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December 30, 2002

Bachi Tales

Bachi, loosely defined as "what goes around, comes around," is a mysterious force. Do any of you have "bachi tales" to share? The more and more I hear about bachi, the more I get drawn into it. It seems to be a truth that exists in all cultures, with just some variation between each? Does the phenomenon happen in today's world? Is it coincidence? I'm curious, which is why I'm asking for stories or opinions.

Posted by Ruth at December 30, 2002 04:36 PM


Posted by Haken on December 30, 2002 10:40 PM:

I can't remember the guy's name, but several months ago there was a prison escapee out of OCCC that went on a robbery spree. One of the places he hit was my wife's aunt's house. Most of the jewerly she had at home were taken. She was so furious that she wished that whoever had robbed her would suffer some serious bachi. Several days later there was a car accident and the driver was killed. As it turned out, it was the thief. The police later recovered some of the stolen jewerly from the car and returned them to my wife's aunt. Death wasn't what my wife's aunt had in mind, but apparently some higher power felt it was fitting.

Posted by kane on December 31, 2002 1:16 AM:

I strongly believe in the power of bachi. At some point, one has to consider the number of coincidences in life as being more than mere coincidence.

Fortunately, the theory of "what goes around comes around" also translates with positive actions as well as negative.

Great topic by the way. I imagine many people have bachi tales to share.

Posted by Ryan on December 31, 2002 8:09 AM:

It's funny... I don't believe in a specific higher power, a greater consciousness, and generally advocate a chaotic worldview where s-dash-dash-dash happens.

Yet, I can't deny the sense and hope in the Bachi Justice System. I certainly feel I've been the subject of its unseen hands on more than one occasion, as kane notes, both in positive and negative ways. I think for every indulgent evil-esque act I've committed, I've gotten an equivalent smackdown - in general, often out of the blue and unrelated to the original offense. And when I feel I'm living my life well, I also feel unusually blessed by so many little things.

Some traditional bachi things I escaped, though, perhaps on technicalities. I loved playing with crutches and wheelchairs when I was a kid, for example, but to this date - despite several rather dramatic falls and crashes - haven't even fractured a bone in my body. (Er, knock on virtual wood.)

Posted by Mitchell on December 31, 2002 8:50 AM:

Unlike Ryan, I do subscribe to a belief in a higher power, and my beliefs lean far, far away from karmic philosophies.

On the other hand, I want to believe in bachi--I'm not the nicest person in the world, but I figure that in a truly just world, I'd come out with positive karma points, and for once, life would be unfair in my favor. When someone breaks into my car, or burglarizes my house, my first reaction is, "Why the heck would someone do this to me? I would never, ever, ever do this to someone else!

Yet, on another hand still (or perhaps, on the original hand), who am I to say that the multitude of small dishonesties and unpleasantries I commit does not add up to the occasional, well-deserved robbery? A nasty thought is as evil as a nasty action, I believe, and a selfish act which harms nobody else might still be preventing me from doing something that might benefit someone else. Bad stuff is done to me rather infrequently, but I am selfish on a daily--sometimes hourly--basis.

In the long run, I think I do come out ahead, for I would much rather be the victim of once-every-few-years vandalism or breaking-and-entering than daily rudeness or bad vibes.

When my students complain that "life is unfair," I say, "You should be grateful, because imagine how terrible your life would be if it were!"

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

Posted by Ryan on December 31, 2002 10:38 AM:

Mitchell's great "unfair" line reminds me... A religion professor I greatly respected used to say, "The best thing about religion, or superstition, or what have you, is that it always works." That is to say, we will inevitably reinterpret the facts to fit our view of The Way Things Should Be.

"Of course someone dented my car fender... just the day before I didn't let someone cut into my lane!"

Still, if it helps me or others operate generally as better human beings, why not?

Posted by Linkmeister on December 31, 2002 10:51 AM:

Well, I dunno. A friend of mine has some rotating quotes on her page, and one of them is from Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin says something like, "the fact that certain people are NOT incinerated by lightning keeps me from believing in religion."

Some people do seem to be perpetually blessed, and others perpetually cursed; I think I fit in the middle somewhere (but why DID I sever a patellar tendon five years ago)? Grins...

Posted by Vivi on December 31, 2002 12:34 PM:

This reminds of one Seinfeld episode where Jerry discovers that everything evens out for him. Whenever something bad happened to him, something good occured to compensate for it.

Myself, I do believe in some sort of higher power, and I've experienced bad bachi firsthand. Probably too many times to count. I laugh at others' misfortunes and I get frightfully sick. Then again, bad things always happen to me because I pretty much expect them to. That way, I'm intensely surprised and pleased when something good happens for a change.

