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Karma, Dharma and Chaos

May 09, 1995 03:24 PM
by Keith Price

There have been numerous posts recently on Karma rather than
reiterate the many interesting ideas, I would like to introduce
the idea of Dharma.  A concept that now always springs to my mind
in association with Karma ( I guess because they rhyme :-)).

But really, to oversimply Karma is passive type of past destiny
(somewhat overly mechanical and Newtonian to my mind), Dharma is
future destiny brought about by WILLFUL fullfillment of some
responsibility or inner drive.

Karma is push and Dharma is pull.  We could make other analogies
like introverted and extroverted, yin and yang etc.

Karma has a lazy, manana quality like I was born this way to
learn lessons, so I better not better myself but endure it so I
won't be born (whatever) again.  It really smacks of the
passivity in the worst way.

Dharma is more active in that it says "find out who you are and
go for it!" Think of Arjuna in the Bhagavgita.  But think of all
those overpaid sports stars (in America).  Just go for what???

Dharma also resonates (to me) a little of Promethean or Faustian
hubris.  I think it was probably Dharma and not Karma that
started the cosmic ball rolling.  Karma implies that when all the
swings of the pendulum are finished, we come back to groung zero,
a cold dead entropic end.  But another Dharmic push starts
another manvantara.

Dharma seems to imply that there is a calling, a grace, an
evolutionary meaning to all this running around.

One can fool oneself with Dharma as with Karma.  We can't all be
Arjuna after all, and the West is filled with exploitation,
corruption and pollution which is as bad or worse than the "what
will be will be" philosophy of Karma.

We have already discussed that East and West are now psychogical
(introverted and extroverted respectively) and not geographical
notions because the world boundaries have dissolved so much after
World War II.

Chaos may enter as a dissrupting or freedom of movement factor
that allows for the lawful, but ever changing flow of reality and
consciousness keeping us on our toes.

I guess the question has always been: how do we neutralizie our
bad karma? Maybe we don't.  Maybe we discover our Dharma
eventually and wake up.

Perhaps my discussion has not been really scholarly (it never
is).  Dharma also has a tiresome quality of obligation.  Like the
Dharma of paying bills etc.  But even this points to the obvious
conclusion that if you follow your Dharma (Bliss?), you can
escape a lot of Karma, but not Chaos.


Keith Price

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