You’ve heard the saying, “What goes around comes around,” on a surface level, that’s one way of defining karma. Often referred to as The Law of Return the Sanskrit word means action. I call it The Boomerang Effect.
There are multiple camps of thought on this topic, but my perspective is that we’re spiritual beings on a human journey; we’re here on a temporary layover in the classroom called life for the specific purpose of learning lessons before continuing on. Some people refer to these lessons as karma.
Enzo, the old soul and canine narrator of Garth Stein’s book, The Art of Racing in the Rain said, “I know that karma is a force in this universe and that people will receive karmic justice for their actions. I know that this justice will come when the universe deems it appropriate and it may not be in this lifetime but in the next, or the one after that. Their current consciousness may never feel the brunt of the karma they have incurred, though their souls absolutely will. I understand this concept.”
The philosophical explanation of karma differs somewhat between traditions, but the general idea is basically the same. Through the law of karma—cause and effect—the result of every action creates present and future experiences, making each of us responsible for our own life and the pain and joy it brings to those in our sphere of influence.
I believe the karmic litmus test is to examine the motive that underlies our present actions. Despite how the past may account for many of the inequalities we see in life, the measure of a human being is not the hand dealt. Rather, it’s how the hand is played. Because we’re all interconnected, our decisions affect everyone.
What’s coming back at you?
Karma if we believe or understand that all is connected, that of Oneness we would experience the effects of cause and effect on a conscious level, that to me is karma.
Neale Donald Walsch ask about Karmic debt in Conversations with God Book 1, God answers, “No there is no such thing as karmic debt – not in the sense that you mean in this question. A debt is something that you must or should repay. You are not obligated to do anything.
Still, there are certain things that you want to do; choose to experience. And some of these choices hinge on – the desire for them has been created by – what you have experienced before…
He goes on to say “If karma is the innate desire to be better, to be bigger, to evolve and to grow, and to look at past events and experiences as a measure of that, than, yes, karma does exist. ” (204)
I am not sure that karma is word I use or often think about? Yet I think if we move into action from the point of listening to our heart, the choices we make to have the experiences in our lives to be more bountiful, and healing will be Higher choices.
I am Love, Jeff
Good morning, Jeff – Thank you for sharing some of Neale Donald Walsch’s thoughts with us this morning. I enjoyed your perspective and especially resonate with “…move into action from the point of listening to our heart…” Aaaaaaah, I’m going to carry that gold nugget in my thoughts today and be all the richer for it, thank you.
Well hopefully what’s coming back to me is not being a bug in the next lifetime. I hope II didn’t screw up too much. I know I screw up a lot. But I try to see where I’ve gone wrong and amend now in the here!
Beth – I think you’re a good, conscientious here-and-now mender. Happy Thanksgiving!
there is NOTHING you need to do.. There is no debt you have to repay. You live in perfection.You are the one who chooses after your death, where and what you become through your (thoughts IE Feelings) from your soul.You will die when your journey on earth is complete and not a second before.
Craig — I appreciate your sentiments, thank you for sharing them here.
“Despite how the past may account for many of the inequalities we see in life, the measure of a human being is not the hand dealt. Rather, it’s how the hand is played.”
…. I love these lines. Great post today!
Humanitarikim – I’m so glad you dropped in for a visit today and enjoyed the post.
I am Hindu by birth and an evolving Zen.
I look at it like this–The hands we might have to deal with,play with are probably from old Karma from previous journey — as we play the present hand we generate new/fresh karma
Happy thanksgiving Laurie to you &the family.
Roamer – I like your thoughts, thank you for sharing them here. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well.
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For me it is very different, with some notable similarities,
For me, the notion of Karma as described “ that karma is a force in this universe and that people will receive karmic justice for their actions. I know that this justice will come when the universe deems it appropriate and it may not be in this lifetime but in the next, or the one after that ” is clearly false, and it has an interesting hostorical development (from a Games Theoretical perspective).
The idea of Karma applying over many lives had to be added, because it is clear to even a casual observer, that while there is a relationship between what we do, and what we receive, it is not a very tight one. Cheats often win, and “good guys” often lose.
In order to keep people believing in the “faerie tale” of “Karma” (which has many positive social outcomes), the many lives thing was a necessary addition.
Clearly, in a modern understanding, such is not the case.
Clearly, in a modern understanding, it is easy to see how the idea of Karma evolved, and what it’s social utility was; and equally clearly it is not how things work.
For me, I am confident (as confident as I am that the earth will still be spinning and orbiting the sun tomorrow), that each of us is, as a “spiritual being“, an emergent property of the very complex systems that have evolved from our biological and cultural heritages. Each of us, as individuals, had specific start times at each of our many and various levels of organisation, and each of those levels of organisation has a long history, in which we find ourselves the current expression.
So no – nice idea, and for me, Karma is, without any shadow of reasonable doubt, a faerie tale. A perspective that has an interesting historical development, and no real place in a modern understanding; except in so far as it illustrates the power of competing strategies, in the abstract wars that Games Theory predicts and explains, that is human social evolution.
Ted – As always, I respect your opinion and am so glad that you share it here. I like the term you used “current expression.” In fact, I think I’m going to cabbage onto it. We view our “current expressions” differently, but I sure like that term. I believe that my “current expression” is an expression (or extension) of Source Energy (or Divine Love). I still haven’t quite wrapped my mind around the thoughts you’ve expressed. I read the words, but they haven’t clicked for me yet.
Beautiful as always !!
