Understanding Karma

by Vivian Hadleigh on January 28, 2013

Contrary to popular belief, karma is not about reward and punishment. It’s not about blame. It’s not about fate. It’s not even about divine retribution.

Karma is simply a matter of cause and effect, a kind of natural law which brings into our present existence the consequences of what we have thought, said, done, or caused to have done in the past. Basically, karma is a kind of boomerang which returns to you that which you put out into the universe, either in this lifetime or in others.

The origins

The term ‘karma’ is actually a Sanskrit word, Sanskrit being a sacred language more than 5,000 years old. The concept of karma seems to have originated in Eastern religions, beginning with Buddhists and Jainists, and then evolving and expanding its meaning through the Hindu and Sikh religions.

Eventually it found its way into the West, into Christianity, Theosophy, New Age philosophy, Spiritism, and Paganism (the law of return or Threefold Law). Even psychology pioneer Carl Jung saw karma as a crucial element in his concept of synchronicity, or ‘meaningful coincidence.’

How does karma work?

In every moment, as you use your free will, think your thoughts, and take action out in the world, you are creating pleasant or unpleasant karma.

Jainism, one of the originators of the concept of karma, teaches that karma is simply a tool, a means for your Eternal Self to thoroughly experience an aspect of life or living, or a theme, through many lifetimes. You revisit the theme until you have gained all the knowledge possible, and until the issues no longer matter to you, until you are no longer emotionally attached to them.

Buddhism teaches that your motives and reactions are every bit as important as any action, saying that ‘unskillful’ actions or causes, in other words ones accompanied by craving, resistance or delusions, are the ones which produce unpleasant events.

Working through karma

Meditation, counseling, spiritual study and other self-actualizing techniques help you learn to approach things from a higher perspective, to take life less personally. They help you, bit by bit, to stop being a host for ‘unskillful’ motives such as craving, fantasy or resistance—in other words, to achieve emotional maturity and detachment.

As Carl Jung once said regarding unresolved emotions and the synchronicity of karma, “When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.”

So, rather than being the Fickle Finger of Fate, or the booby prize in the Lottery of Life, karma is actually the natural law which allows your Eternal Self to gain broad knowledge, skill, maturity and wisdom while it goes adventuring, one life after another, on this earth plane! I’ll illustrate with one of my own spiritual experiences.

A shift in perspective

Several years ago my Spirit Guides gave me a funny but life-changing message/experience about the purpose and nature of reincarnation.

On this sunny afternoon years ago, I was sitting at my computer messing with an ancestor of today’s super-popular role playing games. My character was a novice wizard who was such an idiot that he kept dying, taking wrong turns, misreading messages, and generally making progress toward winning the game impossible. When my revelation occurred, ‘I’ (the wizard) had died for about the tenth time in an hour and I was laughing hysterically at ‘my’ latest pratfall.

Suddenly I popped out of my living room and into a realm of light, and there I could see myself playing my game…and I could see my Higher Self sitting above and behind me, playing me and experiencing just as much fun and excitement and laughter as I was…and I could see and feel a vastly powerful, primal archangelic energy above and beyond my Higher Self, playing it (and thousands of others), and having just as much fun as the rest of us. Filling and surrounding all that was a blindingly brilliant, resonant presence of Light and Being which is beyond my ability to quantify or describe which emanated: ‘This is the truth of life!’

As my Guides and the Source taught me that day, rather than being about doom and gloom, karma is, instead, a mechanism of the great game of life which our Eternal Selves participate in for adventure, for learning, for growth, and for the sheer joy of it! And our mission (should we choose to accept it) is to experience life, and karma, exactly the same way.

Do you agree? Have an experience or insight you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you …

Want to know more about your Karma and Life Path?

Check out these Karma posts: Understanding Karma; Karma, Your Life Path & Numerology; and Fate versus Destiny-Free Will, Karma & the Law of Attraction; and Your Karma & Life Path Revealed: Astrology & the Nodes by Sign.

And these Life Path posts: Do You Know Your Life Theme?; Astrology & Your Life Theme; Numerology & Your Life Purpose, Path or Theme, and Your Karma & Life Path Revealed: Astrology & the Nodes by Sign.

Want to learn more ? This and other in-depth discussions – including ways to use find surprising insights using astrology, numerology and Tarot – are in my book Embracing Life in a Challenging World.

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This article originally appeared on the CaliforniaPsychics.com blog, and is published with the permission of Outlook Amusements, Inc., the owner and operator of California Psychics ®.

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