What is Samsara?
In Buddhism and Hinduism, “the endless round of birth, death, and rebirth to which all conditioned beings are subject.” Or in my western language vernacular & how I usually refer to it, “the metaphysical cycle that continues to repeat itself.”
Deliverance, restoration, or elevation of the natural world to a higher, better state from fundamentally negative conditions, such as suffering, evil, death, or Samsara is known as Salvation or Liberation. (Also, a Sanskrit word meaning going or wandering through, undergoing transformation. It refers to the continuous flowing through the suffering of repeated lives and deaths. The elevation of this state is known as Nirvana, or Salvation.)
Definition of Samsara on Wikipedia – ( Saṃsāra or Sangsāra (Sanskrit: संसार) (in Tibetan called ‘khor ba (pronounced kɔrwɔ [IPA] in many Tibetan dialects) is a Tibetan term for the Sanskrit word Saṃsāra. ) Khorwa literally refers to the circular nature of samsara, of endlessly doing the same things over and over expecting a different result or looking for happiness to arise if we just try one more time; literally meaning “continuous flow”, is the repeating cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth (reincarnation) within Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Bön, Jainism, and Yoga. In Sikhism this concept is slightly different and looks at our actions in the present and consequences in the present.
According to the view of these Indian religions our current life is only one of many—stretching back before birth into past existences and reaching forward beyond death into future incarnations. During the course of each life the quality of the actions (karma) performed determine the future destiny of each person. The Buddha taught that there is no beginning or end to this cycle. The goal of Indian religions is to escape this process, the achievement of which is called moksha. In popular use, Samsara [a westernized spelling] may refer to the world (in the sense of the various worldly activities which occupy ordinary human beings), the various sufferings thereof; or the unsettled and agitated mind through which reality is perceived.
How I Conceptualize Samsara
When I say Samsara I mean any karmic cycle of wash, rinse, repeat. A metaphysically symbolic or situationally specific endless birth, death, re-birth, etc. Examples of how I use the term ‘Samsara’ in topics I write about:
- Codependency example: You break the pattern of abuse with a partner by leaving. [Birth] You find yourself attracted to someone who reminds you of ex and before long you find yourself in the same pattern. [Death] This time you gain support, learn tools and learn again how to detach, so you do. [Birth] This time you find yourself attracted to someone so opposite from the last two, you throw out your tools and support, and before you know it, you wonder, once again how you find yourself emotionally crippled. [Death]
- HSP example: You were born into this world assuming others were like you. [Birth] You did not get validation. People told you that Illusions were Truth. You tried to believe them. You were unsuccessful and suffered as a result. You thought something was wrong with you. [Death] You finally remember who you are…Spiritual Being first; Human Being second. [Birth] This feeling fades back into your subconsciousness and you find yourself surrounded by others once again who are not like you. You judge yourself negatively and withdraw into your shell for safety. [Death.] You remember who you are again, through various events, synchronicities, or experiences. [Birth] You forget again. [Death]
- Alcoholism example: You get drunk and you like it. You finally feel free. [Birth of Freedom. Death of Imprisonment.] You realize you have grown dependent on alcohol for feeling free. [Birth of Imprisonment. Death of Freedom.] You successfully stay off alcohol and learn freedom through other means. [Birth of Freedom. Death of Imprisonment.] The pain or inability to sit or cope through it without alcohol or thinking your initial dependence was somehow not true, you drink again and become dependent again. [Birth of Imprisonment. Death of Freedom.]S
Samsara in Your Own Life
Can you see Samsara in your own life or current situation? One need not be Buddhist or Hindu to see Samsara in their own lives. Samsara is not necessarily a belief; It is a only a term to illustrate “doing the same thing over and over expecting or hoping for different results.” Often, we may not be aware we are re-playing old patterns. And this is what self-examination is about. Now the players in your story can look different and the situations may look different, but the internal struggle you feel may look like very old patterns OR, if you lack noticing internal patterns, do you find yourself in similar external situations over and over again?
This is sometimes my first clue I am holding beliefs or thoughts that keep me in this cycle of suffering; I finally begin noticing external circumstances that look eerily familiar. Or I see in hindsight – once I have escaped a core self-limiting belief – that I had been in a cyclic pattern that had been ‘manifesting‘ those core beliefs or offshoots of those beliefs.
Despite the over commercialization of the term ‘manifesting‘ that may have left a bitter taste in your mouth, no worries. It’s not some super secret mysterious or weirdly magical thing. Yes, it’s magical in the context that most people in this world think the OUTER causes the INNER but when one begins learning the REAL SECRET – that it’s the INWARD manifesting OUTWARD, it is no longer so mysterious or confusing.
The first textbook I studied regarding this concept was Sermon on the Mount by Emmet Fox. Despite the religious sounding name and that it uses Jesus of Nazareth’s Sermon on the Mount (of Olives) as the basis for its teaching, the book offers a metaphysical interpretation rather than literal. Fox undoes Jesus as a religious figure and instead, as one who has this metaphysical understanding of the world.
Who Calls Herself Samsara?
I used to be a walking version of Samsara and the only difference between me and those who are not aware of their Samsara, is that I became aware of it.
Living Samsara Writing & Articles
The articles, opinions, or stories I write are true for me at the time I write them. Some writings are meant to convey where I am at a particular place. Other articles are meant to deliver a message, or something I am sharing from experience or an influence I appreciate. I say this to emphasize that an article may relay one message today and another message, later, that seems contradictory. These are my ideas, experiences or thoughts. I can be contradictory because I exist. If anyone turns anything I say into a new concept or ‘rule’ then one may find oneself back in bondage. “My only rule for living is, as my heart beats.”
In my heart I am a writer; a lover of literature, books, and the knowledge conveyed from all sorts of people, authors, minds, Spirits, and Personalities; Egos and Non-Egos alike. My primary message is to release bondage to suffering or samsara. If you see a particular influence in one or more articles you are probably right and that’s where books comes in. If you seek, as I seek, I try to share how I got to where I am so others on a similar path can know they are not alone.
:: My Story ::