Here’s The Good News & Bad News About Karma
I know someone who is convinced that karma doesn’t exist. If karma is real, he says, then how do so many negative people get away with what they do?
Ignoring or denying something doesn’t mean it won’t affect you. Hundreds of years ago people knew nothing about viruses and bacteria, but they were still affected by them.
Some people get defensive when they hear the word karma because the word isn’t in the Bible and therefore it must be Satanic. Of course, there are a lot of topics not mentioned in the Bible, but that isn’t sufficient evidence that they are sinful or Satanic.
The Bible does say we reap what we sow and since that is an aspect of karma, I think it is fair to say that karma is in the Bible in principle if not in name.
Most of the issues about karma are due to misunderstandings about what it is and that is what I will unravel in this post.
Karma is derived from the Sanskrit KRI, “To Do” which also means the effects of thoughts, words, and actions. Another way of looking at karma is that karma is energy you set in motion. I’ll explain how this works in just a little while.
Karma is based on deep intrinsic beliefs of what is true, what is right, and what is wrong, and all the judgments and conclusions in-between. It is the force of creation and attraction that causes all your experiences. It is traditionally said to be stored in your causal body which is the collection of forces that are the causes behind your every experience.
All of your thoughts, feelings and actions create and set in motion energy patterns which create effects. This is especially true of those components that have emotional content. In other words, emotions are the primary fuel that drive the karmic forces.
This is really just an observation not a religious issue. Something like the way inertia works: An object in motion tends to stay in motion and an object at rest tends to stay at rest. No one says that’s a religious issue; it’s just the way things are.
The direction of what has been set in motion continues until another force changes the motion or the energy dissipates. That is karma in a nutshell.
Now, Lets Go a Little Deeper with How Karma Works
Your thoughts, feelings and actions make their impressions on what is called the akasha. Akasha is another Sanskrit word and it means “ether” and it has to do with the essence behind all manifest things.
You create records in the akasha of your reactions, preferences, judgments, attractions, aversions, pleasures, suffering, and everything else whether you have hidden or expressed them out in the open. Each and every word you speak, and all of your conscious and unconscious thoughts and beliefs are recorded in the akashic record.
Impressions are made from everything you did, including every choice you made, conclusions you came to, beliefs you held, how you suffered, what you loved, what you were ashamed of, what you denied and what you took credit for. Yes, every feeling you had and every judgment you made have made their impressions.
You can see that this can work as a force of attraction to bring you favorable and enjoyable experiences, or things which you would rather not have to deal with. The akashic record is what is often depicted with the judgment everyone is said to face when they die.
How Everything Is Karmic
Everything in your life is derived from energies you have set in motion in the past and therefore everything, by definition, is karmic.
If there were no physical forms, no thoughts, no vibrations, no desires, no movement, and no intentions, then there would only be a quiet, calm, and waveless ocean of consciousness, but from that calm awareness desires and intentions do arise—all the time.
Desire and will produce a motion that creates a wave of intention that divides into many waves, which are what appear to us to be causes and effects. The reality we experience every day is the force of creation and the intention behind the force. That is how all of our everyday experiences are created and sustained.
The Karmic Snare
There is a perspective that karma is an illusion and in one sense that I will discuss in a minute that can be considered true, but in a practical everyday reality it is not true. It would be a little like saying that inertia is an illusion. No matter how much you want to deny it or ignore it while in a transcendent state of consciousness in meditation that doesn’t negate the effects of inertia on the person who is sitting there in meditation experiencing the transcendent state of consciousness.
Inertia states that energy in motion tends to stay in motion and something at rest tends to stay at rest. The same is true of karma. Karma is simply energy which you have set in motion in the past and it will continue to have its effect until you do something to alter it or halt it.
Saying that either inertia or karma do not exist or saying that they are illusions doesn’t make them automatically go away, but some would like to believe that in denying their existence they can pretend to be immune from their effects.
Disbelieving in Something Doesn’t Mean it Will Not Affect You
Unless you are proactive in releasing yourself from karma it will continue its cause and effect impact on your life until it either naturally wears itself out (usually over many lifetimes) or it is balanced through whatever is accepted as sufficient compensation.
What is called your True Self or soul has certain qualities that you’d no doubt think of as good such as love and peacefulness. When you say or do something counter to your intrinsic soul nature you set in motion a counter energy that attracts circumstances in line with that energy.
We can say the soul is an embodiment of essential goodness for lack of a better word in English. I am not using this word as a moralistic label but rather it is an acknowledgment of the nature of the soul itself which embodies every wonderful and admirable trait and virtue. Lying, cheating, stealing, and harming others are all out of integrity with the essential good nature of the soul and therefore, by the natural law of the way the universe is set up, they bring consequences whether a person believes in the forces or not. This is called the Law of Consequences or Cause and Effect.
Karma is As Much About Good News as Bad News
Everyone lives under the umbrella of karma and it is not all bad news. Karma also refers to the continuance of what you like and love, but often the balancing requirement is due to thoughts, words, or actions violating a person’s integrity or alignment with their true self or soul.
Whenever something is done that is counter to the nature of the soul there is a pattern of conflict which will play itself out through some need to balance or compensate for it to bring you back into harmony with your soul. Or, if you prefer, you have energized creative and attractive forces for the quality of whatever your thoughts, words, and actions are. Either way you choose to view it, you are the source of your experiences.
