June 15, 2011

Goosefraba: Part 2

'A man conquered by anger is in a mass of darkness. He takes pleasure in bad deeds as if they were good, but later, when his anger is gone, he suffers as if burned with fire. He is spoiled, blotted out, like fire enveloped in smoke. When anger spreads, when a man becomes angry, he has no shame, no fear of evil, is not respectful in speech.'

So all of us know, anger is b-aaaaa-d.

The physical reasons for why it's bad?

Angry people have an increased risk of coronary heart disease; increased blood pressure can cause damage to artery walls; there's a chance of anxiety disorders, depression and a compromised immune system.

But more recently, I've been thinking about karma.
I don’t know. Maybe it's age catching up with me. All of 27 years and counting.
Or maybe all this free time has made me philosophical.

A little note on karma.
So, call me stupid, but up until now, I used to think that karma only applies to actions. To put it simply, if I kick someone for no other reason than to hurt him; then at some point in my life, I'm going to get kicked.
And it's going to hurt.

To account for the likelihood of 'what-goes-around-comes-around' being true, I would restrain myself from physically kicking the person who has angered me. But in my head, I'd launch Annual Kick-Fest 2011. On the conclusion of the event, I'd be satisfied. And smug. I've had my revenge without building on my bad karma. I had my cake but I'd eaten it too.

But something I was told at the Vipassna camp changed that.
I learnt that action is just the same bad deed having crossed the threshold of thought. So, you're building your bad karma anyway. Even if you didn't kick the guy. Physically.

An example to elucidate.

You're jogging in the park. And so is your arch-enemy. You hate him. You hate his guts. You wish nothing more than to see him trip and embarrass himself in front of everyone in the park. Maybe break a tooth or two. You're jogging in the opposite direction and you see him coming towards you from the distance. You hold your left leg out and innocently look in the other direction. He trips. He falls. He breaks his front teeth. Two of them.
Woo hoo! AWESOME!
Good karma: 0 ; Bad Karma: 1

You're gloating. You feel vindicated. You apologize to him, but you're smiling in your head. You move on. You're jogging. You got the wind in your hair. The warmth of the sun on your face. The trees seem greener, the sky seems bluer.

Then, BOOM!

You bump into a stranger on the jogging track because you were staring at the blue sky; you trip; you fall. You break your teeth.

Does the stranger who tripped you build on his bad karma?
His actions were exactly the same as your actions 3 minutes ago. The consequences were the same. Tripping, falling and the breaking of the teeth.

But he goes scot-free. No change on the karma score board for him.
Because, he didn't have the vile thoughts in his head. 

So the guy who stabs another man on the street performs the same action as the doctor who's operating on a patient. He's made a small cut on the belly, but the patient dies on the operating table due to a medical complication. So the doctor and the stabber both build on bad karma right? Both, technically, stabbed the guy who eventually died.
Um. No.
Obviously not.

The stabber on the street wanted the man to die. His action had crossed the threshold of thought. The doctor had no such desire.

No bad thought, no bad karma.
It's as simple as that.

And, bad thought equals bad karma.
Irrespective of whether you act on it or not.

I never thought of it that way.

So all those times I was imagining my enemies jumping off cliffs and into wells, or sneezing to death - I may as well have pushed them off a cliff, or into a well or shoved pepper up their nose.

Yup, I've paved my way to hell.
I'm going to have dinner with the devil.
I guess I'll have to wear Chanel because he's going to wear Prada.
Sorry, I couldn't resist the Prada joke.

So, now going back to my theory, I wanted to discover the hierarchy of the different groups.

The less bad karma you build, the higher you are in the pyramid to heaven.

So obviously, the top of the pyramid is occupied by the cucumbers.
Never thought I'd say something like that. Never thought it would make sense.
Never say never, I guess.

The middle rung can be occupied by the angextroverts and the punch-liners.
I say this because, they have vented their anger out. They have hurt the external stimulus, with their outburst or their one liner. So their karma score board says:
Good karma: 0 ; Bad Karma: 1

And that’s' the end of that.

For the record, the exact score depends on the method of venting. So I'm guessing Mike Tyson got a bad karmic score of at least 25 for biting the other guy's ear off.

The angintroverts and the cry-o-holics, in my opinion, are at the base of the pyramid. This is because once they're done with the self-loathing, self-blaming routine -they turn their attention to the stimulus. And I'm talking from 27 years of experience in being an angintroverted cry-o-holic.

How dare he call me a jerk?
What does he think of himself?
I'll show him.
I hope he gets bitten by a tarantula and when he's frantically running around in pain, he trips and falls into a well where he sneezes to death.
I hate sneezing and I hate wells.
And I hate spiders.

Good Karma: 0; Bad Karma: 3

I also hope, his boss hates him.

Pinnng. (the Karma register).
Good Karma: 0; Bad Karma: 4

I hope he goes bankrupt.
Good Karma: 0; Bad Karma: 5

I hope his kids grow up to be spoilt brats.
Good Karma: 0; Bad Karma: 6

You get the point.

And what's worse, is when your wishes don't come true, (i.e. He's not bitten by a spider, he does not fall into a well, he doesn't sneeze, he gets a promotion at work, and his kids grow up to be ideal), you wish worse things for him.

And the Karma register goes crazy.
Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping.

It's a downward spiral really. A downward spiral to hell. 

So what's the solution then?

Never wish ill for anyone.

Hm. I never thought of that before.
Oh yeah. That's easy.
Ummm... NOT.

This part of my theory is still a work-in-progress.
Go figure.

I'm not sure if apologizing, sincerely for your thoughts moves the karma register. But I do it anyway.

So right after I imagine myself as Uma Thurman in that yellow jumpsuit, shoving my fingers in my enemy's eye socket and plucking their eyeball out, and then slowly squishing it under my toes -I apologize.

I say I'm sorry.
I take that back.
I don't want to do that.
I hope both her eyes remain intact forever.
And she never has to wear glasses.
Or contact lenses.

And what about the people that you really can't stand?
Who hurt you on purpose? And humiliate you in front of the whole family for no fault of yours? For sadistic pleasure?

The ones whose eyeballs you really won't mind squishing under your toes?

I'm not sure about the efficacy, but I try to avoid them.
If they're in my face at a family get-together, I'm polite but I still avoid them.
I answer in mono-syllables and smile blankly.
I go to my happy place. Space out.
I become George W. Bush.

Try it.
This works most of the time.
And, with practice, I guess you get better.

And hey, recognizing that you need to change, shows that you've changed a little already. It's half the battle won.

It issss.
I'm telling you.
It DOES count.

Oh. You don't think so?
Oh yea? You don't huh?
You think you're so cooool with your difference of opinion? Do You?
You want a piece of me?
Huh? Huh?

I told you.

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The Pious Hippie by Ms. Pious Hippie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.