“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.