A good friend wrote some stuff about socio-political involvement in the world. I tried for a while to resist a bait that was lying in it quietly waiting. In the end it caught me, because I am edgy about cosy doctrines with sinister implications. Here is what I wrote.

I've left it for a while before rising to a bait you placed in your long message. You wrote:-

"I believe that we each have our own journey, our own calling, our own destiny to work out and fulfill - in many places (esp. India) it's called karma .... I want to recognize, that each of us has to follow the flow of what is offered/given to us .... for some the journey is treacherous and painful."

I am going to give an example. It seems to me to be logically entailed by what you say that you would be happy with my example.

But surely you would not!

I would like you to explain to me the difference between what you wrote there, and simply saying (for example):-

"I'm rich and that's my destiny, so that's fine, and I'll enjoy it.

"You are a poor Jewish child being gassed in a death camp, so that's fine, and if you don't enjoy it, you need to understand that it's your destiny and work with it."

Is that an example of what you're saying?

This karma stuff leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. How come it seems ok to you, who I know to be a kind, loving and thoughtful person?

28th December 2001

Top of this page
Poems and Essays index