Karma and the personal path
Jun 17, 1997 03:36 PM
by Einar Adalsteinsson & A.S.B.
Tom Robertson wrote:
If karma cannot be seen as good or bad, then it is irrelevant. Only to
the extent that karma serves as a motivating force in either pleasurably
reassuring one that what one did was good or as a disciplining force in
painfully teaching one that what one did was bad, is it relevant. What
good would it do to understand karma if it did not change behavior?
I am not writing this to oppose what Tom or others have said, on the
contrary I think I understand and agree that the purpose in understanding
how karma works is to learn, in fact it seems to me that we are here only to
I just want to elaborate a little on the nuts and bolts of the "Law" (from
my perpetually psychological point of view), as well as the problem of
semantics involved when we engage in the natural and important act of
discussing, - karma as well as other things.
I feel that the discussion of good or bad karma is rather elusive. My old
mentor used to say; "There exists no virtue in the world, that has not some
time or some place been looked upon as vice - and vice versa". Good or bad
is a matter of opinion, or rather, a matter of value.
If by good or bad we mean painful or pleasant we are at least closer to the
"learning phase" of the karmic principle. But I would like to point out the
fact (I think!) that there is no relation between "pain and pleasure" and
"good and bad". As a matter of fact, from most spiritual point of valuing,
pain may be looked upon as "the most valuable and benificial thimg there
is", and pleasure as "the most dangerous and malacious temptation of all"!!
So then, don't we have any absolute means of valuing karma? Well, we should
at least be very careful in condemning the deeds of others, let alone the doers.
As a matter of fact, I can't see what bisness another peoples karma is to
us. Or, is it?
There is a serious spiritual dialemma here, or should we say contradiction,
paradox maybe? It has to do with our perpetual powerplay. It is really no
business of ours how other people use their free will - it has been given to
them for their own private use (in fact they have earned it) and it is
their own sole responsibility (and THAT is karma). On the other side we are
all "the world", the whole world - and the whole world is our
"responsibility". Well, don't take it too seriously though!
The only karma I need to concern my self of is my own karma, not my karmic
debts - they will take good care of themselves - but how I can stop making
more karmic debts, how I can live in this world harmoniously, beneficiently.
For this I have to understand the mechanism of karma, and more importantly
the mechanism of my psyche - for it is within the psyche that ALL my karma
It has been said that desires are the main ingredinence in karma. I would
like to add the ingredience of the free will.
In the psyche desire is the factor of negativity - not as bad or good - only
non-content, i.e. craving or resisting change.
Together with the socalled free Will it is a powerful denominator in the
creativity of the world. It is also the main factor in suffering, when
combined with ignorance that is. And Ignorance with a capital I, is not
knowing the true nature of separation and the true nature of the Universal
Finally I would like to introduce another sanskrit word into the discussion,
namely Dharma. Dharma seems to contain many meanings, most of them rather
elusive. One is connected to karma in a way, somtimes translated as duty,
sometimes as the personal path of life. Dharma, in this sense, is a personal
thing. My dharma is the natural path of my life. If I can find and connect
to this personal path, I will not make any more karma. One might think that
this would be forefeiting ones free will, but as I understand it, there are
still million different possibilities or choices within the natural path of
our life. The key to this personal path is true and profound understanding,
total absence of selfcenteredness (or "personal" will) and unconditional
loving kindness. Rings a bell, doesn't it?
Just some thoughts for consideration - not to be taken seriously!
With LOVE to you all.
Einar from Iceland.
Let's change the world to the better,
by each of us changing ourselves,
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