Ever have that feeling that the universe offered you a pass, or a gift, and you blew it? Take a walk with me along the path of imagination, of fantasy, of what could have been, of what if, of possibility....
I just had that experience. Actually, I had the experience when I was seventeen, I just had the realization of how I could have altered another's life for the better so long ago. But because I was weak, immature and inured with Catholic superstitions back then, I had relented, I had run away.
It wasn't about me, though. Not at all. Of course, at the time I had thought it was. It was something I could have done and didn't and, had I done it, there is the possibility that it would have changed someone's life, entirely. As it was they had a rough life, a really rough PTSD kind of rough life. Broken bones kind of rough.
Maybe, just maybe, had I done the "right" thing that day so long ago, I might have altered someone's entire life from that point on. In some cases it's not so much what you do but that you show someone how things can be better for them. Give them something good to compare their life to. But I didn't and because I didn't, did I screw up my Karma? Or, did it have no effect on it at all?
Eventually I realized that it wasn't all about me and, at least some of it was about my friend. So when I had the opportunity to track this friend down, I tried, I sent a message. It took months but we eventually got to corresponding and through those communications I discovered all of what I mentioned above. I discovered that what I could have done, what seemed to me at the time to be the "wrong" thing to do, and had I instead done what was probably the "right" (but Catholically speaking, the "immoral" thing to do), perhaps I cold have made someone's life all the better for it.
Now, I can only try to make amends, which I have done now. I can only now try to sooth psychic knots that are at this point unknown and possibly perceived not even to exist. But I'm sure they do, buried deep in the mind somewhere.
My point here is this, when this kind of thing happens, all you can do is to help the person for who they are now, to help them be even a touch closer to the person they could have been now. And although that may not now be possible, still maybe in the end with all being said, Karma will just get that little bit better for them, and for you.
Now about Karma. People have weird ways of what they think Karma is all about. I don't see it as something you can save up, or something that you barter off. It's not a reward from God or the Universe. I see it as cause and effect. If you live a good life, that is bound to come back to you. Unless, you make choices that guide bad things toward you. Which happens. I'm sure we've all seen people who are the nicest people in the world, but always there seems to be a darkness lurking just around the corner for them. Their life is in a shambles. Why? Shouldn't karma pay them back?
Not necessarily. Not if you understand Karma. And let's contain it within one lifetime and not go into the other life consideration for our purposes here. The concept of Karma is a good short hand for how to look at life, at the dynamics of exchange in good and bad behaviors.
Karma is like, well, let's take fishing as example. If you cast the right lure or fly in the right location at the right time, you'll probably get a fish; but you'll also have to be able to land it properly so it doesn't get away. It really doesn't matter how nice you are. Now in a social context, if you are in a river with a lot of other fishermen and you treat them well, they may even let you have, or tell you where the best spot to fish, is. But if you are one mean son of a bitch, they will very possibly not want you around, block you, or simply be nice and tell you the best spot is... anywhere but where they are.
In a way you can look at "building good Karma" as Karma in the bank; but in reality, that's simply the wrong view to take. You can't just be nice to everyone because, some not only don't deserve it, some will go out and create bad Karma for others. You have to be somewhat judicious in who you help and how.
Even if you do spread good Karma everywhere, it's still possible you will generate bad Karma for yourself, or others. There's simply more to it than blindly going about trying to do good to everyone, everywhere. In general yes, doing good is better than going around trying to do bad. But blindly going around doing anything, is usually a foolish thing to do, also.
If you go around doing good, you also have to see your actions and reactions that they will cause. You have to pay attention and the further ahead you can see what each action of yours will cause, the better off you will be. It's not so much about being savvy about your actions so as to reclaim bounty from them, but to see when you are doing good and when it will return only bad.
You also have to realize that many times what you see as something affecting only you, is really more about how it will affect someone else. Karma is all about that, too. I never said that there is anything easy about any of this. Just that it's possible to make it work for you more often than against you if you're open to the situation in its entirety.
If you always try to fit in helping others even when you think you can only help yourself, things will get better. Having people out in the world predisposed to viewing you in a good light, is always better than having them view you in a negative light, or even no light at all. Though perhaps I should have said when you are building good Karma for yourself, be sure that really it isn't more about someone else. You will very likely one day look back on it and realize your regret, a regret you should have had for a long time and now, only have a short time or no time at all, in which to change things. Just consider how, had you seen this and done this all back when whatever it was first happened, how you could have had that much more good Karma seeking you out over all that time.
Pay attention, see what is all around you, act with consideration and, you may just find Karma building up all around you. At some point most likely, it will eventually come back to let you know just how well you did.
Hinduism, Buddhism. action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation: in Hinduism one of the means of reaching Brahman. Compare bhakti ( def 1 ) , jnana.
Theosophy. the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person's deeds in the previous incarnation.
fate; destiny. Synonyms: predestination, predetermination, lot, kismet.
the good or bad emanations felt to be generated by someone or something: Lets get out of here. This place has bad karma.
1820–30; < Sanskrit: nominative, accusative singular of karman act, deed