I am going to either upset a great many people here, or potentially connect with a lot of people. I hope if I do this right, I will at the very least have explained where I am coming from and you can judge for yourself. Here goes…
I don’t believe in Karma or the notion of Karma. I think the way that people picture it and use it in conversation is as if there is an imaginary justice scale going on in the universe and as soon as someone feels that they have been wronged or mistreated, it will trigger an unseen event (either immediately or many years later) to rectify this unbalance and exact retribution. I have never been able to believe this and the experiences of my life have only served to affirm this belief.
I think it stems from this inherent need that people have to feel ‘justice’ will prevail. The roots of these moral beliefs hark back many, many thousands of years and became incorporated into things like religion, government, social norms etc but it is a way of making us feel that something is controlling human existence and experiences. Something that is fair and ‘just’. We like the notion of Karma because it makes us think that even if we feel at our most down trodden and powerless, our weakest and most hurt, something will happen to provide revenge for the wrongs which have been inflicted upon us. I simply don’t think this is true.
Our human experience is not being metered out, controlled or governed by anything other than randomness and choices. There are things in life that we will, may or might experience and there are some which we simply will not. There really is no way of accurately predicting, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what will happen other than our own mortality. Everything else is just the experience we call ‘life’. Sometimes ‘life’ will hand us events that will test our comprehension and emotional abilities to the extreme; not all events are nice. But the human body and the human mind is also amazing in its ability to overcome some amazing, astonishing, terrifying and heartbreaking events that many of us could possibly understand unless we were faced with it ourselves. However, while there is human life there will be pain, suffering, love, exhilaration, kindness, compassion and hatred… and much much more. While humans and nature exist on this planet we will witness some of the most random acts of cruelty, catastrophy and kindness that is possible. These events will either strengthen us, hurt us, teach us, awaken us, inspire us or, if we allow it, can turn us into very selfish, cruel and cynical creatures for the rest of our lives. The choice is ours.
When I watch scenes of violence on t.v., children being born in great pain, young people dying of illness and starvation, criminals walking the street, mothers grieving the, New Year revelers, wrinkled old faces blowing out candles and puppies playing with kittens or Lions walking majestically through African wilds I know that randomness is working and from that randomness we learn.
We learn what is important, what is meaningful, what is special, what is so basic to the human condition and what we all need to survive on this planet and to appreciate what we have all around from the experiences and examples which surround us everyday. It is my belief that life on this planet is not being controlled by a Karmic force, but by the laws of science, mathematics, biology, chemistry, geology and a multitude of many other factors that we are still uncovering and exploring. Why did I get so terribly sick and may spend the rest of life in some level of pain and disability? No one knows. Is it because I was mean to someone or unkind to someone many years ago? I don’t believe so for a second. What I do with all this suffering and experience and how I interpret it is up to me and will affect the direction and choices of my future (and probably the future of others affected by me) and that is what motivates me to reach for a more positive direction. I am at a place in my life that while I subscribe to acting and behaving morally and hoping that justice will happen more often than it doesn’t, I don’t need the notion of Karma because I use life experiences as lessons and I am comfortable with not knowing all the answers.