Am I Messing with your Karma?
Written by
Alice Grist
April 2011
Written by
Alice Grist
April 2011

Occasionally I stumble across an opinion that outright worries me. I'm a pretty easy going spiritual kinda lass. Being a Libran I see every side of a story and I can argue both sides till I'm blue in the face. I struggle to come down on one side of the fence when I see good or positivity, or potential both left and right.


But there is a spiritual way of thinking, that I have now come across more than once. It is a view that I cannot agree with. I discuss it in the next book, The High Heeled Guide to Spiritual Living. But it has cropped up again this weekend and I want to share my thoughts.


The first time I heard it I was still a carnivore. I was eating out and the lady I was eating with said she used to be a vegetarian, but had realized now that the animals we were eating 'chose' to be our fodder. They made a spiritual choice before we came to earth that this was their job. We would be messing with their Karma if we were to deny them this right. 


Over this past weekend I adopted some rabbits and a post on my facebook wall got distended into a discussion around the same kinda thing. I was informed that Karma plays a part in all suffering and that it is our human ego-ic state that attempts to better things, but that some times, in doing so, we are again messing with that person or animals karma. I was informed that animals bred for meat may well have made the choice to be our fodder in karmic debt to their previous lives as predatory carnivores. My stance as a vegetarian, was presumably messing with their chi! 


Right first up... I don't agree. I don't agree to the very core of my soul. I will scream it from the roof tops and I will not change my mind. This is a libran with a strong opinion, and so I must really, really mean this. 


This view of messing with Karma is nonsensical for me. Yes I believe in Karma, I truly do. I believe that maybe there is some truth in what is being said. What worries me is that the opinion, whether right or wrong, mitigates against anyone doing anything to help others for the fear of messing with their karma.


 I do not like this way of perceiving life. I cannot go around tip toeing through life for fear of messing up other people or animals karma. I cannot turn a blind eye to cruelty, abuse or something I find distasteful in case I interfere with someone making karmic amends. If we are going to be trampling on the invisible Karma of others, why bother at all? Is it really better that we visibly allow others to suffer, so that we need not fear what we might have done to their karma? Indeed what is the point of Karma at all if everybody is unprepared to do something good, or kind or compassionate for fear of treading on somebody else's zen. 


So let's imagine a life where nobody did anything for fear of messing with Karma. Well we would all just do what we wanted wouldn't we? We could be perpetrators of horrendous crimes, knowing that nobody dared stop us. As victims we would have to lump it and like it because, hell, that's our karma and we better just deal with it. People like Hitler would now rule the world because god forbid the allied forces do anything to prevent all those poor people in concentration camps dying ... it was their karma after all, according to this theory. If your child is being bullied at school, suck it up and move on, do nothing. If you pass a random act of violence on the street, don't phone the police, they don't exist, we must all suffer our karma in silence. And as for all the destruction caused by acts of God such as the recent tragic earthquake in Japan, don't send the Red Cross, they don't exist, let the Japanese clean it up themsleves. It is their karma after all.... The world would be HELL.


Ok maybe I am taking this to the extreme. But I don't believe that a spiritual belief should be used to justify any kind of inaction. I fear that this view of karma, is very inhumane, and could do a great deal of damage to the public perception of what it is to be spiritual. Maybe I just don't get it. But I don't get it to the point that I find it somewhat abhorrent. I refuse to live by it. I am bothered that it is even relevant to a posting that essentially started out about people supporting their local animal shelters. I find it bizarre that anyone has anything to say about that, other than 'heck yeah! let's support animals'. Surely that discussion should have ended there? 


To me spirituality goes hand in hand with making the world a better place. And if I mess with your, my or my rabbits karma whilst doing that - so be it. Quite frankly I care more for your well being and your current happiness than I do for your Karma. And if my actions mean that you are left with Karma yet to reap, then I am sure it will be reaped, in the meantime though I will know I did all I could.... And let's be honest Karma is way beyond any of our true understandings. Surely it makes more sense that in the big wheel of life, any act that helps or frees another, are surely that person's true Karma. 


I believe that it is my Karma to help others out, to be a vegetarian and speak up for animals with no voice. I have been informed that this is ego-centered. That it assumes animals have no souls, or no power, or no choice. Well I do believe that animals have souls, souls that are barbarically captured and tortured at times. Souls that I believe should be free. Maybe these animals do have some kind of spiritual pact that they will enter the bodies of captured and abused critters, but maybe not so that they can play out karma. Maybe because they hope people will feel their souls, feel their pain and do something about what is essentially a vile, cruel, man made situation. In this sense their souls are acting to make the world a better place. But it won't be a better place until we act on it. Yes Karma is involved in this, but it is a view of Karma that warrants action, rather than warns against it. 


I refuse to believe that by doing anything compassionately we are treading on somebody else's Karma. I don't think karma is ever so simple, or ever something that can get 'messed up' by attempted good deeds. We are at a turning point in history. We have been for a while. Shitty situations are being sorted out for the better, equal rights, civil rights, gay rights, animal rights... We are empowered as individuals to have a valid and meaningful say. We are able to speak out and help stop things we find to be cruel or atrocious. I believe it is our spiritual responsibility to do so.


If I'm wrong I will deal with this next lifetime ;) Karma be damned, I just wanna see the world I live in smiling! 


Alice Grist

Author The High Heeled Guide to Enlightenment and The High Heeled Guide to Spiritual Living - out July 2011

Publisher Soul Rocks Books

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