What Is Karma?

Karma is the law of consequence; it is as impartial as the law of gravity. This force has very little to do with fault, penalty, and fatalism, and we are bound to this force like our ligaments are to our bones. There’s no escape from our actions, no matter how reprehensible or commendable. Neither are our choices made in a vacuum, thus every choice made sends a never ending signal to the universe, much like radio waves traveling to our of blanket of stars igniting our galaxy. Repetitively make the same type of choices and we easily become the reflection of these choices. If we give enough in our life, we’ll embody compassion; good will become of us, and we will become good. If we lie, cheat, and steal enough in our life, we’ve transformed ourselves into liars, cheats, and thieves. Let’s not misconstrue karma as petty vendettas launched against each other. Let’s not mistake karma as divine retribution. The karmic force is better described by Newton’s third law of motion. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Karma sends back what you give to the universe as if everything we’ve said or done to another returns to us. The beauty of karmic law is that we can rectify our behavior if we so desire. We’ve all kept our feet to the ground and let our compassion guide us to the good. However, let’s not expect instant results or overt consequences that are perpetually visible to us all. We’re not omnipresent. This obscure quality of karma contrasts the obviousness of gravity. We instantly recognize the consequences of gravity. Gravity, from our perspective, is a downward, linear pull. Karma, on the other hand, is more akin to a web, like an interwoven piece of fabric. Karma’s pull can originate from an infinite amount of directions and it’s only similar to, as some have described it, ripples in a pond unleashed by a crashing stone. Essentially, these analogies are incompatible with the infinite amount of directions the waves can take whenever we think a thought, speak a word, or make a choice. Our action is father and mother to consequence, and consequence becomes father and mother to action.

The condition of our lives certainly affects the choices we make. Our choices help create the conditions we awake to each morning. All of our choices affect the ineffable phenomenon called the universe, and that gives us more than enough reason to make the right ones. Moral depravity doesn’t just infect ourselves or our immediate family, but it affects society itself, the human species itself, and the lens in which we look through to see ourselves and the universe. This lens becomes our paradigm, the framework by which we judge ourselves and refer to in our quest for truth. We can make choices that foster good in the universe. Being good represents the vote we cast of how the universe should be. With an understanding of karma, making wholesome choices isn’t just for us or each other. We dedicate our good choices to every non-living and living organism in every direction spanning the entire universe. Karma itself will never be a moral issue, but our approach to karma can make all the difference.