In the book of Mathew, chapter 5, verse 27, Jesus makes a statement regarding the desires of the mind. He says that if a person where to look upon a woman and lust after her, it is as though they committed the act itself. In today’s world this is a very challenging thing to wrestle with, as desire objects are all around us. Television, movies, music, everything seems to drive the idea of carnal desire and this desire is a further impediment to the spiritual path. For many, the idea of mental desire is that it is a free and private playground, harming none. However, I contend that Jesus was correct in his assessment – desire (and other mental forces) are expressions outward – carrying the karma of the act itself.

How Desire Harms

This type of desire causes harm on many levels. Most notably it often harms committed relationships. Desire isn’t something just held in a meat brain, it is waves or energy radiating out wards from a being. It draws to the individual more of the same desire and this is the trap. Rather like an opiate addiction, it craves more of the same, until the idea of breaking free is long lost. To the committed relationship, the partner will feel the effects of change. It may not be apparent, but they may feel an anxiety, frustration, or even depression. This will create friction between the two parties until it comes to a boiling point.

Beyond a relationship, selfish desire, causes separation between one’s Higher Self and one’s current state of mind. The break in that bond, even temporarily, allows for more of the same material to be drawn into one’s mental space. This is the karmic operation – like drawn to like – and if left unchecked it achieves complete separation from the Higher Self (true self.)

Loosing one’s Higher Self, is the thrust of the trap of this world. It brings desires to our nature, in order to snare us back into slumber. We can see this in the story of the temptation of Jesus, as well as the story of Maya tempting Buddha and even in modern myth of the movie, “The Matrix.”

Other Mental Radiations

In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus spoke about sexual desire specifically, but through inferential logic it is understood that any thought form thrust upon another is as though committing that act. Well, to a degree.

Thinking of feeding the homeless person is a good thought and opens the door to more good thought opportunities, but it isn’t quite the same as handing that person some food. It’s a start.

Thoughts are the first step towards an action. Sometimes the action may never become realized, but the thoughts are karmically (to the individual) as the deed itself.

Crowds and groups driven to anger and hate by a strong speaker, are equally “doing the act itself.” I’ve talked with many a person who describes (in great detail) how they would kill an assailant that might break into their home… Self defense is of course understandable, but the desire to kill someone who isn’t even real, that brings the reality even closer.

Movies do a great job with getting the audience to hate the villain and desire his execution. Consider any “Dirty Hairy” movie as a great example of revenge killing. There, in the mind of the viewer, is the very hate of the enemy – desiring the outcome of violence, which is as though one is committing the act itself.

Any action that creates a strong radiation of intent… a desire to harm another, lust after another, and so on, is as though one committed the act themselves – to the degree that they will reap the karma for such thoughts.

People who desire killing someone of another race, another religion, or social/economic group, for them they draw that karma into their lives. This will become a world that appears to shape into their fears. The racist, in this way, is self-validated because they fall to a delusion created by their own karma. In the movie, “American History X,” the racist was exactly like this, until someone he considered an “enemy” befriended him and helped free him from his hatred. Once a person is deep in the illusion, it takes great effort (often on the part of another), to push them to a place of truth.



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