Questions and Answers

Fandango’s Provocative Question #89

This week’s question, brought to you by the titular Fandango (his blog is here, check it out for other answers) is: Do you believe in karma (or a similar “reap what you sow” notion)? Why or why not? and he defines karma thusly:

[Quote] Karma refers to both the actions and the consequences of the actions.

Some religions (e.g., Hinduism and Buddhism) define karma as the sum of a person’s actions in this (and previous) states of existence, and that such actions will be a key factor in deciding their fate in their current and future existences.

In Christianity, karma is more of a “what goes around comes around” concept. The Bible says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” This is more of a “you get what you give” concept. Or as the Beatles sang, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” [End Quote]

Most people in this day and age here in the United States will go with the latter when it comes to Karma as in an as you sow, so shall you reap type thing. I’ve heard it both ways and kinda sorta think, “Eh, whatever” either way. If I believed in reincarnation, I’d think that whatever we’ve done in this life should definitely carry over into the next life. I mean, why should we start over with a clean slate? That’s not fair in the grand scheme of things, right? So yeah, it seems like the sins and good deeds of our past lives would follow us into our next lives. If we have a next life. Which I don’t know if we do, but it just stands to reason that we should act accordingly. I mean, even if the Christian afterlife is our “next life” it behooves us to act as though we’d be packing that baggage. You know?

because I thought it was funny.

As to karma in this life? Eh… I honestly think it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Like most things in life, people see it where they want to see it and ignore it when it doesn’t happen. I mean if terrible people got what’s coming to them, and all of the good people got the karma they deserved, well there would be no need to riot in the streets. That’s what I think. I mean yeah some people do get what’s coming to them, and sometimes it feels like Karma has struck, both for good and bad. However, good things happen to some pretty awful people and vice versa, so if Karma was a thing, well… it’s not consistent, is it? I mean, if it were, I would think that there would be more balance in the world, and I just don’t see that. Horrible people sow hate and discontent all over the place and they die wealthy and happy. Beautiful souls sow nothing but love and compassion and die unknown and unappreciated. If Karma were a true and real thing… I dunno, I just believe that there wouldn’t be such an imbalance in the world. Or maybe it’s just fickle. Or the Hindus have it right and we reap what we sow in this life when we go to the next one. Who knows? Not me. That’s who.

All that being said, here’s my favorite song on the subject:

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