Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Robert Anton Wilson - A Lesson in Karma

Robert Anton Wilson - A Lesson in Karma - Robert Anton Wilson Online Library: "...returning from school one afternoon, Luna was beaten and robbed by a gang of black kids. She was weeping and badly frightened when she arrived home, and her Father was shaken by the unfairness of it happening to her, such a gentle, ethereal child. In the midst of consoling her, the Father wandered emotionally and began denouncing the idea of Karma. Luna was beaten, he said, not for her sins, but for the sins of several centuries of slavers and racists, most of whom had never themselves suffered for those sins. "Karma is a blind machine," he said. "The effects of evil go on and on but they don't necessarily come back on those who start the evil." Then Father got back on the track and said some more relevant and consoling things. The next day Luna was her usual sunny and cheerful self, just like the Light in her paintings. "I'm glad you're feeling better," the Father said finally. "I stopped the wheel of Karma," she said. "All the bad energy is with the kids who beat me up. I'm not holding any of it."

Karma, in the original Buddhist scriptures, is a blind machine; in fact, it is functionally identical with the scientific concept of natural law. Sentimental ethical ideas about justice being built into the machine, so that those who do evil in one life are punished for it in another life, were added later by theologians reasoning from their own moralistic prejudices. Buddha simply indicated that all the cruelties and injustices of the past are still active: their effects are always being felt.

Similarly, he explained, all the good of the past, all the kindness and patience and love of decent people is also still being felt. Since most humans are still controlled by fairly robotic reflexes, the bad energy of the past far outweighs the good, and the tendency of the wheel is to keep moving in the same terrible direction, violence breeding more violence, hatred breeding more hatred, war breeding more war. The only way to "stop the wheel" is to stop it inside yourself, by giving up bad energy and concentrating on the positive. This is by no means easy, but once you understand what Gurdjieff called "the horror of our situation," you have no choice but to try, and to keep on trying.

And Luna, at 13, understood this far better than I did, at 43, with all my erudition and philosophy.... I still regarded her absolute vegetarianism and pacifism as sentimentality."

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