Positive thinking and karma

Gustavo Ramirez, Opinions Editor

Local author Elaine Piha presented a small lecture on her book What On Earth are we Doing Here at the Downey Library on Sat., March 29 to help people put their lives in perspective. The Friends of the Downey Library group sponsored the event, and it was attended by a handful of residents.


Piha’s lecture—in fact, the whole of her work—consisted of the notion that one creates their own reality: that, by the actions and inclinations a person does, a reality, or meaning, springs forth from that. Piha stresses the importance of karma and how, as a society, we are far too concerned with how others think about everyone else. Piha boils down human interaction into two categories: fear and love.


“Our interactions can be seen as either an instance of fear or an instance of hate,” Piha said. “For example, if someone says something negative to me, I can either choose to let their comment hurt me or shrug it off. The former is a product of fear, the latter of love.”


The author believes that one should be worried about what makes one happy, and not judge others. This, she says, creates negative karma. To obviate this, Piha suggests that one send out love and good feelings to others—in this way, it can return and make the sender happy.


“I learned a lot from the lecture,” resident Noreen Edge said. “I liked the part about not judging, because it’s true. What I believe is normal or acceptable might not exactly be so for the people who I judge.”


Our judgment of others needs to be reserved because we impose a different reality upon them, and deny the life and meaning that they have created for themselves.


Piha actually contacted Marilyn Van Dyke, 1st vice president of Friends of The Downey Library, and was given the chance to lecture and present her book. The audience reacted positively to her, and a few actually bought her book. The questions and answer portion was also very lively and interactive.


“We are always willing to accommodate local authors,” Cuelho said. “Especially if they are published. She contacted us and we set her up a spot. Evidently, it went well and I will enjoy her book.”


Piha’s book, What On Earth are we Doing Here: Exploring The Case for Human Suffering, is already on the shelf and is a composite of stories to help people understand their suffering.