12 February 2015

The Karma Bank

As you meander through life, there are times when you dearly wish for things to work out in your favour. For me right now, this is often wishing that D would go to sleep! And when this desire creeps up on me, I think, can I make a withdrawal in my karma account? Have I earned enough to make a debit? 

Growing up at home we got religion, but later, as I grew up as an individual, I wanted philosophy. Ritualism felt tiring; irrational behaviour coupled with inconvenient demands. Yet, when I was really low what helped was prayer. Not to a god, but prayer that I learned so young that I can't even remember when. Prayer that runs off my tongue like morning dew off a leaf. Mindless prayer, whose complete meaning I am yet to understand. But this prayer held me together at times when I thought I couldn't stand, like physically on my own two feet. It was this prayer that I said over and over again as I stood in line to end a partnership. 

I contemplate now what religion means to me and what I want to teach D. She is too young for philosophy, but not too young to learn prayer. But how can I teach her something that I don't do every day, but something I know just helps when things are rotten and you need your mind to focus? Can I teach my child kindness and honesty, just for the sake of it, without the fear of a god? Besides, at the end of the day I want her to adopt whatever philosophy suits her - something that gives her meaning. I want to be the person who enables all experiences, with the rider that she chooses what she wants. But even to do that she will need a starting point and I can only provide what I know, right?

The karma bank is a way of thinking that I have adopted to have a sense of ethics. Basically, everyone has an account here. Yes, everyone. All individuals. Some are just more aware of it than others. All our good actions, selfless thoughts, get accrued as deposits. It is a current account - no interest! And we make withdrawals, when we bag that last ticket to the movies or run the red light and don't get run over. The problem with the bank though it is not online. You just don't know how much you have accrued and what the over-draft facility is like. I figured out a caveat to that though- if one believes in rebirth, then your account is linked to your soul and then you have all these lives left to make up for all the over-draft that you do in this one. The other problem with the bank is that it doesn't tell you how much you earn through your actions - no point based system against which you can reference your actions. Does helping a granny install skype on her ipad earn you as much as helping a granny cross the road? 

Ho hum. Things that I ponder while I put D to sleep.

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