We all know what Karma is. Most of us think it is all around us, and we try to appeal to it daily. The concept of Karma originated from Eastern religions, but its definition changed when it worked its way into Western culture. What I’ll discuss in this article are the similarities and differences of Western Karma and Eastern Karma.
If you haven’t done much reading up on Karma, I bet you still know what it is. Am I right?
You might describe Karma as cause and effect. If you do good things good things will happen to you, but if you do nefarious things you’ll have to pay the price.
This idea of Karma is very much a reflection of sin and virtue. The almighty punishes those who do not follow universal laws. He rewards those who can imitate his image. To follow these doctrines you must understand that this is something that not only affects you in the afterlife but in every moment. There is no place you can hide from the energy of creation.
While this idea of Karma may implore you to do kind deeds in the hopes that you will be rewarded in the future, it is a fundamental misunderstanding of the Eastern principle. Karma is not earned, and it is often hard to distinguish. Karma is not something you buy. Or is it?
The true meaning of Karma is a rather difficult idea to pinpoint for a number of reasons. Many prominent and also less prominent Eastern religions do not share the exact same idea of karma. However, its core concepts are still foundational to hundreds of belief systems. I’d like to also mention that most of these belief systems are very sustainable because they are built upon the principle of balance. There certainly is a reason Siddhartha said to walk the middle road.
Karma is not a cause and effect, but rather a system of growth and evolution. It is often depicted as a knot, to show the tangled symmetry in the web of life.
All ideas are connected inside of Samsara. Only those who are enlightened can escape the endless cycle of Karma.
I like to think of our universe in simpler terms to clarify that there are no rules in karma. Think of the universe as an infinite interconnected noodle of spaghetti floating in an abyss. Actions inside that noodle will cause that noodle to bend and move in different directions. This affects every dimension and perspective of the noodle, and with enough effort can change its course.
What is good and bad is different for everyone. When you realize this, you see that Karma is not a rule-set and reward system, but a force. It moves people and can be moved by people because we are a part of it. It is realizing that every moment is a mystery and every moment deserves your attention. Sometimes even your action.
Do not do good for the sake of having good done unto you. Do good because you were alive in that moment, and you were able to see the truth. Remember, Karma is growth and growth can only be escaped through enlightenment; through presence in every moment.
Karma cannot be bought, or can it?
I am not an expert on karma or eastern religions, so don’t take my word for it. You can read more about Karma from an awesome website called Unfettered Mind. It is an excellent description from a Pragmatic Buddhist’s perspective. I love you all and Namaste.