The more I read about Karma, the more I realize. It is true, Good or Bad...whatever it is...Everything we do matters. I’ve given this a lot of thought lately. It may seem like a strong statement, but it is not meant in a rigid kind of way. Nevertheless, the more I contemplate it, the more it rings true to me. Every single thing we do in our life, every moment, it all matters. Now obviously killing someone is different than throwing garbage on the street. But even the simple stuff like going for a walk or cooking dinner, or reading the news matters. What do I mean by matters? I mean that it all adds up, all of our actions have an effect on our state of mind now and in the future.
When the ‘09 Lok Sabha & General Assembly elections were happening, I read a lot of news; I became sort of political for a while, wanting to read anything about the inspiring man JP Narayan and his plans. A month after the election is over, I’m in retreat, not thinking about JP or politics at all and a few times I’ve woken up in the morning having dreamed about him and petty political scenarios. Something is going on here, obviously all the news reading had some sort of lasting effect on my mind, otherwise I wouldn’t be processing it in my sleep.
Powerful movies and football also seem to have this hang-over affect on my mind. Sometimes after watching a movie, I’ll go to bed and the whole dream world will be filled with the theme of that movie. The same occurs when I work many hours on the computer just before going to bed. My dreams are often a strange version of the computer world. I get illusions such as meeting my football heroes Ronaldinho, Zidane, etc., after a good hour to two spent watching football replays.
All of these examples are to illustrate that all of our actions in fact have an effect down the road. These are strong examples, but it can also be quite subtle as well. Even everything we think matters. When I first heard this, I’m not sure I believed it, but I was shocked at the idea of it. Now, years later, after having pondered over it, I believe it to be true.
Extreme examples always popup, so lets address one. If the thought of killing someone arises, does that matter? Should I be afraid of my thoughts? No, not really. I think the main point is that thinking in certain ways for prolonged periods of time can actually change our way of being. The more emotionally charged the thoughts, and the longer periods of time, the stronger the effect.
The more we do or think something, the more we are creating the momentum for that to happen again in the future. It is subtle, but over time it is surely true. I think we can all accept this as true, the more I am an angry person, in time, I just become more and more like that. This is true for all states of mind. The momentum does not stop on its own; it is a never ending cycle that fuels itself. When things get too hot, or a catastrophe occurs, only then do we change our ways.
So do we always have to experience the results of our actions? Our teachings say that if we remain ignorant, then yes, but through practice, these past seeds can be purified. So everything we do matters, whether moment to moment, day to day, after many years or even over lifetimes. This is the basic teaching of karma, and I encourage everyone to look and see if it is true.
Practice 'LOVE' (an emotion) and you shall see the difference, it only charges your zeal to live Happy (effect) more and more. Again a cause & effect attachment.
Thanks for reading.