Karma is a popular word, but what is it and what does it actually mean?
Karma is neither punishment nor reward; it is simply the spiritual principle of cause and effect where an individual’s intentional act (thought, word or deed) influences their own future outcomes, good or bad. What we sow we reap.
Now this may sound good in theory, but sometimes karma appears slow to serve. For example, a person may act deceitfully and immorally yet still seem to thrive and succeed while people who are acting out good deeds of kindness and moral behaviour seem to reap very little.
How can this be a karmic result, a natural law of justice, for that person’s actions?
We can argue that the seeds of our actions take time to grow, but if people don’t get their rightful retribution, good or bad, it leaves an unresolved contradiction that just doesn’t seem fair. It is sometimes hard to accept that everything is occurring in perfect order and the cosmic events of the universe are greater and more intricate than we can imagine.
We carry karmic matter over from our past lives, to be resolved in this one, for our spiritual growth and we continue to reap what we sow. So while the karma bus may seem to have forgotten somebody or even broken down, rest assured it is on its way, it just may take time or it may have arrived in the most subtle of ways that can’t be seen.
Karma can be a complex phenomenon and the Buddha points to a much deeper truth of the matter. Spiritual growth and evolution is a psychological endeavour rather than a physical one so our actions, whether they are kind and loving or nasty and selfish, will determine the kind of headspace we are in.
The more a person’s thoughts, speech and actions are motivated by harmful intentions such as greed and hatred, the more toxic they will become and the more they will suffer, regardless of outward appearances. When a person acts from a place of generosity and compassion they are likely to be happier and less susceptible to suffering.
We will never be able to dodge all of life’s bullets; our souls have experienced a wide variation of lives generating karma from all sorts of deeds over life times, but if our current intentions come from a place of compassion and kindness we are acting from a place of wisdom that is likely to get us through life’s challenges with greater ease. Focus on your own ability to act from a place of love and let karma deal with those that don’t, because it will eventually.