Bombs & Karma

Picture: Richard Adams (CC)

Picture: Richard Adams (CC)

Ever since the tragedy at the Boston Marathon on Monday, I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of karma. Several posts have called out the irony (or Orwellian Doublethink) of the US licking its wounds, while it inflicts similar wounds on innocent bystanders worldwide. Clusterbombs, murdered Afghan and Pakistani wedding parties, “collateral damage” to the civilian population in Iraq, to name a few. I am trying to resist the reductionist conditioning of my western brain that wants to distill the vast cultural complexities of “karma” into a dualist cause & effect dynamic. However, there seems to be something darkly significant to the recent trend of our own innocents being killed by our own citizens. Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, possibly Boston, etc. Anyway, this train of thought led me back to an old classic essay on karma from Robert Anton Wilson. Deepleaf Productions hosts a nice collection of RAW audio & text, and here is an excerpt from Cosmic Trigger:

A Lesson in Karma

Robert Anton Wilson
from Cosmic Trigger – The Final Secret of the Illuminati

Lao-Tse says (at least in Leary’s translation) that the Great Tao is most often found with parents who are willing to learn from their children. This remark was to cause me considerable mental strain and dilation around this time in our narrative, because my children had become very self-directed adolescents and were getting into occultism with much more enthusiasm and much less skepticism than I thought judicious.

For a few years, we could not discuss these subjects without arguing, despite my attempts to remember good old Lao-Tse and really listen to the kids. They believed in astrology, which I was still convinced was bosh; in reincarnation, which I considered an extravagant metaphor one shouldn’t take literally; and in that form of the doctrine of Karma which holds, optimistically, that the evil really are punished and the good really are rewarded, which I considered a wishful fantasy no more likely than the Christian idea of Heaven and Hell. Worst of all, they had a huge appetite for various Oriental “Masters” whom I regarded as total charlatans, and an enormous disdain for all the scientific methodology of the West.

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  • http://artasith-m-nasdsnre.tumblr.com/ Simon Valentine
  • http://artasith-m-nasdsnre.tumblr.com/ Simon Valentine

    Johor Samael?

    • lifobryan

      Oh you are so right ….

  • BuzzCoastin

    having lived in Asia for 6 years now, I’ve observed that
    Asia is the land of karma and
    all social interactions in Asia are shaped by it
    even the Japanese know they’re paying down a karmic debt
    what goes around comes around

    America’s karmic debt is significantly higher than its National Debt
    American’s non-stop genocidal, expansionist wars
    will eventually come back to bite it in the ass
    just as it has for every evil empire

    I hope I’m living somewhere else when that day finally arrives

    • lifobryan

      Beyond beautifully phrased …

    • mannyfurious

      Even the Native Indians seemed to understand the basic idea of karma. When asked about the genocide of his people, Chief Seattle simply said–and I paraphrase–“Some day, the white man too will disappear.”

      • BuzzCoastin

        Western Kulture isn’t without similar sentiments
        Do unto others as you want done unto you, and all that
        but the societies of Asia are clearly shaped by it
        and the society of America is clearly not

      • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

        Yeah, that’s workin’ out real good, that Karma. Exactly how many centuries does it take?

        • mannyfurious

          Well, we’re a country full of depressed, anxious, over-medicated, under-educated, all-consuming automotons. I’d say we’ve built a nice little hell for ourselves and are totally reaping what we’ve sown. A country with no culture, no spirituality, no freedom and no real future. Our only hope for the future is that our saviors, like Google and Microsoft, can build us some better toys to further distract us from the truth that our lives, to quote someone much more articulate than myself, are walking shadows, tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

          • thomas vesely

            was it always this fucked ?

          • thomas vesely

            no, there was a time when the gov. was responsible to the people.
            what you saw in the streets of Boston, the almost filmic state force, will answer the peoples anger.

          • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

            that’s a really fucked up pov

        • thomas vesely

          its on an uptick.

    • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

      Jeff, I need you to get on the bus, go to the Home Depot, buy some wood glue and fix the shutter on the pantry. If that shutter isn’t fixed by the time I get home, you find a new place to live.

      • BuzzCoastin

        his incoherence kinda tied the room together

      • http://artasith-m-nasdsnre.tumblr.com/ Simon Valentine

        this parallel Jeff Bauman and Tsarnaev conspiracy theory s.o. what does karma do concerning parallels, perpendiculars, parallax?

        • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

          I understood that there would be no math

          • http://artasith-m-nasdsnre.tumblr.com/ Simon Valentine

            no math is the best math iff less is more?
            snipers and latter alice
            Will Pharma Sue Dick Les they become me and mein teil?
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tcW-j7KFgY

          • http://artasith-m-nasdsnre.tumblr.com/ Simon Valentine

            even Amon can be resurrected
            sweet Lazarus Monarchy
            Diablo
            Kabraxis
            Samir Duran
            Soryk Aeiko Neech
            the Dark Templar retake the Arc for Anak
            Babel Templar rejoin us
            Think, therefore It is
            https://www.facebook.com/notes/aramonde-lethe/reamons-transpondesis/10151369450593297

          • http://artasith-m-nasdsnre.tumblr.com/ Simon Valentine

            no math is the best math iff less is more
            snipers and latter alice

            even Amon can be resurrected
            Lazarus Monarchy

          • http://artasith-m-nasdsnre.tumblr.com/ Simon Valentine

            whoops looks like they all poaschted anyway

  • godozo

    Not sure I like the idea of Karma
    as a blind machine that strikes whenever;
    I prefer my Karma to have all the time in the world
    and a sense of humor that doesn’t shy away
    from the macabre, when it makes sense.
    A Karma with intelligence, if you will
    (even if it’s in no way Buddhist).

    • http://artasith-m-nasdsnre.tumblr.com/ Simon Valentine

      Shiva and Tripura is familiar. Kali, remember Kali.

      • thomas vesely

        who can forget Kali ?

  • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

    kaos, not karma.

  • Bruteloop

    When I read about Boston I immediately thought karma because of all the money raised there for IRA bombings. But whatever it is…people died for no good reason. Is there ever one? Just heard today of a friend’s death. Life is a bugger but very precious.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brent.quigley Brent Quigley

    I really wish RAW was around to see and comment on some of the events of the last few years. We are truly living in a wilsonian era of identity politics, dogmatic religion and scientism, conspiracy, and information overload.

    His genius intellect and absurdist humor are something lacking in mainstream thought lately.

    • Juan

      I miss pope Bob too:(

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