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What Is Karma - How Does It Affect Us?

Karma is a religious belief that has been around for millennia in similar forms. It can sometimes be seen as a complicated process, but the simplicity of karma lies in its concept that "what we put out there is what we get back", or "we reap what we so".

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Is karma unkind or unjust? Does it affect everyone? It is not really true that karma is a bad thing, unless of course we do misdeeds that we may have course to regret. The main concept of karma is a very old one indeed, expelled in such religions as Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Taoism to name a few. Recently it made a resurgence through Theosophy and New Age thinking. Karma is definitely not everyone's cup of tea however, and many people baulk at the idea that it is some form of punishment.

The teaching of karma can get a bad reputation for this reason, but when we look at the original teachings and their intent, we can see karma as an impersonal concept of Balance, that of balancing energy that we, as creators, put out into the universe. The eastern religions are very strong on balance, whether it is regarding health, the mind, the emotions and in all things.

What is Karma?

Karma can be described as the sum total of all of our thoughts and deeds over time that require balance either in the present or a future time. Once karma is created, it continues to exist until it has achieved balance. We are rewarded when the "effect" of our good deeds return to us, and likewise we receive challenging experiences as the result of so-called bad karma returning. Negative karma is only generated when we harm other living things like other people, animals or even the planet's living ecosystem. Rather than this being a harsh law to swallow, being also called the Law Of Cause and Effect, this law is as a kindness because it helps us to perfect our own behaviour. There seems to be one sure way that the Universe has to teach us to be kinder and more thoughtful, and this way is Karma.

Karma Myth #1

There is a belief that every time something unwanted occurs in our life that this must be karma. Untrue. "Not all bad events are karma", in fact many of the negative things that happen to us in life are not karmic at all. Consider that a robber breaks into our house and takes expensive items. Chances are this has nothing to do with karma - unless we yourself are a robber or have scammed someone financially. Chances are very high that such an event is the result of a desperate person who is creating their own karma, not repaying ours.

Some measure of good karma can protect us from such events happening, but it is by no means a failsafe. Sometimes a negative situation arises for another purpose which, after a measure of time, in fact helps us. Perhaps we receive an insurance payout for the missing items and end up replacing them with much newer possessions. We may never know why an event occurred, be it positive or negative, but only some events are karmic, and not all of them.

Good Karma Is The Payoff

There is a very good side to karma that we may like to consider - the apparently Good karma, when great things happen to us. When something fantastic occurs, it is much more likely to be good karma returning from our past hard work helping others, be it raising children, a kind act, or community work of some kind. Given time, we do get rewarded for all the hard work we do. The key concept here is "given time". Karma is actually very patient and so to receive it, we must sometimes be very patient also.

Is Karma Real?

Whether karma is real or not is ultimately something each person has to divine for themself. By watching closely the results of certain actions we can often get a feel for karma, if not an actual glimpse, though we can never be sure. Sometimes it seems as though some people get away with outrageous behaviour that hurts others again and again whether emotionally, physically or financially. But keep watching because consequences can catch up eventually to balance an unjust situation. Karma is closely linked with Reincarnation and Rebirth, in fact much karma is said to befall us in future life times after being reincarnated.

At the end of the day, no one can convince another of the reality of karma, the theory must be tested over and over again until we can be sure and have faith in its existence. I would personally never try to convince a disbeliever since at the end of the day, there is no proof or certainty other than what we feel inside on the subject.

Karma is a large topic to cover and I am planning a new website about karma; a link to that site will be coming soon. Feel free to check out The Book Of Karma: And Other Spiritual Lore on Amazon. May your karma be good!

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The Book Of Karma
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