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Karma.

Karma.
April 27, 2013, 08:02:29 PM
I like wasps. Maybe I like them because they are incredibly, foolishly, suicidally brave.
They will take on anything at all; wolverines on steroids.
So I never kill wasps.
Except, a year or so ago, when I had to dig out an old tree stump, in preparation for building a carport.
A wasp warned me off, as I dug. It became more and more threatening, the more I dug and dug.
But I needed that stump gone, and so I ignored the wasp and carried on.
Until it became so insistent that I retired, hurrying across the lawn, while it relentlessly followed me.
The fool thing became stuck inside my glove, between glove and wrist, whereupon it stung me.

Well. When I get hurt, I get angry, and man, that hurt!
Before I knew I'd done it, the wasp was dead...

I've felt bad, ever since, for killing that wasp. It was an expert in bushido, and I regretted having had to off it.
Bad for my karma, too, I imagined, and golly, what price would I have to pay for that?

And suddenly I realized:
If there is such a thing as karma, then surely it doesn't just apply to humans.
It applies to every living thing. Wasps too.
No matter how well-armed one is, and however justified in one's actions, there are consequences to one's actions.
Take on something thousands of times your size, and those consequences are likely to be unpleasant.

Perhaps, as my wife reminded me, that wasp was the reincarnation of an especially ornery human.
Some characters just never learn.

Re: Karma.
April 28, 2013, 02:38:04 AM
Crow, did you ever hear the story, of the bear and the fox who made a bet ?

I've always wondered who'd come back as who. 

:D

Re: Karma.
April 28, 2013, 02:42:32 AM
No. I haven't heard of it. Would you be interested in telling a story?

Re: Karma.
April 28, 2013, 02:51:29 AM
Not my story, it's an old Norwegian folktale, but I always get a chuckle from it.

There was once a Bear who came trudging across a swamp carrying a fat pig. The Fox sat high on a stone by the edge of the swamp. "How do you do, grandpa," said the Fox. "What is that good thing you have there?" he asked. "Pork!" said the Bear. "I, too, have something that tastes very good," said the Fox. "What's that?" said the Bear. "It's the largest bees' nest I've ever found," said the Fox. "Is that so?" said the Bear, grinning and drooling. How good he thought it would be to have a little honey! "Shall we swap?" said the Bear. "Oh no, Not me!" said the Fox

But then they made a bet, and agreed that they were to name three different kinds of trees. If the Fox could say it faster than the Bear, he should get one bit of the pork. But if the Bear could say it faster, he was to have one suck at the nest. He would certainly manage to drain all the honey in one suck, thought the Bear.

that will be all right with me," said the Fox. "But if I win, I want you to pull all the bristles where I want to bite." "To be sure. I'll do it if you can't manage it yourself," said the Bear. So then they got ready to name the trees. "Spruce, fir and pine!" growled the Bear in a gruff voice. But this was only one tree, for spruce is nothing but fir. "Ash, aspen, oak!" shrieked the Fox so the forest rang. Now he had won the bet, and he rushed down and took the heart out of the pig in one bite, and was about to run away. But now the Bear was angry because the Fox had taken the choicest part of the whole pig, and, catching the Fox on the run, he held him fast by his tail. "Wait a bit!" shouted the Bear and was white with rage. "Well, it's the same to me, grandpa. If you'll let me go, I'll give you a taste of honey," said the Fox. When the Bear heard that, he let go his hold, and the Fox went up after the honey. "Here on this bees' nest," said the Fox, I'm holding a leaf, and under that leaf is a hole, which you can suck through," he said. And at the same moment as he held up the nest under the Bear's nose, he took the leaf away, hopped up on the stone, and began to giggle and laugh. For there was neither a bees' nest nor honey. It was a wasp's nest as big as a man's head, full of wasps; and the wasps came swarming out of the nest and stung the Bear's eyes and ears and mouth and nose. And he was so busy scraping them off that he had no time to think of the Fox. From that day all bears have been afraid of wasps.

Re: Karma.
April 28, 2013, 03:02:28 AM
Thank you.
It would take humans to invent a tale like that one.
I have much experience of foxes, but little of bears.
I have never seen a fox exhibit really any of the behaviour humans attribute to them.
This idea of 'cunning' is an odd one.
The fox had no food, but lied that he did, and the dumb bear bought it.
That's cunning, for sure, but would a fox behave like that? Probably not.
A fox would have nothing at all to do with a bear.

