Hinduism, Buddhism. action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either inthis life or in a reincarnation: in Hinduism one of the
means of reaching Brahman.
Theosophy. the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in oneincarnation according to that person's deeds in the previous incarnation.
fate; destiny. Synonyms: predestination, predetermination, lot, kismet.
the good or bad emanations felt to be generated by someone or something: Lets get out of here. Thisplace has bad karma.
Karma is a concept that is a part of a variety of Eastern religions. It makes up the laws of cause and effect. In the religions of which karma is a part, one’s deeds and actions affect all incarnations of one’s soul. That which one has done in a previous life affects the current life, and so on.
Basically this: What you do in one life (to either yourself or others) will carry to your next life.
Karma is central to Hinduism, Buddhist, and Jainism although the concept of karma does differ between these religions. For this post, I am not going to focus on Eastern religions. Instead, I am going to discuss the New Age theosophy of karma and my thoughts and feelings on it.
To the New Ager, the Pagan, the Neo-Pagan and others, this is rather like the threefold law. Simply put, What goes around, comes around.
This is something that I grew up hearing from my Western family members. Any time anyone did something selfish, mean, nasty, or just plain douchey, either my grandmother or my mother would say, “What goes around comes around.”
For a while, I sort of believed it. I would still like to, but I call bullshit right now. Considering all that has fucked up in my life, I’d be led to believe I had been Hitler in a past life or something, while some of the dicks I have encountered must’ve been akin to Joan of Arc. Nope, not gonna fly with me.
Do I believe in reincarnation? I think it’s plausible, or at least as plausible as anything else concerning what happens to us after death. Do I believe bad things can come back to a person? Maybe, but is there some sort of cosmic guarantee? Not that I’ve seen.
I’ve seen plenty of people get away with being complete and total pricks their entire lives, seemingly with no negative consequences. “But, Nar,” you might be saying, “you don’t know where they are or what’s happening to them now.”
True, I do not. And if I can’t see it, I don’t know that ANYTHING is happening.
“Patience, young grasshopper”, you might be thinking. Pfffft!
I think that the concept of karma is – at least in this context – too close to that of sin. I read a really great post from last year’s Pagan Blog Project that discussed this very idea. I wish I could remember the name or address of the journal.
As Christians (and many of us were at one point), we are told that we will pay for our sins, either by going to hell or maybe by coming down with a nasty case of boils all over our bodies or something. Who knows. I never really paid *that* much attention.
Again, I call bullshit. Why? Just because I don’t have absolute proof? Well, that and the fact that I honestly don’t think the Divine is so invested in our puny little human wheelings and dealings that It feels like punishing us for shit. Plus, I don’t believe in sin. There are some things that shouldn’t be done because of that whole Golden Rule thing, but there are a whole lotta people who don’t think about that concept, either.
Why do bad things happen to good people and good things to crappy people? The way I look at it is, we all get a turn. Some days you’re the pigeon. Other days, you’re the statue. I think the universe shits on each of us in turn, but through OUR HUMAN ACTIONS. For example, child molesters don’t always fair too well in prison.
I think that the concept of karma, cause and effect, good stuff and bad stuff coming back to us, lies within. One reason I think that is the fact that the goddamned piece of shit maggot fucker who poisoned my parents’ dog is still alive and well. If I want results, I’d have to get those results myself. Believe me when I say I have many, many plans that I would absolutely love to execute, but going to jail for that scummy son of a whore isn’t worth it.
What you send out into the universe might come back to bite you in the ass, but not because of karma. If you try to cast a big, bad, boogey spell on someone and they find out and come and punch you in the crotch, there you go. There’s your karma. The only way being an asshole is going to affect your current life is if you get caught and someone decides to do something about it. Fortunately for many assholes in this world, most people are pretty damned apathetic. Slacktivism is the new thing these days. No one wants to go in for a good old-fashioned ass-whooping because then WE’D get punished for that. Punished by the po-po, not karma.
Our crappiness is answered for either in this life or not at all. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. We don’t even know if anything does happen after death, so there’s no guarantee that a child molester or warmongering dickface politician will get his or her comeuppance later.
Act. If someone cuts you off in traffic, give that asswipe the finger and don’t worry about coming back as a cockroach in your next life. If someone kicks your dog, you go rip that person’s face off and dance on it.
Karma isn’t going to get you satisfaction.
A little glove-slap, on the other hand…