Sunday, 15 February 2009

Karmic Debt

As much of a cliché as it’s become, I do believe that what goes round come round. That what you send out of good or bad energy/actions will come back to you again. That we all get our comeuppence; that God - whether that be Allah, God as depicted in the Bible, the Cosmos or any other form of deity - does repay all debts.

Everything we do on this planet (or elsewhere, if we happen to be astronauts!) has an effect on other people, creatures or nature otherwise. Our actions create a reaction - cause and effect- which is sometimes immediate, other times not so, but a reaction will happen regardless. It may not always be a serious reaction that has any noticeable effect, but sometimes the reaction can be devastating.

I don’t care who you are or how you’ve lived, some of your actions WILL have created a negative reaction. And while most of those actions will have been unintentional, I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that there are times when I’ve been a damn right nasty cow. There’s not a shadow of doubt in my mind that some of my past actions have had a profound negative effect on others.

No doubt I've created some bad karma for myself but I'd like to think I've created some of the decent stuff too, although I would have liked to have done more good. But we can’t change the past, can we? Or can we?

Is it possible to go back and settle our karmic debts?

I believe it is.

After a good session of theorising and generally putting the world to rights with a couple of people last night, we concluded that if karma really does exist in our lives then there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be to create some better karma for ourselves by righting our wrongs and that there are two ways that this could be done.

One is to simply stop and actually think before you act. What might the consequences of my action be? Would buying a new car put too much of strain on the environment for it to be acceptable for me to have something that I want rather than need? Would it hurt this person if I tell them they look tired when they’re on their way to a hot date? I’m not saying we’ll never make mistakes but by stopping and thinking a bit more we can at least minimise the amount of damage we cause by our actions.

The second way is by repaying our debts by helping those we‘ve wronged. If you know you once did something that that had a profoundly negative effect on a person’s life, whether intentional or not, then you should do something that will have equally as great an effect on them, but in a good way in order to balance the karma again.

Personally I’d start with the things I’ve consciously done - those time I’ve just been down right horrible. Selfish acts that I did regardless of the consequences even though I knew what I was doing was wrong. Then would come the times I’ve hurt somebody because I had PMT and couldn’t control my tongue, and the times when I’ve been stressed or worried or for some other reason took my problems out on others and hurt them more than is excusable. Because I haven’t been an angel, and although I don’t consider myself a horrible person, I’ve have been a right bitch unjustifiably horrible at times.

It doesn’t matter whether the other person knows we’ve paid off the debt or not - this isn’t about getting thanks, it’s about balancing your karma which is a private thing between you and your creator, whoever/whatever that may be; as long as the debt’s paid, the karma’s rebalanced and that’s what matters here.

And what’s more, even if this is just a load of old poppycock, we’ll have still touched a few lives and some people will feel a little bit happier along the way. Knowing we've made others happy ultimately makes us happier too so everybody wins. And that can't be bad, can it?

Sharon J xx

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10 comments:

Christian said...

You have a simple idea of karma. Karma, or kamma, is translated as intention, or motivation.

"Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect." is what the Buddha said.

The point of it all is not to balance your karma, but to stop making kamma altogether. So having "alot" good kamma does not lead to enlightenment and acting to fix that balance can be a selfish action which can produce bad kamma!

"And what is the cessation of kamma? Whoever touches the release that comes from the cessation of bodily kamma, verbal kamma, & mental kamma. That is called the cessation of kamma.

"And what is the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma? Just this noble eightfold path... This is called the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma."

And since you have no idea of your karmic debt is because it is passed through countless lifetimes you might never experience "good times" in this life no matter what you do. You in no way can know what your "karmic balance" is nor is it right to care. The most notable kamma of all is the ending of kamma.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.235.than.html

Sharon J said...

Hi Christian. Thanks for your input, however I would like to point out that different faiths have different views of karma and as nobody can actually prove that either are right, I see little point in arguing over it.

