Dependent Arising and Karma

Perhaps the most debateable aspect of karma pertains to who or what is the cause and who or what is the effect. Yah and of course we all like to lay the blame at somebody else’s door. We may try to do this even when we have an inkling that is our own actions and thinking that has been causal. We may protest outwardly yet kind of know inwardly. If you think about it refusing to accept responsibility is generative of more karma. It is saying to the universe; “prove it to me”. And the universe, if karma exists, may well respond to our request. Now this isn’t a game of bluff that I personally would want to engage in, but it takes all sorts.

A single action, a few words, can initiate very wide-ranging effects that propagate forward in time. We might call such a nexus, a point of origination, a causal genesis for an arising event flow. All the subsequent events depend upon that arising. They are of course interdependent. The complexity is substantial, but without the genesis event none of it would have happened.

I am aware of events still unfolding now that had their causal origination many years ago.

Once things have been set in motion the only hope of interacting in a meaningful way is to catch them early on. This is because an event flow, once it has gathered sufficient momentum, is unstoppable. The consequences, bifurcate and unfold, they may continue to ripple out for a very long time indeed. There is a short period of time for remedial action, which if avoided or unused, will never manifest again. Whilst we are arguing the toss, that time window passes.

Although I can see this kind of event flow, I suspect that many can’t or are unwilling to, least of all if they have responsibility within the chain of dependent arising, a responsibility that they are unwilling and unready to accept.

Karma allows for a certain naïve ignorance and karmic impact is reduced. Karma however does not permit deliberate and wilful ignorance, because that is not lack of understanding it is pretending not to know of the potential consequences. If one does something dodgy, one knows and thinks, “what the fuck, let’s see if I can get away with this.” This kind of event can often prove to be a genesis for a whole new chain of dependent arising. It kicks off, it generates. It can get out of hand very quickly and its impact on many lives can be very wide and profound. These “important” originations accrue large karmic debts.

Earlier on I asked, “do you have karma to work off?”

So here is a related question:

Has any action or words of mine kicked off an entire chain of events?

If so, how quickly did that get out of hand?