Karma is a word that comes from Buddhist and Hindu
traditions. It can be defined many ways:
If you want a definition to boggle your mind try these two:
- The law of cause and effect.
- What goes around comes around.
- You reap what you sow.
- Totally innocent victims are rare.
- No good deed goes unpunished.
- Your actions create ripples that spread out, echo and constructively/destructively interfere with the ripples
from the actions of others.
- For every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first and this
second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful. A skillful event is
one that is not accompanied by craving, resistance or delusions; an unskillful event is one that is accompanied by
any one of those things.
- The Law of Causal Condition is the fundamental doctrine of Buddhism. It states that all phenomena in the
universe are produced by causation. Since all phenomena result from complicated causes and effects, all existing
things in the universe are inter-dependent, i.e., have no self nature or existence on their own. Existence is
defined solely by relationships. Moreover, all phenomena and things are impermanent and constantly changing. Karma
is the Law of Causal Condition applied to an individual.
Cosmic Consciousness is the point of view that we are all one. From the point of view of cosmic consciousness, karma
is duck simple. If you poke a stick in someone’s eye, it hurts, because it is your eye. It is not,
strictly speaking, wicked, just stupid. However, it is little consolation when someone pokes you in the eye that it
was you doing it. Similarly, when you give someone a massage, it feels good because they are you.
Thieves are sleepwalkers who steal from their own pockets.
From the point of view of security, sensation and power, karma is more complex. There is the illusion of delayed
reaction or hysteresis.
Think of it this way. Start singing the note G. If other people start singing, they are more likely to sing G or a
harmonic of G than any other note.
If you sing a hate note, other people are more likely to start singing a hate note. If you start singing a love
note, other people are more likely to start singing a love note. If you start singing a panic note, you start a
What do you do if you come across a chorus of hate-singing war birds? It is not necessarily the optimal strategy
to burst into a love song. They may perceive you as other and peck you to death. Sometimes it is wiser to
blend with the flock and gently attempt to lead it to more loving melodies.
Let us therefore reject all superstition in order to become more human; but in speaking against fanaticism, let us
not imitate the fanatics: they are sick men in delirium who want to chastise their doctors. Let us assuage their
ills and never embitter them and let us pour drop by drop into their souls the divine balm of toleration, which
they would reject with horror if it were offered to them all at once.
~ Voltaire (1694-11-21 1778-05-30 age:83) [François Marie d’Arouet Voltaire]
Birds of a Feather
Saints hang out with saints and thieves hang out with thieves. That is one reason why thieves have more problems with
If you go to the aid of others in distress, others will be more likely to come to your aid when you get yourself in
hot water. If you let others starve to death through your inaction, others will let you die in a similar way. If you
let others die of diseases, you can’t very well expect others to minister to you if you become sick.
If you pleasure others, others are more likely to feel like pleasuring you. If you make others miserable, others will
find ways to make your life miserable.
If you are fair in your dealings with others, others will tend to be fair with you. If you bully people into doing
what you want, the first chance they get they will rebel and bully you back. If you take unfair advantage of others,
others will take unfair advantage of you. If you use excess force to make your point, others will use excess force to
make their point with you.
If you are kind to creatures weaker than yourself, creatures wiser than you will treat you kindly.
If you share your abundance, your horn of plenty will never empty.
Conscious Awareness Karma
If you control your emotions with others, others will control their tempers with you.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
Everything you do will offend someone. Even your every inaction will offend someone. You can’t
win. It is impossible to please everyone.
Your best strategy is just, as filmmaker Spike Lee advised, to Do The Right Thing and forget about
karma both good and bad. Get on with your life. Don’t waste time waiting for the karma to drop into your hand
like jellybeans from a candy machine.
Cosmic Karma Revisited
When a single person does something drastic, good or bad, the effect may be absorbed and distributed by the universe
over many people and many lifetimes. From the point of view of cosmic consciousness, there is only one actor and only
one being acted upon. Don’t waste you time worrying about reincarnation and how fat your personal karma account
is. Just do the right thing, as best you know.