My Dogma ate my Karma

A discussion in some comments below made me think: What do Karma, Zen, and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle have in common?

They’re all concepts that, since they have been popularized into common usage, are usually inaccurately applied.

Take Karma, for instance. People talk about Karma as if it was some form of cosmic retribution. Like, let’s say that you made a really boorish, insensitive post on your blog and then a few days later you got attacked by a Rottweiler and were seriously hurt. That’s an unfortunate coincidence, but that’s not Karma.

Nobody, not even people who make fun of fat people, deserve to be attacked by a Rottweiler. I certainly hope that person recovers as quickly and comfortably as possible.

Karma, if I understand it right, has to do with how your choices affect your future. Like, if you are a violent, angry person who goes around acting violent and angry, you are more likely to become a victim of violence and anger yourself. Not because you *deserve* it, but because you set it up that way for yourself. Karma is not so much a religious belief as a good sense philosophy to live by.

So, if you post insensitive things on your blog, you do not deserve to be attacked by a big dog. But you do create a future for yourself that is more aligned with insensitivity which, if it becomes a habit, will probably not be good for you in the long run.

The good news is that you can always change your Karma by changing your choices. I like ending with the good news.

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