Something that really grinds my gears is the “informal,” common, Western misuse of the word “Karma.” This colloquialism is used in place of the phrase “divine retribution” to essentially mean the same thing, when the two are actually quite different.
Definitions of Karma that I agree with include “the force created by a person's actions that is believed (in Hinduism and Buddhism) to determine what that person's next life will be like.” Also, “the sum of a person's actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.”
I have now seen the following alongside such definitions:
Destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.
This “informal” one is what kills me. I understand that language is a fluid thing, especially the vernacular, but this one gets under my skin like YOLO and BAE. When something bad happens to me, and someone says “it must be your karma,” I want to grab them by their collar and scream in their face about how they’re butchering the meaning of a major spiritual tenant that they have no business talking about, especially if they’re Christian, or any other oppressive faith. It’s right up there with being Christian and going to a psychic. They pick and choose which parts of their book to follow and which to turn a blind eye to, so it should come as no surprise that they have no issue disrespecting the beliefs in another faith; they can’t even respect their own.
As for Pagans using this term incorrectly, I usually see it coming from those who are neither well-read, nor solid in their faith. They are the eclectic Wiccans who “take what they like and leave the rest” without actually studying what they’re taking from. This baffles me especially in Pagans who were Christians first, because many Pagans leave behind Christian faiths because they’re oppressive to their own people, not just people of other faiths. Why, then, would you choose to believe in something that hinders your actions when you just got away from a set of beliefs that hinders your actions?
I ask my Pagan brothers and sisters to unchain themselves from this false karma, to open their wings, and soar! Why is it so hard to believe that we’re not in this dimension to suffer? Believe instead that we are here to know, to do, and to feel. Fly high, Witches.