The idea of karma is one of the most widely misunderstood concepts among spiritual practitioners, and within spiritually-inclined societies. In fact, karma is so widely misunderstood that I prefer to use the term â€śsoul issuesâ€ť instead. The latter phrase is a better fit, as I explain inÂ Champion of the Soul.Â The following three distinctions, taken from that book, represent three key clarifications that can help you avoid what I call â€śThe karma trapâ€ť. Though deceptively simple, these are powerful distinctions that have the power to change your life.
1. The karma trap
One of the great problems with the popular idea of karma is that many spiritual seekers will tend to look at their lives and the â€śbadâ€ť things they have done; at their unsatisfactory level of enlightenment; compare themselves unfavourably with spiritual masters â€“ and decide that theyÂ mustÂ have more karma work through. The result is that they become full of self-judgment and guilt. And these things, yet again, take the mind into remembered pasts and imagined futures (where redemption is only ever to be found later on).
Such a naĂŻve spiritual seeker might go to a regression therapist to dig out some mind-crap that he feels needs resolving. He might believe that this will help him to go about emptying the karma bucket. Then hopefully one day he can rub his name off the cosmic blackboard and God will reward him with a wonderful life of enlightenment.
In such a scenario the mind takes over, filling the personâ€™s energy field with self-denial.
Inherent in this delusion is that God is separate, and that one must await the great judgment in order to pass some cosmic test.
All this exacerbates the sense of separation, and prevents the person from surrendering and becoming deeply present. It prevents the relaxation that invites joy into the heart,
In other words, the search for enlightenment or redemption through past-life resolution is self-defeating. It ensures that redemption always remains in an imagined future, and in the hands of an imaginary God.
This is the karma trap.
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About the Author
Marcus T Anthony (PhD) is a futurist of the human mind, writer andÂ spiritual adviser. His new book isÂ Champion of the Soul.