Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Grace Revisited

OK, here we go again:
I’d like to share a case of something that I think MAY have been the Karma/Grace principle at work.
First, allow me to say there was much about parenting her children that I disagreed with my mother about. There was one matter, though, that I could not fault her on: she was a scrupulously careful mother who never put her small children at risk of physical injury. She always made certain that child-gates were in place, that pot handles were turned inward on the stove, never left her toddlers unsupervised, etc. etc. etc.

So, on the afternoon I came home from school and found my mother talking blissfully to my younger brother while she did her ironing, I was stunned. My 2 1/2-year-old brother was sitting in an open window with his back against the window-screen. This was one of those old-fashioned screens that was stapled to a wooden frame and tended to rot around the edges over time—and this one was pretty old. Beneath that window was a 1 3/4 story drop to a concrete walk below.

I was only ten years old and I could see the danger immediately. So why didn’t my mother see it? Yet, here she was standing across the room, looking right at him with a hot iron, an ironing board and a clothes basket between her and her son who could, conceivably, go out that window at any moment.

Again, I was only ten, but I was also aware of something else: my brother was an obstinate brat who had a tendency to challenge me if I told him to do anything. He was, after all, traversing the terrible-two’s [though I didn’t know about that concept at the time.] Still, I did know that he would, almost certainly, stomp his foot at me and shout ‘NO!’ if I told him to get out of that window. And, that would increase the risk.

Add to that the recognition that pointing out to my mother the fact that, ‘We have a problem here,’ would not be a good idea, either. She would likely become defensive and argue with me. My brother might become upset and push against the screen without even meaning to. It would use up valuable time that we might not have. Etc. Etc.

All of these thoughts ran through my mind in much less time than it has taken me to type them here. Almost instantly I knew what I had to do: Drawing as little attention to myself as possible, I walked over to the window-seat and sat down within arm’s length of my brother. I didn’t say a word. I just sat there—tensed like a spring. Sure enough, within a couple of minutes [at least that’s how it seems in retrospect] the screen gave way, my brother lost his balance and went out the window head-first and backward. And I grabbed his ankle and hauled him back in the window.
Now, this whole scenario may have been one major coincidence. In fact that is exactly how I viewed it [if I thought about it at all—which I very rarely did] until I began to learn about Karma.

As I have thought it through with that concept in mind, though, I’ve come to other conclusions:
The most astonishing part of the situation is the fact that my mother allowed it to happen in the first place. As I’ve said, it was totally out of character for her not to see the danger and tell my brother to get down from there. And she didn’t. Why not?

I guess a second point is the fact that I was, after all, only ten years old. How did I see a danger my mother didn’t see and figure out a way around it?

And, why did I walk into that room at that precise moment, anyway? Almost every other day, I would run into the house, hurl myself upstairs, change my clothes, grab my skates and take off for Jane’s and Mary Dey’s house without a thought for where my mom and brother might be. Why did I change my pattern that day?

I’m sure you see where I’m going here.
Here’s where the speculation begins:
What if there was karma between my brother and me? There often is karma of one sort or another among family members.
[That’s why they come back together—to see if they can work it out this time.]

So, suppose for a moment that, in some previous lifetime, I threw the two-year-old ‘fragment’ who would one day be my brother off a cliff onto a rock and broke his skull. I did it maliciously and on-purpose.

Given the way we chose to work it out, it was likely a long, long time ago and my brother didn’t want to go the route of revenge [if he had he would have thrown me out the window].
So, between us we worked out a scenario, instead, in which I could save him from a similar fate this time around. Our mother had to be included in the plan by 'not seeing' the problem so that I could solve it, myself.

One other thing leads me to think this was Karma: the aftermath. Knowing my mother, she probably went into hysterics after the incident. Almost certainly she came across the room screaming, grabbing my brother and me, crying uncontrollably, the whole nine yards. I remember none of that—although the earlier part of the memory is completely clear in my mind. But, once the karma was complete, the rest was entirely unimportant and I have no recollection of it at all.
So, what do you think about my conclusions?
And how about you? Do you have any ‘coincidences’ lurking in your past you’d care to share?


an average patriot said...

That's interesting! I believe in karma. Some people exude it. i have been surrounded by good Karma since day one and believe my sons are benefits of it but we shall see!

two crows said...

hi, AAP--
yeah, we can be embedded in both kinds.

I have what I call, 'phenomenal housing karma'.
all my adult life I've found ways to live in situations that range from rent-free to extremely inexpensive housing that was, nonetheless, quite comfortable.

welllll -- living the the cave and the back of the truck weren't what you'd call _comfortable_ -- but they _were_ free-- and they were fun. :)

I sure wouldn't have missed those adventures, anyway.

an average patriot said...