Joe – I’m glad you popped in for a quick visit today. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Laurie your post about karma brings to mind a recent post I have read called “The Five Regrets of the Dying” at http://sdhammika.blogspot.com/2010/11/5-regrets-of-dying.html
I often remind myself to play the hand I have been dealt to the best of my ability. I attempt to come to terms with my human limitations and even failings. I go forward with the best intentions… knowing that to live fully will be to make mistakes. But I shall have LIVED.
Oh Terrill – That was a great link to follow, thank you! I absolutely resonate with your words, “…knowing that to live fully will be to make mistakes.” Yessiree – that’s how we learn. And anyone in my family will tell you that with the number of mistakes I’ve made thus far, I should be a sheer genius by now 🙂
Rather, it’s how the hand is played. Because we’re all interconnected, our decisions affect everyone.
Love this today!!
Kim – I’m glad for your visit today. I hope that you and your mother enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving.
I, myself, believe that I am responsible for what I do or don’t do. The sin of omission is every bit as grave as the sin of commission. So I try the best I can, with what I have been given. ” To him who has been given much, much will be required.” And Mercy knows, I have fallen short of that. Life is education and it takes a long time to educate a soul. But Eternity is a long, long, time, when the Earth is gone and Time has grown old and died, Eternity will still be rolling on. We will eventually be called upon to judge our own actions and that’s when balance comes into play. Will it be retribution now or later? Who knows? Check with me in a thousand cycles.
Sandi – I’m in total agreement that omission can be every bit as grave as commission. Doing the best we can with what we’ve got — yes — our personal best. Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours. My best to David, Teresa, Missy, Cameron, Joey, and Faith.
Thank you for your thoughts on Karma, Laurie. I suspect what’s boomeranging back at all of us is the effects of our actions, thoughts, feelings. I like what you say about the motive behind our actions. Our actions might look similar on the outside, but in reality can be dictated by many different motives. If we were all totally honest to ourselves about our motives, perhaps many of our actions (and karma) would change. (Happy Thanksgiving!)
Kathy – I certainly have no proof, but I have long suspected that Divine Love (Source Energy, God, Goddess, Spirit, fill-in-the-blank with the term that you use) is waaaaaaaay more interested in our motives than our actions. WHY do we do what we do (commission)? And WHY do we refrain from doing certain things (ommission)? These are some of the questions I ask myself when I get into bed at night and review the day. If/when I bump up against an answer that makes me disappointed in myself, I stick my stake in the ground and make the next day different, and so on…
Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!
Hi, Laurie — again, a day late to class (sigh). The idea of karma is interesting and I’ve read a couple of schools of thought about how it exists and affects us. I am not sure that I have ever felt that an experience in my life was a karmic effect; however, I have felt that many experiences are the result of what I know I came here to learn. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be held accountable for our actions at some point in our existence I feel mostly because that gives us the option to evolve. If we are not held accountable, even for our “good” actions, then there is no lesson.
Barbara – I resonate very strongly with what you said, “I have felt that many experiences are the result of what I know I came here to learn.” Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!
“Despite how the past may account for many of the inequalities we see in life, the measure of a human being is not the hand dealt. Rather, it’s how the hand is played. Because we’re all interconnected, our decisions affect everyone…”
Aye Laurie. Beautifully stated and telling. I recently was disagnosed with a few relatively minor health issues, that have resulted from my ‘bending the rules’ and not adhering to sensible diets, mostly by way of quantity, not drinking enough water, and certainly foregoing a regular exercise regimentation. What you reap you sew, but luckily as in most instances of karma kicking in, there’s the opportunity to do what needs to be done to get things on the right path.
Happy Thanksgiving to Laurie, Len and all those affiliated here at this wonderful life-affirming place, SPEAKING FROM THE HEART.
Sam – yes, Yes, YES! “there’s opportunity to do what needs to be done to get things on the right path.” I oh-so-agree with you! Happy Thanksgiving to you, Lucille, and the rest of the Juliano Gang 🙂
I think that, for me, karma is both commission and omission as others have said. For me, I try to keep compassion, peace and laughter in as many of my actions as possible – to pass those on when/where I can and to walk softly in other’s lives. I really like the ‘pay it forward’ concept….doing things w/ no thought of reward or pay – just hoping that small acts will impact others in positive ways.
Cindy Lou – Oh my gosh, I love your choice of words, “..to walk softly in other’s lives.” That is a lovely word picture.
And we have all heard the other one….”Payback is a #!*%”. I do believe we reap what we sow and it is not only in our best interest to live accordingly, but it JUST FEELS GOOD to do so.
At any given moment the tables turn and you can find yourself in someone else’s situation. It is my goal to live in an outward thinking manner where the thought of Karma rarely appears.
Lisa – We do, indeed, reap what we so. There are so (!) many reasons to live accordingly, but you’re right in that we should do so because it JUST FEELS GOOD!
I oftentimes ask clients for them to tell me what it’s like to be on the receiving end of their care-giving, their parenting style, their relationship style, their work ethic, and so on. I ask myself the same questions. If/when the tables ever turn on me and I’m on the receiving end of what I’ve been dishing out, then you can bet your bottom dollar that I want it to be positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing 🙂
This has been another fun read of all the comments… I got here after we had our family celebrations. Some of the karma that hits back is from the act of just ‘being there and communicating’. If someone thinks they have inflowed bad karma… they were just there but not pulling in some sort or motivator or pay back. I feel in our hearts we can see the difference. In gratitude, Kathy
Kathy, I like your statement, “I feel in our hearts we can see the difference.” Wonderful!
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Thanks for leading me to this post!
NelsonRN – You’re welcome 🙂