Karma and Personal Responsibility
Nov 11, 1995 12:09 PM
by Keith Price
Thanks for the thoughtful words and concern related to my accident. Don
DeGracia Liesel KPaul Eldon Jerry and others have been most kind.
As for the philosophical question about accident let me share
with you what Gurdjieff says which I have seen confirmed in my
own experience. He distinguishes between the Law of Accident
and the Law of Fate saying our behavior and attitude can
determine which law governs us. Under the Law of Fate all
circumstances are necessary instruction and are personally
meaningful. Under the Law of Accident we experience random
events that have no relation to our personal fate. We choose
which law applies to us by the way we think and live. If we
live on the assumption that our experiences have personal
instructional meaning then we attract to us circumstances that
are individually meaningful. If we live on the assumption that
our experiences are random that's what we get.
What this means to me personally can be illustrated by the last
car accident I had. . . .
Ideas about Karma often appeal to our idea about "fairness" in the world
process. Although Blavatsky decried anthropomophism at every turn of the page
I wonder sometimes if karma as often portrayed is a projection of our need for
good to rewarded and evil to be punished. Karma is portrayed as a balancing
machine but with a human face. The Lord Yama and St. Peter at the Pearly Gates
demand a life review scales in hand. But the relativistic problem of good for
you and bad for me always arises. Other factors such as chaos fate and
randomness are discussed also because we all know that on the surface life is
not immediately or superficially fair.
Synchronistically I think Dianne Dunnigham the secretary of the Theosophical
Order of Service led a discussion on karma at the Houston Lodge. She is quite
an interesting speaker and well worth inviting to
your lodge I think. The topic was "is there unmerited suffering?" She talked
about beliefs about karma as popularly held in theosophical and new age circles
such as: what goes around comes around we draw people and events into our life
for lessons we are working out realtionship problems from past lives with the
same people again soul-mates and on and on.
She noted that most of our ideas about karma are based on the individual. This
seems somewhat grandiose and self-contered in some ways. She suggested that
karma moves with a much borader brush. That is group national and geopraphic
karma far outweighs the individual in explaining events like accidents
hurricanes being born rich or poor etc.
She placed great emphasis on our society as a measure of our karma that is
racial problems religious wars pollution and poverty call us to a response that
has little to do with our individual karma. As we examined individual issues
such as abortion euthanasia suicide and other issues we reiterated that
"motive is everything" in trying to see an action as good or bad. Her activity
in the TOS evidences her view that social action is necessary as well as
meditation etc. for personal growth.
Also our positive response to a stressful event is probably more important than
the fact that it happen that is everybody suffers but handling it with
equanimity seems to say more than just being "lucky" and never having to face
I'm not doing justice to her ideas but karma has often seemed to me to be a
zero sum game that is karma is impersonal and seeks homeostasis or even stacic
non-action rather than being a tool of evolution. I mean to be karmaless is
to be desireless and harmless. The pendulum seeks not just to balance the swing
but to come to rest in stillness. Karma seems to wind down in a kind of total
entropy of the entire system. Thus karma may be a tool but it is not the
motive behind life consciousness and evolution.
Negative entropy or negentropy seems to be necessary for life. A system must
pull energy or more exactly "information" from the environment to stay
organized. This requires massive expenditures and consumption of energy for
complex systems. Thus the more organization the more entropy.
I wouldn't be the first to say that this has lends a type of dog-eat-dog or big
fish eats little fish quality to the entire world process. We may even love
conflict for its own sake - if we didn't why all this expenditure of energy
about Masters and Monads Blavatsky vs Purucker etc.?
I love conflict. It tends to energize me and focus my attention. Love isn't
called warm and "FUZZY" for nothing. Love seems to dissolve barriers and
conflict tends to define the barriers and make them rigid. Thus maybe it is
part of our desire body to love fighting and fight loving or being loved even
while talking about spritual matters.
Even our physical body evidences this. When we are angry our eyes dilate
bringing the target of attention into clearer focus. When we are in love or
sexually aroused the eyes dilate adding a fuzzy quality to the desire object
an invitation to romantic fantasy. Perhaps analysis kills love. This is a
lesson I am learning. My venus in VIrgo is not about fun but service
Sending out love
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