By Brandon Jamil
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“The Intricacies of karma are very hard to understand. Therefore one should know properly what is karma (action), what is vikarma (forbidden action) and what is akarma (inaction).” –Bhagavad Gita 4.17
Karma is popularly known in the western society; as retribution for one’s actions. This philosophy is believed to serve the person to the measure of ill intent, or benevolent intent. Their life is said to be the culmination of these intentions, because our intentions animate our life. As we experience life, we find ourselves questioning the validity of karma. Throughout history we’ve witnessed immense power struggles, injustice, pain, suffering, and evil. In-fact many people are currently suffering under a harsh dictatorship, women’s equal rights. racism, etc. The world grows older, and the human race attempts to evolves with it. But on some level, we question the consequences of inflicting pain on to another human being. Are we expected learn from our own suffering, and if so how does karma hold each of us accountable? Is karma another social drug that is given to us, as a message of comfort? Or does karma truly exist?
To answer this question we look to our ancient texts, and explore their understanding of karma and what it means.
In the Hinduism religious philosophy, it’s said that karma is system where beneficial effects are derived from past beneficial actions, and harmful effects from past harmful actions, which create a system of action and reaction. Ultimately creating a reality that is culminated of the sum of ones choices. Judgement from life only stems from the individuals intention when taking action. However, when we viewed the buddhist text, we found a simplicity of karma. The buddhist text suggests that karma is about the nature of our intentions––our intentions at this very moment. Unfortunately, this doesn’t answer our question, because if karma does in-fact exists—how are dictators, and leaders allowed to inflict pain? Why is suffering still present in our human condition? Where exactly is karma now?
The truth is, Buddha didn’t teach a life of non suffering, death, illness, poverty, human condition. In-fact he addressed these aspects of life as apart of the human experience. In-which each person has a choice in how they want to participate within it. As we witness the injustice in our own lives, and the lives of others—we must make the choice to create the changes we desire…for ourselves—which contributes to the collective. We can’t control the world or the choices of another, but we can manage and take care of our own energy, space, and grace. We can intently help those that are less fortunate. We can intently and truthfully understand why some people in the world are oppressed. We can intently hold emotional safety for those whom are mentally ill, etc. We create karma by our own intention and actions. There’s no promise of reward, acclaim, ease.
As social pack creatures, we tend to work alongside each other to evolve. When we refuse to work alongside each other—we pay severely. This is to say, we’re interconnected externally and internally. In-fact New York Best Times selling author, lecturer, and teacher Caroline Myss Ph.D states that human beings belong to a higher order of networks that is intricately working congruently—with all of life. “What is in one, is in the whole.” Myss believes thats it’s imperative to revere all of life, because we’re all apart of life, and all of life is to be respected. In an article, published by Myss—on her website; she discusses the mystical law of karma, and she believes that everyone is subjected to it. Myss concludes that karma has everything to do with the universal laws of choice and consequence.
“People pay for what they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it simply by the lives they lead.”
We must understand, that the consequences of negative karma; doesn’t always manifest in tragedy. There’s no specific proof that karma will destroy you, and ruin your life. I think that we’re obsessed with suffering, and we believe that people must suffer. This ideology stems from individuals who suffer, and can’t imagine another person learning and expanding through healthy means. People who don’t have healthy coping mechanisms, usually can’t cope with everyday life challenges, and refuse to take accountability for their failures in life. A classic example of this takes place in relationships. When a relationship is over, and the ex partner quickly gets married or moves on; most people have the obsession that their ex pays for the pain that was inflicted. But all to often, the person that holds this desire of revenge—finds themselves disappointed, because their partner is actually happier without them. Their happier, because perhaps they’re able to identify their sets of issues and where they went wrong within the relationship. They can take ownership, and they can open their heart again. They understand that if their current situation crumbles, it’ll be another opportunity for growth and expansion—NOT PUNISHMENT.
As unfair as we may believe a circumstance to be, we must first understand the power of our own choices, and create our own set of karma from that space; instead of a space of lack, and misery. This is not to say that lack and misery are not real states of consciousness. Negative states of consciousness has a way of redirecting our energy. If you’re feeling powerless, life will give you sets of circumstances to LEARN your power. Be forewarned, this may manifest as a betrayal, hurt, etc. The person that ignites this lesson and forces you to finally take ownership of your life, can then be viewed as a teacher OR a player in your life that assisted you in your evolution. Again what story are you telling yourself? Are you willing to intently keep sowing seeds of negative self talk. Of course we don’t dismiss how we feel about a particular situation. Instead we honor those feelings and begin to empower ourselves—without feeling like a victim.
In the end, we must all take accountability for our intentions, choices, and space that we create within this world. Also, it’s imperative for our society to-continue-to hold others accountable for their actions, as we progress and evolve.