Karma Part 1

I love having books influence my blogging, it’s so much fun!  The book of the day is Bless me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. In short, it’s about a little boy, Tony, and an herb woman named Ultima, and Tony’s experience growing up and all the philosophical and religious questions he has. So naturally, it makes for excellent blogging material on a mainly philosophizing blog. The biggest question Tony has is why does God allow bad things to happen?? In short, why do the bad guys win and the good guys lose?? On a less philosophical/religious approach to this question, check out my friend’s blog http://theacrimoniousphysicist.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/the-losers-and-the-cheaters/

Okay, the basic answer to this question would be that life isn’t fair. But I mean, that doesn’t really satisfy us. We’ve heard since we were little that life isn’t fair, we even hear it in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie from Snape (“Life isn’t fair, Potter. Your blessed father knew that. In fact, he frequently saw to it.”). So yes, we hear “life isn’t fair so just suck it up and deal with it” A LOT. But still, we ask why not.

Okay, here’s the part about karma. As teenagers, we really want to believe in karma. I mean, we see it on facebook a ton, “I would take revenge on you, but I’m just going to let karma take care of you.” It’s actually kind of sad that we would take a part of the Hindu faith and turn it into something everyday, making it jaded and commonplace. It really is kind of sad, especially since we use it in the “nature taking revenge on people who deserve it” type of way, which, at least to my knowledge, isn’t quite the truth. But I’m not an expert.

Still, it is an unprecedented truth that life isn’t fair. Good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. Why is that? From a more religious standpoint, we ask, how can a God that is so good let so much evil exist in the world? I know people that aren’t Christian, and that is their major stumbling block. Life isn’t fair. There is evil in the world that is so dark sometimes. Horrible, awful things happen to good, innocent people. Think of the incident in Aurora, Colorado. Those people didn’t deserve to get shot. It just isn’t fair, and we don’t understand how there could be a god that is pure, good, righteous, and more importantly, looking out for us. We can say that maybe there is a god that likes people, but that that god doesn’t decide to act on that. The crazy part is that this simple belief is keeping people from the love of God. This simple belief is keeping people in the dark, and it pains me to hear people say that they don’t think God doesn’t act on his love.

I believe that there is darkness in the world for a very specific purpose. There is darkness in the world so that we could know better what the light looks like. Think about it. Just like the aliens in A Wrinkle in Time who never knew what sight was; if we didn’t have a dark, we wouldn’t appreciate the light. If we didn’t have the cold winter, we wouldn’t appreciate the warmth and beauty of spring and summer. I could make a million analogies here. But there is evil in the world so that we would know and appreciate the God that is perfect. We are imperfect, and thus have to rely on His perfection. The world is full of evil, because in reality, we’re longing for heaven. We’re longing for that beautiful state of perfection and bliss, and the darkness in our world helps to remind us of that. It keeps heaven in our hopes. I mean, you could go the “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” route, but it doesn’t really explain why there is darkness in the world.  I say that the darkness helps us to see the light. It helps us to remember that we were made for the light, not for the evil of this world. Don’t get me wrong, this world is beautiful. This world we live in is purely amazing, a work of the genius hands of God. But what’s even more amazing about it is that it comes nowhere near the perfection we’ll find in heaven.

Epylle Spydre

p.s. sorry, the title was a bit misleading. I was just thinking, and I started with what I had at the beginnig of this blog, and went through what came into this blog, then my thoughts went back to karma and went a completely different rout, so I thought I’d make that other branch tomorrow’s blog, and make it a series!

The Light Inside Us All

I haven’t done much research on this topic; I’m only relating to you what I learned in history last year. This mysterious topic that I’m speaking of is that of the philosophers’ view of  human nature. Thomas Hobbes believed that humans are evil by nature, and Jean Jacques Rousseau believed that humans are good by nature. We also spoke of this when we were reading Lord of the Flies by William Golding: are people good by nature and corrupted by society, or is it society that is good but corrupted by people??

I cannot answer this question without bringing faith into the question. It’s impossible not to. My faith tells me that humanity was sinless before the Fall, but because of the Fall, we are all born into sin. Another literary allusion I can make is to “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor. Read it, and tell me what you think of the baby’s significance. But that really isn’t the point. The point is that because of my faith, I believe that human nature is flawed, even from birth. That would point more to Hobbes’ idea of humanity, but Hobbes is widely thought to have medieval philosophies that are cast aside and only good as a way to see what our inferior minds thought before the Enlightenment.

The answer, therefore, is much more sophisticated. Well, maybe I can’t say “therefore”, but my mind isn’t satisfied with “people are sinful by nature and that’s that”. I mean, I believe it’s true, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that people are evil. I’m doing work for AP psychology next year, and they’re talking about where we get our personality from: our genes, or our experiences? It’s a legitimate question. I haven’t finished the reading, so I don’t actually know which one is “more correct”, but I do believe that both are correct. In a reference to human morality, it’s even more difficult. Are people bad because it’s in their genes or are they bad because of their experiences?? I’m a science nerd, don’t get me wrong, I believe in the power of genes, but I would say experiences is more prevalent. People may be born into sin, but that doesn’t mean that people are born with evil personalities.

Sorry, I believe I’ve digressed. I’ve been thinking about a line in the movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Sirius Black says to Harry, “The world isn’t split up between good people and Death Eaters. We all have both light and dark in us.” I think that is the best answer to the question I posed above (the one with the philosophers). We all have characteristics of good and evil in our hearts. We all may be born into sin, flawed beyond any hope of perfection, but just because we cannot be perfect does not mean we are so bad.

I side with Rousseau on the matter, because I believe that even in the hearts of the wickedest of people, there is a scrap of goodness in them. It may be hard to imagine that little piece of hope in Sauron, or where a serial killer might have good intentions, but I believe that they’re there. Now, this may not be true in all cases, but I believe that most of the people who wreak havoc and harm around the world are the ones who are the most broken. They are the ones in pain. Something in their past broke them beyond repair, like Roscuro in The Tale of Despereaux. Roscuro was said to have his heart broken, and when your heart breaks, it doesn’t come back quite right, to paraphrase the book. I believe that this is the case with the world’s villains. They’re just broken inside, and they hid the little light of goodness in them. And I pity them, because most of them don’t have the opportunities to find those little lights again.


Epylle Spydre