I can only laugh thinking about some of the situations one puts themselves in. I have had comparable housing but it's all good. Hope you are better off now!

two crows said...

hi again --
well, it depends on what you mean by 'better'.
the situation I'm in now is more orthodox -- but where's the fun in that? :)

I thoroughly enjoyed the cave, the garage, the numerous communes, the truck, the park, the beach, etc. etc. etc.
wouldn't have missed those for the world.
today, I own my house but, simultaneously, pay the highest rent I ever have in my life. it's kind of a bummer, when you think about it.

but, the upside is that the tax on my home is $140-- that's per YEAR! so it's not all bad.
still, the cave was my favorite. :)
and the house-after-the-flood was good, too. and both of those were rent- and tax-free.

The Future Was Yesterday said...

I can't say if it was "Karma" or potato chips. I'm not making fun of your post at all, rather showing my lack of expertise in the area. One thing I do know, it angers me greatly when groups rush in to claim such events occurred because of their pet (insert whatever here), and dismiss any other possibilities as impossible. This was a really interesting post!

an average patriot said...

two crows I know what you mean. I leave the bills and everything to Trice who enjoys it. i am much more relaxed, laid back, and uncomplicated. It is all about get by and survival to me. i must say I am amazed your taxes are so low. I thought ours was low at $2,000. Something good about Florida I guess, at least for now.

two crows said...

hi, future--
oh, yeah-- I hate it, too, when people say THIS HAPPENED FOR THIS REASON AND IF YOU DON'T AGREE WITH ME YOU'RE JUST BLIND! [I hated the book, _Chariots of the Gods_ for that reason. the author would accept no other explanation but his own.]

after all, with stuff like this we're all just feeling our ways along as best we can.
so, karma as the reason for this incident works for me. and if coincidence works better for other folks -- well that's fine, too.

in fact, every post I post here, even those backed up with source materials [see the book-list in the side bar], will be simply MY take on the universe. others are welcome to their own.

and they're welcome to stop by and argue in favor of their own, for that matter -- all I ask is that all comments be respectful of others' views. no name-calling, trolling, etc.
but, that's why I've got a 'delete' button, don'tcha know. :)

two crows said...

hi, AAP--
'It is all about get by and survival to me.'

spoken like a true Old Soul ! [I hope to start the series on soul ages soon]
'i must say I am amazed your taxes are so low.'

the 'something good' is the proliferation of mobile home parks in FL. my home is a glorified house-trailer [a good one-- about on a par with a manufactured home --but, still, that's what it is when all is said and done.]
so, I don't own the land it's sitting on. that's why I own the house [and it's paid for] but continue to pay rent. the taxes on the mobile home are personal property taxes -- so, LOTS lower than if they were real-estate taxes.

if I DID own the land, the taxes would be lower than the rent I pay now. :(

but, if I owned the land, I wouldn't have been able to buy the house outright and would be paying a mortgage.
so, it's all trade-offs.

Paul said...

Hi Two Crows! That is a great story. The thing is though, I remember Carl Sagan using a "most likely, based on known facts" scenario to explain the un-explainable and I think in your case, your Mom had instilled in you her safety first ideas and that probably is why you reacted the way you did. No mystery there. As for your Mom, maybe she just had a brain fart, it happens to everyone.
One of my big mysteries occurred when I was in my early twenties. I lived at the beach with my girlfriend at the time and I was kicking back in an easy chair by the window when she came in and asked me to walk with her to the store. It was an adventurous walk because of a windstorm that was blowing through. When we returned home I found the window had blown completely out of its frame and there was broken glass all over the chair I had been sitting in. I chalked it up to luck. Whew!

two crows said...

hi, Paul--
sorry it's taken me so long to get back here. rl [doc app'ts and wallpapering] intervened.

whatever the reason, I'm glad you were spared surgery or worse by a walk to the store.

as to the no-see-em, no-hear-em, no-existence philosophy-- I'm just curious:
does that belief system extend to quarks, strings, dark-matter and parallel universes? or only to things like karma vs coincidence?

Mary Ellen said...

I'm not quite sure of the whole karma thing. After tragic occurrences like the shooting at Northern Illinois University, I heard people say that the victims were in the wrong place at the wrong time. But in reality, they were where they belonged, in was the shooter who made the decision to go in and kill a bunch of people he didn't know. Was this karma, or was it nothing more than mental illness? Can mental illness be excused as "karma" and if so, do we ignore people who are mentally ill and allow them to follow through with their karma or "payback"?

two crows said...

hi Mary Ellen—wb—
I love it when you come in with the tough questions! :)
about your latest, who knows? here’s my take on it—tho heaven knows I have no clue if I’m right or not:
whether those people were in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ or paying karma for having been involved in the Holocaust is, thankfully, not my distinction to make.

the possibility that the current famine/ food riots are a result of people turning a blind eye while others were systematically starved on their doorsteps does not absolve me from doing what I can to help stave off world starvation.
the fact is, karma has 2 ends: opening and closure. if I see suffering and ignore it, who’s to say I’m not participating in an opening of a karmic incident, tying myself to the victim[s] and, thereby, creating a universal imbalance? so, it is always my job to do what I can to alleviate suffering.
at least, that’s my take on the universe, fwiw.