The Law of Karma or Cause and Effect

Deepak Chopra, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

The Law of Karma or Cause and Effect

Karma is the eternal assertion of human freedom. . . . Our thoughts, our words,

and deeds are the threads of the net which we throw around ourselves.

— Swami Vivekananda

 

The third spiritual law of success is the Law of Karma or Cause and Effect. Karma is both action and the consequence of that action. Everyone has heard the expression “What you sow is what you reap.” If we want to create happiness in our lives, we must learn to sow the seeds of happiness. Therefore, the Law of Karma implies the action of conscious choice making. When we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success.

In every moment, we have access to an infinity of choices. Some choices are made consciously, while others are made unconsciously. Unfortunately, a lot of our choices are made unconsciously, and therefore we don’t think they are choices — and yet, they are. As a result of conditioning, our choices are often triggered by people and circumstances into predictable outcomes.

If I were to insult you, you would most likely make the choice of being offended. If I were to pay you a compliment, you would most likely make the choice of being flattered. But think about it: You could make the choice of not being offended by an insult; you could make the choice of not letting a compliment flatter you either.

The best way to use karmic law is to step back and witness the choices you are making in every moment. When you make any choice, ask yourself two things: “What are the con-sequences of this choice?” and “Will the choice I’m making bring happiness to me and to those around me?” There is always one choice that will create maximum happiness both for you and for those around you. This choice is the spontaneous right action because it’s the action that nourishes you and every-one else who is influenced by that action.

How do you make spontaneous right choices? By paying attention to sensations of comfort or discomfort in your body. At the moment you make a choice, ask your body, “What are the consequences of this choice?” If your body sends a message of comfort, that’s the right choice. If you feel uneasiness in your body even as you ask the question, then it’s not the appropriate choice.

For some people, the message of comfort or discomfort is in the area of the solar plexus, but for most people, it’s in the area of the heart. Put your attention on your heart, and ask your heart what to do. Then pay attention to how you feel. The response may be the faintest level of feeling, but it’s there. You will know the answer is right because it will feel right, without any lingering doubts. The heart knows the correct answer because it taps into the field of pure potentiality and infinite organizing power, and takes everything into account. The heart is intuitive and holistic; it has a win-win orientation. And though the answer may not seem rational, the heart is far more accurate than anything within the realm of rational thought.

You can use the Law of Karma to create money and the flow of all good things to you. But first, become aware of the choices that you are making in every moment. The more you become aware of your choices, the more you will make choices that are spontaneously correct — both for you and for those around you.

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How can you apply the Law of Karma to the choices you’ve already made? Most people pay their karmic debts — unconsciously, of course. Sometimes there’s a lot of suffering involved, but the Law of Karma says no debt in the universe ever goes unpaid.

If you want to transform your karma to a more desirable experience, look for the seed of opportunity within every adversity, and tie that seed of opportunity to your dharma, or purpose in life. This will enable you to convert the adversity into a benefit, and transform the karma into a new expression.

Begin by asking yourself, “What message is the universe giving me? What can I learn from this experience, and how can I make it useful to my fellow human beings?” For example, if you break your leg while playing sports, perhaps the message is that you need to slow down and be more attentive to your body. And if your purpose in life is to teach others, then by asking, “What can I learn from this experience, and how can I make it useful to my fellow human beings?” you may decide to share what you’ve learned by writing a book about playing sports safely. This transforms your karma into a positive experience.

You can also transcend the seeds of your karma by becoming independent of it. The way to do this is to keep experiencing the Self, your spirit, by going into silent meditation and coming out again. This is like washing a dirty piece of cloth in a stream of water. Each time you wash it, you take away a few stains, and it gets a little cleaner.

Every action is a karmic episode because action generates memory, memory generates desire, and desire generates action again. As you become conscious of these seeds of manifestation, you become a conscious choice maker, and the actions you generate will be evolutionary. As long as karma is evolutionary — both for you and for those around you — then the fruit of karma will be happiness and success.

 

To Experience the Law of Karma:

 

•          Witness the choices you make in every moment. The best way to prepare for any moment in the future is to be fully conscious in the present.

•          Whenever you make a choice, ask yourself two questions: “What are the consequences of this choice?” and “Will this choice bring happiness to me and to those who are affected by this choice?”

•          Ask your heart for guidance, and be guided by its message of comfort or discomfort. If the choice feels comfortable, go ahead with that choice. If the choice feels uncomfortable, then don’t make that choice.

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Excerpted from The Seven Spiritual Laws of SuccessCopyright © 1994 by Deepak Chopra.

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