I’ve heard people tell me they’d like some of that karma, they need karma… like it was protein! I’ve heard others say, I’m going to send good karma your way… like it was a Hallmark card! Karma isn’t a treat nor is it punishment. You can’t give it to anyone other than yourself. In fact, you don’t give it; you make it.
Karma is much more like a ripple.
It’s like a ripple in a very, very big pond – a pond the size of the universe. It’s a very mighty ripple because once sent out, it eventually hits some boundary and starts to return to you. In metaphysics, I learned that karma returns to you for good or bad three times the energy that you sent out (but of that I remain skeptical). Karma is to be understood more as energy waves. A wave of energy, a type of frequency. And most of all, essentially God’s teaching device.
Why do I say this? Because it’s a much more effective way to learn compassion and sensitivity – the highest values of life – if you are on the receiving end of your own previous actions and choices than if it were just explained to you about how it works. You can be educated in the values of being nice to your fellow man; you can even suffer humanity’s punishments when you transgress; but nothing is going to drive home the lesson better than karmic comeuppance regarding what it feels like to be the recipient of callous, insensitive, and downright harmful actions that people have done to each other since the dawn of time.
Nothing drives home the lesson as soundly as experiencing it from the other side of the coin.
From actions as unwise as abandoning your loved ones by an act of choice rather than because of dire circumstances, to brutalities such as rape, mutilation and murder, people may inflict this suffering upon others, perhaps without remorse, perhaps even with a sense of enjoyment, and what is there to really chastise them? What is there to rap their knuckles strongly enough that the lesson about wrongdoing is driven home? Maybe it’s life imprisonment or the death sentence, or maybe it’s the shunning from one’s community or relatives, or maybe it’s the fear of hell for sinful choices. But the history of humankind nevertheless is replete with instances of cruelty and even evil behavior towards others. And yes, there are some who, by the end of their lives, feel remorse for their behaviors but they are rather the exception than the rule.
However, now we can talk about what karma really is, and why it is such a perfect teaching device because it answers the question often asked, How can God let bad things happen to good people?
When one person hurts another or removes their free-will choice, that do-er creates negative karma for him/herself.
This in turn establishes a one-to-one relationship between the two individuals, the repercussions of which are usually felt in the next life when the person who has foisted the harm or removal of free choice finds him/herself in the position of being on the receiving end of similar circumstances in that new life. He or she may be the one who is abandoned or falsely imprisoned. Also, tyrannized. And to that individual (not to mention the rest of the world), it looks as though that person is an innocent victim. But is that the case? Or is it simply Stage Two of the learning program – the point at which callous actions are felt, by standing in the other guy’s shoes?
The phrase instant karma was made popular by John Lennon and The Beatles. Instant karma’s gonna get you! This refers to the same operation, only the time span is shortened, and instead of having to wait until your next incarnation, you feel the results immediately or soon enough to know what it feels like when what goes around, comes around.
To be perfectly clear about this ripple effect called Karma, there also needs to be mentioned good karma.
These are actions that are done out of kindness and compassion, often not even with regards for gain or personal advantage. And yes, the same individual can create both negative and positive karma within a lifetime. Think of a mobster who donates money to a hospital for a new wing.
When one sees news stories about women being locked up by mad rapists in their basement, it becomes possible to imagine karmic debt as that which the soul deliberately chooses to pay off, rebalance, rectify, and accept… or on the flip side, to surmise a different karmic scenario when you hear about a woman who saved her modest salary throughout her life to put nineteen stranger kids through college. Both of these actions can be seen as teaching, balancing, learning, payback, softening, healing, and empowering choices.
Once you understand karma as waves of energy – contrails in the Akasha – you will never again think of it as greeting cards or as hell. If you think of God as a perfect teacher, you’ll see the pupil’s need to make mistakes and suffer their consequences in order to learn and grow, but certainly not to be left under the guidance of that which wants you to fail ultimately.
Next time: Karmic Ties
Judi Thomases is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire online magazine.
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