It’s true, karma. I go round ‘n round with it (no pun intended) because I’m impatient with a short fuse (and very human), but part of my core beliefs are rooted in this basic law of moral causation. Without getting all metaphysically Kant and breaking down the foundational principle of morals, I’ll be the first to tell you that ‘What I ought to do’ isn’t always what I do and I certainly have reaped what I have sown. I’ve also, in life, felt a great moral ‘duty’ and made choices that countered my desires or interest for the sake of Karma caching. Karma can be defined by the cause and effects of any thought, word, or deed of moral and immoral volition.
“If we are to assume that anybody has designedly set this wonderful universe going, it is perfectly clear to me that he is no more entirely benevolent and just in any intelligible sense of the words, than that he is malevolent and unjust.” – Aldous Huxley
Alas, The Law of Karma is merely one of the many conditions of my own personal philosophies and one of the twenty-four in Buddhist philosophy. Applying this to religion: “Being created by an Almighty God who controls our destinies and predetermines our future, or being produced by an irresistible Karma that completely determines our fate and controls our life’s course, independent of any free action on our part, is essentially the same. The only difference lies in the two words God and Karma. One could easily be substituted for the other, because the ultimate operation of both forces would be identical.” (‘The Theory of Karma’ by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw).
I’m not writing this post as a teaching of any particular spirituality no matter how Buddhist-slanting it may come off. I’m merely writing this because this morning I woke up and made a dreadful call to the customer service department of my bank. When the customer satisfaction representative (as they are now called, but as we all know they should – typically – be called customer dissatisfaction representatives) got on the phone I was fully prepared to launch into my unsatisfied customer diatribe, take down a badge number, and ask to speak to a supervisor, but today didn’t require packing the heat. In a rare and tingly-happy-believe-in-the-world-again turn of events, he (why is it that we only remember the identifying details of those that wrong us and not those that generate goodwill?) not only satisfied the customer but he went above-and-beyond to set in motion the events of a brilliant day. He not only took away a nuisance, he took away the entire burden and then wished me a blessed day. This first interaction in my day created a chain reaction of good and the well-wish to be contented and happy truly did generate not only that but also hope and a moral courage to validate these feelings for someone else.
The kind customer VERY-satisfactory representative inspired not only this posting – my writing – but shaped my circuitous thinking about something I read a couple of weeks ago that prompted an immediate reaction from me and in turn proved to be the gospel – Justine Musk’s ‘who is influencing you, and how? – three degrees of influence, your writing, and you.’
Even if you’re not a writer, you can certainly be inspired and THAT is categorically imperative for me to pass around. (To get all Kant about it).
“All living beings have actions (Karma) as their own, their inheritance, their congenital cause, their kinsman, their refuge. It is Karma that differentiates beings into low and high states.” – Buddha