My wife used to feed a mother vixen so much chicken that the fox couldn't carry it all in its mouth.
So we put the chicken in a paper bag and offered it to the fox.
Off it went, with its doggy-bag :)

Re: Karma.
May 05, 2013, 12:52:50 AM

Re: Karma.
May 05, 2013, 02:06:58 AM
Ha! That's the sort of reality I inhabit :)

Re: Karma.
May 05, 2013, 04:19:17 AM
I like wasps. Maybe I like them because they are incredibly, foolishly, suicidally brave.
They will take on anything at all; wolverines on steroids.
So I never kill wasps.
Except, a year or so ago, when I had to dig out an old tree stump, in preparation for building a carport.
A wasp warned me off, as I dug. It became more and more threatening, the more I dug and dug.
But I needed that stump gone, and so I ignored the wasp and carried on.
Until it became so insistent that I retired, hurrying across the lawn, while it relentlessly followed me.
The fool thing became stuck inside my glove, between glove and wrist, whereupon it stung me.

Well. When I get hurt, I get angry, and man, that hurt!
Before I knew I'd done it, the wasp was dead...

I've felt bad, ever since, for killing that wasp. It was an expert in bushido, and I regretted having had to off it.
Bad for my karma, too, I imagined, and golly, what price would I have to pay for that?

And suddenly I realized:
If there is such a thing as karma, then surely it doesn't just apply to humans.
It applies to every living thing. Wasps too.
No matter how well-armed one is, and however justified in one's actions, there are consequences to one's actions.
Take on something thousands of times your size, and those consequences are likely to be unpleasant.

Perhaps, as my wife reminded me, that wasp was the reincarnation of an especially ornery human.
Some characters just never learn.

I love this story.  When Americans speak of 'karma,' they talk about it like its some sort of convenient cosmic system for granting the weak revenge upon the strong.  You know, like Christianity. 

In my more fanciful moments, I like to think that life's little mishaps are just nature's way of reminding us to value what we do.  Most people place very little value on most of what they do, and consequently do most everything poorly, and with ill-concealed resentment.  I've come to welcome the occasional annoyance or setback; it helps me to remember that every challenge is worth overcoming and every task begun is worth finishing, and finishing well.  It is hard to value that which we have not worked for.

Re: Karma.
May 05, 2013, 04:53:07 AM
Brilliant! Yes! Dylar gets it :)
Great comment, and thank you.

Re: Karma.
May 06, 2013, 12:22:19 AM
I must say that I, too, have a soft spot for wasps.  Or, at least for yellow jackets.  They taught me much about the fine art of observing one's surroundings before plowing ahead.  And I only had to get stung about 300 times to learn!

Re: Karma.
May 06, 2013, 03:58:59 PM
I once got stung on the side of my face, less than 1 inch from my eye by a big, red wasp. Man, that hurt - intensely. I was maybe 8-9 at the time, which just exacerbated the whole experience to a more miserable level.

I've hated the bastards ever since. But I avoid them - and only kill them when they directly threaten my household.

I recognize that painting, where is it from? A book?

Re: Karma.
May 06, 2013, 05:16:38 PM
There was a big spider in its web near my room so I killed it so as to avoid it stinging and breeding. I don't think there will be much karma in that.

Re: Karma.
May 07, 2013, 01:13:45 AM
I donít believe in karma or reincarnation, but I certainly donít doubt it exists either. One can be mystical or logical about this sort of thing (the accumulation of luck, or the lack of it, based on oneís actions and observations in this mortal life), and so long as you donít resort to absolutes, it can work for you. Not walking under ladders, not using hairspray while smoking in a slut-filled limo, or provoking dangerous insects, could be easier than most people realize.

I recognize that painting, where is it from? A book?

Perhaps you recognize the very idiosyncratic style of the artist

?

Re: Karma.
May 07, 2013, 03:02:59 AM
I have long claimed that there is a lot of truth in the leftist dogma, and this sounds very odd, coming from such an ardent anti-leftist, but it's like this:
There is nothing in leftist dogma that I can categorically fault. IF one takes the sum total of humanity as all being in a state of enlightenment. Which means, being fully-realized, fully-conscious souls.
Clearly, the likelihood of such a state occurring is statistically non-existent, and therefore, leftism is only empty words that mean nothing, and if enacted, wreck everything they touch. History proves this, over and over.

What does any of this have to do with karma?
Karma, at its most basic level, as Aquarius says, is a system of consequences. Do reasonable stuff: get reasonable results. Do seriously bad stuff, and...

Karma may be much more, and much less, too:
The state that may be reached, where behaviour ceases to have any relevance, and disappears completely.
One is what one is, and nothing else. What gets transcended - or not - is the 'acting-as-if' bit, that we commonly know as behaviour.