Good Kamma (Karma)
What is it to participate in the kamma of another, when things are not going well between you? How do you do life without being reactively negative, or allowing yourself to be taken advantage of, or abused? How can one make this – good kamma?
Good kamma is not (emotional/egoic) reaction, it is not vindictiveness, and it is not trying to pretend that what is going on is OK, or will go away if you do nothing. Often when we do not respond to another’s negativity, it only gives them permission to make it worse! What is this founded upon? In Buddhism, it is believed that all behaviour serves a purpose, whether clearly understood by those involved, or not. All negative behaviour is rooted in pain and is an attempt to escape that pain by those involved.
That all human beings seek happiness, to not suffer, to experience life in as meaningful a terms as they believe is possible, is a truth. It is not your job to do this work for any other human being. It is theirs. No one can do it for them, and I say to you, even if you experientially know how someone in pain can change their pain and get out of it, they will not be able to hear you. In other words, you can not teach a person when they are in pain. If you try, they will blame you for (at least part of) their pain and perhaps even hate you for trying. How could this be you ask? If someone is in pain would they not want to be out of it?
The reason this occurs is because most do not know or acknowledge that they are themselves, in fact, the very reason why the pain exists. I have heard it said that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things, expecting to see different results. This occurs in human behaviour due to an egotistic sense of self. That is, from a subconscious point of view, the sense of self is more important than achieving anything a person says they actually want, to be happy. It is this egotistic sense of self that is protected at all costs (even to one’s own happiness). Why is this so? It is because of two things: 1. Not already having experienced the happiness, it is an uncertainty and there is a risk of losing what is already existing, even if it’s not that great. 2. That individual’s sense of self is a summation of their meaning, and most people’s meaning is self-focused, and not happiness focused (they are not the same).
This is why all of this works the way that it does.
Remember Buddha’s teaching: there is no “self.” Self is only an aggregate of personality roles which are forever changing, with no core, or substantial reality of its own.
Good kamma occurs when you as a respondent do not react emotionally to what is going on (that is take it personally to protect your own sense of self), but you simply choose a course of action that deals with what is before you. This can be logical, or it can be outside the box of what is normally done.
Good kamma is never vindictive, nor personally punitive. It also is not accepting of what is negative, and it may be protective of others. Buddha taught that to accept the negativity of another complacently, was to actually assist that person in their own negative kamma, and thereby inherit a portion of their negative kamma yourself.
Therefore, before acting on anything, ask yourself “What is my purpose in doing or saying this?” Sit with it briefly, to check in with your own motives. Are you protecting your own sense of self, or are you being goal oriented with what it is you are doing/saying? What is it you wish to accomplish? This then will become a touchstone for you, for Truth & growth.