And like all thoughtful stories about the living of life in a world of choices, it left me wondering about the Determinist principle. I thought:
Every step along the road of life is determined by the first choice we make, which is to be born in a certain place at a certain time to certain parents. From then on there is only the disinterested but irresistible flow of cause and effect. And free will is only free in a manner of speaking.
But what of karma? It’s easy to see how a man’s kindness to a little girl on a bridge might result in the revival of his business fortunes many years later, but that’s only the mechanics. If you want to bring into the picture concepts like balance, justice and rightness, you need karma. And if you have karma, you have to accept a level of reality beyond the material.
This is where I need to talk to somebody who is sitting opposite me, somebody with the same drive to understand the nature of reality but with a superior capacity for rational analysis to provide valuable counterpoint. It reminds me of the man in a TV drama I saw during the winter who said:
‘You never stop and look at life, do you? You just drive straight through it. You should stop and sit, but find somebody to sit with you. You can’t do it on your own. Nobody can.’
Tonight I had a cup of tea and a piece of cake. Then I had a bag of crisps and a cup of coffee. Now it’s time for toast, beer and whisky. That’s virtually all I ever seem to do these days: eat, drink and keep my personal environment in order. I think I could do with finding somebody to sit with.
Today I did a lot of gardening and now my troublesome knee hurts. See? Cause and effect. Is karma included? How can I know?