I have been pondering the connection between individual and group karma lately. Specifically: what does it say about a group when it creates ecological problems at the scale humans do today. What does it say about humanity when it causes war, poverty and disease to go rampant at the scale of today, despite all the technology we have at our disposal.
And who pays? Who is responsible?
Ultimately the doctrine of karma insists that what we learn from life continues on into our Higher “Self” (not a self, but we have to call it something). Lessons learned, continue somehow.
But in the meantime we have to deal with what is.
One of the ways to deal with what is, is to prevent future bad karma, by acting right today. We are only held responsible for what we helped co-create… But I’m not sure that’s a comfort, given the trouble humanity is in. Can any of us really say we aren’t co-responsible?
What happens today was caused yesterday. We are part of a given group today, in certain circumstances now, that our previous selves have in some way ‘deserved’. That’s the past and karma. The present and karma is: how to act today, to prevent more problems in the future… All that has to do with karma and time, a fascinating subject, I think.
Group karma is a reasonably new working out of the doctrine of karma. It makes sense though: we see people suffering in groups and have to fit that into the doctrine of karma, or that doctrine doesn’t make sense any more. For instance: how does group karma deal with the economic crunch we are going through? Well – since we all impact on each other anyhow, we might as well make the best of it and help each other out. This is why the doctrine of karma is sometimes summarized as the doctrine of harmony. Only by acting in harmony with all that is can disharmony be solved.
On the upside: that Barack Obama was elected despite the color of his skin says something positive about the group karma of the USA… Do you all agree?