I am a firm believe if you do good then good will find its way back to you. This is how I try to live my life. There is enough hatred and anger in the world that I try to spread the love to the best of my abilities. Am I perfect at this? No. For instance, there are plenty of times where I won’t give people money on the street. Sometimes it is because I really don’t have any or I am simply scared (depending on time of day… I’m more afraid of others in the night time hours… and I don’t care what color your skin is I am just a natural born jitterbug when the sun goes down). I believe people term this cause and effect relationship as Karma.
My mind then moves to the fact that people throw that word around all the time. Karma. For example my 2nd ex had told me, in a scathing email, how karma will come back and get me for hurting him. I wasn’t sure how to take that. All I did was not want to be in a relationship with him. All the other things he wrote in the email were false. Did I really warrant a “bad karma will get you” remark simply for not wanting to be in what I deemed as an unhealthy relationship with an emotionally abusive person? I deemed it as unhealthy because he tried to guilt me into staying with him… he only has 6 months left to live… he is going to kill himself… making my grandfather’s funeral into all about him… ect. Should I be subjected to a bad karma comeback for choosing to not be unhappy? Then I looked at it like this. By ending the relationship I was doing what was best for my mental health. So then couldn’t I rationalize this as good karma and have it counteract the bad karma my ex said I deserved for his abandonment? If so, I suppose then I left that relationship in a karma homeostasis.
I then jumped into a new line of thinking, as my brain normally does… I began thinking about the general history of Karma. Where does it originate? What exactly does it mean? Are people using it correctly? Does it matter?
The history of Karma has ancient roots in the religions of India. It is defined in various forms depending on the religious lens being utilized. I won’t go through them all here for time purposes. I’ll use some examples.
In Jainism, karma consists of invisible particles that attach themselves to your soul through your thoughts and deeds. These particles layer themselves over the soul concealing a person’s true potential. Jainism also takes into account the motivations behind each thought and action. The stronger the motivation the longer the karma bond, “For example, a person killing a deer intentionally is producing a karmic bond much stronger than a person killing insects unintentionally while walking. Both involve an act of killing but the impact is substantially different with regard to the acquisition of karma” (Vora, Jainism). Luckily there is a way to rid yourself of your karma by practicing truth, non-violence, austerity, discipline and self-sacrifice.
In Hinduism, karma is defined as “good deeds, words, thoughts, and commands [that] lead to beneficial effects for a person, and bad deeds, words, thoughts, and commands lead to harmful effects. These effects are not necessarily immediate but can be visited upon a soul in future lives through reincarnation; additionally, good or bad fortune experienced in life may be the result of good or bad actions performed in a past life.” Basically, Karma and the belief of reincarnation go hand in hand. Your reward/retribution may not come in your present life or your reward/retribution may not have been a result from your present life.
I recently explored this concept of reincarnation and it started when I had a meeting with a numerologist at a friend’s bridal shower. When the numerologist met me he said I had a past life in a monetary somewhere near Rome. This caught my attention due to my historical interests and so I sought out more information. I also wanted to learn more because of my profound fear of dying. So couple months back I read a few books by Brian Weiss regarding past lives. It comforted me to think that this wasn’t it that I get to come back and live again… and more importantly with my soulmate who I will undoubtedly keep finding. Weiss’ books talk also about this karmic debt they we all carry with us from life to life. That no matter what life you are in a past life can have effects on your present situation. He also mentions how our souls know how our lives will pan out when they chose us before birth. This particular bit of information bothered me for obvious reasons. My souls choose to be in an abusive relationship and supposedly for my actions from a past life? So then with that line of thinking my soul needed to learn a lesson so it came back to be the abused instead of the abuser? I cannot accept that because if it were true it was devastate me. I would never put my hands on a person in the way it was done to me. Never. Not in this life time, past life times or future ones should reincarnation be a real thing. As for the bad karma threat from my 2nd ex… I have experienced someone not wanting to be in a relationship with me. It hurts. It sucks. But you just can’t force love.
I still remain confused and undecided.
Are people using the concept of karma correctly? Probably not and whether or not this matter depends on where one stands with using concepts incorrectly. There is something I learned about recently called cultural appropriation which is the use of elements from one culture by members of another without permission. I imagine that the misuse of karma and its significance relates to this is some manner. I would need to explore my feelings in depth and do more research before coming to any opinions on the subject.
However, as I stated in the beginning of this post, I believe that you reap what you sow and I’ll add that whether or not that carries over into other lifetimes is unknown. I have experienced a return for good deeds firsthand. One time I left my opened purse in a shopping cart at a Target’s parking. We drove all the way back to the house before I realized it. We immediately turned around and headed back to the store and someone returned the purse completely intact to the customer service desk. My most recent experience happened this past weekend. I spent it vacationing in Block Island, Rhode Island to celebrate my friend’s bachelorette party. Between the long ride back and missing my fiancé I forgot my wallet in the rental car in my excitement to see him. I did not realize it until later that evening. I spent the next 2 days calling the rental company trying to see if they found my wallet. I am happy to report that they overnighted it to me and I received it today with everything accounted for!
Do good and good comes back. That is my message for today!