Navigating Karma | 5 Daily Habits That Degrade Our Spiritual Well-being


Introduction | Karma

This post is all about the 5 common daily actions that most of us participate in which have terrible consequences for our karma. All 5 can be avoided by a mindful being. Ask yourself before reading, do you believe in karma? How many of the 5 are you participating in right now?  

We are entering a post-Christian era in the West. Few young people today are interested in the Church, and why would they be? We have greater access to information than ever, and a house which is built upon lies will always crumble in the end, even if there are grains of truth in it. 

I became disenchanted with Christianity at the age of 18, when the pain of believing my thoughts and actions were being watched and judged by an invisible God, coupled with the fear of Hell, became strong enough for me to break free from the mental cage. And what a good feeling it was to say “fuck you” to God. (Which by the way, isn’t a big deal.)

Any religion which teaches that God is something outside or above yourself is a false one. The Zen Buddhists have an analogy: Our life is like a drop of water in a waterfall, individualised for a moment in time before re-entering the stream. 

Only a few days after breaking from Christianity, I discovered a form of Buddhism, and unveiled a superior and more logical form of spirituality. But during those few days, I was in a vacuum where any spiritual modality could have taken up in me. Our society is in the same place now. What will we fill it with? Will we fill it with paganism, religions which glorify human sacrifice or the eradication of non-believers, or subjection to a set of glorified rules? Christianity, comparatively to many forms of religion, isn’t really that bad for society. There are worse beliefs and sets of morals a group of people can take up. But evolution must take place, and for the good of the planet, I hope we can evolve our collective conscious into an appreciation of Karma.

Karma is the descriptor for the phenomenon that your actions have reciprocal effects. In physics, Newton’s third law of motion describes that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Once, Christianity may have had the same notion, as when Jesus said: “Treat your neighbour as yourself.” But over time the religion became corrupted, as all popular things do. Maybe Buddhism will become corrupted one day as well, maybe it already is. I don’t think it really matters. All that matters in today’s era is that the population evolve spiritually, and realise that our actions have equal and opposite effects. 

The beautiful thing about karma is that it doesn’t really matter what the collective does. All that you personally can control, and all the experiences you’ll reap in the future, are completely within your domain. You only have to take care of your own karma, and by doing so you benefit yourself and everyone else. 

 Let’s look at the 5 most common daily practices most of us participate in, knowingly or unknowingly, which degrade our karma and set us back upon the wheel of spiritual evolution. 

If we all believed in Karma, would we live in a better world? 

factory farmed animals

Factory Farmed Animals | Hell on Earth

In terms of karma, there is no distinction between the way we treat a human and an animal. Only within the framework of a religious theology, like Christianity, can you get away with reasoning otherwise.

Imagine being born in a factory. There are concrete floors, metal, and glaring bright lights. There is the cacophony of thousands of other animals, and after whatever mutilations you undergo at birth, after being separated from your mother, you are locked in a cramped room loaded with other beasts like you for the rest of your painful life. When you’re harvested, if you haven’t been cannibalized or died of disease, your body will be shipped to a fast food restaurant or superstore and purchased by unwitting or uncaring humans. I wonder, where will such humans end up on the next peg of their spiritual journey? It just might be in the vessel of one of the billions of animals farmed in a factory every year.

I remember when Covid came around (and I knew that it had nothing to do with health after the first couple weeks), I had a dark fear in the pit of my stomach about all of the factory farmed animals I’d consumed in my life. Because I could see the cage closing in on me, and I deserve it. This act is probably the worst one humans participate in. And cheese is no different than meat, it’s maybe worse.

To avoid this karma: eat ethically raised meat and dairy. There’s nothing wrong with consuming animals for sustenance, it’s only when we torture them and fill their lives with suffering. And for what? To save a few dollars/ounces of labour?

investing karma

Index Funds | Investing

As the late and great John McAfee once said, “Don’t invest in the stock market. Invest in yourself.” In regards to karma, he couldn’t be more right. 

