Karma is affecting you whether you believe in it or not. The way karma is sometimes described also creates some confusion because there are several levels at which it can be understood. Karma appears to be a law of cause and effect, but more is involved than that. Karma is simply a word to refer to energy which we have set in motion in the past in the form of emotional reactions, judgments, agreements, acts, beliefs, etc. that continue to have effects on our lives. Let me give you an illustration.
Suppose we are in space doing repairs on the outside of a space station. I need a wrench so I ask you to throw one to me. Together with your poor aim and my poor catching ability the wrench goes flying off. What will happen to it? It will keep going until another force stops it. Since space is nearly a perfect vacuum the wrench will travel for many miles–perhaps even thousands of miles. This is a metaphor of one of the aspects of how karma works called the Law of Continuance. The Law of Continuance states that a force in motion continues until something happens to change it.
Here’s how the Law of Continuance works. You gave the wrench some energy (the cause), and the wrench went flying off (the effect). The wrench will continue flying until acted upon by another force. The way this applies to your life is whatever talent, trait, attitude, belief, conclusion, reaction, need, etc. that you energize will continue until it is stopped by another energy or force. This is what happens with the formation of your personality, your likes and dislikes, your hang ups, emotional reactions, and beliefs.
What if You Don’t Believe in Karma or Past Lives?
If you believe in past lives, you may have been a spiritual healer engaged in natural healing or energy healing of some sort in a past life and therefore you are attracted to health related fields in this life. Another example is if you made a promise to someone in a past life that you love them so much you want to be with them forever, you would be setting the stage to meet them again.
Even if you don’t believe in past lives you are still affected by aspects of the law of karma because everyone puts energy into motion as they form beliefs, conclusions, opinions, biases, or emotional reactions when they were young children. These become part of a person’s subconscious programming and self-image which continues until something is done to change them. In the process of growing up everyone accumulates many beliefs and conclusions which give structure to a person’s personality which in turn defines what a person identifies as him or herself. This is what we call a person’s self-image.
What you are today is the result of past and present thinking. This could include past lives as well as the past in this life. For instance, if a person were a shipping merchant from Spain exporting goods to the new world in a past life they may find themselves living in America and involved in some sort of business today dealing with Spain or Spanish Americans.
If you do not accept the concept of past lives the principle still applies because a person will often find an attraction to a field of study, career, or belief they were exposed to as a child. The karmic principles still apply because they refer to the continuance of patterns established in the past regardless of their source. So you can begin to recognize that karma is not a word to be suspicious of or skeptical about because it has a very practical everyday application to your life. Once it is understood it can become a great force of creating positive conditions and experiences in your life.