Whatever the past karma, it is like this: let’s say, until the age of 30 you earn 10 million rupees. Now you can either squander it or make it grow. Similarly, in the past, you may have created riches within yourself. In this life you may either add to it or squander it; but definitely some quality of that will be there in your life. Because of your spiritual practices, those riches may manifest now in terms of material comfort, like a good house, the right kind of atmosphere, or maybe good people around you. In spite of all this, you may not make use of it and become complacent. This is the whole cycle.
Why I repeatedly say that the whole game is like the snake and ladder game; you climb the ‘ladder’ and you’re happy. The comfort may make you complacent and you go down through the ‘snake’. Then when suffering comes, you you’re your eyes and grow. You may squander it and go down again. This is the way of the fool, wasting his energy. But someone who has sufficient intelligence should even take his each breath as a step towards growth.
This spiritual process is not happening to even one percent of the population. For the others, when things go well, they laugh, when they don’t, they cry. There are very few people in the world who remain centred and balanced. For them nothing is a great benediction, nothing is a problem. Everything is just another life situation through which they become free. The rest are like cattle. They may have evolved into a human body, but otherwise there is no difference between how animals and people live. Maybe quantitatively there is a difference – there is variety to your activities; you drive a car, watch television etc. All that you do, but qualitatively, where is the difference? The difference can only come with awareness.
Usually mental alertness is mistaken for awareness, but awareness is a far deeper dimension than that. When awareness arises within you, love and compassion will be the natural follow-up; then each breath becomes a step towards growth.