Group Karma and the Economic Crunch

The concept of group karma was introduced into theosophical literature when an Anglican Priest (C.W. Leadbeater) was asked to go to India to support Blavatsky when she was under attack from missionaries there. The main issue then was perception. It was good for the public perception of Blavatsky to be supported by a minister.

Recent events however have made it clear to me that group karma is also at play in the economic field. What follows is my laypersons summary of what’s going on:

We’re in trouble economically because people took out loans they could not afford – took out mortgages they could not afford – at least partly because the US government had decided that everybody should have a house. The banks gave out those loans and had to do something with them, so they sold them. This spread the bad money all over the world. Which means there was more money in the world wide economic system than there was. A lot of that money has now disappeared. This is likely to cause deflation and recession.

This ties in with group karma as follows. Not every house owner in the USA or Europe had their house financed with mortgages they could not afford. Chinese people did not generally loan more than they could afford. Yet the Chinese economy is taking a downturn, which in their case means the economy will only grow by 6% or something. The European and USA economies are going to go into recession.

Specifically: housing prices go down. This means that for individual families who own a house – their investment is suddenly worth a lot less. Small business owners are finding it harder to get clients. I’m feeling this myself.

In other words: the whole world suffers for what one portion of the people in the largest economy of the world did. Group karma means, in this case, that we are all in this together. World wide.

There is no way around it: bad karma pulls everybody down. The USA announced today that home owners with a mortgage at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be helped. Since the US government owns those companies, this is likely to be financed out of tax payers dollars. I’m not saying this should not be done. Obviously the economic and social problems that would result from all these people on the street all of a sudden would be big. This way the issues get dealt with in a way that prevents short term problems from escalating. This gives everybody breathing room. The economic consequences themselves however can’t be escaped. Obama will be stuck with an even larger government deficit and this means he is not likely to be able to keep his promise to lower taxes.

That in itself is group karma by the way. US voters have been insisting on tax cuts for decades, whatever the economy. One cannot expect the government to keep doing its job if it keeps having to cut the budget.

In some ways it comes down to this: the US is facing part of the consequences of continuing to believe that it somehow deserves to be wealthy. That each individual somehow deserves the latest technology. That happiness equals success equals having stuff.

I’m saying the US is facing part of the consequences, because the environmental issues have not yet exploded in our faces quite as badly as I’m sure they will.

Unfortunately, as we are really in this together when it comes to the economy as well as the environment, the world will suffer with the US. Just like it’s starting to do now.

10 thoughts on “Group Karma and the Economic Crunch”

  1. I’m using group karma as a concept to show group effects in karma. That is: things we have to face as groups. Ecological issues are things we will all have to face together globally, just like the economic crisis.

  2. Long term: yes. Good individual karma is a protection. In this life however we are stuck with the group we are in. Hard work will still help, obviously. It has always been possible for the talented and hard working to rise above the average and grow into another destiny (those few rich jewish bankers come to mind, who had a very different fate than all those poor jewish people in the getto).

    To an extent it’s the tragedy of the commons: the environment suffers from all of us collectively taking more than we need (roughly). Each individual not doing that does not get the benefit short term. Except for feeling good about themselves.

    I don’t want to go into this too much today, because you have anticipated a post I’m publishing on Monday 😉

    Your question ties in with ‘the secret’ to an extent. In difficult times, when one feels one is doing what one can, there is a NEED to believe that everything will turn out fine. In a sense the message is to the universe: ‘what more can I do? Please take care of me…’ But there is unfortunately no guarantee that our past karma is such that we will deserve to be taken care of in the way we would like in this life.

  3. This does provide me with a very good answer to the question why the enlightened should, and often feel compelled to, enlighten those around them.

  4. Does bad karma befall the indivdual who is globally irresponsible? I ask this because personal selfishness can be highly beneficial for the individual and highly detrimental to the group. Greed is a perfect example of this. The free-marketers will tell you that private greed leads to public good, but the world economic crisis is showing quite the opposite, except, of course for the wealthy, who are largely immune to these problems.
    Taxpayers always want lower taxes, but in the United States the simple fact is that 60% of all corporations pay no taxes at all, because they have tax attorneys to help them skirt around the tax code. In fact, a few years ago when the oil companies were racking up profits to the tune of $130 billion dollars, Congress gave them an additional rebate.

    Budgets in the U.S. are never cut, they are simply never funded with sufficient revenues. This is why we have monthly deficits totaling hundreds of billions of dollars, and the national debt is now approaching 11 trillion dollars. Add to this 37 million Americans living in poverty and 45 million having no health coverage and the problem becomes unmanageable. President Bush never vetoed a single spending bill while President, except for the last one which would have provided medical care for children.
    Home foreclosures are completely out of control. In the state of Florida, there are so many vacant, abandoned homes left unchecked that criminals occupy them and set up marijuana growing factories. They change the plumbing to re-route the water supply, thereby destroying the home with mold and mildew. Then the bank, which now owns the home cannot resell it because it is uninhabitable.


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