A Short Essay on Karma....

By Rev. Henry Buchy

My views are pretty much in line with the Hindu philosophy of "karma",after all,they are the ones who give us the concept.I will attempt to explain my understanding of Karma in light of what I have gleaned from the Hindu texts, as well as the expression of this concept in other systems of thought, and how I have worked it in to my "personal"world view. Karma is a force, or energy,which is set in motion,by "thought","will", "desire",and "action". The basic idea is that any thought,desire or action affects all around you. The favorite analogy is the pebble dropped in a pond,the first effect is a splash and a wave,afterwards, the ripples spread out over the suface touching everything and then reflecting off objects,until the pond is covered in a web of ripples..Another aspect of Karma is the idea of "cause and effect"or the

"Chain of causality",an action or event occurs,the effect of which in turn causes other actions and events,ad infinitum. For me it's like this,we are in the realm of 'action'so we are bound by the

laws of action.What we send out affects all around us,and what is going on around us affects us.To "act" in the manifested world is to act in Karma. Closely tied into Karma is the Idea of "destiny",Reincarnation,and spiritual evolution,as well as "pyhsical" evolution,and cycles. The egyptians expressed this concept in the form of the Goddess "Ma'at",that which is "right and true","Unalterable Law"and have a saying that "it has not been broken since the beginning".Tehuti,scribe and recorder of the gods,is also closely tied to it.

The Greeks depicted it in the form of two Deities,"Themis",the titaness before whom Zues must even give way,and Nemisis,the avenger of every "wrong" ,and also as the 3 fates,Clothos,Atropos,and Lachise. In the norse system,the Norns,Urd,Verdani,and Skuld,and also Loki. It becomes evident to anyone,who has spent time evaluating the old tales,that the idea of past deeds affecting future events is a universal one,even when the events are separated by many generations.This is basic karmic operation. I will now attempt to outline my understanding of Karma,and how to "harmonise" one's self to its workings.There are a few things that are important to an understanding of karma,they are reincarnation,free will,and the causual relationship of "actions".

One should also view Karma as the force which maintains"Harmony". The first thing one should bear in mind is that we live in a world of"our own" making,meaning collectively,through actions in past lives,as individuals,clans, nations,etc.Many use the terms"My karma","your Karma","bad karma",or"good karma".In my view,this is a misconception.KARMA is KARMA.It is neither good nor bad,it is not the possession of any one person.It belongs collectively to all of creation.In light of this,we can be subject to it's effects from actions not our own.This in a sense is the meaning of"destiny".There are events set in motion over which we have no control over.Our only control is in how we choose to respond to these events.This is the idea of "free will".This is also where we,as individuals,get to shape future"destiny",depending on how we choose to act.Our responses,in turn,become "causes" in themselves.This brings into play an inherent "duty".This implied duty is one of self control and a responsib- ilty to guard our thoughts and actions.The Hindu's call it the faculty of "dis icrimination" or the ability to discern the apropriate course of action,and to find your true path or place in the web of life.In this way one can free themselves from the effects of karma and ultimately the wheel of birth and death.This is no easy task,and few are they that achieve it in one lifetime. ~Henry

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