Notions of Karma have long since entered into our popular culture. The late great John Lennon sang of “Instant Karma” and I am sure we have all felt it or even wished it upon someone else at some point in our lives. The flamboyant 80's singer Boy George sang about a Karma Chameleon and to some extent we are coloured by Karma and its effect on our lives.
But what exactly is Karma? Is it a philosophy? An idea? A way of explaining cause and effect or co-incidence? Is it something very real that impacts our daily lives? The answer is all the above and more. In the Christian spiritual tradition Christ tells us quite clearly “as ye sow, so shall ye reap”. In these simple words he explains how every action binds us to this earthly sphere. And rest assured it will have its consequences. Remember also that we create both golden chains and leaden ones, meaning that even our “good deeds” will bind us here, others may become indebted to us, and thus the cycle of Karma continues.
Indian Vedic philosophy tells us that there are three kinds of Karma, New Karma (Kiryaman) – We build this by using our own free will and life choices. Fate or Destiny Karma (Pralaba) – this is assigned to a soul when it commences a new life. Stored or Reserved Karma (Sinchit) – gathered from acts done in previous lives. Some of our new Karma may be “paid off” or balanced during the same life but any excess, and there usually is some, is carried over and stored. Even when the soul leaves the body at death and passes into the Astral World, it is assigned to a part of that world where it belongs as a result of good or bad Karmas.
So we can see the complexity of our predicament! Could it be that the concept of Purgatory evolved from knowledge that if a man had been an evil soul, after death some time may be spent in some sub-astral region, where he may meditate on his wrong doings and suffer the consequences of his actions? And if we do subscribe to the reality of reincarnation, just imagine what debts we have accrued in thousands of lifetimes! Saints and Mystics tell us that if we could feel the weight of our own Karma we would be unable to walk two steps.
In my Tarot readings Karma often presents itself in the Justice card – now it is time you get your Just Desserts! Or the Tower card – what’s been coming to you is now here with a bang! Or the Six of Pentacles – your debts are to be paid or collected, a chance to give and take.
Whatever our beliefs it is quite clear that the Universe has formulated over aeons an exact method of accountability, a method of administration so precise that no human action will escape it. Be watchful, be mindful our aim is to lose all shackles and be released from all earthly debts. That is true freedom.