This is a chapter from the forthcoming book, “The Light,” a compilation by Keidi Keating that features contributions from 21 authors, including John-Roger, Neale Donald Walsch, Don Miguel Ruiz, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Terry Tillman, and Marci Shimoff. It will be available this fall at amazon.com. The Light is about the triumph of the human spirit. Its more practical message is designed to empower readers to find that place of Greatness within via a series of universal truths. Images of the book are available online at http://thelightnetwork.com/thelight
Karma and Destiny
“Every leaf that grows will tell you…What you sow will bear fruit. So if you have any sense my friend, don’t plant anything but LOVE.”
What is Karma?
Karma is the law of cause and effect: as you sow, so you reap. Simply stated, what you put out, you get back. The law of karma, taken beyond the context of a single life, is the foundation for reincarnation. Often, the imbalances that you have created cannot be balanced in one lifetime, so the consciousness returns to this physical level to fulfill the debts incurred and balance the action. The law of karma is a just and perfect system and ensures that those who evolve into Soul consciousness, a positive and liberated state of being, have a deep and true knowledge of all levels of consciousness.
People usually use the word karma to refer to something that is difficult or upsetting, but there is also what can be called “good karma,” where a positive action leads to a positive result. Here, though, I will refer to karma as an imbalance from one time that still needs to be cleared or balanced.
The Law of Cause and Effect
There is often a comparatively large time gap between the instigation of an action and its result. This is one reason it is sometimes difficult for people to recognize the relationship between the cause and the effect. For example, if you steal a car and go joy-riding when you are sixteen, and twenty years later some kids steal your new Cadillac and wreck it, it may be difficult for you to see the connection. But it is there. It is just your action being returned to you.
This also applies from one existence to another, and your Soul has probably had many physical and nonphysical existences prior to this one. However, it is safe for you to consider that almost everything you have in this lifetime is connected in some way to your experiences in past existences. Sometimes the connection is big and obvious; other times, it is subtle. But it really does not matter much if something is “karmic” or not because you still need to handle the situation in this life.
Before incarnation you have free will and you exercise it; after you incarnate, you have free choice. Before you incarnate, you freely choose the various life circumstances you will come in with, such as your parents, country, race, sex and other physical attributes, as well as many possible life scenarios. After you incarnate, you choose and keep choosing which of these many possibilities you wish to follow.
Many people see themselves as the sum of the past, the result of everything they have accumulated along the way, including from past existences. I prefer to look at life another way: the person I am today is perfectly positioned for my future.
“The way I see it, the future, not the past, has put each of us where we are in this moment, in this place, in this position in our lives, so that we can claim the potential that awaits us. In this, there is great freedom, great personal responsibility, and great opportunity to learn.”
Is Karma “Good” or “Bad?”
The earth is a classroom and everyone here is a student. The experiences that come your way, the problems that come your way, are your lessons. So every person you meet is your teacher. If you can keep that in mind as you are going through your day-to-day activities, you may be able to make some tremendous changes and grow very rapidly in your awareness. Problems are beautiful because every time you handle or overcome a problem, your wisdom and knowledge grow. Every time you overcome something, you grow. The problems give you strength to go further, and your karmic situations are your stepping-stones. So love your karma. It is your opportunity to learn and to gain wisdom. By loving even your negative creations, you can shift their energy and release karma.
When you begin to understand karma, you can begin to realize that some actions that appear to be “bad” may be actions of fulfilling karma and, therefore, right and proper within that framework. For example, in a previous lifetime, a mother abandons her child and leaves it in the hands of people who do not really care for the child. Because the mother refused to accept and handle her responsibility for the child, the child grew up unloved, abused, misused, and leading an unhappy, embittered life. The child then re-embodies at some point, grows up, and has a child of her own, who happens to be her mother from the previous life. She may feel no love for her baby and may abandon it, giving it the opportunity to have the same experience and learn what it is like to be abandoned and unloved.
People who observe this might judge this mother for abandoning the child, when she is actually fulfilling the karma and bringing to the other consciousness the experience that is necessary to free it from the karma it had created in that other lifetime. So unless you can read the karmic records and see what is within each person’s heart, it is best not to judge any action that appears to be unusual or cruel. It may be an action that is fulfilling a karmic debt.
