What Goes Around Comes Around
“Karma moves in two directions. If we act virtuously, the seed we plant will result in happiness. If we act non-virtuously, suffering results.” — Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
Fleming was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while out working in the fields, he heard a cry for help come from a nearby swamp. He dropped his tools and rushed to the swamp. There, stuck to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death. The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman’s meagre surroundings. A well-dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.
“I want to repay you,” said the nobleman. “You saved my son’s life.”
“No, I can’t accept payment for what I did,” the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer.
At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the family cottage.
“Is that your son?” the nobleman asked.
“Yes,” the farmer replied proudly.
“I’ll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he’ll grow to a man you can be proud of.” And that he did. In time, Farmer Fleming’s son graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, and became known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin. Years afterward, the nobleman’s son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin. The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son’s name? Sir Winston Churchill. What goes around comes around.
The Law of Karma
“Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes, go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.” — Tryon Edwards
For many, the notion of karma is a common theme throughout their life. The adage what goes around comes around is identified by those unfairly treated. The understanding is that dishonest acts against other people eventually catch up to the offender. Karma is far more complicated and yet simpler than that. Karma functions within the backdrop of our lives. Newton’s Third Law states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. There is a cause and effect, so that every action creates another reaction, which produces a new counteraction. Thus, an endless chain of actions and reactions is created.
In a similar vein to Newton’s Law, the butterfly effect developed by the American mathematician and meteorologist Edward Lorenz affirms: “When a butterfly flutters its wings in one part of the world, it can eventually cause a hurricane in another.” Lorenz unified the theory that events within the cosmos have a ripple effect, which extends beyond the space and time realm. Closer to home, karma’s actions have a ripple and boomerang effect in your life and the lives of others. Karma is the exchange of energy from one form to another. We should view it as neither good nor bad, since it allows us to assume purposeful action if we are to balance our karma in our lives.
Let Go Of The Past
“Why let go of yesterday? Because yesterday has already let go of you.” — Steve Maraboli
In the same way, karmic clutter represents unresolved matters of the past. If karma is not balanced out, it invites negative consequences of past actions into the present moment. Therefore, to heal the emotional baggage associated with anger, frustration, and disappointment, balance is needed. From this viewpoint, karma preserves balance; no debt goes unpaid, no act of service is turned a blind eye to. Our actions are supported within the moral landscape of: “Do unto others what you would have done unto yourself.” No matter how well-meaning your intentions, upholding your moral duties does not assume others will return your goodwill. We are endowed with free will and how others treat you become their karma. For we repeatedly write the script of our karmic destiny through our actions. Is this an idea you agree with? Are you aware of how karma operates within your life? Do you cooperate and respect these karmic laws?
In the scheme of things, bad things happen to good people every day. Our obligation is to abide by our highest moral code, since it allows us to become a righteous culture. We can become victims of our choices or write an empowering moral script for the future. It begs the question: “Is the universe vested in goodness?” I affirm the underlying structure governing universal laws is aligned within the framework of love; the highest functioning order. Good deeds are returned when your intentions are honourable and entrusted with love.
In other words, the universe eavesdrops on your actions, intending to balance out the exchange of energy. This is a principle which I urge you to note carefully. Karma is about restoring balance, not punishment for misdeeds. For instance, it was the Greek physicist-philosopher Parmenides who stated that nature abhors a vacuum. Which means, as you let go of the old (thoughts, beliefs, energy, ideas, and toxic emotions), the universe rushes in to fill the void. As energy is repaid through favourable action, you abide by universal forces when you act in accordance with nature. Think of universal forces as observing road and traffic laws; everything flows seamlessly in the presence of order instead of chaos.
Write a New Karmic Script
“My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.” — Thích Nhất Hạnh
Have you noticed, some people attract their desires in a relaxed manner, whilst others struggle? It might be said those same people are working with the laws of karma in a conducive manner. On a personal level, as I honour my path, I harness the law of karma to act meaningfully. Wisdom has shown me when I am wronged, instead of seeking revenge, I trust karma to balance any improper actions against me or others. It is not my place to enact retribution or revenge; my karma is to play my role within the function of universal order. It was Dr Wayne Dyer who echoed this sentiment when he wrote: “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”
You see, life is neither fair nor unfair. To evaluate life according to this way of thinking fails to acknowledge the harmony present when we play by the rules. In other words, you have the wherewithal to change your future karma through awareness in the present moment. This means don’t be directed by subconscious actions alone. Be mindful, present, and aware of your choices. Considering this, I invite you to reflect on areas of your life that require balancing out your karma. For instance, do you often take from others more than you give back? Do you spend more money than you earn? It requires taking an inventory of whether our giving and receiving is in equal portion, otherwise the universe will step in and balance out any excess. I wish to leave you with a saying by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu: “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”