Good Action and Karma

Katinka Hesselink

(originally an e-mail to the e-maillist theos-l, 1999)

I have pondered the idea's about karma and reincarnation that have floated about here, and also the discussion a bit farther back about whether or not we should be *nice* to one another.

Now in defining karma as action is reaction, I do think we make things a bit to easy on ourselves. A bird that flies does not defy the laws of physics, and action is reaction does work in the dynamics of its flight, but that does not mean it gets back to where it started. I have thought about karma as something which says quite simply that if I give something to someone, then karmically speaking something is added on my account and subtracted from their account. This might make it a good idea for a person not to be kind, because then I don't subtract anything from anybody's account. I think at the back of my mind this has been bothering me. But I think I have found a way out. And here goes:

The cause of a lot of evil is not in that law, but in peoples personality's and their perceptions of themselves and their surroundings. And in that interpersonal field very different laws act. Because there, in that *field*, being helpful and honest and without the tendency to thinklessly conform, makes it easier for other people to do the same. This means that looked at in such a way, a good person spreads the ability to do and be good.

Another factor also plays a part. This is that we are all to some extent mediums. What I mean is that it is easier for me to calmly count my money in the supermarket, when the cashier is calm and patient. When she is not calm and patient, I pick up on her unrest, and become unconcentrated and restless myself. This fact is very widespread in our society, so that in fact our ability to keep calm and be calm in every day situations, may actually help make society more rational.

I have come to the conclusion (from the above) that to think of karma as my account being filled, when I am a good girl, and others accounts being depleted from that, is a way of thinking that is caused by not seeing the connections between people. Seeing the connections between people and knowing that most are not at all bad, the accounts principle becomes obsolete or unimportant.

The very comforting conclusion from the above is of course that it is good to try and be good.