Am I saying to dismiss people’s suffering by saying, “Well, it’s their karma?” Not at all. People need your love and compassion, your reaching out and your caring, and it is always helpful to suspend any judgments and say, “I don’t really know what’s going on.” When you understand how the law of karma works, you may find yourself being even more accepting, forgiving, and loving. And when it is in your power to ease another’s pain, do that. This would be with the people directly in your life, and the people you are around. Sometimes it could involve simply being friendly and speaking kindly, offering someone a ride, listening with acceptance to someone talk, and putting yourself in another’s shoes. You may also, of course, feel called to assist others beyond your immediate sphere.
How Can I Be in Harmony with Karma?
One thing you can always do to assist is to love it all—the situation, the people involved, your own distress or upset, the whole thing. Let’s say that you are upset over the violence in the world. When you are in any kind of distress over that, you are in the karma. When you can expand beyond it (that is, rise above it), you can bring in the love. Those are not just words. In your consciousness, you actually move above and expand beyond it. You turn from your thoughts about it and your emotions over it, and you go into the greater part of yourself (the Soul), where there is only love for everything—the violence, the people who perpetrate it, those who are on the receiving end of it, your distress over it, your judgments that it is even allowed—everything. Only through more loving can more things be healed. And if, on some level, you feel responsible for what is happening in the world, you can let that go.
“Your feeling the pain of the world does not decrease the pain. But your loving in the midst of pain can only help.”
The Soul looks at every situation as an opportunity to get more experience and it does not judge anything as good or bad. When we look at things from the point of view of a level other than the Soul or when we identify with something other than the Soul, we can experience suffering. When we identify with the Soul (which is who we truly are) and when we look at things from the Soul’s viewing point, and really know the truth of that, we can have the joy of the Spirit in the midst of suffering on another level, for example, grief, physical pain, etc.
We do not have to suffer to get to God, yet our suffering can serve a purpose because it can make us so uncomfortable that we may say, “There must be something different,” and we may turn to God. The ego and the personality are restricted consciousnesses, and they cannot go into God, although God can come into them. When we begin to give up those restricted consciousnesses and their demands and desires, we may feel pain and suffering on those levels, but it is only because we are still holding on to the restriction and not moving into the freedom of Spirit.
It is important to learn to accept and work with whatever is going on in your life, without placing out too much in the way of judgments or self-recriminations. When you accept, it is easy because accepting is not resisting; it is letting things pass through and saying, “Thank you, Lord, for another wonderful day.” When you can do this, it becomes so much easier to break free from the karma. So do not judge yourself or put yourself down. Just go through the experience, get out the other side as rapidly as possible, and move on. Do not look back; it does not help. Do not burden yourself with guilt and remorse that you may need to handle later. Just let it go.
Even though we all have karma, we can keep our own house in order, taking care of things immediately as they appear on the scene. This life is actually very easy:
do and complete,
do and complete,
do and complete,
do and complete—no karma.
Say you are going to do and then not do—karma.
Start to do and then not finish—more karma.
Feel bad about all that—more karma. And when something happens that really disturbs you, get up instantly and release it. If it is with another person, go to that other person and clear it. If it is something within you, go to work with yourself to change it and bring it into balance so that you are happy and comfortable with yourself. The key to handling any karma, no matter the area or person, is to be loving and forgiving.
If you learn from any disturbance, you will be free of it. If you do not learn, the experience may very well come around again and again, to give you a chance to clear it and get free. You must be free to reach into the spiritual realms and into God consciousness, and you will probably know if your karma in a certain situation or with certain people is complete if there is a neutrality or “clearness” about the situation or person inside you.
And you certainly can release yourself from karma through laughter. Even in your daily life, if you can laugh instead of taking umbrage at some of the things that people say or do, you are already free at that moment, and the situation cannot hang on you.
Surrendering the Past
When you know of the law of karma, you also know that if someone does something to you that you think is unfair, you can just let it go. You know that if it is unfair, the other person will be held accountable for that, through Spirit. You do not have to do anything. You do not have to seek revenge or try to get even. You do not even have to think about it or hang on to the experience at all. You can just learn whatever you can from it, let it go, and go on to your next experience.
