A boat on an ocean – an analogy for karma
In a lecture entitled Karma and Reincarnation from 1973, Master of Yoga Dr. George King gives an analogy to explain Karma:
“If you were to regard yourself as a boat on an ocean, the ocean that you use upon which to make your journey, is karma. The wind which is blowing to help you or hinder you on your journey, is karma. The boat is you, and the intelligence you use to guide that boat is also you.
Now you can do one of two things. If you have learned your lessons correctly in previous lives, you will know how to trim your sails so as to make the best possible use of every wind—whether it be a howling gale or even a light zephyr. And you can steer your boat from point A to point B, your predetermined destination.
But if you are too lazy or too indolent; if through past experiences you have put a mental block upon yourself so that you are incapable or even too lazy to steer your boat, then what happens? You are at the mercy of the karmic winds and the karmic currents, and the waves dash over you making your journey very slow, very tedious and very unpleasant.
If, on the other hand, you have gained the experience, if you have read your charts correctly—charts given by Jesus, Buddha, Sankara, Krishna, the Bhagavad Gita, etc. etc. etc.; in modern times, the latest bible, The Nine Freedoms—if you have read these charts correctly and have learned from them, they have told you how to steer your boat, how to trim your sails, so that you can get to your predetermined destination wherever that may be. And I think this little illustration should give you an idea of karma.”