Wednesday, May 6, 2009
It's All Grist for the Mill
I've been thinking about karma ever since a fascinating conversation over dinner with friends earlier this week. I "believe" in karma, whatever that means. I believe that on the most simplistic level, what we send out will return to us, whether that's generosity or compassion, or on the other side of the karmic spectrum, ill will towards others or self loathing, you know.
In my heart of hearts I think karma is far more complicated than the Law of Return. I'm not sure it's as mathematical or balanced as we imagine. We humans love to have all our t's crossed and i's dotted, though the multiverse, as I experience it, is not so neat and tidy.
According to the cosmology (or semantics) of Reya, destiny is something that transcends, in a very extensive way, this particular lifetime. Destiny seems to me to be quite ephemeral, etheric. Karma on the other hand, feels visceral, grounded - or maybe focused is a better word - to the circumstances of our individual lifetimes. I think that's why we work through so much karma while alive, why we're so mindful of our actions and have so many rules and ideas about how to behave. Destiny is participatory, but you can't hold it in your hand. But we can - and do - sculpt karma every day, all the time.
I've been thinking about everyday crises in terms of karma, that when we get a cold, or cut a finger while cooking, or have a little argument with someone we love, that in healing each of these everyday crises we are working through some little karmic tangent. I really like this idea, that even by sweeping the floor or tending the garden we are contributing to the evolution of personal karma.
Perhaps I'm desperate to believe that every event, no matter how insignificant, means something because I'm getting older and am more aware every day of the preciousness of this existence. Or maybe I'm on to something. The karma of everyday crises is not glamorous or dramatic, but I think these little scraps and scrapes help us evolve, bit by bit.
It's time now to walk the old dog, clearing a small thread of animal karma, then do laundry, which perhaps helps purge some small karmic stain on my soul. And on and on, through this life of extraordinary, ordinary days. L'chaim!