The S&P 500, NASDAQ, mutual funds, investments in pharmaceutical company stocks like Pfizer or Moderna, or in chemical companies like Bayer/Monsanto, or a myriad of other businesses with destructive and greedy aims, is wrought with karmic danger. It seems like the most normal and rational thing to do in the world, even the smart and practical thing, but unless you are picking and choosing what your are investing in, you are very likely contributing to slavery, death, suffering, destruction of the environment, etc. and essentially earning nothing less than blood money. Do you want to be a person that earns blood money as their means of a comfortable living? 

There’s nothing inherently wrong with investing, but to invest blindly is foolish if you value your karma. And the effects of our immoral investments won’t just be seen in the afterlife or show up in offhand ways in our lives, they are real and palpable. 

All of our investing has empowered asset management firms like Blackrock and The Vanguard Group, companies which take possession of your income/labour and transmute it how they see fit. These two conglomerates combined own over 50% of all the companies in the S&P 500, and manage trillions of dollars of assets/stocks. In other words, they own almost everything. And who are their leaders? Are they susceptible to corruption and conspiracies? Let’s hope all that power hasn’t gone to their heads. Larry Fink seems like a fine guy, though, doesn’t he? I hope you think so, because for your 5-10% yearly profit he’ll be making a lot of decisions that effect the world and you. 

The more difficult to avoid economic karma traps are things like taxes and pension funds. Pension funds are essentially the same as investing in an index fund, and your taxes are used however the government sees fit. The government often invests in war, and in Canada, over 25% of all taxes go to the allopathic corporations. Your healthcare isn’t free here, it’s paid for by you and me indirectly. And, believe it or not, the medical system is one of the cruellest and most blood-thirsty corporate entities on the planet. The corruption runs deep, with collaborations between insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, governments, and a plethora of bureaucracy all with the aim of making money by any means. Decisions are not made by the kind nurses, or saints and good-doers, they are are made in a boardroom by executives with billions of dollars. The hospital is a business, and we invest in it whether we like it or not. It’s also an abusive business which essentially runs as a monopoly against all other health modalities (ones that work better in many cases and are in sync with nature), but it’s intertwined with the government so what can you do? The only really viable option to avoid tax karma is to fight it if you can, or move somewhere better. 

commercial fishing

Commercially Farmed Seafood

Around 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear, mostly plastic nets, is dumped in the ocean every year. And it isn’t just the waste, pollution, and discarded nets which damages ecosystems and animals that hurts our karma – the methods which commercial fishers catch seafood is horrendous overkill.

There are boats called trawlers, which cast a huge net onto the ocean floor and pull up every living creature below. Like a lawnmower, the trawlers go back and forth across the ocean, pulling up everything and killing millions of non-target sea creatures which will never even be sold or eaten by consumers. In the process they also cause significant damage to seabed habitats and ecosystems.  

I don’t believe it’s wrong to fish and eat seafood; the problem is when commercial fishers destroy entire populations and ocean ecosystems through their method of hunting. The ocean is a powerful and mysterious part of our planet, and by our lack of care combined with incredibly efficient methods of fishing, humans are wrecking something beyond our understanding. We are like out of control children, with a lot of potential, but also a lot of potential to do incredible harm. 

To avoid this karma: Avoid eating commercially farmed seafood. The trawlers will stop raking the oceans the moment there is no demand for the product. Groups, certain governments, and activists will eventually gain enough interest and power to make a meaningful change, even against countries or corporations who couldn’t care less about the oceans, if enough of the public becomes aware of the problem and pivots their behaviour. And whether that happens or not, all you need to care about is your own karma.  



Consuming the Products of Slaves

This topic can be a bit overwhelming, because so much of what we purchase in the West can be tied to forced labour or slave-like conditions for their production. But it harkens to the necessity of being aware of how you are interacting with this world. If you could actually see the means of production of something as simple as a cheap t-shirt, or a shiny smartphone, you would likely not engage in the purchase. But whether you’re being tricked by advertising or difficult to track supply chains or not, it doesn’t matter much to karma. 

