by Dr. Bruce Goldberg

Karma is a Sanskrit word that literally means "action." Sanskrit is an ancient Indo-European written language, dating from about 1500 B.C. Karma is the force that leads to reincarnation. Destiny is another synonym for karma. In our life we plant the seeds of the personality that will grow during that and subsequent incarnations (lifetimes). Thus, reincarnation is the mechanism by which karma works. The two must be considered together.

The basic law of karma has come to mean action and reaction, or cause and effect. This is equivalent to the Christian philosophy: "As ye do unto be others, so shall it be done unto you." Any action that is considered harmful or evil to the well-being of another is recompensed exactly in proportion to the harm done.

One of the basic principles of karma is that every soul (entity) has free will. There is always freedom of choice. Each soul is drawn to parents who can provide the biological heredity and physical environment needed to learn karmic lessons. Psychic genetics is more important than biological genetics in determining the character of our lives. In addition, all lessons and deeds are recorded in the entity's Akashic records, which are used to determine each new lifetime. These records are the sum total of our past, present, and future lives and are accessible through our superconscious mind.

Karma is simply cause and effect. If you throw a rock through a window, making a hole in the window, you have a cause (throwing the rock), and an effect ( a hole in the window). Every effect that exists has some cause. If you are unhappy about your life, your financial situation, your relationship, your health, etc., then you must realize that a cause exists. These causes can be traced back to past lives. Your subconscious mind retains all of these causes because it has a perfect memory bank. The subconscious mind also survives death, so that a new life means merely exchanging one body for another. You have the same subconscious, only now it has learned some lessons and grow spiritually.

All of the things you have or have not done in this and all of your past lives will generate certain effects in this life as well as in future lifetimes. The laws of karma are perfectly just. The soul always has free will. Karma can bring you happiness or sadness, depending on the effects you have earned and the paths you have chosen to take. It is not the purpose of karma to reward or punish. Its purpose is to educate the subconscious, and to purify it. Once the subconscious is purified, it no longer needs karma, or the "karmic cycle," as we refer to it. The karmic cycle is the chain of lives we live in order to work out all of the negativity we have earned in previous lifetimes.

The balance sheet or final result of the karmic cycle is zero. When all of the positive causes we've amassed cancel out all of the negative causes, and we have learned all of the lessons that we are supposed to learn, then we have completed or karmic cycle. The balance sheet is zero and the subconscious is purified. We then no longer need to come back again to learn.

If, however, we react to certain tests in our lives negatively (with hatred, revenge, jealousy, pettiness, or some other negative emotion), then we have to retake this test in either this or a future lifetime.

The Principles of Forgiveness

What is interesting to note about working out our karma is the principle of forgiveness. When I have the patient speak from the superconscious (the highest level of the subconscious) mind level I am informed of how this principle works. Assume that you lived during the times of the Vikings, about 1,200 years ago. Raiding villages, burning buildings, raping the women, and murdering the villagers would have been commonplace. This would incur much negative karma. If during one of these raids a certain group of villagers would have their lives spared because of your kindness, then you would earn positive karma. It wouldn't be just one positive episode against many negative ones. The fact that you showed this kindness would erase many negative episodes during that particular incarnation. If you spent the rest of that life helping other people, all of the past murders, thefts, and other crimes could be removed from your karmic cycle.

Free Will

Since the soul always has free will, it is our decision to be born at a certain time and places. It is our decision to choose our parents, friends, lovers, and enemies. We cannot blame other people or a bad childhood or marriage for our present problems. We are directly responsible for our lives because we have chosen the environment.