There is nothing so interesting as toppling icons and the windmill I want to tilt at today is Karma.
Karma is the "cosmic bitch slap" born of the belief that all of the universe is cause and effect.
Another factor that influences people to believe in Karma is they find it almost impossible to justify why bad things happen to good people and why bad people seem to be the ones who get rich, get laid and get even.
Add to the mix an upbringing of fear and guilt and just about anyone will find themselves longing for a universe in which karma is the rule like it were a life raft for our sanity.
The fact is that with all of that behind us Karma is the glue we use to not go crazy and admit what seems to obvious:
* Some people do get away with murder.
* Some children suffer for no reason.
* The guys who go after what they want, sometimes at the cost of others, often are the ones who get rich, get laid and get even.
As an exercise in mental flexibility (and some would say blasphemy) let's examine the Karma Myth with a very critical eye. If this makes you too uncomfortable you're encouraged to stop reading ant try to forget anything that is written here.
Argument 1 - Time
Among the questions I want to pose are "Is ALL the universe limited to cause and effect?"
The answer on one level is yes. On another level the answer is not so clear. Why? Because cause and effect is a result of the awareness of time (i.e., cause is followed by effect) and none of that can make sense when time is removed from the equation.
A clearer picture of this argument emerges when we recognize that time itself is perceived only by the nervous system and the nervous system is a result of having a body. Absent of the body and nervous system there is no ability to perceive time. Without time there is no more cause and effect and
it is possible to experience everything as a single event.
On this "higher" perception absent the creation of time and therefore cause and effect and the concept of Karma is completely absent.
Argument 2 - Good and Evil
The belief in Good and Evil is a central support pillar for the Karma Myth. If someone does something that we judge as bad we want to know that we are compensated by them "having bad karma". Of course this does not address the fact that they believe they are doing good and that they will be rewarded for their good acts with good Karma.
The absolute of Good and Evil we find is much more subjective than we want to believe.
Argument 3 - The Origin
Just because you read it in a book or heard it from your parents or religious leader does not make it true... unless of course you have been trained to never question authority.
Argument 4 - Benefits
As much as one MIGHT think that believing in Karma is good there are reasons that believing the opposite is just as good. Shocking thought, isn't it, but who likes to be motivated by fear to do the "right" thing?
Argument 5 - The Intention
Why would someone create Karma? One reason is to control people to do the right thing out of fear. There are other reasons if you think about them.
Argument 6 - Counter Evidence
As much as you hear about the bad guys that get caught how many never get caught? Some? Many? Most?
On that note bad things happen to good people and bad people often prosper. We fall back on the invisible Karma as a way of hoping that things end up right.
So what does a person do without the "Karma crutch" to guide their actions?
The answers are many.
* One could as as if Karma were real to guide their actions.
* One could do whatever they damn well want to do.
* One could do whatever they damn well want but do it with the awareness that a portion of their life *is* living in the cause and effect world and if they do something illegal it is likely to have some consequences. This does not prove the existence of Karma just the need to do some good planning.
The absence of Karma could be liberating or a burden. It can liberate one to live free of guilt and fear but it can burden one with REAL responsibility; the responsibility to be 100% in control of their life.