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The Law of Karma

What goes around comes around.

Science says: “For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.” Jesus of Nazareth says: “… God will judge you in the same way you judge others, and he will apply to you the same rules you apply to others (Mtt 7:2 TEV).” The Yoga Tradition says: every thought, word and deed bears fruit; there is a consequence to every thought, word and deed; all actions have effects.

These are all explanations of the Law of Karma.

We live in a world that forgets that universal Law of Life. People say and do things in all kinds of settings—home, work, politics, school, the nation—without paying attention to the consequences of their thoughts, words or actions. This causes all of us problems. But it especially causes those who forget that there are consequences to all that they think, say and do. This has often been a problem for me as well.

I forget that the comments I make about the events of the day come back to me, causing me pain and suffering. This has especially been true during these times of immense social, political and cultural change. I forget that even though no one may know those thoughts or words except myself, they set up a pattern of thinking and acting that puts a distance between myself and others. My critical or negative thinking and self-talk puts a cautious bearer between me and others. I act in a distant fashion without even realizing that I am sending out that energy field of caution, or anger, or hatred, or fear. And others respond accordingly. Even when I may not act concretely about those negative or critical thoughts and words, I have set up a pre-screening process in the energetic world. I rationalize and say, “I am only telling the people that I love and trust, or I am only keeping my thoughts to myself.” I forget that my thoughts and words push me further toward viewing that situation in a biased way. My thinking and self-talk orient me to seeing things “my thinking way.” I have especially found this during the transition in political power this past fall and winter.

I realize now that all I need do is think, speak and act with love in my mind, mouth and heart. When I operate that way then I counter the hateful, greedy, selfish thoughts, words and actions of any who may be operating in those ways. My loving actions of protecting another will neutralize the biased, hateful actions of the one harming another. The more positively I act, the more negativity is dissolved. The fruit of my thoughts, words and actions will be making a loving, caring, helpful, creative environment for goodness to flourish.

We have been shown this method of living by many people—Jesus of Nazareth, Mahatma Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Teresa of Calcutta, Siddhartha Gautoma Buddha, Francis of Assisi, Lao Tzu, Rumi, the Dalai Lama. All we need do is train ourselves to follow their example.

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