There is good and bad in the concept of karma which this article will explore, among other thoughts such as superstitions, religion, faith and finding a path that suits you.
Karma is a great coping mechanism to deal with the suffering of life. Karma is a very attractive concept because it makes the misery in this life easier to deal with. It makes suffering and illness and all the other difficulties of life a lot more bearable if you accept that you are paying off past debts. Now there is a reason for the inexplicable.
Perhaps karma is true, but the illogic of the concept is obvious. To be punished for what you did in previous lives that you cannot even remember simply makes no sense.
Karma is similar to many other religious concepts from hundreds or thousands of years ago which turned into a devout tradition to all followers of a religion.
For example let’s look at Drukpa Kunley (1455–1529) from Bhutan, a country of devout Himalayan buddhists, aka; The Divine Madman, aka; “The Saint of 5,000 Women”. Among other things, women would seek his blessing in the form of sex. He came up with a story that he used his penis to subjugate the daemons by turning it into a large red hot iron rod and beat them into submission.
So now, every house and building in Bhutan has a giant penis painted on it to ward off evil spirits. He was a man who saw that religion was off track and wanted to make some radical examples to wake people up. Instead, they turned him into a saint and turned his penis into a magical daemon weapon.
Stories like this make it increasingly difficult for a thinking person to accept religion and why in Bhutan for example, they cannot get enough young people to be interested in the tradition even to have enough caretakers of their temples.
The internet has awakened common sense and questioning of the old, and implausible traditions.
Karma seems to be just another one of those things that was created to appease people so they would stay peaceful in the midst of all their suffering, and in some cases, allows them to be used and abused like slaves.
The caste system of India is supported by the concept of karma. It keeps the untouchable caste accepting their low level of society because they believe it is their karma from a previous life that they should have to pay for their sins by being what they are born into in this life.
In this way, karma is used the same as the promise and threat of heaven and hell. It guides you to be a better person in this life so you have a better next life. It helps keep people in line and law abiding.
Karma appears to be an application of the Tao Te Ching chapter 3; “…Therefore the sage, in the exercise of his government, empties their minds, fills their bellies, weakens their wills, and strengthens their bones. He constantly (tries to) keep them without knowledge and without desire, and where there are those who have knowledge, to keep them from presuming to act (on it). When there is this abstinence from action, good order is universal.”
Karma is a concept to keep people satisfied and accepting whatever their life is, poverty or illness, so the country will be at peace by preventing revolution before it begins. It’s the perfect mass sedative. Every religion has done the same thing, each in their own way.
Even the supporters of reincarnation agree that who you are in this life dies. In your next life you may be a different sex, or a different species, who you are in this life, only lives once.
Make use of your intelligence and use it wisely, do not follow concepts that your subconscious mind knows are false. Look for a truth and path that makes sense, is practical and logical. Put any path or teacher to the test, and see if you have found something that in any situation, for any person in any country, would work with the same results.
Only a path that passes this test can activate a devotion and thus energy and spark to give you a sense of hope and motivation to finding what this life is really all about. Your subconscious is not stupid, even if your conscious mind often is. It needs to make sense of what you believe in in order to let your higher potential become activated.
Many religions have ‘Auspicious days’ to do things, when to sign the deed buying a house, or which days of the month will send your prayers directly to heaven with multiplied effects.
The reason that these days of the month are auspicious is because something happened in their religion on that day a very long time ago.
For example, Buddha subjugated demons on the day of the full moon and a few other days in the month. It just happened to be on that day. So now, the day of the full moon and a few other days in the lunar cycle are considered auspicious to buddhists.
They believe that their prayers and mantras are multiplied 1,000 times more than what is said. So 100 repetitions of the mantra gives you spiritual credits of having said it 100,000 times. They also believe that if you say a particular mantra 100,000 times, all your past karma of bad deeds can be cleared.
Another bizarre concept is the prayer wheel. A wheel on a spindle that has a prayer or multiple layers of prints of prayers on top of each other and all you have to do is spin the wheel and that counts as if you said all those prayers that many times that the wheel revolves. Now that we know how easy it is, I wonder, where are all these enlightened beings?
The devoted followers believe it, but seriously, can you? How can you, an intelligent thinking person, devote yourself with such perfect faith that you think you can cheat the system by saying your mantra on a full moon day and get 1,000 times credits, or spin a wheel and that counts for hundreds of mantra repetitions.
The point of repeating a mantra is to focus your mind and impregnate that thought into your subconscious. How is spinning a wheel all day going to achieve the same benefit?
This is why you cannot have true faith and devotion, or any true spiritual progress, and why religions are dying out. It’s all just too far fetched for the modern mind to accept no matter how much you want to find something to believe in.
A New Religion Is Needed
Religions today have become so totally distorted and blatantly ridiculous that the world is left empty without direction. We need a path that is logical and makes sense, something that helps cultivate our hidden potential of free will and super consciousness, or even just peace of mind.
A path that is logical, non-dogmatic, not based on fairy tales and fantastic stories. A code of ethics, a path of simply trying each day to be a good human being is the way for the modern world. That is what all religions were created for, a code of moral conduct to make this a better world filled with happier people.
The problem came when the number of followers grew so large that they became an attractive vehicle of power and the religion has since been used to control and manipulate the masses.
It’s time to follow a path of simply living well and forget the whole heaven and hell story, the idea of spiritual credits and merits, the ego pretending to be humble by wearing a robe and shaving your head, as if showing off how spiritual you are makes you spiritual. What a hypocritical act that is. ‘Look at me, I stand out in the crowd because I am so humbly spiritual.’
As a devout Himalayan Buddhist told me in Bhutan; “the truth is that today, being a monk is a job. Instant income through donations as soon as you put on the robes.”
Look for the flaws, then find out why people blind themselves to seeing the flaws, and you will find what you really need and want. Then find the way of living that fills that need.
We all need four things:
1 To know what happens after we die
2 To have a point to this seemingly pointless life
3 To be part of a community of like minded people so we do not feel isolated and alone
4 To feel love
Religions fill those needs even if they give us such flawed stories, but our need for these things is so great we accept any rubbish.
Now the world is different, the internet has shown us so much that we cannot accept the stories of religions. It’s time for a path of ethical, correct conduct, and a community who all agree on this simple path of right living.
The religions that teach that If you feel regret, you can pray to a deity to cleans your sins and you will be free and healed are only perpetuating further ill deeds.
This belief does not repair the damage to the person you hurt, so it means you can feel better but the victim still suffers. This is very wrong. It allows you to hurt others and be cleansed.
I think we should suffer if we hurt someone, so that we become a better person. If the pain of regret ends so easily, we are more likely to repeat bad actions. I personally choose to live a life with my purpose being:
To help as many people as I can, but above all, hurt no one.
To achieve that, I will not accept a religion that absolves anyone of their crimes by spinning a wheel or saying prayers to an imaginary deity.
What do you think is the way to make this a better world? Or at least, live a better life?