real significance and they can still be for those who understand the nature of karma in their lives.

In this truth of karma the three areas of activity are clearly indicated as physical acts, words and thoughts. Moses gave the children of Israel a simply guide concerning their physical acts in the Ten Commandments. This is a basic and universal guide that should be adhered to by every Jew, Christian and Moslem (since all three are part of the same line of divine guidance). Yet sadly, even these simple commandments are mostly platitudes, just empty words in our modern day world. If it were not so, how could a Christian kill a Moslem or a Moslem kill a Jew. Have they forgotten the commandment, 'You shall not kill'? 

What people fail to see is that every act of violence they perform is accountable under karmic law. Sooner or later, in this or in another life, they will suffer an equal act of violence and reap the full impact of their actions. Every hurt, minor or serious, on another being will incur a karmic reaction that will return to the perpetrator. The hard fact is, if you hurt or cheat someone then someone, sooner or later, will hurt or cheat you.

It may help in the understanding of karma to realise that karma is impersonal and indifferent to one's actions. Karma does not judge us rather it simply returns to us in time and space what we put out in our thoughts, words and actions.  If we show kindness and compassion to others then that kindness and compassion will certainly return to us in some form or other. Good deeds return spiritual merit or positive karma while bad deeds return suffering or negative karma.

Most people can distinguish between good and bad physical acts, but when it comes to acts such as adultery, for example, many fail to acknowledge the suffering inflicted on the innocent spouse and children. If your actions and choices cause suffering to others then that suffering will return to you.

Can you imagine the negative karma incurred by a terrorist who blows up innocent people just to make a political statement? If these terrorists truly understood the law of karma would they really want to acquire such a heavy karmic burden?

Now there are many people in the world who control their actions and do others no physical harm, yet they still suffer emotionally. This brings us to the second area of karmic activity, which involves the words we speak and how we speak them.  As our words invoke both good and bad karma, there are many ways in which people can be hurt by what we say to and about them.  If we are feeling angry and voice that anger causing distress to others then it is a form of emotional abuse.   

Even malicious gossip is a form of verbal violence. Remember that those who gossip to you about others will also gossip to others about you. It is a vicious circle that many take pleasure in without realising the inevitable consequences of their malicious words. Thereby failing to see the real reason behind their suffering.

Words can also be used to damage the reputation of an individual, harming that person indirectly. Again these words are karmic and the ones who smear and slander another are opening themselves up to the same.

Words can equally be used to heal, comfort and inspire others. This is positive karma and these qualities of comfort and inspiration will enrich your life also. Jesus gave us a wonderful guide to live by when he said, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you' [Luke 6:31].

Now there are those who are mindful of what they say but other people still say unkind and hurtful things to them. This brings us to the most important area of karmic activity that involves the thoughts we think. Cruel thoughts about others are as bad as cruel words or cruel deeds and all incur karma. There is no escaping from the consequences of our thoughts, words and deeds.  Karma is unerring in all matters and cannot be avoided.

Before speaking or acting in a negative fashion, you must first think about it and then mentally agree to it. If someone has developed a habit of negative or cruel responses then it may seem as if this is an unstoppable process. However, a little awareness of the processes involved will soon reveal that before acting automatically one must agree with the action. Usually it comes as an urge to act on the first thought. If it is a habit, then to go with it is almost effortless.  However, you can with a slight effort of mind simply refuse to act, overriding the urge. People have free will so there is always a choice involved.

When Jesus said that even to think of adultery with someone is to commit that sin [Matthew 5:27 to 5:28]; in this he was referring to the sins of the mind, our thoughts. Where Moses gave us the law of the commandments, which so many people have found unable to live by, Jesus, however, gave us a tougher discipline that is much harder to live by.

The things we do, the words we speak and even the thoughts we think are all accountable karmically. This can be terrible news for those who enjoy harming others and get an emotional kick out of it. On the other hand, for those who wish to enrich their lives, it is a wonderful revelation since karma works both ways.  One only has to think, say and do the things that will help, comfort and inspire others to a brighter and happier life. In this way one begins to see the good in others and not dwell on the bad. As we are all imperfect beings on the path of spiritual awakening.

Our behaviour colours our life with suffering, indifference or joy depending on what we chose to think, say and do. We are in the driving seat regards these matters. In the next sentence is the key to the nature of suffering and to the ending of suffering. No one makes us suffer, we make ourselves suffer by what we think, say and do. If each of us accepted this as a fact then the technique of positive harmlessness can become a powerful cleansing agent of one's heart and mind...

(Extract from the 5 Jewels of Wisdom. To read more download the free E-book.)

 Copyright dbm (David Barrett-Murrer) Feb 1998-2016. All rights reserved.

Artdaja Publications 2010
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