Thoughts on Karma
In this week’s video Mark and Darren discuss what karma is, how it works, and its real purpose. Discover the true nature of karma as a logical, all-encompassing principle, which exists to teach us life’s essential lessons so we can grow and evolve.
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It’s not just a moral thing. It encompasses all consciousness, and every aspect of consciousness, which means everything because there is consciousness in everything… Every experience you go through is a result of your karma, yes, but it is not to punish you. It’s so that you can learn and grow…. I’m not trying to say suffering doesn’t matter because it’s all about growth. It’s not like that at all. But there is a reason for it.
[Mark] I think another thing you need to look at when you’re talking about suffering is, of course, the law of karma, as well.
And there’s a lot of nonsense spoken about karma, unfortunately. And, I would go as far as to say that some of that nonsense is just downright evil. Because at its worst, the misunderstanding of karma actually seems to justify selfishness and even cruelty. And this is not what karma is about at all. It is the complete opposite of how we should apply an understanding of this wonderful, all pervasive, natural principle.
So, first of all, what is karma? Looking at it in a very simple way, it’s “what goes around, comes around.” “Do good, good comes back to you.” A little bit more profound than “what goes around, comes around” is the description of karma as it exists in the Bible, “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” So that’s very precise, that whatever we sow we will reap. It’s a very definite statement. It’s not like “maybe”, or “hopefully”. It’s definite.
Probably more profound than that is the Buddhist notion of karma, that action and reaction are opposite and equal, which is also, interestingly enough, Newton’s third law of motion, which shows I think just how all-pervasive this law is. It’s not just a moral thing. It encompasses all consciousness, and every aspect of consciousness, which means everything because there is consciousness in everything.
[Darren] It’s the fabric of it all.
[Mark] Absolutely; the fabric of creation. And this is how we should view karma. We shouldn’t think of a logical universe and then you’ve got karma sort of placed on top of that in some kind of supernatural way. It’s not like that at all. Karma is at the very axis of logic. Even of physics, of everything, of how the universe functions. It’s just that in spiritual terms we tend to think of it more as a matter of whether or not you’re doing good or doing bad, and whether good things are happening to you or bad things are happening to you. The purpose of this law is not to punish, but to teach. So, every experience you go through is a result of your karma, yes, but it is not to punish you. It’s so that you can learn and grow.
And it’s very difficult… it’s easy to talk about, but it’s very difficult to really apply that appreciation to your life. Especially if you’re going through something bad, and you think “yeah well, this is all to help me grow”, and you think… But it doesn’t make it necessarily any easier to go through the ordeal so I’m not trying to… I’m not trying to say suffering doesn’t matter because it’s all about growth. It’s not like that at all. But there is a reason for it.
Now, one of the worst misunderstandings about Karma is a very simplistic idea that if you look at someone you can tell how spiritually advanced they are by how well their life seems to be going. So someone who is clever, rich and handsome is therefore deemed to be more spiritually evolved than someone who is maybe ill and has financial problems and is depressed. In actual fact, the exact reverse may be the case.
You just can’t judge on that kind of a superficial level because one aspect of karma is that if you are more advanced then you’re going to go through certain experiences which are more difficult, perhaps, than the average person. It’s a bit like, if you’re very clever at school it doesn’t mean that you then stop going to school and don’t have to do any homework. More likely you’re going to then go to a university which is more stressful. Why? Because you’re learning more. Whereas the person who wasn’t very good at school – wasn’t very interested at school, maybe stops studying at 16 and never looks back. So, it’s as ridiculous to say that the person whose life seems to be going well is more advanced as it is to say that the person who is studying the least is the cleverest.
[Darren] In one way, one key might be, how well that person is enduring that difficult experience and able to come out of that with the lessons that are to be learned.
[Mark] I think that’s a very interesting point. You see some people who seem to have everything and yet make a great big fuss about the tiniest little thing that doesn’t seem to be right in their life, and you have other people who have terrible problems and they always have a smile on their face, and they seem to just sail through it because they have such a good attitude.
In this week’s video Mark and Darren talk more about karma and how it really works. Is there such a thing as karmic reward? Can karma be instant? Can we change our karma? How does karma apply to money, wisdom and responsibility?
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That really is what karma is about. It’s about giving you the lessons so that you can be of more good.
Spiritual advancement is earning greater and greater opportunity to be of service, which is the living pattern of divinity.
[Mark] One very important aspect of karma, and I think perhaps the most important aspect, is that karma is not really about rewarding people in the kind of sense that we on Earth think of reward.
So, let’s say just to pick a simplistic example to illustrate a point, let’s say in this life you have £100,000 and you give it all to some very good cause. Now, in your next life, or a future life, that could then mean that you were born into quite a wealthy environment where you had even more money.
So you think, okay, so that’s – this is how some people regard it anyway – so that’s your karmic reward. Well that’s true up to a point but it doesn’t mean that you should then just spend your money however you like on all kinds of ridiculous pleasures because you feel you deserve it. The karmic reward is that then you have the opportunity to do even more good. And that really is what karma is about. It’s about giving you the lessons so that you can be of more good.
So if you do something tremendously good for the world in one life, what that’s going to do is speed up your evolution, which may mean that you have to go through certain very difficult experiences quite quickly, which an ordinary person who just leads a normal life will not have to go through.
[Darren] Yeah I think that’s fascinating because when you really take it down to what is spiritual advancement, spiritual advancement is earning greater and greater opportunity to be of service, which is the living pattern of divinity.
[Mark] Absolutely. Absolutely. And it’s about… Service isn’t always what you might think it is, in that, I just gave the example there… a financial example. But there’s more to service than just money, of course. Money can be tremendously powerful, if used in the right way for good. However, I mean one of the most important things in service is wisdom, because unless you have at least some wisdom you’re not going to be able to be of any service anyway because you won’t know what service to give and how to give it. And the more wisdom you have, the more you can be of service. Dr. George King has actually said that an enlightened beggar has more karmic responsibility than an unenlightened King.
The more wisdom you have, the more you can be of service… This is the whole point of knowing about karma – so we can change it. And we can change it, all the time.
[Darren] Actually bringing it back to Dr. King, I think one the most inspiring things that he taught is that your karma isn’t just your karma and then you have to work through it. You can manipulate your karmic pattern throughout your lives in order to create those experiences in future…
[Mark] Yeah I mean this is the whole point of knowing about karma – so we can change it. And we can change it, all the time.
You might think “Well, if it can be changed then does that mean that it’s not a precise law?” No, not at all. Think of gravity. Think of karma as being like gravity. If you drop something on the ground, it will fall always, unless maybe somebody catches it halfway down or there’s a strong gust of wind that blows it somewhere else. So that doesn’t mean that gravity doesn’t exist. And it’s very similar with karma I think because karma works through time, as does everything in creation. It’s not instant. There’s no such thing as instant karma. Karma is sometimes quick, sometimes slow, sometimes may take many lives to work out. It’s not all in the next life. Some of it could be in this life. Some of it could be a long way into the future.
This series features Mark Bennett and Darren Ball. Mark Bennett is an International Director of The Aetherius Society, and co-author of Prayer Energy and the award-winning title Gods, Guides and Guardian Angels. www.markinfo.co.uk
Darren works as a volunteer for The Aetherius Society and is the creator of The Twelve Blessings website. You can learn more about Darren here.
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