Karma isn’t just about what we do; it is also created by what happens to us.
Often times when something bad happens in someone’s life, we might think that person has bad karma. They must have done something bad earlier in life or in a previous life, and now they are reaping the negative consequences. While this may be true, there is another possibility that is equally probable. It could be that something bad happened to that person earlier in life or in a past life, and now they are reaping the negative consequences.
Huh? I don’t understand.
While the first and more common approach to how we think about karma appeals to our sense of justice, meets our need to believe that injustices are punished somewhere somehow even if not in a way we can see, and meets our need to think that life is fair, it is only half the story.
But, it wouldn’t make sense for life to treat someone badly just because they were treated badly before, because something bad happened to them before. After all, they didn’t DO anything to deserve this. How can this be karma?
The Law of Attraction and metaphysical causation come into play here. When something bad happens to us, something very bad, so bad that it wounds our soul, this wound is carried forward in our life and into future lives until it is surfaced and healed. Since the universe, primordial consciousness, wants us to be healed and whole and for our souls to be pure balls of light, it has set things up so that our wounds keep on attracting people and situations that reveal our wounds to us, so we can heal them and move on. So, when we DO something bad or very bad, we are acting out from one of our wounds and creating bad karma for our self, which simply means we are strengthening that wound by being its slave and that wound then will attract bad things to us, will continue to provide us with increasingly negative feedback about our internal state until we can see the wound and clear it. On the other hand, even if we don’t DO anything bad but when something very bad is done to us, that creates bad karma as well. That wounding of our soul carries forward and attracts bad things to us, continuing to provide us with increasingly negative feedback about our internal state until we can see the wound and clear it.
The Victim And Perpetrator Karma
Often times when working with past lives we will find mirror images in multiple lives. A pattern will form. Perhaps in one past life you were a victim of sexual abuse and in the life before that you were the perpetrator. These are different aspects of the same wound, creating a pattern, and each branch of that tree, each side of that coin is simply a different face of the same root cause. Karma is about cause and effect after all, but sometimes we get confused about the actual cause. The bad behavior isn’t the cause, it is actually first an effect from something deeper, the wound, and then the behavior itself becomes a cause in the never ending cycle.
The cycle in fact does have an end though. We can clear our bad karma and we can stop creating new bad karma for our self. And, whereas most people try to create good karma by DO-ing good things and avoiding DO-ing bad things, it is equally important to not let bad things happen to you anymore.
If someone is trying to steal from you in a way that would deeply hurt you and potentially wound your soul, it is very important to fight and defend yourself and not allow this to happen to you. If someone is trying to physically violate or harm you or wrong you in any way that could have significant implications for your life and possibly damage your soul, it is extremely important that you do everything in your power – within certain boundaries – to defend yourself and not allow this to happen to you. Defending yourself in a way that does not harm others will not create bad karma for you and can prevent you from getting the additional bad karma that would have resulted had the transgression occurred.
Even if you have to cause the perpetrator pain in defending yourself, this is OK too, as long as you are not actually hurting them or damaging their soul. It can be painful when we see our mistakes and pathologies. This doesn’t hurt us, it actually helps us. Causing another being pain does not necessarily hurt them. Done properly, when you defend yourself you are actually helping everyone involved, even if they don’t realize it. When you save yourself from being wounded again you are giving the otherwise perpetrator an opportunity to see and clear their karma and helping them break their patterns, as well. They probably won’t thank you for this tough medicine, and you don’t need their thanks anyway.
Take Action To Transform Your Karma
What I am writing about here can be pretty slippery and can be dangerous if you misapply what I am saying. You are not 007, and this is not a license to kill – figuratively or literally. When you are in a fight or flight situation and you can’t run, or you otherwise realize it serves your highest good and the highest good of all beings to stand and fight – not allowing yourself to be wounded or intimidated again – it can be a very difficult situation. Your judgment may be impaired because you are angry or in a state of rage. What I am saying here does not give you permission just to act out from your anger and harm the other individual under the cover of so-called self-defense. What I am telling you, is that in order to break some of your deepest karmic patterns you must attain a level of mastery that you may not have attained yet.
Sometimes you must stand and fight, but fight in a very specific way, not in the way we normally think about fighting or see fighting portrayed in the movies or on TV. You must be able to breathe through the fight and flight response, you must be able to work that anger, rage or terror out on your own or with a teacher or healer, and then from a place of neutrality and following Divine guidance and intuition, it will serve you and everyone involved for you to defend yourself without harming others. That anger, rage or terror in the fight or flight response may be part of your woundedness, and if so, taking action from that place only makes these wounds and their accompanying karma stronger. It binds you more deeply. But, to the extent you are able to get to neutrality and defend yourself from your clear center, this is a wonderfully positive and powerful thing to do. If you are successful in this task, you can transform some deep karma once and for all and move on to bigger and better challenges. You will break that specific pattern once and for all and you will no longer be victim or perpetrator in that specific drama.
We must not allow our self to be perpetrator or victim. Each side of the drama is equally important to avoid.
In the process of taking action to defend our self or avoid bad things in the physical world, we very well may need to turn some attention inward, find the root cause of this karmic pattern, the root of the wound, and transform it with our loving, compassionate heart. And while there may be some internal work to do, please don’t fall into the trap of thinking all you need to do is process, thinking you don’t have to stand up for yourself and fight. Sometimes, many times in fact, it is absolutely essential to take action in the physical realm in order to get the internal shift. Sometimes healing and change comes from the outside in, not the other way around. What happens here on planet earth right now, in this life, in this body does in fact touch our souls.
Edward Mannix has been on a conscious path of personal and spiritual development for over twenty years. He has practiced Vipassana meditation in a monastery in Burma, travelled to Nepal to receive teachings and empowerments from Tibetan Rinpoches, and worked with hidden masters from a number of traditions and geographies, spanning Asia, Europe and the United States. Throughout his journey, Edward has consistently been focused on a form of practical spirituality – integrating his spiritual pursuits into ordinary life, not leaving worldly endeavors behind, but instead using them as a vehicle to go deeper into awakening. While on his conscious path and prior to becoming an author, he worked in the private sector as a management consultant and social entrepreneur. He holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University where studied sustainability and social entrepreneurship, an M.A. from The School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A. in Psychology and Economics from Indiana University. Drawing upon unique insight and an unusually diverse set of life experiences, Edward brings fresh perspective to ancient wisdom, and is emerging as an important new voice in the arenas of philosophy, spiritual development and personal transformation. www.edwardmannix.com
Vincent van Gogh famous public domain art. Original paintings from the most famous Dutch Post-impressionist painter of all time, Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853–1890). Vincent struggled with mental illness throughout his short career and painted most of his most famous artwork such as ‘Sunflowers’ and ‘Starry Night’ during his final few years of life. Van Gogh inspired early abstraction, Expressionism and Fauvism. His vivid paintings were not widely appreciated until after his death, but now are among the most expensive paintings ever sold. www.rawpixel.com