What is Karma?
In popular sayings, we have:
The meaning is that evil is returned to the wrong-doer and they will eventually suffer for what they did.
This, in essence is the Law of Karma. That we receive what we give. That all our actions reflect back upon us, either in this world or in the subsequent ones.
How does Karma work?
Karma is based on logic. It is an unavoidable consequence of our creations. When we create anything, we also create other things which might not be what we intended.
If I get angry and with another harm, then I create a state in which I am harming another and another is harmed. I create a state in which I am happy with the suffering of another. But also create a state in which another is unhappy and suffering. I create a state in which I am joyful that my enemy is justly harmed. And a state in which another is resentful and angry that they have been wrongly treated.
This relates to the GAMES of life. In whichever game we play certain causes and effects arise. And certain rules are required.
So when we create anything, whether a good intention or a bad one, other side-effects are necessarily produced.
Imagine a world where no one harmed another in any way. And I harm another. I create someone who harms another and one who is harmed. This did not exist before. But now the world contains suffering.
And in the present life, or in subsequent ones, there are those who suffer and those who harm. And I, and others, play all these roles.
In the beginning before harm was created, it was impossible to suffer. But when I do harm then suffering exists to my detriment.
Of course, I am not alone, and others who create harm also create suffering and we continue to play our games in a world with suffering.
Now after many aeons, we wonder why there is suffering. And why there is harm. Yet this is the result of our own creations.
Now, after many lifetimes of creating harm and consequentially suffering, we live in a world with both. This is our Karma and this is the Law of Karma.
When we create PITY, for example, we also create those who are pitied. When we create HELP, we also create those who are in a bad way and need our help. The roads to creating suffering are many
Karma is now
We create our Karma now, at this second. And we continue out of habit to create bad and good Karma. Karma does not exist lurking in the past as a thing to punish or reward us, but exists and is created now, newly, in every second. We can create Karma with supposedly good intentions, as mentioned previously.
When we think, act and speak with that which produces good for all, then we begin to resolve the issue of Karma. (That is the unwanted issue. Logically Karma always follows.) In some way we need to change our habits and thinking and create Karma which makes a better existence. But what is this thinking.
Back to Karma
When we wish to be powerful, we necessarily create those who are weak. When we wish to be master, we create slavery. These may not be our intentions, but what we create - what we cause - has certain unavoidable effects which rebound upon us all. (Because we have all created the harm.)
We can resolve the issue by thinking, acting and speaking such that the consequences are what we would also accept ourselves.
We may wish to be master, but we might not want to be a slave. By wishing to be master we unavoidably create the state of slave for ourselves, and those we love.
Creating 'good' Karma
However when we intend to UNDERSTAND, then we create UNDERSTANDING and that which is UNDERSTOOD. These may be desirable states.
When we wish others well, then we create the state of being wished well. Therefore, this may be acceptable to all.
When we create the state of BEING HAPPY, we also create, the state of BEING HAPPY (the same?) which is acceptable to all.
When we create the state of RESPECTING ALL we also create the state of BEING RESPECTED which is acceptable to all.
Acceptable to all
Actually, this means acceptable to us in all its forms. We need to create states that are acceptable to us in all their forms. Actually, the so called 'Golden Rule' is a rule for creating good karma. It has never been expressed properly, but it is the rule, 'Do to others what you would like them to do to you.' We need to capture the idea of the law rather to be bothered by its wording.
The Great Problem
Although I gave examples of UNDERSTANDING, RESPECTING, BEING HAPPY, LOVE, etc, these are not without pitfalls.
When we create UNDERSTANDING, we also create MISUNDERSTANDING. When we create LOVE, we also create HATE.
Yet if we create UNDERSTANDING, or SEEKING UNDERSTANDING. Perhaps being INTERESTED then if we and others adopt this thinking, with awareness of its opposite, then we can avoid the negative consequences.
With UNDERSTANDING the negative is MISUNDERSTANDING. This is probably less severe than the negative of HAPPINESS (UNHAPPINESS). For this reason, although the pursuit of HAPPINESS good, it is often avoided because of the power of its negative.
LOVE, too, has the opposite of BEING UNLOVED. And although LOVING is good, it does have a powerful negative.
For this reason, BEING INTERESTED or UNDERSTANDING can be more powerful as an intention.
The greatest negative
This may be the DESIRE FOR PERFECTION. When we desire perfection, we find it hard to RESPECT or LOVE others. We can never attain this desire. Nothing is PERFECT. So we create disillusionment and the desire for something better, when we may already have the best we can achieve. ACCEPTANCE, can therefore be a powerful force in creating good Karma.
I will not say much about ACCEPTANCE and the possible negatives. Except to say that here we refer to ACCEPTANCE as a temporary state, and as a counter to that great negative PERFECTION.
Acceptance means the observation of what IS, rather than what could or might be. It means observing the world and existence without thought or prejudice. To fearlessly observe what exists. This also means BEINGNESS.
The last solution
The ultimate solution is the UNDERSTANDING of the world in the fullest sense. It is a transcendence of the world.
When we postulate EXISTENCE, we also postulate NON-EXISTENCE. This implies CHANGE. Where there is GOOD, and there is CHANGE, there is the LESS GOOD. (But also BETTER). Where our postulation leads to EXISTENCE, there is CAUSE and EFFECT. In this way, the whole nature of the physical world in which we live comes into existence. And so does the LAW OF KARMA.
When we can ACCEPT all of this with UNDERSTANDING then we resolve the issue.
The mundane solution
We seek to UNDERSTAND and be INTERESTED, and ACCEPT what is. We ACT in ways that lead to results acceptable to us, in all their forms.
We resolve confusion by taking one thing at a time and ignoring others. We CONTROL what we can control, and ignore, temporarily, what we cannot control. In resolving the issue of Karma we learn about ACCEPTANCE and avoid PERFECTION. We cannot resolve the whole issue at once, nor can we do what is PERFECT. We might choose to BE LOVING, even though there are possible serious side-effects. We do this with UNDERSTANDING and CHANGE the negative into the positive and wholesome.
Resolving the issue of Karma can appear CONFUSING. We resolve this issue by doing one thing at a time.
Communication is a way of obtaining UNDERSTANDING. We understand by talking, listening, asking questions, looking and listening. We learn to BE the other person. And we resolve conflict through UNDERSTANDING. We know that desiring and seeking PERFECTION is a great evil.
Sometimes even the noblest kings must go to war