Occupy Philadelphia: What Goes Around...

Occupy Philadelphia: What Goes Around...

What goes around comes around, is a relatively new expression, first seen in print in the early 1970's. It partially summarizes the concept of Karma that is integral to Indian religions. The idea of "reaping what you sow", has been around in almost every culture, religion and philosophy throughout history. Many understand it as an inherent principle of God or the universe.

Without proof, and with the risk of sounding like an absurdist, I do not think that Karma, at least as popularly interpreted, is an inherent principle of the universe. A quick review of history will confirm my position. Life is either indeterministic or chaotic, and whichever it is, life does not seem to consistently support the idea of "what goes around comes around". Afterlife? That might be a different story.

An Egyptian friend of mine, a few months before the Egyptian Spring, had mentioned that all the youth in his country had lost hope. I told him that what he said was one of the worst things that I had ever heard. Few months after that conversation, the nonviolent protests in Egypt resulted in the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak who had continuously been in power for 30 years. Incidentally, the Occupy Wall Street Movement credits the Arab Spring as a source of inspiration for nonviolent resistance.

Karma, as understood in the West, is a notion of hope. It encapsulates the ideas of progress, perseverance and justice. Although I don't believe that "what goes around comes around", I do believe real hope is a fundamental emotional state essential for our mental well-being; But not false hope. If I had set up a tent in Occupy Philadelphia, my sign would most certainly read: "You can fool some people sometimes, but you can't fool all the people all the time". This quote is commonly attributed to Abraham Lincoln, and of course, Bob Marley.

Not wanting to lengthen this post any further, I'll defer writing about the concept of Karma, as I understand it to be understood in various traditions, to a future post.

More Occupy photos.
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