Imagine for a moment, you are child living in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A group comes to your village and either creates a situation to place your parents in debt, or promise them to provide you with a better life somewhere else. The result is that you are taken from them, taken to another part of the country or a neighbouring country, and immediately you enter a workforce with thousands of other children and men and women producing cocoa. You work from sunrise to sunset doing hard labour carrying heavy loads, applying pesticides without proper protection, are given few breaks, and are beaten or threatened by overlords to work harder. Your living conditions are as bare as possible, and so is your sustenance. You work under the premise that your family owes the owner of the establishment a debt, and each day of labour slowly pays off that debt. But your living space and your food are subtracted from the small amount of debt you burn off every day, and you never really know how much you still owe. You will likely live in that encampment for the rest of your life until you can’t physically do the labour, and how will you survive after that?

It’s a common setting in the third world, taking place in Africa, India, China, and many other places. Some of the most common products are: chocolate, coffee, clothing, electronics/rare minerals, cotton, sugar, seafood, vegetable oils, and tobacco. 

To avoid this karma: Only buy stuff that you know came from a good place. Don’t buy cheap chocolate bars that are terrible for you anyways. Don’t buy crappy synthetic-weave shirts for 20$, buy a few sets of natural-material clothing from a reputable company (you’ll notice the difference when you’re out in the forest). Coffee, oils, tobacco, foods in general, unfortunately cost a little extra for the karmetically conscientious person, but the cost is nothing in the scheme of things. And if you can’t afford it, figure it out. Karma cares not for excuses. 

binge eating

Destroying Yourself

It is easy to destroy, it is difficult to regenerate. 

To build yourself up to a state of vitality takes discipline and effort; it requires an alignment with nature, respect for the gifted vessel which is your body, and ultimately a love of self. 

There are so many of us, myself included, that at times seek either to feel something nirvanic at a cheap cost, or to numb ourselves to emotional, physical, or mental pain. An easy way to do this is through destructive eating habits. 

Bingeing and careless diet is the path for most people in the West – the path of degeneration. Everyone eats pizza, hamburgers, etc. but very few people sacrifice afterwards through fasting to allow their body to detoxify. Few people have the discipline to eat large portions of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, or even to seek out the knowledge that eating fruits and vegetables is good for you. It is easier to eat calorie-dense foods, and more delicious to combine these rich food-types together into an agglomeration of difficult-to-digest chemistry. The result is congestion in the bowels and lymphatic system, weakened tissues and cells, a slow death, and weaker genetics which are passed down to the next generation. 

The reason your karma is affected is because you are inflicting self-harm. Harming others obviously generates bad karma, but the same is true for damage to yourself. Many people think it’s too much labour to think about how our simple actions affect others, or to learn what poisons are in the foods we’re eating, or to learn what the right path towards health is. Life is busy enough, its almost obsessive to worry about these things, you may think. But there is nothing more fundamental to the simplistic experience of life itself than the maintenance of your bodies. The busyness of life which distracts you from that fact is mostly a superficial illusion. Physical, emotional, and mental self-care are the prerequisites of right living, they are the pillars. Nothing else matters so greatly except presence to the moment. 

To avoid this karma: Don’t leave this world as a bloated bag of pus, which most of us do, dying a slow death to arthritis and cancer while propped up by soul-sucking synthetic drugs. Regenerate yourself, face the demons you have created in your physical body through detoxification with fruit and herbs. Sacrifice! Face your karma in this lifetime like the spiritual warrior you are and restore the lost genetic strength of your ancestry. In the process you will be forced to cleanse your mental and emotional bodies simultaneously. 


By doing no harm to ourselves or others, can we live beautifully? 

This Post was all about Navigating Karma | 5 Daily Habits That Degrade Our Spiritual Well-being..

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Justin McArthur

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