An attitude that will help is to realize that people, including you, are doing the very best they can all the time, considering what they are working with and where they are. When you reach into a higher consciousness, you come to the realization that we are all one Spirit in many different manifestations. So if you strike against anyone, you strike against yourself, and that action returns to you. If you curse someone, that curse returns to you—maybe this lifetime, maybe a future lifetime, but it returns. So you might want to look very carefully at the actions, the words, the thoughts, and the emotions that you put out to make sure that they are the kinds of things that you would want returned to you.
We are responsible for our actions all the time, and, at the same time, there is no need to get hung up in past deeds. Awakening to Spirit involves paying attention to what you are doing in the moment, not judging your actions, and doing the best you can at the time. If you have memory of negative past actions, you can forgive yourself for them and for any judgments against yourself, and then be careful not to move into those areas where you know you might get into trouble again. If you do not have memory of the past—and even if you do—just love yourself in the present and be willing to move through your life in the knowledge that those things that are right and proper will occur.
Everything a person does makes both positive and negative karma, though rarely equally. Your attitude is more important than the action; in fact, probably more than any other single thing, the guilt you feel after doing something will bring karma to you. And in whatever you do, be loving and choose wisely. Disturbing action creates karma. Disturbing reaction perpetuates karma. When you change disturbing action to loving action and disturbing reaction to acceptance and understanding, you may experience love, joy, peace, and fulfillment. These divine attributes help maintain the harmony of God’s creation. We can create misery, hurt, fear, revenge, or hatred, or we can create happiness, harmony, confidence, peace, and joy. And each of us makes these choices many times each day.
“When you are dealing with any karmic pattern or situation, your time and focus are much better spent on loving everything in your current life and not trying to go back and figure out anything in the past that might be connected to the karmic situation.”
Spirit is present in each step you take and each movement you make. If you bring your awareness to that each second, you are doing far more for yourself than you would do if you tried to look into the past for causes, reasons, and so on. And, of course, if any memory comes up, you can do any forgiveness that is needed, bring loving to the memory and yourself, and then get on with your life and with loving everything in your life.
The idea of needing to balance everything exactly is the idea of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” (Exodus 21:24). The Christ action through Jesus changed that to grace. The key to grace is forgiveness—continual forgiveness—and it continues until your last breath. Being in a constant state of forgiveness is being in a state of grace.
Coming under grace would be something like, “I didn’t know better, or I would have done better. They didn’t know better, or they would have done better. And in that, I forgive myself and I forgive them. I love me, I love them, and now we move on.” The Soul energy then comes forward and suspends it. It is not just neutralized. It is suspended through grace, and the loving attitude dissolves it. So, you may not have to balance every little thing exactly.
God dwells within you, as you; all you need do is awaken to that presence, and one way to do that is to listen within yourself to God’s loving direction. Ask for God’s will to be manifested through you, and then listen for God’s voice to speak in your spiritual heart. You do not have to be concerned about yourself. All things are already being taken care of. Your true self is moving you forward on your divine destiny, and you do not have to look at your past actions.
“Your ultimate destiny, and the ultimate destiny of each person, is to be consciously aware on all levels at all times and to know your own divinity, to live and be in the presence of the living God and to know that.”
When you do this, you also know the divinity in all things and realize that it is all One. Then, what you do in your life is up to you to decide. You can do any number of things and still fulfill your destiny of knowing God.
How to do the next thing in front of you and then live your life as lovingly as you can:
• Pray to be guided by God and to be aware of that guidance.
• Ask for the Light (the positive energy of Spirit) to manifest.
• Keep your eyes open to see what the Light shines on for your immediate level of concern.
• Read this out loud: “I have the opportunity to change the karmic flow of my life through my ability to be loving. By loving the God in myself and others, I can move into a path of greater unfoldment. Instead of looking at the factors of my life and saying, “That’s my karma, so I can’t help it,” say, “That’s my karma, and I will fulfill it so I am free.” I don’t have to blame the difficulties in my life on karma. Through loving, I can complete my karma.”