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What is Karma?

This article was written by Florence Wagner McClain on May 14, 2002
posted under Past Life Regression

Karma is the law of cause and effect. Simply that, and nothing more. Of all the misunderstood and abused aspects of reincarnation, karma heads the list. When something unpleasant happens, it is very common to see people who don't even believe in reincarnation shrug their shoulders and hear them say, "Must be my karma." This is unfortunate because it perpetuates the idea that anything bad or unpleasant is karma, and gives a distorted idea of what karma is. If you want a definition of karma in Biblical terms, karma is reaping what you sow. Or, you might define karma as the meeting of self.

For every action there is a reaction. This is a Universal law, and is unchanging and beyond our control. What is within our control is the action we do or the cause we set into motion, and the attitudes with which we deal with the reactions or effects.

Since karma is neither good nor bad, then it is the applications we make of it which makes it into a negative or positive influence in our lives. Karma was never intended as a system of rewards and punishments. The intent of the law of karma is to teach us that we are personally responsible for our lives, and to help us learn to live in harmony with the Universe.

Through the use of past life regression, it is possible to gain an overall view of the various causes or cycles that we have set into motion in other lifetimes that are continuing to have an effect on this present life. This is like opening the doors of a treasure vault. Laid out in front of you is one of the greatest treasures man can have—knowledge. You can see the error in judgment you have made, and the results of those errors. You can see how to take advantage of the situation, turn it into something beneficial, and avoid repetition of those mistakes.

The Treasure Chests of Recovered Knowledge

In those treasure chests of your far memory is all the knowledge you have acquired in all your many lifetimes. That knowledge can be reviewed and retrieved. In other treasure chests of your mind there are the skills and talents you have developed in other lifetimes. Those skills and talents are there for you to remember and use if you choose.

In still other niches of your mind may be the emotional records of traumatic events which may have happened in other lifetimes. These events may hold the answers to that terrible fear you have of fire, heights, snakes, or the dark. The fact that you starved to death in another lifetime may just be the last piece of information you need to get in control of that weight problem. Being able to remember the events which are at the roots of such problems, one can understand, release the trauma or influence, and no longer be affected by it.

Part of our responsibility in dealing with our karma is to make certain that we are not allowing ourselves to be controlled by such past events. Also, through past life regression we can determine whether we have exercised our free will in the wisest manner in choosing how to deal with our karma.

If a person still believes that karma is meant as a system of punishment and reward, he or she may have chosen a hard and unnecessary pathway for himself or herself. For instance, if he or she caused someone to suffer mentally or physically in a past life, he or she may have chosen a life filled with suffering as a means to atone. To deliberately generate more suffering and misery in the world does not atone, and does not benefit anyone. If, however, through a desire to make up for suffering caused in other lifetimes, he or she turns his or her efforts to the alleviation of suffering, this brings positive benefits for all concerned.

Perhaps the saddest misunderstanding and misuse of karma is the person who uses it as an excuse to avoid helping others. More people than one might suppose use a distorted idea of karma to avoid personal responsibility. "Oh, I wouldn't dream of helping that person. It may be his karma to be... (sick, hurt, hungry, in danger, etc.). I wouldn't want to overrule God's will." This presupposes several things, and expresses much arrogance. First, it suggests that it is "God's Will" that people be miserable in some way. Then there is the arrogant assumption that if it was God's will, they could overrule it. That doesn't say much for some people's opinion of a Supreme Being. But—if you want to suppose all the above, then how do you know that it isn't your karma to help that person? None of that philosophy fits into the balanced, logical framework of reincarnation and karma.

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