Last week, I was amongst a group of spiritually diverse and eclectic people when the subject of karma came up. We were contemplating what things in our lives we wanted to manifest over the summer, and what things we wanted to be rid of. The question arose, how one could intend and act to either manifest or remove items from their life, without releasing bad karma and in turn risk bad karma coming back in return? One woman had an interesting way of thinking about it. She argued, that you could work to influence something (a person, situation, etc.) without risking adverse karma, but the moment you work to control something, then you’ve gone too far and opened yourself to bad karma.
This could be an issue with organized religion. Rather than work to influence the spiritual lives of followers, ‘World Religions’ often work to control many aspects of followers’ lives including: spiritual beliefs, practice, moral beliefs, and life style choices. If religious organizations sought to influence rather than control, how many followers would stay rather than leave discouraged and disenchanted? How many more fruitful conversations would be had, if people weren’t afraid to speak up? In the effort to gain control, to try and force how people think and act, people are divided. If control were not deemed necessary to maintain the integrity of a religion, how much less hate would there be? How much less talk of ‘them and us’ would we have on our lips?
As an organization or an individual, I think it is a good rule of thumb, that when you seek to control something (a situation or others) you are asking for trouble. Offer your goodness without force and who knows what beauty you could instill in someone’s life.