Here’s what everyone gets wrong about Karma

We’d all love to believe that there’s a universal law that we can attribute to our woes and misfortunes, chalking every calamity and missed opportunity up to “karma” and pretending that it’s out of our hands.

In an age of cultural awareness, seeking knowledge, and political correctness, we cannot ignore the perceptions that are blatantly wrong about the “k”-word.

What is Karma?

It is not uncommon for a word to lose its meaning when it’s used so often. It’s surprising to find out that the real definition of Karma is much more complex and makes more sense than the popular version. Here’s physicist Paramahamsa Tewari, a theorist and physicist.

The Principle of Karma states that the experiences and actions of an individual are imprinted on the subtle body. This body will then have a mental state of organized fine matter and be compelled to travel to certain locations to rebirth.

The┬áprinciple is based on the concept that deeds today determine the future of man. “The most intelligent beings are gifted with the ability to discriminate in addition to instinctive habits of all other creatures.”

This eloquent statement is not full of doom, gloom, and Old Testament-style scolding. The universe is neutral. There is no cackling entity that keeps score and dispenses retribution.

Only our thoughts, deeds, and actions remind us that the future is in our hands. Yes, it’s a huge responsibility. But we must accept it with full awareness, compassion, and honor.

Karma and ethical responsibility

According to those who believe in the assumed definition, there is no way to get off the karmic wheels of fortune. If you have done bad things in a previous life, then you will pay for them this time around.

We can all recognize that even though we cannot live a life free of Karma (and Karma inherently is neither good nor bad), our actions have a bearing on our future. This understanding allows us to accept responsibility for our actions and make changes that will improve our future.

The Concept of Good and Bad Karma

This brings us to the idea of “good” or “bad” Karma. How many times have you rewarded yourself for doing a good thing, anticipating all the invisible karmic credits you are accumulating? Let’s face it: how many people have enjoyed the idea of a karma hammer descending on the corrupt and the wicked?

We can begin to understand that the “goods” we experience are human constructs that we use to make sense of our lives.

Getting fired is indeed a bad thing, but we find that in the long run, major life challenges and occurrences such as this can be the medicine we need to grow.

Do good things without expecting anything in return. Openly give, compassionately, and freely with an open mind, not an open hand. The outcome is not a reward but a beautiful confirmation of the gift of living a life filled with love and honesty.

We realize we are in control once we let go of expectations, guilt, and fears. Enjoy the ride by being mindful and thankful.

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