a clean slate


On Monday, my friend Marcus wrote something that touched on some half-realized thoughts I’d had for a while now and made them whole. What he wrote about was his struggle to understand the purpose for all the suffering in the world.

This world” Sunim replied with gravity as well as a smile, “is perfectly fair. Everything you create eventually comes back to you.

Here is my response, as far as my understanding allows me to delve;

The momentum of our Karmas surrounds us, pulling and pushing like magnets. Through our thoughts, our words, our actions we direct this momentum, we control it, as much as it may seem the other way around. As Sunim spoke, “Everything you create comes back to you.”

When we can see our Karma unfold from this lifetime, it’s easier to accept, but when it’s Karma from a life long ago, it can seem unfair.

The realization I had was, what if we could see into each other’s past? What if we all saw exactly what we’ve all created and have coming back to us? What if if knew where the Hitlers, the Mussolinis, the Pol Pots were today? Would we doubt the fairness of their suffering for a moment?

What I know about the people who are able to see into the Karmic affinity of others is that they would still have compassion, even knowing what they’d done. It can be difficult to accept, but these are the ones who need compassion the most. Perhaps that’s why, for the most part, we can’t see into each other’s past, through rebirth we’re given a clean slate.

JiJang Bosal is one of the great Bodhisattva because he vowed to enter the Hell realms and help the suffering there. But who are the beings there who he’s sacrificed his Nirvana to help? Most likely beings who have committed despicable actions. With Seung Sahn Daesanim there to help him now, they must have a half-decent Zen Center on the go! Maybe even a Sangha!

My point is, when we see suffering in the world, as unfair or undeserved as it may appear, the only way to respond is with compassion.


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