That's my philosophy on test-taking as well. Study harder than you need to, insist that you're going to fail, and then feel pleasantly surprised when you ace the test.

...but I'm trailing off-topic.

Posted by ruth on December 31, 2002 1:25 PM:

Wow. That jewelry thief story is especially intriguing. I have several stories, but I'll share one that happened fairly recently.

When my sister worked in the food service department at a Honolulu hospital during her college years, she had a cruel supervisor named "Dolly." Dolly made jokes about my sister's handwriting and intelligence. Dolly cracked the whip so her department would maintain "efficiency" and "productivity." Dolly constantly berated my sister and made feel incompetent, dumb and slow. "Hurry up," she'd tell my sister, "we don't pay overtime, you know." Every time my sister worked there, she'd put in two extra hours without pay so she could complete her work. During her five months there, my sister was as skinny as a pole, having worked tirelessly for hours with little breaks in between. It was only about a year ago, long after my sister stopped working there that my sister learned about Dolly's unfair expectations and unethical business practices. My sister learned that the hospital now employs two staff members who perform the same tasks my sister was expected to accomplish by herself. My sister also learned that only a couple years before Dolly was to retire, Dolly was fired. She couldn't collect benefits afforded to those who retire. "She was job hunting the way I had been job hunting," my sister said.

Posted by honukai on January 1, 2003 7:20 AM:

Ahhh, bachi. I actually did a paper on it while in college on the mainland. I am a firm believer in The Power and have experienced the (negative) effects firsthand (Bunny can attest to that). Knowing this, I now live and make decisions accordingly. Although, sometimes not such smart ones...

My father poo-poo's The Power and says I'm "looking" for the consequences that follow to justify my belief... Maybe he's right, but as long as I believe in it, it'll always be around to haunt me. And I do mean haunt.

Lemme just say, everyone in my family Bachi'd me and hope my daughter turns out to be just like me!! And I hope so too since I am a fun and wonderful individual if I should say so myself (tongue sticking out):)

Posted by ruth on January 2, 2003 10:09 AM:

A paper - so cool. I wonder how many serious evaluations were done on this concept. I bet the whole process of gathering information was an eye-opening experience.

Posted by Linkmeister on January 2, 2003 6:50 PM:

Honukai, you're also one who's been away from here too long! Glad to see you back!

Posted by Dispenser on January 2, 2003 10:11 PM:

I do not believe in Bachi, Karma, or any other force out there that is said to deliver cosmic justice.

Too much evil in the world goes unpunished. Great people are taken before their work is done and evil people often live into old age. I'm not saying the world is all evil either. Good and bad happens to both good and bad people. Maybe not equally, due to circumstances which I will discuss in a moment, but definitely so when it comes to true random luck.

All it takes is a few good stories (true ones, granted) to paint the picture that Bachi exists, but that's because the multitude of stories to the contrary are NEVER passed along because they are utterly boring. Who wants to hear about someone losing their wallet while on the bus to visit their sick Aunt and never finding it? A story about some bastard getting what he deserves? Now that's a story worth telling AND remembering.

Thee additional aspect to good luck/bad luck that I referred to earlier is that evil people, such as the thief mentioned in the above story, tend to do stupid things to BEGIN with. Thiefs are more likely to drive unsafely, abuse drugs, and hang out in dangerous neighborhoods.

Say a thief gets struck by lightning. Who's to say this story is "too perfect to be coincidence"? Isn't that what "coincidence" means? When a cause an effect relationship seems to exist when there is none?

Posted by Rose Bachi on September 12, 2004 6:10 PM:

9/14/04 Hello, I know very littleabout computers, & tried an experiment: I typed my name into the computer,and, among other things, found the mystical force secion of your's. My family name, the origin is Swiss. It is a very common name there, having a derivation from th word for a smallish mountain stream, (I imagine that in English we would say brook). I presume that it is from the Latin, when Latin was the language of the scholars. The name comes from the German Bach, & the "i" is the Latin ending.
I teach Lamas
Qi Gong, (lineage: Grandmasater Sikung Lowe, via South America, Britain, & now Chicago), & he said that in Chinese there is asimiliar word, but that it means a nasty little demon.
I grew up here in Chicago, & old Immigrants from Europe said that the name could also mean "people of the river" or "people who are bridges", or '"people who are rivers", or "people who help others to cross the rivers".
Interesting, that in Hawaiian, (yes? is this where it comes from, also?), it is a force that returns to you.
Thank you, this is the first time that I've "posted a note".
Cordially, Rose Bachi

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