the law of karma in question
Kindly define what you are talking about.
We have all heard the expressions. What comes around goes around. Ye shall reap what ye have sown. Etc. The law of karma basically says that if you do ill or bad things to others, then bad things will befall you at some future point. Similarly, good deeds will bring a beneficient effect upon oneself at some point in time. The law’s operation is inexorable – meaning that it is like the Earth spinning on its axis and cannot be stopped or its effects be mitigated or gotten around.
This all sounds logical and just, but does it really account for, or explain, what we all see around us each and every day?
What strikes me as odd is that the victims of tragedies or crimes, the handicapped children, those struck down with cancer at an early age, those born with poor health or into poverty, etc. do not often show much evidence of a mean or combative or excessively selfish disposition or personality. If they are reaping the karmic justice for terrible past actions, why do we not see the type of personality that would/could commit such actions? Could they have quickly outgrown their serious character flaws in the transition to their new (current) lifetime? Or, does karmic justice span many lifetimes?
Similarly, fortune often smiles on those who have very defective personalities (the scoundrels). The self-absorbed person who cares not for those around him\her often has many boons befall him or her. We all can cite examples of this. As well, the mean-spirited seem to escape much suffering.
Is this law of karma belief simply a rationalization to explain all the terrible suffering and injustice we see in this hellish world? Could this idea be a case of blaming the victim(s)?!
A few words about suffering. Some may assert that since this world is ultimately an illusion (maya in the Sanskrit), the suffering is not real. But, suffering and pain (in whatever form(s)) are real enough to those persons experiencing them. Many people suffer in silence.
Dear readers, do not take these meandering thoughts too seriously. This writer is of the view that life makes less sense with each passing year.
My personal conclusion, for what it is worth, is do positive and constructive (loving) things in your life. Do not expect any rewards or recognition for such. But, there is a certain internal satisfaction or joy to be gained by helping our fellow human beings. No, this is not a feeling of being holier than thou or better than others. It is the feeling of having made a difference for someone else, a positive difference, that we are talking about. A feeling that we are not completely helpless in the face of the merciless and capricious vagaries of life. By striving to remain positive and loving in such an unjust world, we are telling God (Who allows (permits) so much injustice and suffering) we are not going to let the bad, the negative, the unjust, the painful drive us to despair. We will do the loving act even when it is not easy, even when there is no reward for doing so. Perhaps, this is how human dignity is gained and affirmed.
Existentialist moment: Is a man who does not know he is free truly free?
We have not read any of the works of James Joyce. But, we have read that he tried to capture what is grave and constant in human suffering in some of his writings. You, dear readers, can no doubt arrive at a number of things that are constant (or universal) in the human experience as relates to suffering.
It is said that when one is enlightened, he/she can sit on the side of the road and laugh his/her head off. I am not likely “enlightened”, but this week (weather permitting) I am going to sit on the side of the road and laugh my head off. Why? If I am laughing, I won’t be weeping over all the misery and injustice in this world.
Thank you for reading and thinking about this. Share this with others if you like.