In the Hindu society emphasis is placed on the cycles of life, death and reincarnation. Simply stated this is the process of working through the varieties of conditions one faces as growth opportunities are presented to us. The goal is to “get off the wheel” of life and death and experience the purity of a life lived without stain of discord, hatred or injury to others. This is karma, or to put it another way, “What goes around, comes around!”
I could not help but think about karma in this somewhat humorous manner as I was exchanging emails with a long-time friend. We were each sharing particulars of some life events and I automatically tried to see links in what I had experienced with something I had done to cause the event. I first encountered the concept of karma while in seminary at Unity School in the middle 1950s. James Dillet Freeman, then director of Unity’s ministerial school, was tutoring me in philosophy and religion. We had extended discussions of the concept of reincarnation and I readily accepted the idea of having as many opportunities as one might need to come to a full expression of his/her true spiritual nature. At that point one would be free of the cycle.
Through the years I have continued to develop my beliefs about the subject and of how karma works in my life. As I was thinking about it today, it seemed almost humorous in how the concept is used to both accept and explain away a sense of current responsibility. We can blithely comment “oh, it’s just karma,” when something happens in our life or in the life of a friend. By that statement we are commenting, perhaps too casually, that a person is just getting paid back for something they did, usually in a previous life. Thus, the notion, “What goes around, comes around.”
Actually, there is much more to understand about how it works. In the physical world, including our human experience, there seem to be “causes” and “effects” in everything. When good things come about in our lives, we like to think we earned them through good karma. However, it is often more difficult to think we deserve things that are less likeable in our experience.
It is about at this point in the discussion that I always realize I may have bitten off more than I can chew! The subject does not lend itself to easy explanation, nor are the “unbelievers” likely to be convinced of my arguments! So, I think to myself, why in the world did I start this essay? I can only say that because I accept the principle of cause and effect in the world in which I live, I am always eager to understand how I can set into motion better causes and reap better results. In the worst of times I just want to “get off the wheel!” In the best of times I hope that perhaps this is the last time around. Who really knows?
Lacking a more thorough consideration of the subject I accept that what goes around comes around! (And I enjoy a good laugh at life’s foibles!)