O youth or young man, who fancy that you are neglected by the gods, know that if you become worse, you shall go to worse souls, or if better to the better… In every succession of life and death, you will do and suffer what like may fitly suffer at the hands of like. This is the justice of heaven. ~Plato
Known as sins and redemption in the Western world, Karma is an old Eastern word that means simply “Action”. Karma is the root of balance (in the human view). Karma defines the framework of our life in this world. We spend our days working out our karma: balancing it, creating positive, often generating more bad karma through our own ignorance. It is karma the keeps us coming back to this world. It is our duty to learn to rule it and through this, to become liberated from it: this is the great work. Before we are born, we live in realms of existence that are of a higher vibratory rate. In these realms we can perceive our karma plainly, and work with the higher intelligences known as the Lords of Karma to produce an outline of our action in our upcoming incarnation to balance our karma. Depending on our level of evolution (spiritual evolution), we come again into Malkuth, or this physical Earthly realm to work out our debts “… and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” and grow in experience and positively affect others.
“Before you begin on the journey of revenge, dig two graves”. ~Proverb
As we look back in our younger years during this current incarnation, we can see mistakes that we have made and the consequences that resulted. We also see the good things that we have learned from our mistakes, and also the debts that we have created for ourselves that we realize must eventually be paid. We can pray to the God of our hearts for forgiveness of these debts, but deep inside we know that it is best to correct the deed personally – to make a wrong thing right directly with the individual whom we have offended. Sometimes we may remember a moment in our life in which our inaction had produced a negative result for another. Many people who have experienced this find solace in serving a charity, church, synagogue, or other beneficial organization. Doing good and perceiving the positive continually will enable oneself to eventually prevail within the bounds of the Law of Karma.
“Men are not punished for their sins, but by them.” ~Elbert Hubbard
Numerous times have we heard of a tragic event; whether on the news or through direct experience and heard mentioned “why did God let this happen?”. With all of the negative events in the news as of late, there are many who think this. Let it be realized that karma not only happens on an individual level, but also on a collective level. There is individual karma, and there is group karma be it of a family, large group, and even a country. Karma at this larger level is difficult to understand and could cause much critical debate – so it will not be speculated on here. However, many accidents and negative events are often not the result of karma for all involved, but simply the effect of an individual’s action. For example, an automobile accident causes a driver to be seriously injured resulting in partial paralysis for the rest of his or her life. This individual could ask God “why did this happen to me?”. Often victims do not immediately critically view their own actions that led to their present condition, and lay the blame on higher forces out of their control. Many accidents that lead to death of an individual are not karma at all, the event is simply the result of a choice. This may sound callous, but there are always exceptions as karma is infinitely complex. In some cases, an accident as aforementioned could have karmic causes, such as the new life situation could lead the individual in another direction in life in which he or she would come into contact with a teacher or any individual that could be beneficial to that person’s evolutionary development. Still an other variable would be that this victim was put into this situation to settle a karmic debt: to experience the trauma that was experienced by the victim of a similar accident that happened over a hundred years ago in a previous incarnation in which this current victim was the cause! As it was previously mentioned, karma is very complex and every thought or action that we take does have an influence on someone or something throughout the sands of time. Karmic debt can be paid immediately or a thousand years from now: it is up to us. We just have to open our eyes and learn to perceive the possible effects of our actions before we act. That is why it is important to keep in mind the happiness of others before ourselves, as we are truly as one and an individual action can affect the whole.
“Thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges”. ~William Shakespeare
How does karma fit in with the subjects of murder and suicide? These two traumatic events happen constantly in this modern world: murder is the result of ignorance, anger, greed, and selfishness – suicide could be the result of being overwhelmed in personal trial, ultimate defiance (The Death of Socrates or Seppuku), or nobly self-sacrifice for the benefit of another. In the case of murder, a victim is often unjustly robbed of his or her physical life: a grave offence to the Creator as well as the victim. In this case, the victim is often compensated by the Lords of Karma with another future incarnation that could include less trial, greater status, or generally a happy earthly life. If apprehended in this incarnation, the murderer is often quickly presented with the law of the land: the first fruition of the karma of the offensive act. If the murderer eventually sincerely repents of his act while incarcerated, the first steps of resolving the karmic debt have been taken. If not apprehended in this incarnation, many believe that he would go straight to a Hell of fire, demons, and suffering. Such things are allegorical and faintly describe what truly happens. What happens to the murderer is this: he will have the ability to see in detail the pain that he has caused to the victim as well as the pain that all people associated with that victim have suffered, and personally experience the pain that they have experienced to the degree they have suffered. This is the same process all of us experience at one time or another after our physical deaths: it is a purging or purification that we must experience to progress to the higher realms. Those who sin the most, suffer the most whether in this world or the next.
The Devine Law of Karma promotes justice and balance in all things.
Suicide, as delicate as this subject is, produces a severe shock to the individual. Suddenly the poor soul finds that he is still alive as ever – with the same emotions and trials. He finds that he has a feeling of being “hollowed out” or, a part of him is missing. He is fully conscious but unable to communicate with his associates. He does not immediately pass on like those who have passed away naturally. He must stay for a time. All of his karmic debts that have remained unsettled in this life will still have to be faced in the future. A lot of the trials that had led up to this act of suicide will have to be faced again, as the trials were planned and put in place for his eventual benefit – for his individual evolution. Of course, the act of suicide could have been the only perceived way out of an impossible situation that had tormented the poor victim. Loved ones must try to understand this and not be hasty to condemn him. They must pray for him. The mystic must petition the Cosmic to have comfort and light sent to the individual, and an advanced mystic would petition the Cosmic for a chance to be associated to this individual again in a future incarnation to help him and stand with him side by side through the trials he is to face.
Our destiny on this Earthly plane is to obtain that karmic balance and master it. The Great Work: the spiritual evolution of Man and eventual re-integration with the great source of all and liberation from this forest of errors, demands it. To help us obtain this lofty goal, we must change ourselves to become more giving, charitable and putting the needs of others in equal space as our own needs. We are truly all ONE and the sooner we start to live this ideal, the quicker we will progress within this great school of humanity.
“Belief in karma ought to make the life pure, strong, serene, and glad. Only our own deeds can hinder us; only our own will can fetter us. Once let men recognize this truth, and the hour of their liberation has struck. Nature cannot enslave the soul that by wisdom has gained power and uses both in love”. ~Annie Besant