Immutable Laws

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If I have learned anything during my long life it is that, “you reap what you have sown.”

This sounds pretty simple and it is on the surface if you don’t think about it too much. This thought is easily applied to a farmer planting seeds to reap a crop of corn in the future to feed his family or to sell for profit, but with a little thought it is a bit more complicated.

This saying is as old as man. It has been written over and over in every civilization since the dawn of man. I think the earliest written record of it was laid down in the Code of Hammurabi, written in the early days of the Babylonian Empire around 1725 BCE. Since then it has been written many, many times in just about every important paper or book throughout history, including the Holy Bible. With this thought in mind things have become much more complicated. The saying has now become one of the basic laws of man.

As civilization spread across the Earth, so did the laws of man. Eventually the laws of man were written so that every man would know that there are now penalties to pay should the law be broken. The laws of that ancient time are no longer the same laws we have today.

To get off track for a moment, I must take the time to say that today’s laws, even as basic as they can be, are not the same laws Hammurabi would have imposed. Today’s laws are gibberish that even the most highly educated (so called) lawyers cannot understand. Consider the 3rd and 5th law of Hammurabi (below).

“3. If anyone bring an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense charged, be put to death.”

“5. If a judge try a case, reach a decision, and present his judgment in writing; if later error shall appear in his decision, and it be through his own fault, then he shall pay twelve times the fine set by him in the case, and he shall be publicly removed from the judge’s bench, and never again shall he sit there to render judgment.”

These laws are clear and precise. Every man could understand their meaning. No one knows the meaning of today’s law, for it is open for interpretation.

Anyway, enough of that crap! I want to discuss the true meaning of the saying, “You reap what you sow.”

This statement does not deal with the past, for what you will reap has already been decided. What you have to worry about is right now at this very moment in time. You have to decide what you wish to reap in the future and act on that. You must decide right now if you want a happy future or a sad one.

Many people think that we have no control over what happens in the future, but that cannot be further from the truth. At this very moment, you have control over your actions. Your actions define who you are. What you say is of little consequence to others. Everybody says things they do not mean when they are angry. Your words may sting a little but it is your actions that tell others what kind of person you really are.

Your actions at this very moment will decide if your future is to be a happy one or a bad one. Every action that you perform in the present moment bears fruit according to its skillfulness. Act in unskillful and harmful ways and unhappiness is bound to follow. Act skillfully and happiness will ultimately ensue. As long as you remain ignorant of this principle, you are doomed to an aimless existence. You will be happy one moment, in despair the next, enjoying a lifetime in heaven, then fall into hell.

It is up to you which way you want to go but I’d advise a little thought when taking actions with other human beings because everything you do will come full circle right back to you because like I say, “You reap what you have sown.”

Oh, I kind of like Hammurabi’s second law, too:

If anyone bring an accusation against a man, and the accused go to the river and leap into the river, if he sinks in the river his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if the river prove that the accused is not guilty, and he escapes unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.”

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