For Karma to exist Reincarnation is a necessity. There can be no Karma in a one-life-is-all-there-is existence, and this is possibly why Orthodox Western religions do not recognise or teach this spiritual philosophy. For Orthodox Christian denominations the soul’s salvation can only be achieved through the belief, acceptance and profession that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died that we might be forgiven all our sins. This salvation permits us to live happily ever after in the Kingdom of Heaven. It also allows us to take less personal responsibility for our actions.
Ancient Wisdom teaches that the soul is ever evolving and needs many opportunities to succeed and this is granted through the process of reincarnation. Each lifetime is pre-designed to teach us something to enable the soul to learn, grow and evolve. These experiences or lifetimes are determined by what has happened in the past (which cannot be altered) and are designed to let our soul evolve in order for it to fully return to Source. That process is known as Karma (from the Sanskrit meaning action, word or deed) and is an expression of the Spiritual Law of Cause and Effect. Everything we think, say and do (cause) has an effect, whether intentional or not, that can have wide reaching and often unseen effects.
Karma often gets bad publicity and many, who do not understand it, see it as a punishment. However, Karma is neither a punishment nor a reward. Karma is not a physical force or a Natural Law like, for instance, the Law of Gravity, but is a Spiritual Philosophy.
Every action has a reaction either immediately or at some point in the future, even in later reincarnations. This is the Law of Cause and Effect in operation. At this point we must consider the Eastern concept of Dharma. However, there is no single word translation for this, but can be considered to be the natural order of the Universe and our personal responsibility to carry out our Life Purpose for this incarnation. Thus we must act with right intentions and consequently good thoughts, words and deeds, that is, those in accord with dharma, will have good responses whilst bad thoughts, words and deeds, actions that are not in harmony with dharma, will have bad effects. There is no “good” or “bad” karma as such, and neither can “good” actions negate “bad” actions. What we think, say and do is “recorded” at a Spiritual level and travels with the Soul throughout its journey in the Causal Body. These “recordings” help to determine the nature of the next physical, mental and emotional bodies, and thus the consequences, “good” or “bad” can be transmitted across lifetimes.
Therefore, dharma and karma form a series of cycles through which the soul must pass to achieve its goal which is to learn, grow, evolve and return to the Godhead, and the Law of Cause and Effect allows this to happen over many lifetimes. This is why “bad” things happen to “good” people; God has not deserted us nor is retribution being thrust upon us. We never know what actions someone else’s past lives have contained that require manifestation at this point: we can’t even remember our own past lives in any great detail to work out why things are happening to us.
What also holds us back is the fact that we often forget what our Life Purpose is, or, sometimes, we get deflected from it by well-meaning teachers who imprint their ways and methods upon us at an early age. Often, too, the glamour of the materialistic “attractions” of the physical world lures us away from our true goal. We are unable to discover our true sense of being and lack an interest in serving others, feeling there is no need to consider our life or what happens after death. We can be successful in our jobs but feel thoroughly miserable inside.
What we have to do is work with dharma and learn until we finally break the cycle and return to Source. The key to this is in living our Life Purpose. When we are fulfilling our life purpose we are acting and living responsibly and respectfully. To reduce the possibility of bad consequences in future lifetimes it is important to think about our intentions in our current incarnation and give more consideration to ensuring that our thoughts, words and deeds fit in with our Life Purpose. But if we have forgotten our Life Purpose how do we discover what it was we came to do and learn?
The answer lies within. Self questioning is a key feature of recovering this knowledge.
• What is it that is not quite right with my life at present?
• What talents and gifts do I have?
• What, most of all, would give me the most satisfaction, the most happiness if I could do it and make me feel more passionate?
• What needs to change?
• How can I be of service to others by using these talents and abilities?
If we take time to examine our thoughts and how we spend our time and energy we can gain control of our thinking. We can identify those thoughts that are causing anger, fear, and distrust and transmute them into more positive thoughts.
If we step back from the turmoil of the physical world where ego clashes with ego, where dogma dictates, and stress, pain and hurt abound, and take time to sit in quiet thought to make that connection with our vital spark, how different we could be. Inside each of us are the Universe’s gifts to us. Unwrap them and you will be surprised at what is there.
We will discover peace, tranquillity, a life plan that we set out prior to incarnation. We will discover abundance, wisdom, guidance, help, and so much more. In fact, everything that helps to produce “good” consequences.
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