While on the surface karma seems a fairly clear and reasonable concept (i.e. you reap what you sow) and is close enough to much newer religions to appear benign (Job 4:8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.) in looking into karma as a viable, repeatable process (such as the Wiccan's Rule of Three Whatever energy a person puts out into the world, be it positive or negative, will be returned to that person three times.) and while I wish to Ganesha (The Remover of Obstacles) it occurred on a more real-time basis, karma seems about as accurate as Nostradamus' predictions.
|The problem appears to be (as with most things which make a hell of a lot of sense if left alone) religion. Religion which attempts to divide, categorize, sub-categorize and encapsulate each and every aspect of karma which could ever come up, as well as indicating how each spin-off religion views it, in its various 'states' one happens to accept each 'concept' of God dependent upon which 'path' they're currently on, and the entire ball of wax seemingly falls apart in the melting pot.|
|While each of these karmic philosophies appear distinct in their belief systems, they're all some dude, saying he's the 'one' pointing to some other dude as the leader, who then passes on his leadership to another dude for all of time. And the reason coexistence will never be a reality is mankind. Men who fabricate deities to hoodwink followers to make themselves more powerful. And the most heinous of these are those who declare all other religions void, while promising their own is the only way to eternal life. Compared to these, the karmic religions' cycle of reincarnation seems a lot more...well, sane.|
|Philosophy as a hobby - trying to figure out your place in the universe, is a fascinating, worthwhile pastime. Anything which gets you thinking is good. Philosophy as a hard and fast law however, seems counter-productive and harmful. It closes ones mind. And a closed mind views others' ideas with suspect and fear. The great Philosopher Yoda once stated that "Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." Most everything you think you know is wrong, because its colored through perception. And while we can never shed ourselves of that perception, closing your mind to the possibility that what you know is filtered through perceptions which are likely inaccurate is just foolish.|
|Perhaps its the complexity of these religions - or any religion - which causes so much trouble? So called "New Age" religions (which are simply even older religions meshed together for the next or "New" "Age" of Aquarius) are seemingly over-simplistic in their world view: "Love each other." No complex rules or elitism. No "right path" to follow, with damnation nipping at your heels if you fail, and no single individual to confess your failures to for forgiveness. Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side, kid. Perhaps, just perhaps, in its simplicity lies a better answer? The Western hemisphere's concept of karma is over-simplified compared to the diverse and rich mythology on which it is based.|
|Which brings us to meditation. Meditation, not to be confused with medication, mastication or masturbation (though all three are fantastic candidates) is a predominately Buddhist discipline which has since been adopted by many other religions (awkwardly enough meditation appears to be more about spirituality - that is, finding your inner divinity, i.e. anti-religion, though most religions use it as a form of prayer) while meditation outside religious use varies from self-awareness to active relaxation. Either way you choose to use it, especially in this fast-paced world in which we are a part of, any time you make a conscious effort to unplug, so to speak, can only decrease the daily stresses we all fall prey to, potentially building up to the point of stressors which can lead to unhappiness and ultimately, damaging confrontation. Unfortunately, for mr_dowg, sitting in front of the television with snacky-cakes is not a good example of meditation.|
|Once adequate meditative results have been reached, the next step toward enlightenment in karmic religions (if I'm using this phraseology properly) is tantra. Not the "bed-environmentalist-whacko-hot-chicks"
|Sounds like fun. And then it starts to become part of the problem. Is it not enough to just relax? Apparently not - If we just keep pushing, we can reach perfection! I'm not suggesting that we stop at mediocrity, rather that we stop calling it mediocrity when to go further means manifesting weird ritualistic shenanigans. Just a thought.
And while just like making guns illegal puts them only in the hands of criminals, making the problem worse by tipping the balance of power, so it is with the Westerner's view of karma - only those who strive to do good ever consider it; evildoers don't give a shit - they're going to do whatever the hell they want no matter the consequence, and they sure as hell don't wonder if they'll reap what they sow prior to whatever evil act they're planning to exact. So go ahead and wish an ill fate upon those who would do you harm. Karmic religions are far too complex and ritualistic for your average low-life scum. Instead, try to be the best person you can be. Concerning yourself with the actions of others is a fruitless endeavor. Fix yourself first.