Dear Saul,

I’m in a talky mood today. This may not be funny, but I like the sound of my own… text?

Are you particularly religious?  I’m sure you’ve at least learned something about religion in school, from work, around your community, even if you don’t subscribe to God’s newsletter. It’s hard to avoid it, and though many, many religions don’t practices what they preach, I’m sure the ideals of some of the more peaceful ones would work wonders in this day and age. I’m agnostic (I don’t believe the existence of deities can be proven or dis-proven). I’m not particularly superstitious, but I enjoy walking under ladders to see what happens. I do however, lend some credence to the (mostly eastern) belief of Karma: cause and effect, action and reaction.

Quick religion lesson, so please bear with: what we see as “reincarnation” is known as samsara, which would translate to “continuous flow”, Many Asian and Indian religions, including Buddhism, Taoism, Sikhism and Hinduism all support the belief that our lives follow a cycle of rebirth, which has no beginning or end. All of these religions differ in their teachings of samsara, but it is primarily caused by holding attachment to worldly possessions, and fixating on past events, self and future events, There were various ways to break this cycle and achieve Nirvana, Moksha, liberation, enlightenment, etc., but it all relates to Karma.

Our actions in our current life affects what our next lives will be. In Hinduism, by keeping to the caste system, by ridding yourself of the vices of this word, you are reincarnated higher in the caste, until you reach Moksha, and transcend the cycle of life and death. In Buddhism, by following the eightfold path, you remove attachment to things that are unneeded in your life. By becoming pure of soul, we achieve enlightenment. Nowadays, we see karma merely as “do something nice, something nice will happen to you”

In a nutshell, Karma s pretty underrated as a belief. We see it as a threat to not do wrong, or a train will hit us. Religion sees it as a way towards tranquility and ascendance. I see it as a way of escape.

I’m not a bad guy (I like to think). I don’t have a violent bone in my body. I don’t believe that by hitting someone, I’ll capsize next time I’m on a boat. But I also don’t believe that by hitting people, I’ll be reborn as a low-class citizen. I believe that by not hitting someone, I escape violence. For every action, there is a reaction. By doing good, I have escaped a cycle of harm and suffering. I don’t have to feel particularly religious, or special. By doing good, I break the mold, I stop harm from coming to others.

Essentially, I believe in karma because by doing good things I have brought good to the world. By doing bad, I bring suffering, I keep the cycle going. It’s a silly belief, but it’s mine.

If I had to be reincarnated, I’d love to be reborn as Nick Cage, just to see what it’s like. Would probably drive me mad…

Best Wishes,