Reflections: Karma Is A Teacher Not A Bitch
“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” Wayne W. Dyer
Now as a man is like this or like that,
according as he acts and according as he behaves, so will he be;
a man of good acts will become good, a man of bad acts, bad;
he becomes pure by pure deeds, bad by bad deeds;
And here they say that a person consists of desires,
and as is his desire, so is his will;
and as is his will, so is his deed;
and whatever deed he does, that he will reap.
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 7th Century BC
The Law of Karma is often interpreted in myriad ways; it’s defined as retributive justice, cause and effect, Payback, golden rule, wisdom teacher, avenger, a bitch/taskmaster and a slew of other terms. Whenever the subject arises, people start debating about whether it exists or not. Is Karma real? Is it just a way to placate the weak? Is it a law about morality? If you take a moment to read the quote above from the Upanishads, the message is quite clear; our actions produce outcomes = results. And there is a ripple effect that occurs too. What we do to others finds its way back to us; some how, some day.
If I spent my day dashing out and dancing on the busy intersection near my home, sooner or later, one of two things will happen: I’ll get arrested by the cops or I’ll get run over by a car. If we constantly abuse others in a prejudicial or resentful way, the poison is ours to drink. As my dear friend, Ben Okri, would say, “The law is simple. Every experience is repeated or suffered till you experience it properly and fully the first time.” Essentially, we repeat our actions (Wheel of Karma) and suffer the consequences till it is ingrained in our psyche to stop the behavior. Karma teaches us to be accountable and to learn from our actions. Karma isn’t just about punishing us or the wicked for bitchiness or evil actions… If so, heck, we’d all be dead.
“You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address
In the excerpt below, taken from a commencement speech given at Stanford University, Steve Jobs shared one of three stories that showed the unfolding of events in his life. He pointed out that taking a calligraphy class at Reed College contributed to the results he got when he worked on the Mac; his karmic outcomes were the result of actions he took. It is worth a read. He nails it and you can read the rest Here: You’ve got to find what you love,’ Jobs says
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
So whether we believe in Karma or not, it comes down to one clear message: We reap what we sow. Sooner or later. Power is finite. Results are infinite. More below.
“it is impossible to build one’s own happiness on the unhappiness of others. This perspective is at the heart of Buddhist teachings.” Daisaku Ikeda
Let’s take another example: We’ve all known people who thrive on sharing other people’s sad stories and chuckling about it. Come back later for a story on Karma and our actions.
This post was Inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Karma Chameleon – Let’s pretend that science has proven that karma is a thing. Your words and actions will influence what happens to you in the future. How (if at all) will you change your ways? Photographers, artists, poets: show us CIRCLE.
Thank you EVERYONE!
For more, check out how others interpreted the theme – a prompt from WP Daily Post
Positive Motivation Tip: Be mindful how you treat others… what goes around, comes around.