Karma is one of those “trivialized” words used in “new age” talk and spiritual teachings which are “in” with the wisdom of ancient Indian traditions.
Karma means “action” as we all know. The usual example of karma is summarized in the saying:”What goes around comes around,” and that becomes the “fear”necessary to act “morally.” In other words, God does not need to punish anyone, but your actions will do that. Therefore, we liberate God from our pre-conception of someone out there who is looking at us from “up above,” sitting comfortably in cloud #8, just long enough so He will see us “fall into temptation,” so He can say :”Aha!” and then punish us accordingly. 🙂
This is the simplified version of karma. The “karma for dummies” version1.0
Gyan (Knowledge) has added many layers of depth to it, which I will expand a bit.
1) Actions are merely the expression of thoughts and feelings at one level
2) Actions, thoughts and feelings are the expression of a sanskara (embedded behavioral inclinations) at a deeper level
3) Sanskaras are the expression of the Drama at the individual, personal level
4) The Drama is the expression of all individual sanskaras of all souls “Actors” at any point in time
5) Sanskaras exist according to the capacity of the soul
6) Sanskaras play according to time
7) Time is understood in a cyclical way as gradual changes happen from non-duality into duality.
8) Non-duality brings duality and duality brings non-duality. That is, the seed expands into a tree, to become a seed again. This process repeats eternally, That is why time is cyclical and repetitive.
Therefore, we have gone from a “simple” action to the depth of cyclical time.
As we can see the roles in every soul will express eternally. Those roles will express activities which while in the “non-dual” turn of cyclical time; those actions will be “neutral,” meaning that consequences will not be experienced for there is no “duality.” In other words, if I play “hide and seek” with someone; that action is neither “bad” nor “good.” Any activity at that time (non-dual) is void of polarity. However, there is “degradation” of qualities of such activities. This is what in gyan is known as “celestial degrees,” and some may use the word “entropy” to refer to this.
Once the threshold of non-duality is reached, then duality appears. Here the activities have a consequence just because there is the appearance of ego.
There is duality because the real self, the soul; is in conflict with an illusion of personality, which is known as ego. As greater “entropy” increases in “duality,” greater will be the experience of the consequence of our activities. Ego is nothing else but the experience of duality.
Gyan explains that there are 3 types of actions:
1) Neutral actions
2) Sinful actions
“Sinful actions” are those activities which will bring sorrow to others and us. What is known as “good actions,” are the perception of something which brings a happy state, although is temporary.
Example: If I send a child to college to study, I may get an education in my next birth. That activity is neither “good nor bad” in itself; for that activity will come mixed with other karmas that we have performed. For instance, I could suffer “bullying” while in College or my intellect may not be good enough to grasp the materials being taught, etc. That is why, in gyan those activities are known as just “actions.” For there is a mix in anything which appears to be”good.”
In the world of duality. Because there is a mix of sorrow and happiness, we believe that this is “life.”
Note that those activities will be performed according to the role of every soul “actor.” As a matter of fact, we have been performing many actions in past lives without knowing how everything was threaded, but just following the “morality of the time.”
Since we are aware that soul-actors will perform activities according to roles already “predestined,” then we can see that every soul has the capacity to deal with every karmic account experienced as well.
Settling karmic accounts means to be “bondage free” from the web of experiencing Karmic consequences and that is possible when “neutral actions” are performed again. In order to do that we need to become soul conscious again, for in soul consciousness we are beyond duality; we experience a “non-dual” time while performing actions which will have benefit for all.
This is what is known as “elevated actions” at this time. While performing “elevated actions” we are experiencing the “karmateet” (beyond the bondage of karma) stage practically until becoming “karmateet.”
The theme of these “laws” is very simple. From soul consciousness with experience body consciousness and from this, we experience soul consciousness again.
Free will resides in being aware of the “rules” /laws of the game of life, to be free.