There are so many interpretations of karma. Many see it as a balance of good and bad. When you get to the end, you hope that the good you’ve done far outweighs the bad. It reminds me of the Christian works or Maat’s scale. Yet, in my mind, it’s not that simple.
From my perspective, this is all very unfair in the way it seems to work. Yet, behind that hides something very important.
When we do harm – and I’m not talking accidental, didn’t-mean-to harm – I’m talking intentional harm; the kind where you say that thing with the idea that it will hurt the other person. The domino situation you set up to see another fall. Intentional harm to me is the “negative” karma. And, what few seem to realize, is that that kind of karma is like a small, lead weight. It’s heavy.
In the course of life, we may sometimes (hopefully) come to a place where we want to atone for any harm we may have done in our younger and more foolish days. So, we may begin to try to change our life. Usually, this means taking on some kind of “good works”. It’s more than just doing such things, but we’ll follow this thought for a moment. So, in order to countermand the lead-weighted bad karma we created, we now want to create some good karma. The problem is good karma weighs that of a feather.
What? You mean if I do one harmful thing, it’s like lead, but I can do thousands of good things and they may barely make up for that one bad thing? I think you’re getting the idea. In Christianity, this is why they say works are empty. You can do all the good work you want, but there has to be a deeper change in order for the balance to begin to move.
In the story of Maat – the person is brought before Maat’s scales and if his heart weighs more than a feather, he is not worthy. I find it interesting that the feather is used in this story. It makes one think that “salvation” is impossible. Who can possibly go to the afterlife with a heart that light? We all have done something that weighs of lead. No one has walked this earth in perfection. Daunting, isn’t it?
Currently, I am putting my little bit of energies into a feral cats program. The local county has nothing to help with the trap/neuter/release of feral cats and most are treated as vermin rather than a natural, wild animal to the area. People see squirrels in a tree and that’s normal. Deer in the woods, that’s perfectly okay. But feral cats are treated with horrid cruelty. So, for now, for this little while, I am trying to set in motion something – anything in order to change this; just a little bit.
This is not a battle I shall be able to fight for long. Nor is it a war I intend to wage for the rest of my life, though my heart will always be with these creatures. Cats, feral or not, are one of my animals. They are one of my spirit guides and teachers. No matter what path I walk, they walk it with me. But for now, I am using my time to try to help the local, feral population. One day, someone else will have to take up this mantle. I know that it is not my life-long journey. But it is a “for now” bit of my path.
One thing that makes it so is the fact that I love these animals. My heart is in this “fight”. I know I can’t do it alone. I need to enlist others to help carry this load. Will anyone step forward to help? I don’t know. All I know is that I have to do this bit now while I can. Then, when my part of this battle is done, I can only hope that someone has been promoted to carry on in my stead.
And herein lies the rub of good karma vs bad karma: if bad weighs like lead and good weighs like feathers, how the hell are we ever supposed to get the scales to balance? This is why we need to find our “calling”. One has to be pretty damned committed to something in order to work up enough feathers to get that lead-side lifted.
These small battles that we take on in life are there to teach us where our passions lie. They are here to test our strengths and weaknesses – not so someone else can see them, but so that we will better know ourselves. If you know that you cannot stand in one spot for three hours, you will likely put your time into sitting rather than standing. And if in life you come to understand yourself enough to know that you cannot be an advocate for a cause that does not consume your heart, you will then be closer to finding out what does.
Good and bad are subjective. We can only really come to understand harm & kindness. If you do harm, you get a lead ball. If you do kindness, you get a feather. It’s not at all fair and you have to be pretty damned committed to something in order to get enough feathers to make a difference. But – I’d hazard a guess that when you find that thing, that calling – you won’t give a hoot about the balance any more. You’ll be so enveloped in your passion, in your path that you will not have time to bother with lead balls. Everything in your life becomes feathers. When you get to that place where you know yourself and you know your path, what else is there?
You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. The card is Veritas or Justice from the Ethyrial Tarot ©. YOUR truth is what will counter that scale. The past is not held against us as long as we move forward and learn and grow. Our hearts will naturally become light. Our souls will begin to shine.
It takes a long time to balance the scales. It takes even longer to learn that once you find your path, the scale no longer matters.