A lot of people toss around the word “karma” today, and most people probably have at least a vague idea of what it means, or at least they think they know what it means. People say, “Oh that’s good karma!” or “Oh that’s bad karma.” When people use it this way, it’s almost as if they think of the word karma refers to some form of “luck” as in good luck or bad luck.
But that’s not what karma is. Karma, in fact, is one of our most ancient concepts, and its origins go back many thousands of years. A basic understanding of karma is this: It’s an energy you create through your actions or thoughts that has either good consequences or bad consequences. Karma is all about the universe wanting to remain in a state of balance. Thus, if you do something bad, you create an incident of “bad karma.” That bad karma is a kind of “energy debt” you know owe to the universe, and it must be repaid or set things back into balance.
For example, let’s say that when you were a kid you stole $10 out of your mother’s purse and went down to the shopping mall and spent it on something fun. Your mother never finds out who stole her $10, so you get away with it.
You may have gotten away with this little crime in ordinary terms, but “the universe” still knows what you did. You did something wrong, and sooner or later, that “bad karma” is going to catch up with you. Let’s say that six months after you stole $10 from your mom, you are walking down the street, and a bully comes up and punches you in the face for no reason.
Some would say that is the bad karma catching up with you. You did something bad, and so now the universe has set events into motions to rebalance the books, so to speak. At first you might ask after getting socked in the face: “What did I do to deserve this?” Maybe you have already forgotten about the ten bucks you filched. But nothing is ever forgotten, and everything will balance out – sooner or later.
Notice that you can choose to rebalance your bad karma yourself. For example, after you steal the $10, you start to feel guilty about it. You decide to go to your mother and confess, and also pay her back the $10 you stole. Guess what? You have just taken positive action to pay your own karmic debt, giving you more power and greater spiritual control over your life.
This is what karma is all about. Notice also that you can create good karma for yourself. Maybe you decide to spend your weekend working down at the local homeless shelter, doing things to help poor people. You do it expecting no payment – you do it just because you want to help other people. What are you doing? You’re creating “good karma” for yourself, and the universe will reward you for it in some way.
But does karma really exist? Is it something real, or merely a concept, a way of looking at good and bad, right and wrong, sinning and acting upright? It depends on what you believe what your spiritual framework about life and existence is. Whether karma really exists or not, it is certainly an excellent way to strive to keep you life in balance, making sure you produce more good karma in your life, while avoiding bad karma.