Is it just a word? Is it just an idea? Or is it a perceivable force? Whatever,
it’s one of those invisible powers/concepts that one must pretty much believe in,
or not. For some of us, it’s almost like a religion… no, a spirituality, that “what
goes around, comes around” really works, and that by our actions today, we
receive positive results of one sort or another somewhere down the line. Hmm.
I have to say that smacks of pie in the sky, or of Sasquatch suddenly popping up
out of nowhere, saying, “I’m real, no shit! I’m really real… believe in me, and
you might catch a glimpse of me again someday!” Sorry, Sasquatch, but I
just can’t quite bring myself to believe you exist. Nope, can’t do it.
But why does it even matter in the first place? Why does it matter if there’s
Karma, or God, or anything? Well, the sad truth is, whether we like it or not,
humans, as a species, are weak, and need a lot of outside help to survive.
We need to believe in something or someone outside of ourselves… we need
to think/believe there might be a higher power of some sort that knows our
frailties and assists us in our difficult times. The proof of that lies in the
masses around the world who are either Christian, Muslim, Hindu, just to
name a few. Those three religions alone encompass a large portion of the
Karma, not being a religion, still has some element of possibility to it, in that we
have, from time to time, happenings in our lives that are fairly easily attributed
to it. Over much of my life, I’ve been in the clutches of karma to a scary degree…
both my good deeds and my bad have come back around on me with a scary
degree of accuracy. Now granted, sometimes karma kicks in within five
minutes, sometimes in 35 years. Wait, if it’s longer than say, two weeks,
how do you know? Well, when you choose to remember what you did in
your life, and you’re aware of karma and its inherent power and memory,
then you start recognizing when karma slides in to remind you whether the
shit you’re putting out there is good or bad. And in my case, it’s always been
The problem there is that coincidence can raise its head and take credit for it all.
And what do we do with that? Isn’t coincidence as easy/difficult to prove as karma?
Can’t it be proven/disproven as a real (though invisible) force of the happenstance
of possibility as karma? I say, “Yes!” only to have divine intervention jump up,
yelling, “Wait, it’s me, it’s really me!! I’m the one!!” while Everything Happens For
A Reason goes, “The rest of you guys are pie in the sky! I’m the real reason,
though I can’t tell you what that reason is!” And if all that isn’t bad enough,
shit luck jumps in with “what about me??” To which Branch Rickey once said,
“Luck is the residue of design.”
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke
― Dalai Lama XIV
And a potential snag in all this is that many of the happenings in our daily life
indicate to us there needs to be a reason some of it is happening. In that regard,
do we succumb to the temptation to give in to our tendency to adopt a belief
system, whereby we decide to “believe in” one of the established answers to
why a thing happens in the first place? Yes, most of us do give in to that
temptation at some point. And for me, the most useless attempt at an answer
is this one – “God Works In Mysterious Ways.” Give me a break. That has to be
the worst non-answer to all of this, yet it remains very popular. Does this suggest
that many of us like the simple answer, the easy way out? I’ll answer for you…
and the answer is YES! Yes, it does, yes, we do! Once we allow our tendency
to adopt a belief system, the next step is to grab onto the one that makes the
most sense to us, usually the easy one, or the one that covers all the bases.
In this particular instance, karma fills the bill nicely. It’s not religious, but more
spiritual, perhaps more metaphysical. But these questions have an underlying
diabolical notion in them – that being how we feel about it all, and what we say
to others. If we say “Hey, it’s karma.” we’re relating to, and getting acceptance
from a more new-age point of view of life, where we’re more likely to point to
the invisible power as “the universe,” rather than God. And that can be seen
as divisive, as all those of a Christian mind will scoff at our “universe” reference
and quickly remind us that God holds us all in the palm of His hand. I just don’t
“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” – Albert Einstein
Eh… cute, Albert, but only if one thinks God is in control of all this anyway.
If one doesn’t think that, then we’re back where we started. Except that…
the karma and “universe” faction will tell us that they make their own decisions
in this life and forge their own destiny. Most of the rest of the world’s peoples
will tell us they are guided and directed by their God, and though it might appear
they are making their own life decisions, His Will Be Done. It keeps coming
back to what we each believe.
But what about those of us who don’t necessarily believe anything, who don’t
activate our belief systems in an attempt to make sense of some of the crazy
stuff that happens to us from day to day? It’s so easy to buy into one of these
“why things happen” theories. Karma, for instance. That’s the one I’ve finally
given in to and accepted as the explanation for things. For most karma fans,
“what goes around comes around” is as much explanation for its perceived
mystical power as they need to believe and go about their business, knowing
they have now arrived at the real answer to Why Things Happen… which,
put another way, might be, who or what is really in charge here??
And there it is… the real question, after all… who/what is really in charge here?
It’s easy for me to activate my sleeping belief system long enough to say,
“We are! We get to choose, and we get to live with the consequences!” And
perhaps that’s what karma’s all about. But I know that what I choose to believe
doesn’t work for everyone. Try telling a good and kind person who has had a
really hard life that karma exists, and that it works. Good luck with that one.
Life is fascinating in that regard. All the seemingly powerful shit in this life
seems to be invisible – leaving it all up to us as to what we decide to believe,
what we know that works for us. I find it unfortunate that it doesn’t seem to
take much physical ‘proof’ to convince ourselves that what we’ve decided to
believe in is real and powerful. Worse, many of us think that what we believe
to be “the real power” should work for everyone else, too. Argh. How could
that possibly be… we are all so different, in so many ways.
In the end, I ‘believe’ in karma, not because I was hit by a bolt of lightning
one dark night, and perceived a karmic figure screaming, “It’s me! It’s me!”
No, I choose to believe it exists because it suggests positivity, of good things
coming sometime down the line, in one form or another, for good things that
have already been accomplished. The concept of karma also promises to
punish those who would do evil deeds, somewhere down the line. The more
I think about it, the more I notice how much my concept of karma sounds like
a figureless, non-human, ‘it’ that has a power beyond what we’re able to
understand. And little by little that idea begins to smack of karma being a god
of some sort. That thought is especially disturbing to me, as I’m real tired of the
word “God” in any form. Talk about a word that’s been over-used and abused…
god is it. I need a different word for whatever “god” has come to mean these
days. Ha! I’ve got it… Karma! Oh boy. Now I suppose that makes me some
sort of godless urchin. Oh well… I yam what I yam.
And what I yam is a godless urchin who knows that karma exists, and works!
I can say that after knowing about karma for over 40 years and have witnessed
and experienced, countless times, its seemingly magical powers. Whether it
holds any value for others will have to remain questionable, as, for all of us,
the truth in anything is only what we each perceive it to be.