Karma is a word that has a lot of charge for some people. I know a person who is adamant he doesn’t believe in karma. He says he’s looked into it for years and has figured out that it is all an illusion. It seems to me that he would like to deny its existence and just wish it away with a new label. I have known others who got upset at hearing the word karma in a spiritual conversation because that word is not in the Bible. Never mind that there are many words not mentioned in the Bible like oxygen for instance, but they are sure glad it is in the air they breathe.

Karma is not a word anyone needs to fear, but it is a word that is helpful to understand. The word karma is derived from the Sanskrit KRI, “To Do.” The word also means the effects of thoughts, words and actions, and it also means the effects of our past actions which were the causes. Another way of looking at karma is that karma is energy in motion. The Bible does say we reap what we sow and since that is an aspect of karma, I think it is fair to say that karma is in the Bible in principle if not in name. All of our thoughts, feelings and actions create and set in motion energy patterns which create effects. I think that is really just an observation not a religious issue. The form and direction of what has been set in motion continues until another force changes the motion or the energy dissipates. That is karma in a nutshell.

Now, lets go a little further with it. Our thoughts, feelings and actions make their impressions on what is called the akasha. Akasha is another Sanskrit word that means ether and it has to do with the essence of all manifest things. The impressions we create record our reactions, preferences, judgments, attractions, aversions, pleasures, suffering, and everything else whether we have hidden it or expressed it out in the open. Each and every word we speak, and all of our conscious and unconscious thoughts and beliefs are recorded in the akashic record.

Impressions are made from everything you did, including every choice you made, conclusions you came to, beliefs you held, how you suffered, what you loved, what you were ashamed of, what you denied and what you took credit for. Yes, every feeling you had and every judgment you made have made their impressions.

You can see that this can work as a force of attraction to bring you favorable and enjoyable experiences, or things which you would rather not have to deal with. Everything in your life is derived from energies you have set in motion in the past and therefore everything, by definition, is karmic.

As long as ego exists, karma will exist. If there were no physical forms, no thoughts, no vibrations, no desires, no movement, and no intentions, then there would only be a quiet, calm, and waveless ocean of consciousness, but in that calm awareness desires and intentions do arise—all the time. Desire and will produce a motion that creates a wave of intention that divides into many waves, which are what appear to us to be causes and effects. The reality we experience every day is the force of creation and the intention behind the force. That is how all of our everyday experiences are created and sustained.

The Karmic Snare

There is a perspective that karma is an illusion and in one sense that I will discuss in a minute that can be considered true, but in a practical everyday reality it is not true. It would be a little like saying that gravity or inertia are illusions. From the perspective of a transcendent state of consciousness I suppose you could say gravity and inertia are illusions because from a transcendent state everything is an illusion, but that doesn’t negate the effects of gravity and inertia on the person who is experiencing the transcendent state of consciousness. Inertia states that energy in motion tends to stay in motion and something at rest tends to stay at rest. The same is true of karma. Karma is simply energy which we have set in motion in the past and it will continue to have its effect until we do something to alter it or halt it.

Saying that either inertia or karma do not exist or saying that they are illusions doesn’t make them automatically go away, but some would like to believe that in denying their existence they can pretend to be immune to their effects. Disbelieving in something doesn’t mean it will not affect you. Unless we are proactive in releasing ourselves from karma it will continue its cause and effect impact on our lives until it either naturally wears itself out or is balanced through whatever is accepted as sufficient compensation. Karma is As Much About Good News as Bad News Everyone lives under the umbrella of karma and it is not all bad news. Karma also refers to the continuance of what you like and love, but often the balancing requirement is due to thoughts, words or deeds violating a person’s integrity or alignment with their true self or soul. Whenever something is done that is counter to the nature of the soul there is a pattern of conflict which will play itself out through some need to balance or compensate for it.

When a person is not in their integrity there are natural consequences. Ego reactions create mental and emotional energy patterns which have creative and attractive forces. In the realm of subtle energies where these patterns reside, like attracts like and so the patterns which are out of integrity with the soul will create and attract energies which are not consistent with the pure nature of the soul. That means negative or painful experiences. The creation or attraction is not usually immediate which gives the person ignorant of or denying karma the illusion they have escaped it, but once the forces are set in motion they will find expression unless there is a shift in consciousness and the energies are cleared.

