A Comfort Contemplating Karma | Ron Cole |
Last night I got a call from an old friend and during our conversation he brought up the idea of karma. He said: “People think of karma as a punishment or some kind of moral justice system, but I think of it almost as a tutor or a teacher who gives us the information we need when we need it. The way we live our lives is the result of our karma; this is our information in action.
His penchant for discussing karma reminded me of an episode many years ago when the founder and publisher of the first rock ‘n’ roll magazine, Crawdaddy, and the author of my favorite pop psychology/philosophy book, “Das Energi,” invited me to accompany him on a trip to Chicago to attend and participate in Book Expo, the annual convention and national trade show for the publishing industry.
The show was set up in two large halls. One room had elaborate exhibits, exhibits, food and refreshments, and it was where all the major publishers were set up. The other room was bare and unadorned with folding chairs and tables for small presses and freelance publishers, and that was where we were, though we could walk freely between the two rooms.
When we finished setting up our booth, which featured about ten of his titles and two of mine, he pulled me aside and drew my attention to people standing in the aisle and at nearby tables.
“Look at the tension on their faces,” he said. “They are suffering in silence because they have spent all this money to travel here from all over the country and to pay for registration, hotel, meals, etc., and now they feel they have to do something to justify their investment.
He said, “You don’t have to worry about that and neither do I, because just because we’re here, we’ve fulfilled our karma. We did our part, so now we can relax, enjoy and whatever happens, happens.
It was such a gift because otherwise I too would have probably experienced the same stress and tension over the next few days.
Although he and my friend last night may not have thought about or described karma in the same way, both were comfortable and compelled to ruminate on it.
Some people hear the word “karma” and immediately think of Hindu religion or Buddhist philosophy, but I think it’s one of those words, like spirit or mood, that has transcended the esoteric meaning. and which has now been accepted into the general lexicon. The current non-religious, non-threatening statement and interpretation of karma is: What goes around comes around, both the bad and the good.
Although its use in everyday language is new to the language of corporate executives and newscasters, “karma” has long been a part of pop culture.
In 1970, karma reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100, when John Lennon warned against it in his song “Instant Karma.” Boy George and his band Culture Club hit No. 1 in 1983 and stayed there for six weeks with “Karma Chameleon”, which was the year’s best-selling single. And others, including Alicia Keys, Radiohead and the Black-Eyed Peas, have had songs with “karma” in the title.
Director/writer-actor Harold Ramis, who called himself a Buddhist because his parents were Zen Buddhists and Jews, described his film, “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray, as a lesson in karma where one finds the redemption through change and growth.
I am not one to say what karma is or is not, or to suggest that it should be embraced or discussed, but in my opinion, any teaching or concept that prompts us to be more aware and better intentioned in our actions and our words, and which offers us the hope of changing the scenario and manifesting different results in our lives, is a valuable tool that can serve us – in our personal and professional development, and our spiritual evolution. and social.