Thursday, April 28, 2011

Karma: The Royal Wedding Dress (photos)

Wisdom Quarterly
How better to make a splash than to employ a little shock value? It would not be the first time, as Kate's see through college dress (right) shows. Her official selection was see through but longer than expected:

The most photographed woman on Earth, the beautiful Princess Kate Middleton (not to be her official title due to House of Windsor technicalities), has to surprise the world. And what better way than following on the heels of her last runway modeling adventure? We predict that she will be showing off her youthful form. Not since Jackie O's , Jennifer Aniston's hair, or Princess Diana's dress has there been this much made of a fairytale wedding.

But "commoner" Catherine Middleton's story is better because she is descended from coal miners and her prince, combat-ready William, is second in line for the throne. He could actually become monarch of one of the world's great super powers. It is not the US alone but the Old World banking interests (along with Germany) that rule the world by proxy. Weddings are wonderful! Marriages, not so much. Kate Middleton will be the epitome of a British Berketex bride:

British pro-feminist punk mavericks, Crass, perform "Berketex Bribe"

PHOTOS: 1. Sexy, see through wedding dress (fashion-gallery blog); 2&6. Kate's St. Andrew's University fashion show see through dress used to first attract Prince William Spencer ( &; 3. first view of the partially see through wedding dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander (SkyNews/; 4. new wedding dress options (; 5. sexy wedding dress (; 7. Prince William and Catherine Middleton (AP); 8. "Love at first sight" (Lin Pernille); 9. official photograph of the wedding dress (; 10. "Heartbreak" (
Why Kate, Why Not Me?
Karma distinguishes beings -- high and low, beautiful and homely, rich and poor, smart and slow, long-lived and short-lived, coupled and alone, and so on.

In the "Smaller Exposition on Karma Discourse" (Culakammavibhanga Sutta), the Buddha states the following:

"Beings are the owners of their karma [their store of intentional deeds, whether physical or verbal or mental, both those ripening in happiness or suffering], heirs of their karma. They originate from their karma, are bound to their karma, have their karma as their guide."

The Buddha urged disciples to tear down the forest of defilements -- states and traits within the categories greed, hatred, and delusion -- the roots of all suffering. In their place, he encouraged them to cultivate such habits as generosity, compassion, and wisdom.

We reap what we sow: Karma
When we experience the fruits and results (states and circumstances) of seeds (actions) we planted, it is because what we planted is finally coming to fruition. Actions ripen opportunistically -- as soon as they meet the right causes and conditions, even tens of thousands of years later.

Without them as the basis, good things do not arise for us. When that good is exhausted, as it inevitably must be, pleasant and welcome circumstances fall away.

"Love at first sight" is no accident but the result of karma (Lin Pernille/

Good karma is easy to accept, and we have no trouble accepting credit even if we do not remember what we did to deserve our good fortune (because it is usually not done in this life).

It is far more amazing and difficult to believe, but when a thief and criminal enjoys ill-gotten gains, it is only because of former good karma.

"Crime does not pay" because when this bad karma ripens, it will ripen in suffering. It is not ripening immediately. The good one is experiencing is not due to stealing!

It is impossible that it should be otherwise: All the good one is experiencing is being experienced due to good karma. All that we are doing is our present karma, the results of which will be experienced later.

(This clarifies the apparent contradiction that crime does obviously pay since criminals sometimes go a long time without meeting with the negative repercussions of their choices. It is only an apparent contradiction. In reality, good results in what is welcome and pleasant, bad in what is unwelcome and difficult to bear).

Understanding this, beings are wise to engage again and again in meritorious deeds (good karma, any actions motivated by nongreed, nonhatred, and/or nondelusion). It is not every world that one has the opportunity to make good karma -- whether by negligence in superior worlds of pleasure or preoccupation with pain in inferior worlds.

Like attracts like: Good begets good, and bad begets bad. "Good" and "bad" are very unfortunate translations since we have an aversion to oversimplifications. Skillful, wholesome, profitable are all translations for kusala, the opposite being akusala.

These actions are not "rewarded" and "punished" as such; they follow an impersonal law of attraction. They rarely ripen immediately but are able to lay dormant for aeons. Therefore, one should not judge another as "good" or "bad" based on circumstances. For we all have seeds of good and bad, and any ripening is burning that karma off (exhausting the good and lightening our load of bad). The potential we have is incredible. The opportunity we have to do good now, to plant seeds now, to make the most of what we have is even more incredible.

That one should become a queen is not unusual. It would not be possible if she did not deserve it. Envying her or being jealous is demeritorious karma for us. Rejoicing in her good fortune, the ripening of former well done deeds, profitable and ripening in pleasure, is good karma for us now. Sovereignty in the human world is not a very high thing relative to other possibilities: it is short-lived, often mixed with strife, and uncertain.

That same good karma could have ripened in superior worlds where it would last longer, be purer, and be more stable. It is, to give a simile, like being beautiful only in elementary school as opposed to blossoming in high school. We would all wish to be beautiful everywhere at all times for all the benefits it brings, but life becomes more important and significant. For all the good it does Kate Middleton to become a real life princess (actually Duchess of Cambridge), how much better might her good karma have ripened later on?

We do not want to wait, desiring immediate gratification. But waiting would often benefit us, whereas rushing soon leaves us disappointed, unfulfilled, and un-actualized.

Will I Ever Find My Prince/Princess?
An elderly couple once came to the Buddha. They expressed their love for one another, having been promised in marriage to each other from a young age.

Their wish was to meet again, to be reborn together, to be a couple again. The Buddha told them how they could accomplish this and thereby become "twin flames" or "soul mates" in a future life:

The "ideal couple," as they were called, once came to the Buddha and said, "Venerable sir, we married after being acquainted from childhood, and there has never been a cloud on our happiness. Please tell us if we can be married in the next life?"

The Buddha answered, "If you both have exactly the same faith, both receive the same teaching [regarding morality] in exactly the same way, and if you have the same wisdom, then you will have the same mind in the next birth."

Whether or not all of this is done, those bonded by the karma of love and hate (attachment and aversion), will meet again as they have met many times. The business started now is not finished now but rises like flames out of embers again and again. Far wiser is it to let go, forgive, and abandon these habits unless we wish to again meet one another with an instant attraction or animosity.