KARMA. It’s one of those words that new-agers love to use, along with ‘positivity’, ‘affirmation’, ‘manifestation’. We use the word ‘karma’ but what does it even mean? I mean, practically. Beyond the idea that somehow my present life mess, is my fault and if only I could just get more enlightened I could change everything and finally be happy. Maybe I just need to get rid of those people who aren’t positive. Or maybe I need to rewrite my affirmations and discover if I am causing my misery because I am deliberately attracting negative vibes. Ahem, no. NO! BAD New-Age people!!
I am responsible for my reactions to life but I am not in charge of stuff that happens because – I am not the centre of the universe. Thank goddess.
There are other people with free will, reacting to all sort of layers of stuff that we are also involved in. A lot of this stuff has been operating for years, generations, millennia – you can’t change that no matter how positively you frame your affirmations. We are not Lords of Reality. We are not in control. Otherwise The Secret (TM) would work. If you don’t ‘manifest’ ‘positivity’ you obviously ‘aren’t clear’ or ‘being negative’, right? Maybe it’s your karma (you caused it).
Karma^ is a way of explaining the reason we experience the same stories playing out over and over in our lives. Your karma, personal and impersonal, springs from a root cause – sometimes this root cause can be identified, other times it’s harder to see.
Karma can be understood as the energy behind the narratives that shape our lives – personal and impersonal. Often we don’t even realise these narratives are operating. We play into it, we run away with the story, we refuse to accept new information and experience if it doesn’t conform to the main story. We keep playing the game and keep stuck in the same cycle – that’s karma. It’s not a bitch. It’s not “what goes around comes around”. It’s not cosmic vengeance. It is not good or bad. It’s just this thing that happens.
When we cling to the story as it turns round and round, it gets more extreme with each cycle. The longer we take to recognise the karma for what it is the longer it takes to grow through it. Sometimes really bad things happen for no reason, sometimes because you made a poor choice. Same for the pleasant things. Sometimes you made a wise choice or you got lucky. Most often, we seek the familiar whatever that is, because it feels like home. Then, we invest in that because it’s comfortable.
This is not the same thing as saying you are causing your own frustration or misery.
You don’t have to ‘get rid of karma’ – personal or impersonal. Getting rid of difficult experiences is impossible anyhow. Challenges are not ‘proof’ you have ‘bad’ karma. It’s just life. The forces of karma – like other concepts on our trip through our psyches – are just forces like any other. We have to learn to work in flow with them, not fight them, and realise in the flux of these forces life continues. The karma itself is not the experience of life.
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