The law of karma is an ancient principle that teaches that every action has and equal and opposite reaction. In other words, every thought, word or deed is a “cause” that generates an “effect” at some level that we must each play out in this life or the next… However, A Course in Miracles explains how we can release karma with forgiveness.
What is Karma?
Karma is a basic principle of several Eastern religions that refers to a person’s acts and their ethical or physical consequences. Although there are various schools of thought pertaining to the exact nature of karma, in Sanskrit the word basically means “action” or “deed.”
It teaches that everything we’ve ever thought said or did, even in a past life, can cause effects in our present, future, or future lives.
Based on the universal laws of cause and effect, the teaching of karma might make a lot of sense to many people. After all, even A Course in Miracles teaches that ‘cause and effect is the most fundamental law there is’ and that ‘our thoughts are always producing form at some level.’
The Vast Illusion
Yet, when we really look at the law of karma, it is a principle that is based on past cause creating present and future effects. However, according to new age schools of thought, and indeed science itself, sequential time is actually a continuum. In essence, there is no past, or future. Now is the only “time” that actually exists.
In other words, the belief that a non-existent past, that includes our past lives, childhood experiences, or even our genetic makeup, determines our present and future is part of a “fallacy” that cannot be true. Therefore whatever effect we seem to be experiencing in the present, its cause must ALSO be in the present.
The Power of Now
Understanding that the cause AND effect of our present situation are happening at the same time, may be a little confusing, but it is also incredibly liberating. To know that we can be free from an on-going cycle of “karma” simply by changing our minds in the present gives us an awesome power to let go of our past once and for all; or at least as often as we are willing to choose again in each moment.
It’s also important to understand that the only reason our past seems to continuously dictate what happens in the present is because of our unwillingness to let go of past influences now. In other words, most of us have baggage that we carry with us like precious cargo using our pain from the past as the present criteria that defines our choices and experiences.
Willingness to Forgive
Being willing to release our grievances in the present moment is the key to releasing what seems to be the effects of karma. To do this, A Course in Miracles gives us an amazing tool called forgiveness that we can use to put down our past baggage right now, if we choose. This radical form of forgiveness is not about seeking forgiveness from outside, but forgiving ourselves and others by ‘overlooking what never really happened’ in a non-existent past and seeing everything as it is now, fresh and new.
This form of forgiveness does two things: First, it re-establishes the awareness that we (not the past, others or the external world) are the cause of our own reality and we cannot blame anyone else for our own situation and circumstances. Accepting responsibility for ourselves allows us to withdraw our blame onto others and the world, and choose a life based on our own terms.
Second, it affirms that if it is only US holding onto pain in our minds from an illusory past, then the cause of our current situation is illusory; therefore the effects must be illusory as well. This recognition is crucial because it not only increases our level of willingness to release the past, it also creates a state of mindful awareness where we can choose love, peace and joy in each and every moment, thus helping us to release “karma” with forgiveness for good.
“I AM free from the past.”
“My mind is healed of past thoughts.”
“The past is over. It can touch me not.”
“I seek a future different from the past.”
“My future rests in the hands of God.”
© 2014, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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