Long-term empirical research tells us that the concept of karma is valid, though we regularly encounter people with misconceptions about the spiritual tenet.
For example, we received this anonymous e-mail recently: “Who are you to tell anyone they deserve what happens to them. This is your belief, not a fact. I do not believe in karma. Period. You people have your views, and they’re your views, but kindly accept that there are those who disagree.”
Actually, we’ve never said that people “deserve what happens to them.” That statement implies a vengeful god that punishes people for their sins.
We don’t believe anyone deserves to be conned, robbed, murdered, raped, or forced to endure any other atrocities that regularly occur on planet Earth.
The truth, as we see it, is actually quite different, and to understand it you must view it from a spiritual perspective.
Spiritual laws of the universe go far beyond the third dimensional physical plane, which is why it’s impossible to escape full personal responsibility for every one of your actions.
Definition of Karma
We define karma as everything you do, say, or intend–starting from when your soul first existed–which could have been thousands of years ago, on Earth or elsewhere–coming back to you in equal measure. Your karma today is mostly what your soul created before this life.
Virtually everyone alive today has lived multiple existences and generated both positive and negative karma; everyone has been both a “good person” and a “bad person,” many times.
Spiritual laws are like gravity–they simply exist. A cat jumps out the window of the thirtieth floor. A witness states, “The cat got what it deserved.” Well, yes, the law of gravity dictates that it won’t end well, but saying that the cat deserved it sounds rather cruel. It’s simply what happens when the cat jumps out the window, according to the immutable law of gravity.
Likewise, pillaging that village 10,000 years ago has consequences, even though you were following orders and thought you got away with it.
7 Key Findings About Karma
1. As mentioned above, most of the karma you endure (or enjoy, if rewarding) originates from prior existences, not this life.
2. Karma isn’t instant. What you do today may not come back to you for lifetimes, though if you do the right thing, the positive situations and feelings you generate (if you’re not a sociopath) sure can make your current existence more pleasant.
3. Negative circumstances and events in a person’s life may not be karma, but instead part of a soul plan to help others. For example, a person who suffers discrimination may not have discriminated against others in a previous life, but the situation brings attention to the problem of discrimination and helps to reduce the amount of discrimination in the future.
4. As long as you treat people fairly, respectfully and don’t cause intentional harm, you aren’t generating negative karma. For instance, divorcing your spouse won’t incur negative karma as long as you do so peacefully. What is best for you is often best for everyone else, even if they resist it. Note: false guilt can generate karmic circumstances.
5. Unfulfilled desires aren’t always rooted in negative karma. You may cherish the idea of a perfect love relationship and yearn for it, yet never attain it. It’s not because of negative karma, but unrealistic expectations.
6. Sometimes a challenging situation is not about karma but instead a helpful lesson for you. For example, you realize much later in life that the strife in your family relationships you painstakingly endured helped you solidify your convictions and make you a stronger person, which will serve you well in your next lifetime.
7. Sometimes difficult times are not karmic payback, but your collective timing. Our findings show that life is cyclical and that everyone’s timing is different. If your timing is not conducive to your goals at this time, it very well may be in the future. Hang in there.
Now that you know karma isn’t a dubious explanation of life circumstances, that cause and effect is a valid spiritual law, you can avoid the blame and victimization game and act with a fresh perspective.
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Copyright © 2015 Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo