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What Goes Around, Comes Around

by Daniel on October 12th, 2012

The word Karma is actually a Sanskrit word which means “action.” It is most appropriately used to denote a fundamental concept that relates to reincarnation. Practitioners of certain religions and disciplines such as Hinduism or Buddhism believe that your actions, behavior, and intentions in this and previous lives will determine your current and future circumstances.

That is, there is no supreme being who is “making” your life either miserable or grand — your own actions as they relate to other living things determine who and what you are. The tone of such actions are described as Karma. Karma is an energy that is formed when you interact with other living creatures. And whether or not you believe in reincarnation, most intelligent people will agree, “what goes around comes around.”

You create a “karmic bond” with each living creature you encounter. This bond can be of a negative or positive nature. For instance, helping a junior student learn a basic technique would be a positive bond. “Helping” a junior student by applying that technique to him as quickly and powerfully as you can, on his first day, would create a negative bond. These are easy. But the intensity and value (whether negative or positive) of these bonds may vary by situation and with our relative circumstances. And the interesting part is that what really determines your Karma is not your action, but your intention. Hitting a training partner in the throat as the result of poor judgment would not produce the same energy as hitting him in the throat because you want to kill him. The urge to kill your training partner for no particular reason, even if he were in the other room, would create negative Karma.

The sum total of these energies or “bonds” between this junior student, your training partners, the guy in front of you in traffic, your wife or husband, a stray dog, and every other living thing you come into contact with is your Karma.

It is the “residue” of all of these bonds. And the concept can apply not only to an individual, but also to a group of people. Your dojo, dojang, or kwoon has a “collective Karma”, as does the city of Tallahassee, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the software company Microsoft.

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