I told a friend about something in my life the other day, and she said “it’s karma”.
What does the word mean for me now?
Karma – whatever ideas we have about it – is an idea. It’s a projection. An overlay of images and thoughts. It’s not inherent in the world or “out there” in the world. And the idea of a world is also an idea that’s right here.
Within the realm of ideas of images, karma can be said to be cause and effect. We have an image of something go before something else in time, and have another image saying one caused the other.
One basic image of how karma operates is beliefs. Mind takes an image or thought as true, and there is a perception as if it’s true, emotions come as if it’s true, and actions come as if it’s true.
Another basic image if karma is of infinite causes. Whatever happens, even the most simple thing, and even that which seems the most “personal” such as choices and intentions, has infinite causes. I can make a long list of what brought it about, and I can always find one more thing, and one more thing. The whole universe, the whole of existence – in it’s extent and history – is behind it.
The first view of karma – focusing on beliefs – can be quite helpful. And the second helps soften the idea that it is – or something is or can really be – personal.
– cause and effect (what a thought would call)
– belief, effects of belief (perceptions, labels/interpretations, emotions, actions)
– infinite causes stretching out to the width of the universe (existence) and back to the beginning of time
– karma at individual level, almost meaningless – in this perspective (holarchical)