Karma is a word that gets thrown around a lot.
The dictionary definition of it is: the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
And while that may be a fine definition for Hindus and Buddhists, I would rather take a stab at defining it from my own heart, spirit and experience. Perhaps it is each of our karma’s to define karma for ourselves. Defining her might have us get to know her better and ourselves as well.
My definition of Karma
Karma has nothing to do with how good or bad we’ve been, because the good/bad dichotomy is a mental construct, while karma is so much deeper than that.
Karma is a resonance of souls. It doesn’t tell us what to do but rewards us for who we are each moment. Unlike Christian heaven, it isn’t a tool to keep us in line—it’s a way to connect lifetimes—a bridge between now and ever after.
That bridge consoles us in impossible moments and reminds us that the universe has a plan for us when our best laid plans fall through.
Karma offers a safety net so we can learn independent of mundane consequences. It allows us to relax into the perfection of things and experiences, and it mends our broken hearts so they can break again.
Karma inspires our eternal being to vibrate, laying down tracks for us to dance to, live by and to synchronize our heart beats and thoughts, reaching round ever bigger representations of ourselves while celebrating our microscopic essences.
Moonlight and sunshine are the consequences of our actions and love our context. Meanwhile we flop around like guppies out of water, worrying our little worries and trying to take our goose out of the oven on time: not too raw or overcooked.
We try to be small so we can still fit into our shoes, jobs, homes and lives, but at the same time feeling the stars pulling our strings. From a distance we see our star nature, and from up close we feel and think our way into swamps, onto mountain tops, through the narrow passages of relationship and threading the needle of satisfaction.
Karma is our grandeur, animating us and expressing over time just how perfect we are but refuse to admit. Our job is to miss the big picture, dwelling on something that is long gone, or was never here, disconnecting it from all that is, running our fingers over invisible seams in a seamless universe.
We are clones of the universe, facsimiles hunting for purpose, hungry for love and attention and stumbling around. We tickle the cosmos with our seriousness—we are put here to amuse each other, and drive anyone who dares to get close to us crazy with the mixed metaphor of love/hate, come here and get away, that we call life. Karma offers us everything but individuality: that we must find in ourselves in order to wave our own flag. We must make up songs to ourselves and fix dinner, reproduce and at the same time serve three masters: head, heart and karma.
Karma offers both a lush playground and backdrop for our comings and goings. She offers us fleeting importance and existence stapled to the wisdom of immortality and giggling at the punch line of death.
Our individuality comes at a price: karma gladly pays it with pocket change. And we venture outside ourselves discovering, at first, how different we are from each other and then how much the same we are.
Karma is the lifeblood of the universe, pulsing between our stories and ourselves as stars. We lose ourselves in the particulars but then find ourselves again in the night sky.
Karma is our sponsor in this human Olympics. She holds us together while urging us to voluntarily fall apart. She connects us, daring us to perceive ourselves as separate. She offers us religion as a short term fix to a long term absence of problems that scares the pants off of us.
Karma is the love affair between Venus and Mars, you and me, this life and the next, life and death. As such it’s explanation is an unfolding of itself: each word of explanation is another piece of karma revealed and then shed.
Submersing into the question of what karma is brings me instantly to my spiritual tip-toes where presence is the only option and letting go and lightening up the best investment of all time.
The dynamic Changeable Charlie nature of karma makes it impossible to nail down or escape from. Our own definition of karma will be perfectly accurate and ever-changing reminding us that we are a work always and forever in process.
Author: Jerry Stocking
Editor: Travis May