My housing karma

Yeah, it still hurts just a little bit. But what counts now is to learn the lessons so as to not make necessary even more “disasters”. Wish me luck with that.

There is a whiny little post up on my even more personal journal, called “Shouting!” It is basically just whining  dressed up in see-through multicultural clothing. Here in Norway we aren’t racists – we just hold people from elsewhere to much lower standards, primitives that they are. ^_^

In reality, I would not lose big money betting that many Norwegians have Norwegian neighbors that keep them awake at night too. A steadily growing portion of the populace is retired, and a pretty stable but rather large portion is on disability pension; neither of these have any particular reason to sleep at night when there is excellent daylight to sleep in. And of course there are people who actually work at restaurants or cinemas or whatever and come home after midnight, it seems unlikely that they will tiptoe to bed one and all. So if you have neighbors in the same house, it is a significant chance that they will wake you up in the night. Even if they are in another house, the marvel of high-powered stereos makes it quite likely that they will keep you awake at least some nights.

Which is an excellent reason to rent a house for me alone if I can afford it, one should think. But ironically, it was my insistence on doing just that which led me to this situation! Yes indeed. Because I was so eager to have a whole house to myself, I rented a rather more expensive place than I had needed to, and so I didn’t have enough money saved up to rapidly find another place to live when the deal fell through.

But further self-reflection shows that it was more than just a wish to have a house to myself. There was also an attachment, to use the Buddhist term. A kind of infatuation. Now those who have seen pictures of the old red house surrounded by green pastures and right by the river may think it was well worth an infatuation. It was a beautiful place indeed, but looking at myself as from a higher place, I see that I was attached to it also because of memories of my childhood.

While different in some ways, the house was of a similar age as the one I grew up in (or a little older), and even smelled a little similar. And living surrounded by farmland was also for the first time since I left home at the age of 15. So there was a certain sentimentality in my decision, one that is not uncommon in my generation, for many of us grew up in the countryside but moved to more urban environments later. As long as one is aware of this and accepts it without being controlled by it, there need not arise an attachment. But when I acted on feelings that were not understood, seeking to regain something that could not, an attachment arose.

One of the benefits of living closer to the Source is that the time between building karma and paying it back is shortened. Or so I have been told. In that case, I should rejoice, for I am definitely paying my karma debt from the attachment I had to a perishable house. Indeed, it has already perished. But as the Buddha said with his last words: “All things that are made of parts will fall apart. Strive diligently!” (Your translation may vary slightly.) So now the house that I was infatuated with has been utterly demolished, and instead I have shouting foreigners. It is certainly better to have one’s karma disposed of this way rather than building it into one’s soul through the entire life, and then have something far worse happen. Not that this may not still happen with some other part of my life. But we’re working on it.

Nor is this the first case of serious house karma payback:  The disastrous move from the original Chaos Node was even more dramatic. At that point I found an apartment for let that was so located that I would be walking each day past the house where Supergirl and her family had lived (back when she was younger). I had tons of happy memories from there, and this influenced my decision so that I started renting an apartment that was only half the size needed for all my stuff. OK, perhaps 60-70%, but I don’t think so. The Chaos Node had been filled to overflowing, as old pictures will demonstrate. Even though I carried a bag out of the house each workday for more than two months, there still was more than I could cram into the apartment and still have any hope of keeping it clean enough for a civilized human, much less tidy. Discovering this caused my supposed new landlord to have a minor breakdown, although we both escaped unharmed. I then had only a couple days to find a new place to live.

So my ability to learn from life’s lesson is so-so, it seems. A quote by the Norwegian church leader Elias Aslaksen comes to mind: “If a man does not use the opportunity to learn from a disaster, the faithful God will make sure to place him in more disasters.” In view of this, I think I have gotten away fairly cheaply. It is better to be kept awake by asylum seekers than by demons. I will seek to take advantage of this situation to reflect on myself and become free from the kind of attachments that brought me here. Then we shall see whether I can act more wisely next time, and also have the blessing of the Light in my choices.

6 thoughts on “My housing karma

  1. Love of such a setting as your previous home can’t be a bad thing. Attachment to the point that you’d be crushed by something’s loss isn’t good, of course, but surely feeling connected to a place in the midst of God’s good creation where it is easy to find peace of mind isn’t so bad? NEEDING such a place to find peace would be bad, but appreciating it can’t be, surely. God’s gifts are good, so long as they are appreciated as such. Like Job, though, we can’t only appreciate God through his gifts, of course. But while they’re there . . .

    Does that count as attachment? It feels more like celebration, to me, but . . . I don’t know.

  2. Oh, I don’t mean that people who enjoy their home are evil puppykicking sinners. What I tried to convey was that in my case, I based my housing decisions on delusion, in the form of attachment to memories of the past. To have good memories of the past is a beautiful thing; to let these grow into delusions about the present is asking for a rude wake-up call from Karma.

    That’s not to say that I won’t rent a house in the countryside again, given the opportunity. But cautiously. ^_^

  3. I’ve told you, haven’t I, about the recurring dreams about my grandparents’ house in Oklahoma? Sometimes with my grandparents present? I am sure it’s an attachment, and a longing for the way things were, but I’m not sure it’s a negative thing, is it? I know you didn’t mean that people who enjoy their homes are eeeevil, I just am not sure that we’re talking about the same thing when we say “attachment”. I thought I understood, but am no longer even at the point approaching “sure” that I was, which was a long way from sure, anyway . . .

  4. By attachment I mean something that fills or absorbs our thoughts, that our thoughts return to throughout the day, something that does not give us rest. An infatuation is a good example of this, whether in its literal (romantic) sense or figuratively (like a boy’s infatuation with a bike or a man’s infatuation with a car). It need not be felt as positive though, there are also painful attachments such as a betrayal one cannot forgive, a mistake one cannot forgive oneself, a suspicion one cannot get out of the head and so on. Beyond mere “good conscience”, being free from attachment is peace, a deep stillness.

    Or that is how I see it at the moment. So the problem was in neither case the domicile itself, but the excitement that powered my decisions. See also my other strange karma stories, like the dozen delays of my first tablet, or the “every time you buy a laptop, God kills a tooth” saga.

  5. Well, every time I see photos of your little house by the river I get an extremely positive feeling about it. The fact that it was destroyed (and that you were treated shabbily concerning it) is not so hot, but the place itself just strikes chords within me that are warm and fuzzy. And I didn’t even live there! I suppose that if I _had_ lived there and been treated as you were, that would count as more of an attachment, because I would look back on it as an idyllic place I’d been rudely shoved out of.

    On the other hand, you didn’t have frozen pipes all winter at your new home . . .

  6. There haven’t been winter like that in my new home, but I agree that the pipes would probably be safe even if there was. Only had a couple weeks of deep freeze this winter, fairly early.

    Strangely, my stay in Riverview coincided with the two only extremely cold winters in the 30+ years I have lived on the south coast. I don’t think I should claim responsibility for that, though! I am not the Main Character of the world, only a Viewpoint Character. ^_^

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