What is Karma?
Karma is not a word I like to use, It’s meaning has become almost a joke to mean ‘what goes around comes around’. We use phrases like ‘karma’s a bitch’ or smile with smug satisfaction when someone who has hurt us has something unpleasant happen to them.
The meaning of the term karma has it’s origins in Sanskrit and literally means act, action or deed – the idea being that we determine our own destinies through our behaviour towards others.
Whilst I don’t believe in the theory that doing something bad in this life will soon come back to bite us, those of us that believe in life after death, reincarnation, past lives etc. need to consider what may have happened in past lives. My own belief is that we reincarnate to progress as enlightened souls.
Let’s look at some examples:
- In a past life we had little empathy for those that were ill or suffering. We may come back and follow a career in healing in some form. If we learn this lesson then we can move on.
- Maybe in a past life we treated our partner very badly, maybe abusively, maybe by cheating. We may choose to return and do better this time. We don’t necessarily have to reincarnate with the person we did this to – we just have to be in a position where this could happen again and make the right choices this time.
- It’s possible we did something really bad – we can all imagine the sort of things that might be. We may even do it again in this life but the hope is that we don’t – or at the very least we improve, make progress. Take an extreme example. Suppose we took a gun and shot the wife and her lover. Clearly not doing that again is a step forward but so is punching out the lover. We are not perfect beings and to expect instant success may be unrealistic.
- Karma, if we are going to call it that, can also be passive. For example, we may have suffered depression in a past life and, for whatever reason, we failed to get support. In this life we may have chosen to repeat this, allowing other people to treat us differently, thus moving on with their life path. Perhaps we too can learn from this by allowing people to help us when we need it.
One of the most problematic aspects of karma is unresolved feelings from a past life, meaning we experience thoughts and feelings that aren’t our own. It can be something simple, like panicking in water. This happens to be one of my own phobias including acute panic at the thought of not being able to breathe. It can be something simple like a drowning or near drowning in a past life or it can be more complex.
This is a good time to mention soul groups in reincarnation. Suppose you were persecuted in a past life? You may choose to reincarnate with your persecutor – the reasons for this can be very complex and something we are not meant to know in this life. Knowing why we are here would defeat the whole objective. However sometimes glimpses of past lives can prevent us moving on. Getting a little background can help us let go of that and get on with our lives.