Monday, November 17, 2008

Fumbling toward insight

Shamelessly lifting part of Sarah McLachlan's album title here.... Anyway, some of my neater insights come from musing in my diary, but I was astounded by the source of this latest rambling. I was reading Keay's "The honourable company" and marvelling at the irony that manifests itself when I compare the concept of honour and match it with the deeds done by the East India Company. Nothing honourable about bribery, massacres, and plain and simple greed, so what makes this company so honourable? Was there ever a period in history that could forgive such barbarisms? No amount of temporal distance can justify what was done in those years. If there's anyone who can rationalize what men like Josiah Child and Clive of India did in the name of greed and wealth, I welcome all comers with an open ear. Don't give me 'manifest destiny' and don't give me capitalistic rhetoric.
Some people in the world today condemn multinationals for a variety of sins. The East India Company could be considered the first multinational, and the sins are more or less the same, only bloodier. I'm speaking from my own viewpoint - I am no expert on the economy or on multinationals, by the way - it just looks like they do more harm than good. Anyway, back to the East India Company and temporal distance. Anyone who's read this blog knows I take stock in karma, and reading "The honourable company" got me thinking about the sheer negative karmic debt these 'entrepeneurs' must've accumulated in this one lifetime alone. I tried to look at all this conquest in the most positive light and could find no justification for it. What could they have possibly brought forward to justify their actions? Surely, most of them met with a worse life next time.
Lately, my thoughts have been on karma and its myriad actions and the outcomes we go through when there's imbalance. I felt at one point like cursing karma for being so complicated and intricate. Wouldn't it be nice to know the karmic output of every last little action (thought/word/deed) we do? It would make the path to Nirvana a little easier. However, I quickly realized that most people (I hope fewer than most, but I'm too pessimistic to think otherwise) would rack up positive karma in the hopes of being reborn in paradise. That, according to what I have learned, is NOT the reason for it all. Nirvana would get completely ignored by such people. For Nirvana, the scales have to be completely balanced and the perceptions completely changed. Therefore, knowing the karmic output of every action is probably a big mistake.
Interesting where insight comes from, isn't it? BYE.

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