Can Karma Be Changed?

“KARMA: In Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, karma is the quality of a person’s current and future lives as determined by that person’s behavior in this and in previous lives.”

I remember when I first considered the ideas of reincarnation and karma. The suggestion that I had lived before felt instinctively right (and helped me to better understand certain dreams) but when I heard the word karma I thought, “Ouch!”

I wonder who first said, “What goes around, comes around,” putting the Bible’s teaching, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap,” into modern lingo? Haven’t we all thought it, “What goes around, comes around, idiot,” especially at school and work, and in the car?

Above and beyond our thoughts of, “You’ll get yours,” what is karma? I think of it as a reflection of our state of being, a sum total of our level of consciousness as we enter a lifetime. Though we are given the free will to choose between basic styles of living–inflicting violence or bestowing blessings–the universe does seem to have some laws of its own, such as, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It makes sense that we end up as, and with, the results of what we ourselves have done. How’d you like to get randomly stuck with someone else’s karma? Can you imagine the bitterness we’d instinctively feel?

I have read about a place in the invisible world called the Akashic Records, where all of our thoughts, feelings and actions from every lifetime are said to be recorded. One night I had a dream and was in a giant room filled with row upon row of stacked floor-to-ceiling drawers. I walked to my drawer, pulled it open and took out several cards from the middle, each one showing me records from different lifetimes. “Holy sh-t!” I thought and shoved my drawer closed and awakened instantly.

So, what are we to do about what we have done? We are to use each successive lifetime to learn and grow, to ‘know ourselves,’ and eventually return to our heavenly birthplace. This growing is not forced upon us, but the reaping part of, “As we sow, so shall we reap,” becomes much darker and heavier if we don’t. There are some wonderful ideas about letting go of the past, and changing our lives by changing what we believe and how we live, at the blog, Sending Joy. And while it is true that nothing happens in error, we are all related here on Earth and thus share a group-karma, which can be elevated through love and compassion and giving our best selves to each other. Every kindness, and every act of forgiveness, makes us better people and heals the whole.


6 thoughts on “Can Karma Be Changed?

  1. I like this post. The idea of reincarnation (and necessity of karma of some sort) seems logical if one accepts that life is not just material and mechanistic, but also spiritual and meaningful.

    The part about group karma and us all being related touches one of the biggest arguments against reincarnation/karma: if people all get what they deserve, why help others? Do we really think that Africans starving all deserve it? In the Christian Bible, Matthew 25, Jesus describes the final judgment. For those who want to take the Bible literally, this chapter implies a kind of pantheism, because what you do or do not do to others, you do or do not do to God. So maybe we’re all connected at a level we don’t perceive (Plotinus, the Roman Philosopher, posited that we are all part of “The One” with differences caused only by having different perspectives on reality).

    In any event, it makes sense that helping others (learn, grow, survive, handle difficult times) also helps ourselves — and as yous ay, elevates us all.

    I also like your emphasis of Karma as learning. That makes more sense than some kind of strict balance that you’ll suffer as much suffering as you cause. In fact, that could be a key to the power of forgiveness — if you can forgive others, you can forgive yourself and break free of being burdened by consequences of past choices.

    (By the way, back in 1991, while living in Germany I wrote a story over a three day period called “Dreams” about all these issues — my spiritual view on life, really — which I can send to you if you’re interested. I never tried to publish it.)

    • Hi Scott, I would love to read your story! Thank you for offering to share it:
      And yes, you say it better than I–“that could be a key to the power of forgiveness — if you can forgive others, you can forgive yourself and break free of being burdened by consequences of past choices”–that is our great hope, isn’t it, that as we forgive, we will be forgiven? It may be as simple as our “vibrations,” our mode of being, that keeps us in revenge/guilt or forgiveness/joy. For sure, now is the time for change.

  2. “What goes around, comes around” that’s what keeps me from getting upset regarding apparent injustices. However, I also keep in mind that the subjective “I” gets in the way of the ‘truth’, so it’s best not to judge in the first place.
    Reincarnation makes sense to me as well, although in one dream years ago I was shown how there’s no passing of time (reincarnation) outside of time and space – but when I woke up my mind could again not grasp the concept.

    • Hi Anita, Thank you for communicating–I so appreciate your time and attention to do so.
      What an enlightening dream! I think about this sometimes, that we exist here on Earth in this space/place, and every day the hours pass and the sun rises to start another day, and yet we also exist in the “being” place with God, where there is no time! I think the great teachers have always said, “Meditate. Go within. There you will find the truth,” and they’re right. In this busy world, at the ever-increasing pace of life, how could we otherwise find the place of “being”? You meditator, you!

  3. I read about Akashic Records a few weeks ago. I don’t understand it really. Maybe that’s my entire problem?

    “we are all related here on Earth and thus share a group-karma, which can be elevated through love and compassion and giving of ourselves to others. Every kindness, every act of forgiveness, heals.” No truer words have been spoken! It’s almost eerie!

    • I’ve heard of people who have read their own Akashic Record. Seems a very courageous thing to me! Edgar Cayce spoke quite a bit about them in his trance state. You know how from somewhere (Arizona?) they’re broadcasting news reports to the universe, hoping other life forms will pick up on us? I think of the Akashic Records like that, as literal recordings of us, and it makes sense, I guess. I figure if we all work on that “group karma,” our own records will be cleansed a bit. I hope so, anyway.

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