We can say the soul is an embodiment of essential goodness for lack of a better word in English. I am not using this word as a moralistic label but rather it is an acknowledgment of the nature of the soul itself which embodies every wonderful and admirable trait and virtue. Lying, cheating, stealing, and harming others are all out of integrity with the essential good nature of the soul and therefore, by the natural law of the way the universe is set up, they bring consequences whether a person believes in the forces or not. This is called the law of consequences or cause and effect which is a reality in all of our lives.

The Law of Consequences at Work

There is an inherent problem for all of us with the law of consequences and that is the fact that we are never quite sure when sufficient suffering has balanced or compensated for a past “mis-deed.” The problem arises from not being able to objectively quantify the value or lack thereof of the “mis-deed.”

For example, if you stole some money from your mother’s purse when you were a child, you would likely harbor some guilt which could lead to certain consequences. Perhaps someone would steal something from you, but, and this is a big but, suffering by having something stolen from you would not necessarily relieve you of a deep-seated guilt over your actions of having stolen something yourself and as a consequence you could continue to suffer in a vain attempt to diminish or pay for your guilt.

You might ask, “Why is this so?” In most cases a person never consciously makes the connection with their suffering as a consequence for a particular action they did earlier in their past. When you introduce the numerous past lives everyone has had the process becomes even more tangled and difficult to unravel or figure out.

Escape from the Pain of Karma

There are at least 3 major painless ways to become free from karma. Undoubtedly there are more, but these are 3 main ones that I’ll mention here, and you may want to apply yourself to whatever feels the most comfortable for you and whatever is compatible with your orientation.

The first method is a particularly beautiful one of having deep devotion to God or a higher power. This can be expressed through prayers, ceremonies, rituals, meditation and other practices. This will create a field that will release and dissolve karmically created patterns.

The second approach is to utilize a METHODICAL recognition, acknowledgement and removal of each karmic pattern through releasing techniques such as forgiveness or energy-pattern clearing techniques. The methodical approach requires that you specifically identify the karmic pattern and either express deep self-forgiveness, or remove all the underlying beliefs, judgments, and emotions.

The third, karmic releasing method is perhaps the most relevant to Westerners of all the ways to transcend karma. It is through deep surrendering. In a spiritual context, surrender is about releasing all forms of holding or all forms of resistance and all forms of attachment. Ultimately, all spiritual paths converge and agree on the surrender approach, although the methods of implementing it vary.

The Path to Freedom, Liberation & Enlightenment

Because everything was created with a force of free will, it takes a measure of choice and will to acknowledge and release all attachments to what was created,…That’s why the ego doesn’t just disappear automatically if we merely ask it to.

We are powerful creators and when you put the force of your will and intention into a choice or decision to live through an ego trait or defense you empower it with a tremendous persistent creative force.

To switch to letting go of what you have previously invested great energy and emotion into creating takes time, attention, decisions, and deep surrendering of every aspect of yourself that sustains the pain or struggle.

There is a hidden bonus in the surrender process. When you reach a state of surrender you are not holding, judging, reacting or resisting anything, and therefore there is no part of you holding or creating karma. It is as if karma no longer exists for you not because it never existed, but because you are so deeply surrendered and in alignment with the essential purity and goodness of your soul that you are no longer sustaining karma for yourself in any way.

This happens when surrender ceases to be a process for you and has become a state of your being. At first you practice surrendering the causes and effects in your life. That is the surrender process. You may say, “I surrender all my struggling, anger, fear and pain.” And you may feel some relief. As you continue deepening into surrender, you eventually arrive at a new state of being. The practice of surrender eventually leads you to a state of surrender where you are surrendered to everything. This doesn’t mean you become a “door mat.” It means you are not in resistance and this freedom means you may freely move toward or away from any situation of your choice and be in complete and deep peace with it.

The practice of surrender is the place where you begin learning about what it means to surrender. It is important at this stage to make surrendering an ongoing practice because there are many things in the blind spots, out of conscious awareness, or which you may even be in denial of, and it takes time for them to come to conscious awareness so they can be acknowledged and let go. It can take many months or even years to fully delve the depths of the surrender process, but the rewards are called liberation, self-realization, and enlightenment.