Wednesday, March 3, 2010

everything The Beatles taught you about Karma, was wrong!

Did you ever go through an airport between 1974 and 9/11, 2001? While you were moving through the crowd to make your connection, did you per chance run into someone asking for a donation. only to have them put a paper flower on you, when you did give something? Well that paper flower was my idea! 

In mid 1973 I was in the Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Trying to get to my next duty station after graduating from Boot Camp at Great Lakes Naval Training Center. I was in my Service Dress Blues, you may know them by their nickname "Cracker Jacks." With my sea bag slung over my shoulder and my travel orders and ticket in hand, I entered the world's busiest Airport. I was barely in the door when a tall female stepped directly into my path.

She began to tell me how god had given her the calling to ask me for money. And that he told her I would help. Well, who was I to argue with a god? So, I fished a dollar out of the breast pocket of my jumper and handed it to her. She thanked me and said some mumbo jumbo, but I was already gone on my way. About sixty steps later another jumped into my path. And she started the same routine I had just heard at the door. I interupted and said "I already gave." and glanced back over my shoulder to point out her accomplice. But the first woman was gone. I told her "The other woman was dressed just like you. But I don't see her now!" She just smiled with that same vapid expression. So, I side stepped her and started again for my gate.

I was almost there when another one materialized right before my eyes! She started the script I'd already heard twice in the last five minutes and I interrupted rudely to ask her if I "looked like I had just fallen off a turnip truck driving by the airport?" And I realized I did look very much like a schmoo! And while I was still talking to her, a dude in an identical Saffron robe came along side and asked if he could help. I grabbed him by the robe and pulled his face to mine and said "Why don't you guys put something on the people who already gave, so the rest of you can tell who has already been accosted?"

And that's why Krishnahs carried and gave flowers.My Gump moment.

So after checking in and while sitting, waiting for the plane, I was approached again. But this was completely different than the others. This was a guy. A guy in blue jeans and a chambray shirt. With collar length hair and a book in his hand, he sat beside me and said he "had a gift for me" and handed me the book. It was a hard back book with a glossy finish and had that "Right of the press" smell. But the title was incomprehensible to me. I recognized the letters. Yet I had never seen them arranged in that order.
"The Bhagavad Gita and the Mahabharata."
I opened the book and the words were not English. I pointer this out. And my new friend showed me that the last half of my book did have an English translation. So I thanked him for the gift and returned to "People watching." That's when he told me he wanted $20. for the book.
"What kind of gift costs the recipient $20?" I asked.
"The gift is the message inside. The book costs 20 bucks!" he replied.
His logic was flawless. So I tried to hand him back the book along with the gift inside. But he told me that he could not take the book back, because I had opened it and creased the binding. We were at an impasse. And in need of an arbitrator. So I glanced around and saw another man in uniform and called him over to referee the debate. This new guy's uniform was very similar to mine, in color. But his had a badge! My new friend must have had bigger fish to fry. Because he left without so much as a "Have a nice day." This book began my exploration into Eastern Mysticism. As it turned out "The Bhagavad Gita" is an epic poem.

In this poem, Arjuna the protagonist is preparing for battle when he realizes that the enemy consists of members of his own family and decides not to fight. His charioteer, Krishna (an avatar of god), explains to Arjuna the concept of dharma (duty) among other things and makes him see that it is his duty to fight. The whole of the Bhagavad Gita within the Mahabharata, is a dialogue between these two on aspects of life including morality and a host of other philosophical themes.

Karma in Hinduism is also considered to be a spiritually originated law. Many Hindus see God's direct involvement in this process, while others consider the natural laws of causation sufficient to explain the effects of karma. However, followers of Vedanta, the leading extant school of Hinduism today, consider Ishvara, a personal supreme God, as playing a role in the delivery of karma. Theistic schools of Hinduism such as Vedanta thus disagree with the Buddhist and Jain views and other Hindu views that karma is merely a law of cause and effect but rather is also dependent on the will of a personal supreme God. Examples of a personal supreme God include Shiva in Shaivism or Vishnu in Vaishnavism. A good summary of this theistic view of karma is expressed by the following: "God does not make one suffer for no reason nor does He make one happy for no reason. God is very fair and gives you exactly what you deserve."

Karma is not punishment or retribution but simply an extended expression or consequence of natural acts. Karma means "deed" or "act" and more broadly names the universal principle of cause and effect, action and reaction that governs all life. The effects experienced are also able to be mitigated by actions and are not necessarily fated. That is to say, a particular action now is not binding to some particular, pre-determined future experience or reaction; it is not a simple, one-to-one correspondence of reward or punishment.

Karma is not fate, for humans act with free will creating their own destiny. According to the Vedas, if we sow goodness, we will reap goodness; if we sow evil, we will reap evil. Karma refers to the totality of our actions and their concomitant reactions in this and previous lives, all of which determines our future. The conquest of karma lies in intelligent action and dispassionate response.

After The Beatles went to India to visit the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The western world heard all about Transcendental Meditation and Karma for the first time. What you may not have heard was that Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithful and "Donovan" Phillips Leitch also made a similar pilgrimage. That is where and what inspired Donovan's greatest song "HURDY GURDY MAN." And on later trips to revisit the Maharishi, John Lennon and George Harrison became disillusioned when the Yogi spent all his time to wooing the females in the entourage. If you would like to read a story of a man whose life went into a similar direction to mine, Read the book: "The Conspiracy To Silence The Son of God" by Tal Brooke.
  • ISBN-10: 1565078195
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565078192
Next time: Shinto and Bushido.


Edie said...

Your witty remarks are always welcome. Besides I still have my ruler. :D

I'm going to go read your post now.

Heff said...

The story in this post reminds me of the hilarious clip from the movie Airplane! .

Edie said...

I have enough performance-based issues without the flower thank you. :D

Blasé said...

Karma is like homosexuality. It has become a Fad. And, the more people join in...the more it is accepted and believed.

Blasé said...

Let me rephrase my question.

Why would someone think that Blasé is going to hell?

Marnie said...

"My Gump moment" - beautiful! Great post as always!

sfauthor said...

Great story! Do you know about this edition of the Gita?

My ADHD Me said...

what could I possibly add to this?

Blasé said...

Hey Old Tar Heel Fart...

How do you figure that me asking questions in response to someone else's statements is considered "disrespectful" and "bullying"??

You church-folk have got to quit pampering each other, being so easily offended, and start facing reality.

Grow UP, Francis!

My ADHD Me said...

Someone needs to relax. I have a spare Xanax.

Kelly Combs said...

Do you believe in Karma Kurt? I don't actual believe it, yet when someone I don't like "get's there due" I like it. But not so much if I'm the one getting the bad Karma. LOL! :-)

Free will = consequences. That is my idea of "karma."

Plus Jesus said "In the world you will have trouble." So often the trouble we get is the world's not our own.