The comments to the first post on Karma have raised several issues that need elaboration besides several other aspects that have not been touched upon yet. As Hayden has rightly pointed out the goal of the Karmic principle is not punishment, - how can that be, if the very consciousness that maintains this principle, the Universal Consciousness is compassion and love?
We are born from a portion of this Universe and are therefore the children of the Universe. A loving parent punishes or rewards a child from time to time in order that the child will develop into a better individual and punishment is never so damaging that it causes permanent scars. The goal is progress. The role of the karmic principle is precisely that - To nudge us towards progress into compassion and love.
A way to teach a person a lesson in compassion is to make the person see the other side. Thus a child who hurts others by throwing things may be taught not to do that through explanation. If an explanation does not suffice, he may have to be hurt in a similar way. The principle of Karma works something like that. If we can learn our lessons into compassion in a gentle manner then Nature will teach us that way, but if a harder way of inculcating that learning is required then Nature will do that too. What better way to feel the pain of a poor person, by suffering through an episode of poverty and what better way to feel the headache of another than by suffering a headache oneself. Yet if one is compassionate enough to feel the pain of another without personally undergoing a similar pain then it is not quite necessary to undergo a similar pain. One may like to argue that we are not children any more, but that argument is meaningless when we stand in front of the vast Infinite Intelligence of the universe.
If we have hurt someone and we repent, then it means that it may not be necessary for us to undergo a similar suffering in order not to cause a similar intentional suffering again and we may then be excused a similar reaction. This and other ways that undesirable Karma can be dissolved shall be discussed again in a later post on Karma.
Karma arises from an exercise of our free wills but let us leave that aspect for the third post on Karma. At this stage it is essential to emphasize that the essence of the Karmic principle is love in a Universe where life thrives on the principle of love.
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