Those who follow my chosen spiritual path believe that karma that we‘ve created in past life or earlier in this incarnation can be balanced by the good we do now or in future lives. The ultimate goal is to have gathered an overweight of good karma and to have learned the lessons that every spirit needs in order to move on.

Of course, if we go back and ‘repay karmic debts’ for the wrong reasons (selfish reasons - to attain more material wealth etc) then I’ve no doubt we’ll actually be creating more bad karma for ourselves but if it’s done for the right reasons (because, through increased enlightenment and wisdom we have learned some life lessons and truly want to make good our mistakes whilst improving the lives of those we‘ve hurt) then the good karma we build from that will help us in this lifetime and the next. Positive actions attract positive things, negative actions attract negative things.

But as I said, nobody really knows the truth so each of us can only follow what we choose to believe.

Jennifer said...

Sharon
That looked like spam to me to be honest.

I believe you can do a lot in your own lifetime on your own karma not only for this life but who knows for future existences.

I would say that sometimes I think you have to draw a line and try to move forward without the need to go back and right some karma wrongs.

Just as we are born and grow old, we move in a straight line towards death. There is no going back in time.

I know you struggle with inner demons. Good luck finding your way through it all. :D

Christian said...

No, I am not spam. Well, not yet. :^)

The point of these conversations is not to harden our faiths, but to understand the unifying truth. There are be many faiths, but only one truth. The only thing that stands between them is language.

May I ask Sharon, what is your spiritual path? Maybe it will help if I speak in your language.

Sharon J said...

Jennifer. I don't entirely agree. Although I agree that life should go forward as much as possible, I think sometimes you have to go back in order to go forward. Rather like a car standing nose-in in a garage. Thankfully, I'm getting to grips with the demons now (although they weren't all on the inside) but there's still some extra emotional baggage that needs dealing with.

Christian. I'd love to understand 'the truth' but I personally don't believe we can understand that yet because we're simply not that highly evolved. At the very best we can only decide of which 'truth' feels right to us.

As for my faith, I describe myself as an eclectic heathen. I follow a mainly Pagan path but without following any particular tradition (Druidiam, Odinism, Shamanism, Wicca etc) and with elements of few other faiths/religions/lifestyles thrown in. Of course, my faith evolves along with me too so I'm always open to new ideas :)

Jennifer said...

sorry Christian...... :D I've had spam on my blog due to the keywords in my title.

Sharon, you made me LOL with your demons remark! :D

Lucy in Keel said...

If your do it right at the time you won't have to worry about it later trying to balance things if you've already hurt people. What if the person you've hurt goes on to take their hurt out on somebody else? All your doing is massaging your selfish ego with karma. It's much easier to say your sorry and learn from your mistakes

Sharon J said...

Hi Lucy. Thanks for taking the time to put your view across.

I can see what you’re saying and ideally that should work but we humans aren’t fault free so as much as we try to be nice, decent people, ‘doing it right at the time’ isn’t always what actually happens. I’m sure we’ve all hurt people in one way or another, and sometimes that hurt can have a far more profound effect on them they we would have imagined (because everybody reacts different to situations).

As for the person you’ve hurt going on to hurt somebody else, that’s generally something we generally don’t know about but if we do and we KNOW it’s a knock on effect of our own selfish actions then we should act accordingly towards them too. Obviously we can’t spend our whole lives trying to find people who have been hurt through our actions but if we have the opportunity to change things for the better for them then I believe we should.

Maybe I would be just massaging my selfish ego, but I do believe that actually doing something to help improve a person’s life is better than merely saying sorry because it takes effort on our part and too many people aren’t willing to put themselves out for others, even those they’ve hurt.

As for learning from mistakes, don’t you think that in order to have realised that you need to do something to improve their lives and balance the karma once again, you’ve actually already learned from the mistake?

And just for the record, I actually think that the act of apologising can be equally as selfish because we often do it to relieve ourselves of our sense of guilt. In fact, humans rarely do anything without their being some sense of satisfaction in it for ourselves, no matter how small it may be.

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