KARMA is one of the world’s most popular, if not the most popular, religious/spiritual beliefs.
In a nutshell, Karma is portrayed as the law of cause and effect – what comes around, whether good or bad, goes around.
If you believe in justice, this makes perfect sense. The problem is that, in the form that we usually understand it, it just doesn’t work.
True, we can point to instances when painstaking hard work and often failure has been transformed into positive results – and claim that is Karma.
But the notion everyone is rewarded, or punished, according to their labours inside a single earthly lifetime is clearly way off the mark.
We all know of wonderful human beings who lived short lives and met with appalling, murderous ends – Jesus Christ, if you believe the story, being one – whilst evil doers continue their wicked ways into old age.
Many toil all their lives for very little material reward whilst a small percentage, whether through birthright, a rare talent or apparent good fortune, become outwardly successful.
Karma, however, is more often interpreted through a belief in multiple life times. Ok, so we accept we don’t get our just desserts in three score years and ten, but divine justice is worked out through us returning to the earth again and again. But is there any more evidence for that?
Interestingly, ‘logical’ applications of Karma can lead to beliefs that are cruel and callous.
Many will recall former England football manager Glenn Hoddle losing his job after insinuating that disabled people were paying their dues for their actions in previous lives.
Speaking a few months ago with a devout Hindu, he told me that a proportion of believers would regard a fellow human being in a desperate state, such as poverty or chronic illness, as being punished for their sins.
This means they walk away and do nothing rather than interfere with what they regard as Karma.
Only today I have read a Facebook post from an undoubtedly spiritual person claiming our conditions in this life, whether rich or poor, able or disabled, are a direct result of what happened in previous existences.
The reason right-thinking folk naturally baulk at views such as these is that this form of Karma doesn’t suffer close scrutiny either.
Consider this. If you have returned to the world with a Karmic debt to pay someone you have wronged in a previous life, how could that work in practice? You may well put that one issue right, but what about the mistakes you make in this lifetime? Surely, you would find yourself returning to the earth ad infinitum as it is impossible to live the perfect life.
And would the soul you have just wronged have to be born again and again just so you can settle your debt?
Thinking more globally, if we have evolved and learnt numerous lessons through previous lifetimes, how can our world, with its seemingly unparalleled access to knowledge and technology, be on the verge of self-destruction?
Surely we would have gone beyond the need for war and murdering each other by now?
I believe the reason such beliefs don’t sit well with our natural desire for justice is that we have misrepresented Karma.
Rather than being a means to correct our previous mistakes, I see it as a challenge to increase our level of consciousness.
You can indeed think the same thoughts, fight the same battles and make the same mistakes over numerous lifetimes. That’s why we are spiritually in an even greater mess than in any other time in history.
It matters not whether you are rich or poor, in the fulness of physical health or on your ‘death’ bed, it’s the state of your soul, the essence of your being, that really counts.
Karma is not perfect divine justice but a cycle mankind was condemned to in this particular age.
There existed a time when we had more access to our higher selves, or God if we prefer the symbolism of the Garden of Eden, and had no reason to return to the earth time and time again.
Lifespans then were much longer than they are today, hence the years attributed to some of the major figures in Biblical stories.
But, after the world went through a catastrophe described as the great flood, human life returned in a much more limited form.
Clues have been found by scientists who have revealed that we are able to use only a very small percentage of our brains.
We have been placed within a mind prison in which we are mostly unaware that there is a bigger picture.
We think life only exists on our small planet – and even that is confined to the ‘life’ we can access through our five senses.
We see everything and everyone as distant and apart from us when infact we are intimately linked not only with our family but with all mankind. We are not only part of creation, we are co-creators through our every thought and action.
All we imagine or do automatically comes back to us – but on a soul, rather than a physical, level.
Our task is not to put right the minutiae but to piece together the whole picture and demand our rightful freedom.
You will not come back to earth again because of unfinished business but because you haven’t grasped who and what you truly are.
There’s time for everyone to come to this startling realisation, whether you are a good guy or a sinner in the eyes of the world.
The man dying on the cross with Jesus indeed possessed the very same right to evolve as the Christ himself.
A belief in Karma, in its traditional sense, is a sign of our self-limitation.
We don’t have to repeat the same mistakes on earth. There’s a universe to explore with our names on it!