Karma and Narratives

We are suckers for narratives. In Will Storr's beautiful meditation on life narratives, he eloquently explains why is it so. Storr writes,
The brain generates a narrative to make sense of the world around us, but also to make sense of ourselves. We think we’re captained by the part of us that’s self-conscious – the bit that we experience as our own living ‘me’, that collision of sense, memory and internal monologue at the centre of which sits the ‘I’. Yet there’s a silent, unconscious ‘I’ to which we have no access. It communicates with emotions, wordlessly coaxing us this way and that with its ceaseless blooms of disgust and fear and desire. It influences everything we think and do.
Exactly how much influence does this self have over our behaviour? Experts disagree. Some say its control is total: that the voice that speaks in the privacy of our heads might seem like it’s in charge, but really it’s just a babbling spin doctor, making excuses for the misdeeds of its boss. Others claim that our rational selves can play an executive role under certain, limited circumstances – but not much more than that. Either way, most of the time we feel that we’re autonomous only because the voice in our heads narrates all our actions, explaining why we’re doing what we’re doing at any given moment, even though it actually has no idea.
The West calls this story-making, "Confabulation". In the East, we instinctively recognize it as "Karma" - the narratives we tell ourselves and others concerning the vicissitudes of our life. 
Despite growing up in a religious environment, I had no clue how Karma could be such a powerful narrative acting as an anodyne for the troubled mind reeling over the gnawing question -"Why did this happen to me?"

When I was in my teens, my parents had loaned some of their savings to one of their old friends. One day, when my dad learned that this friend had gone absconding and a police complaint was raised against him, they became extremely anxious. I got my first real glimpse of the narrative my parents told themselves during that distraught moment, 
"Who knows what misdeeds we might have committed in our previous lives? May be, this money was the righteous sum which we owed and never paid?
What's interesting to observe is while we use karmic narratives to explain the unfavorable events beyond  control, we prefer heroic narratives to explain fortuitous events which enhances our sense of pride.

Storr describes this poetically, 
..our brains conjure the illusion of order; they wrench a plot from the chaos and then place us heroically at its centre. And what heroes we are! A symphony of optimism biases soothe us into believing we’re smarter, better looking, more morally upright than we are. Primitive tribal instincts turn our enemies into ruthless ignorant baddies while our allies are crowned with undeserved haloes. As we push through the minutes of our lives, we’re all Davids fighting our own personal Goliaths. We’re seduced into believing in the autonomy and moral behaviour of our coherent and comprehensible selves.
What happens when we stop telling these stories about the world and ourselves? What happens when we start rubbishing the mutual conspiracy of sounds - after all, isn't that what language is all about- and its wiles of meaning?

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