Every mental or physical action we take, consciously or unconsciously, has an effect on our lives. Even inaction bears consequences. All of our future experiences will be affected by our present choices, actions and thoughts, just as our present experiences are due to choices, actions and thoughts made in the past. We are the architects of our future, right now, and we can decide to create consciously or sleepwalk into it. Through the simple use of our will, to do something or not, we create effects that bear fruit throughout time. In this way, we actively create our destiny in every moment.
Knowing this calls us to recognize the spiritual principle of accountability, which is embedded in the law of karma. Also known as the law of causation, or cause and effect, the word karma comes from the Sanskrit kri meaning “to do.” This energetic law, which includes the principle of free will, offers a reasonable way to understand life’s seeming inequities. In essence, it is the only way to justify the discrepancies and injustices that are seen in human experience.
Under the law of karma, the effects of a person’s actions, in this and previous lifetimes, follow him from incarnation to incarnation. Whether we like this concept or not, all of the illness, poverty and disadvantage that we suffer are due to a transgression of divine law in this or a past life. If there was only one life to be had, it would be impossible to reconcile the imbalances of human experience with divine justice.
This kind of radical accountability may feel harsh at times because we cannot always see the correlations between cause and effect, but it becomes the ultimate journey of joy when we take responsibility and awaken from believing we are out of control into knowing that we are fully empowered. Through the beneficial law of free will, we have the power to change the course of our experience in the future. Whether we are aware of the original cause or not, we take responsibility for changing the effects of whatever has been done, by making responsible, conscious choices toward greater good now. Through the paradigm shift of accepting our circumstances as products of our own choices and actions taken in the near or distant past, we become accountable to change. We release blame and choose freedom and strength instead.
Think of karma as a law of spiritual evolution. It is not an excuse to blame or judge someone for their difficult circumstances. Rather, it offers us an opportunity to step into the embodiment of greater soul qualities, such as selflessness, kindness, empathy and compassion.
Adversity is the catalyst that makes us look beyond the day-to-day struggle toward our deep unlimited power. We actually pull to us the experiences we need in order to evolve. And we repeat the lessons until, through self-examination, we discover the root cause of the disturbances and accept responsibility for changing. We punish or reward ourselves along the way through the use or misuse of our reason and will.
This is why values matter. Living from our highest values keeps us choosing righteously, unselfishly, and enables us to create good karma. In the game of life, selfishness takes us farther from our true nature, setting us back an evolutionary notch, but selflessness moves us forward. As we come into a relationship of full accountability with ourselves and our life experiences, we find ourselves asking new questions, ones that lead to inspired new answers.
Excerpted from SPARK CHANGE: 108 Provocative Questions for Spiritual Evolution, by Jennie Lee. Sounds True, September 2020. Reprinted with permission.
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