by Robert Wilkinson
Today we revisit an important question of human existence, since there are assertions by some that we can in fact "pay off" karma in this life and not generate any more.
I personally feel that it is impossible to be outside of the Law of Cause and Effect as long as we are sentient Beings. Whether ignorant or a Master of the Wisdom, our consciousness will always generate effects as long as we are a Loving Wise Intelligence, whether in a body or not, whether in this world or greater expanses of awareness on a cosmic level.
I figured this would be a good time to reprint something I wrote on this subject a few years ago. As I've mentioned, there occasionally seems to be a problem accessing articles in the archives in their entirety. That's why I'm reprinting some of the ones that deal with pressing issues for many in our world.
As I wrote in the original article: Today's post comes from a client who asked an important question affecting us all. She told me of an astrologer who said they could tell what age a person would have their karmic debt paid off in this life.
However, my client asked her astrology teacher (no, not me!) who does karmic and archetypal astrology (like me!) about this question, and her teacher believes we are never done working out our karma (as she put it, "paying for it, suffering for it, etc...") While this subject could be explored forever, my answer may help explain how the concept of "karma" actually works.
Regarding karma, there is no point in our reality when we're done with karma, since every thing we do this lifetime, even enlightened altruistic works, generates more karma. True, it's good karma, and enables us to be placed into situations where we can do better things in the future, but it's all karma.
Every cause has an effect, whether in this life or another. A manifestation on any level brings its results, whether direct or indirect, whether we perceive them or not.
That said, there are definitive points in our lives where we're done with certain lessons for all time. We will never suffer the results of our ignorance, misguided efforts, anger, hatred, resentment once we're over these. We have debts to be paid, and once paid, we're done with them for ourselves.
However, as we learn ways beyond those behaviors that once brought us and others suffering, then we are often called into situations where we can demonstrate the way beyond negative karmas to others. We neither suffer the bad karmas, nor do they stick to us. We are simply there as witnesses to ways beyond those karmas, for those who choose to learn from our example.
Karma is not really such a complex thing, though at times it sure seems to be, nor is it something to be feared, avoided, or something to strive to "end," as if that could ever happen. It is merely the Law of Cause and Effect, the unending chain of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual manifestations that work their effects. By becoming aware of consequences of behaviors, we can redirect the energies to altruistic intention.
Whether we "succeed" or "fail" is irrelevant. What matters is becoming aware of the process, and choosing consciously to detach from the sources of past and present behaviors that will create suffering in the future.
It is said this life is the result of what we did and did not cultivate in prior lives, and that future lives will be affected by what we generate in this one. Is it any wonder why we MUST come out of ignorance and suffering as best we can here and now?
For a little more on the subject of karma, you may want to take a new look at Moving through Karmic Storm Zones and a companion piece, Pluto, Cosmic Fire, and Navigating the Karma of Oppositions. (Note: LOTS of great links in that one!) And please take a new look at Overcoming Bad Luck, Bad Karma, and Bad Life Circumstances for an elaboration on how much we can and do affect our karma by our point of view. Namaste!
(This article was originally published June 29, 2007. As with all these reprints, the original comment stream has many very good questions and insights, and back then I had a lot more time to answer them. So by all means check it out if you're so inclined.)
© Copyright 2007, 2010 Robert Wilkinson