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The meaning of karma

May 1st, 2009

I tend to use the word karma to describe the calm, peaceful balance. Something that disturbs this state is said to be upsetting my karma. I recently decided to look it up the proper meaning of the word and am horrified to discover that it doesn't mean anything like that at all. I am not sure where my interpretation of it came and that got me to thinking as to how best to describe this search.

I gave up on the word happiness when I started to think about what I wanted. Happiness is a word that has been so high-jacked - anyone trying to sell us anything try to convince us that their perfume, their car, their soap powder will make us happier people. Many people equate happiness with joy or cheerfulness - mental states that are temporary. When we do not feel like this then we feel we are missing something and we must become successful to be truly happy. And success, at least in Western culture, is now mainly translated to rich and/or powerful. This is what I believe is the root cause of dissatisfaction and depression that seems to dominate many peoples' lives.

There is also the concept of 'Yin and Yang' of Chinese philosophy seems more in accordance with the sense of balance I am looking for.

"Contentment refers to the neuro-physiological experience of satisfaction and being at ease in one's situation". To feel at ease in your situation you have to be at ease with many facets of the human experience and that is not an easy thing to do, but it must be a worthwhile endeavour, Non?

May you find the balance.

[First published on my Talking2Myself blog on specified date]