Death by murder (the focus of thousands of books, thousands of films and hundreds of video games, of many poems and lyrics) and its inherent duet of perpetrator and victim, boomerangs to our ‘now’ moment from acts performed in lives long forgotten – as does any situation in any lifetime. And in this lifetime, the aim is to perform better, differently, than the contestants in Wipe Out.
For those of us who chose to believe in the fundamental law of karma from a non-religious perspective, however liberating the notion, it would be wrong to think that murder, even a seemingly random murder, is the product of anything less than karmic adjustment. Murder being placed at the end of the continuum of Abuse, there are no such entities as ‘karmic strangers’ when it comes to anyone inflicting any sort of emotional/physical pain upon another.
Victims and perpetrators do know each other from another life. They, karmically, inevitably, and inexorably, connect together like the north-south poles of magnets.
Sometimes, they are brought together in a situation ‘just around the corner’, as in the case of the woman who is gunned down as she is about to enter her favorite coffee shop while on her lunch break.
Sometimes, victims and perpetrators are brought together from one end of the world to the other just so that the connection can be activated between specific, pre-determined persons, as in the case of the young backpacker who, unexpectedly, comes to grief at the hand of a ‘crazed’ waiter who, according to co-workers, would never hurt a fly.
Sometimes, victims and perpetrators know each other in this lifetime and often they don’t.
Either way, there is no doubt that their karmic imprints recognize each other through an energetic code or, we might say, like the north-south poles of a magnet. This theory might go a long way in explaining why, for example, in shooter tragedies, out of a number of people who come face-to-face with the murderer, only one or a ‘chosen’ few die from that encounter while others, perhaps nearer to the epicentre of the enfolding drama, live on as observers. This theory also offers a reason why the shooter, inexplicably often takes off in a seeming random ‘search’ for others, all ‘unknown’ persons – at least in this lifetime.
The analogy using magnetic poles can be extended to illustrate the flip-side fact: that not a single accident/incident will ever be attracted to us, if it is not karmically intended for us, presumably to spur on our emotional/spiritual growth, if we are meant to live to tell the tale, or the emotional/spiritual growth of our loved ones, if we are not.
Thus, just as similar magnetic poles repel each other no matter what, a karmically unprogrammed, haphazard connection, be it a murderous one, a loving one or an in-between one, is absolutely impossible between any individuals. Seen from a karmic perspective, neither wounding nor killing are as random as we might, after all, prefer to think they are.
One alternative theory to that of karmic attraction and repulsion is that of good luck and bad luck. It revolves around the notion that all ‘innocent’ victims of crimes simply happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. For some, there is also the belief that an anthropomorphic god decrees that the multitudes should be blighted in whichever way (more often than blessed) because of sins committed.
Which sins are these, the ‘victims’ might ask, when most people who suffer devastating emotional blows, who ail from long-term, debilitating illnesses, who die from diseases or die unexpectedly are law-abiding citizens who mind their own business, care for their dependents and who would, if asked, be happy enough to lend a helping hand where needed. What sins are they, they might ask, that are penalized by the death of a loving partners or one’s child or by a childhood marred by abuse or by chronic illness?
Surely only the ones who are most devoted to their god can be sustained by the belief that setbacks, emotional pain, physical pain and death are god-sent punishments. It is also a part of this belief system to accept that one’s soul is dark, lost or sick and that one must pray for the salvation of the said soul to find redemption – not in this life but in the afterlife.
Different strokes for different folks, but when it comes to the thinking, secular person, it is difficult to fathom why either of the last two belief systems mentioned would make more intellectual sense than that of an all-encompassing karmic plan begun eons ago at the time when, by decree, all souls were born.
For the one in search of answers to life’s big questions, why is it so difficult to imagine that, one incarnation at a time, each individual created karma, as a result of enlightened actions or un-enlightened actions and reactions, just as we have been creating karma ourselves since we entered the decision-making phase of our life, some time in our teen years.
It is a strange notion that we are all ancient souls covered in a contemporary body-suit of skin, bones, flesh and fluids. But why is it so weird to contmeplate?
Why is it so difficult to imagine that in each lifetime, the portion of ‘inherited’ karma attributed to our soul for us to amend during our specific lifetime will set in motion the blue print of our life’s plot beats?
Why is it so difficult to imagine that each moment brings on the succession of these plot beats not so much, as we’d like to think, out of decisions made through free will or free choice for, considering the ever-growing rate of people dissatisfied with their lives, chronic illness and depression, mental disorders, suicide and substance abuse, all symptoms of ingrained discontentment, how could we get it so wrong so often and for so long?
What if, come our mid-teens, it became our karmic duty to amend from the inside-out, what needed to be amended and thus reshape to some degree the original blue print of our destiny?
An idea that is quite empowering is that we are truly enabled to adjust from the inside-out our responses to each tragic, unhappy, indifferent or glorious moments that pop into our days, months and years. If it so, then, in this lifetime, we are as truly enabled to trim down to a fair degree, the sum of our ‘testing, challenging and confronting’ karma, no differently from how our bank balance is can be adjusted through transactions recorded in the credit column.
Having said that, as well-intentioned as we might be, it is not always in our power to reduce the tally in the debit column of our bank balance sheet. Yet, it is always within our power to reduce the amount we are in the (karmic) red, simply by choosing to NOT engage our automatic pilot for, when we are in auto mode, the lack of inner self-control that triggers our knee-jerk reactions and impulsive actions often make pride and self-righteousness our primary blinders.