Updated: Apr 23
Many religions and people believe in Karma. It is an idea that has truth in it, that what you put out comes back to you, whether good or bad. "What goes around comes around"
Good and bad are of course subjective ideas.
According to the University of Bristol -
"Karma is found within many forms of Indian religion including Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. In Sanskrit karma (Pali: kamma) means 'action'. It is linked to systems of cause and effect, as well as being a key factor in rebirth."
In the Bible there are many verses that elude to "reaping what you sow" which is based on cause and effect or karma. The following are a few verses:
"Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness."
- James 3:18
"As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it."
- John 4:8
"Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it."
- Proverbs 11:27
"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows."
- Gal 6:7
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
- Gal 6: 9
Typically people see over time that doing good for others, being ethical or doing the right thing and having a positive outlook will bring rewards if they are consistent. And conversely, if you act in ways that harm others or have a bad attitude, it seems things do not go well.
When it gets confusing is when bad things happen to good people and people who hurt others seem to go unpunished. It makes you question why. Something to keep in mind is God's timing. This is what is meant by "God works in mysterious ways." We don't always understand it at the time and might think, "why is this happening to me?"
Sometimes things that seem bad end up being the best outcome. For example if someone did a great job but they still got laid off, then go seek work and end up landing the job of their dreams. Or someone broke your heart and later you end up meeting the love of your life. In order for better things to enter your life, the Universe has to make room for them.
So what about the ones that seem to get away with everything and no punishment ever seems to follow their actions? Well things might seem to look okay on the outside, but what is actually true can be another story. They could be miserable on the inside, have things happen you don't see or have repercussions that follow them later down the road. Usually things will catch up to them.
For those who believe in reincarnation, they may say that your karma is earned and passed down from lifetime to lifetime. Also I think the concept of heaven and hell in an afterlife could be viewed as extreme karma. At least in the Eastern thought, you keep getting another chance to evolve in subsequent lifetimes. In religious Metaphysics heaven and hell are not actual places, but metaphors for enlightenment and separation from God. God is Love so I think eternal damnation and punishment is the complete opposite of love. Where is the forgiveness, peace and love in that concept? I digress.
A word of caution here, not everything that happens to you is your fault or the result of karma. We do not control other people who have their own free will and make their own decisions. Lives intersect, accidents happen and paths cross. We must be careful not to blame victims saying it was their karma for some atrocities that happen to them. Victim blaming based on karma would be an abuse of religion or spirituality. And we must allow for natural causes that can happen to anyone like catastrophic weather. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. Sometimes bad things happen to good people and innocents.
The concept of karma allows for you to put more positive energy and kindness into in the world, it will be deposited in the bank of the Universe, and then it is returned to you in some way in the future. The more you give without expecting a reward, the more you will receive. This is the nature and law of the Universe.
Yin and Yang. You are human so will feel all the emotions and no one has a life that is completely smooth. It is more about trying to find something good in situations so you don't stay in the lower vibrations for long. Also awareness helps us choose our feelings in some situations. Try it the next time you start to feel upset. See if you can change your thinking and feelings on purpose in the moment. You really can change an entire sequence of events by your reaction. The more you do it, the more natural it becomes.
God bless you, have a great week and Namaste.
Rev. S. Castle