Karma – How fair is that!

“It is always sensible to have a credit in the karmic bank to draw on in time of need.” – A Little Light on the Spiritual Laws by Diana Cooper

Sitting in Costa last week on the pretext of working on my novel I was distracted by a conversation nearby between two women. Well, only one was talking – the other listening – and it was clear that she was going through emotional turmoil. Although slightly ashamed of myself for eavesdropping I felt compelled to listen.. So many traumatic events had occurred in the woman’s life over the past year that it was amazing she could still get out of bed in the morning.

As the conversation came to an end and they picked up their bags to leave, the woman told her friend in a tearful voice that she must have been very wicked in a past life to deserve such terrible things. And this got me thinking…


good seed produces good fruit

Such sayings as ‘you reap what you sow’, ‘good seed produces good fruit’ and ‘what goes around comes around’ indicate we are responsible for our good or  bad fortune. It’s our karma. But what exactly is karma and how does it work?

I understand that karma is the law of cause and effect. Every action and thought is recorded on our akashic record. It’s a balance sheet of good deeds/bad deeds. I can see the logic that every action must have an effect and I can clarify this concept in my mind with the following analogy:

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To push or not to push?

Consider standing at the top of a cliff and, in anger or just for fun, you push a boulder off the top. The boulder will continue rolling down the cliff until something stops it: an object in its way, friction or it reaches the bottom. Once that boulder has left your hands, however, you are powerless to control its destiny.

Many perceive karma as punishment because often the effect takes place in a different lifetime to the action and that’s where the logic seems to disappear. How fair is it that you have no idea why you’ve received bad fortune? And what is the point? What can be achieved if you see no correlation between the cause and the effect?

Back to the boulder analogy. If you’ve been silly enough to push a lump of rock off the top of the cliff in the first place and then unfortunate enough to see one of your children suddenly appear at the bottom of the cliff with the boulder headed straight for them this would be a very serious lesson – one you would no doubt never repeat – whether the boulder hit your child or by some miracle it missed..

But to set the ball rolling, so to speak, in one lifetime and it ploughs  into your beloved child in another lifetime takes some understanding and it’s no wonder karma has such a bad press. It’s almost always perceived as negative.  When people receive good things in their life they say they are ‘lucky’ and don’t link this good fortune with their own kind or gracious actions from the past.

There are people who plan for the future and I have to admit I’m not one of them. Private pension? I might not reach 65 so why think that far ahead! So it seems a bit of a slog to plan in this lifetime for the next – especially as most of us have no evidence that we will return again.

However…I’m thinking that a little investment might we worthwhile… a small deposit in the karmic bank every day could be managed…and I will definitely stop chucking rocks off the side of cliffs!