Full Moon: understanding karma
and its role in my writing
Welcome to the Full Moon Post, today’s letter is an examination of karma. If you are new here or a free subscriber, you will meet a paywall partway down. Doing this work is time consuming and I am working through what I offer paid subscribers and what remains free here. If you find this work valuable, please consider supporting it work with a paid subscription, or help expand my readership by sharing with others. So grateful that you are here reading.
In the Full Moon Posts, you get shorter pieces where I bring together some concepts that influence the longer essays that I am working on, like this one about karma. It’s new writing, and therefore rough. I am still working it out. Your comments and feedback are helpful. In my Songs of Forgiveness letter of October 25 of 2022 I mention karma and the Buddhist story of Angulimala and the particular karma we are working through here in Minnesota, where the US - Dakota war took place.
With this full moon, we have rolled around to the forgiveness side of the Lunation once again. I speak to that in the meditation that is linked below. There is a great need to revisit stories of the past with a lens of compassion in order to find forgiveness, for ourselves, for the others, for our ancestors and through that create an ethical future for us all. That’s the kind of karma I aim to influence.
Until recent years, Karma, as I understood it, was a state brought on by sinning. It was something that people had, like a disease. It seemed connected to single acts or behaviors. Like a vibe you wore, or actually didn’t want to wear. The curse of “bad karma” could haunt you.
The consequences in this lifetime are clumsiness, showing up as falls and accidents, or more obscure consequences that come as punishment in the afterlife.
And sometimes karma was just your fate, predetermined and beyond your control.
And then there was a song by Culture Club, “Karma Chameleon,” which seemed like nonsense words. What is a Karma Chameleon? Yet today, with my broader context for the forces that come together to create karma, or behaviors that can transform karma, Boy George may have understood the concept of Karma better than our western culture’s misrepresentation of it.
If you're really a mean person you're going to come back as a fly and eat poop. -Kurt Cobain
Buddhism teaches that all things happen as they should. Meaning, when you say something “shouldn’t” have happened that is a false understanding of how things work. Things that shouldn’t have happened, don’t, and everything that has happened, should have, because causes and conditions led up to that moment in time.
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