When a person is not in integrity there are natural consequences. Ego reactions create mental and emotional energy patterns which have creative and attractive forces.
In the realm of subtle energies where these patterns reside, like attracts like and so the patterns which are out of integrity with the soul will create and attract energies which are not consistent with the pure nature of the soul. That means negative or painful experiences.
For those who think they are getting away with their actions that is only a short term apparent condition. The creation or attraction is not usually immediate which gives the person ignorant of or denying karma the illusion they have escaped it, but once the forces are set in motion they will find expression unless there is a shift in consciousness and the energies are cleared. In many cases, the consequences carry over from one lifetime to another. Sometimes the effects carry over to many lifetimes leading to very undesirable conditions for which the person has no remembrance of the causes.
The Law of Consequences at Work
There is an inherent problem for you with the law of consequences and that is the fact that you are never quite sure when sufficient suffering has balanced or compensated for a past “mis-deed.” The problem arises from not being able to objectively quantify the value or lack thereof of the “mis-deed.”
For example, if you stole some money from your mother’s purse when you were a child, you would likely harbor some guilt which could lead to certain consequences. Perhaps someone would steal something from you at a later time. However, suffering by having something stolen from you would not necessarily relieve you of a deep-seated guilt over your actions of having stolen something yourself. Nor would you necessarily equate your misfortune as relating to your action of stealing the money from your mother. As a consequence you could continue to suffer in vain attempts to diminish or pay for your guilt. This is a rather minor example which is compounded by actions that incur greater consequences.
You might ask, “Why is this so?” In most cases a person never consciously makes the connection with their suffering as a consequence for a particular action they did earlier in their past. When you introduce the numerous past lives everyone has had the process becomes even more tangled and difficult to unravel or figure out, and most people never do; they just go on suffering some loss or lack.
How to Escape from the Pain of Karma
There are at least 3 major painless ways for you to become free from negative karma. Undoubtedly there are more, but these are the 3 main ones that I’ll mention here, and you may want to apply yourself to some or all of them or whatever feels the most comfortable for you and whatever is compatible with your orientation.
The first method is a particularly beautiful one of having deep devotion to God or a higher power. This can be expressed through an ongoing practice of prayers, mantras, ceremonies, rituals, meditation and other spiritual activities. Over time this will create a field that will release and dissolve negative karmically created patterns.
The second approach is to utilize a methodical recognition, acknowledgement and removal of each karmic pattern through releasing techniques such as forgiveness or energy-clearing techniques. The methodical approach requires that you specifically identify the negative karmic pattern and either express deep self-forgiveness, or remove all the underlying beliefs, judgments, and emotions. This would include clearing hatred, anger, grudges, guilt, etc.
The third, karmic releasing method is perhaps the most relevant to Westerners of all the ways to transcend karma. It is through deep surrendering. In a spiritual context, surrender is about releasing all forms of holding on to the negative issues or emotions. Ultimately, all spiritual paths converge and agree on the surrender approach, although the methods of implementing it vary.
The Path to Freedom, Liberation & Enlightenment
Because everything was created with free will, it takes a measure of free will choice and decision to acknowledge and release all attachments to what was created. That’s why the ego and all of its characteristics doesn’t just disappear automatically if you merely ask it to.
You are a powerful creator and when you put the force of your will and intentions into a choice or decision you empower it with a tremendous persistent creative force.
To switch to letting go of what you have previously invested great energy and emotion into creating takes time, attention, decisions, and deep surrendering of every aspect of yourself that sustains the pain or struggle.
The 4 meditations in my program How to Clear Karma utilize a variety of techniques to release and clear you to a cellular level of karmic agreements, karmic debts, and karmic limitations, as well as ancestral patterns.
The Hidden Bonus for You In The Surrender Process
When you reach a state of surrender you are not holding, judging, reacting, or resisting anything, and therefore there is no part of you holding or creating negative karma. It is as if karma no longer exists for you not because it never existed, but because you are so deeply surrendered and in alignment with the essential purity and goodness of your soul that you are no longer sustaining negative karma for yourself in any way.
This happens when surrender ceases to be a process for you and has become a state of your being. At first you practice surrendering the causes and effects in your life. That is the surrender process. You may say, “I surrender all my struggling, anger, fear and pain,” and you may feel some relief. As you continue deepening into surrender, you eventually arrive at a new state of being.
The practice of surrender eventually leads you to a state of surrender where you are surrendered to everything. This doesn’t mean you become a “door mat.” It means you are much more acceptant (this doesn’t imply agreement), and you are not in resistance. This freedom means you may freely move toward or away from any situation of your choice and be in complete and deep peace with it.
The practice of surrender is the place where you begin learning about what it means to surrender. It is important at this stage to make surrendering an ongoing practice because there are many things in the blind spots, out of conscious awareness, or which you may even be in denial of, and it takes time for them to come to conscious awareness so they can be acknowledged and let go. It can take many months or years to fully delve the depths of the surrender process, but the rewards are called liberation, self-realization, and enlightenment.
I have more extensive discussions with guided meditations on the surrender process in my program: The Secret of Letting Go.