Sex Q&A: Does Karma Exist?

Right, Wrong and Karma

Kiran asks:

My friend and I recently got into a “conversation” about right and wrong. I kept insisting that right and wrong do exist. If they did not exist, then why would Karma exist or matter? My friend kept telling me that ultimately, there is no right or wrong. This conversation started because I recently visited a past life regressionist and asked her if I had done anything wrong in my past lives. Like my friend, she said there is no right or wrong. Is she right? If she is, then why does Karma matter?

Liam’s Response:

Greetings, Kiran. Your question is indeed an interesting one. From the outset, though, I must point out that simply by asking me to answer a question regarding the existence or non-existence of so-called “right” and “wrong” puts me in a position of presenting my opinion as “right” in opposition to any other opinion which must, by definition, be “wrong.” Hence I ask that we proceed with the understanding that what I am about to say is my opinion only and I make no claims that this opinion is in any way “right” in relation to anyone but myself. That being said I will attempt to offer my insights on the subject by saying that when people approach psychics or other individuals immersed in the study of the mystical realms, they do so holding tightly to the assumption that all of these people believe the same things, when the fact is no two psychics will hold exactly the same spiritual beliefs or follow the same philosophical models in their work. Not all of us believe in soul mates or reincarnation or universal truth or even objective reality. As for Karma as it is presented in the New Age (as some sort of universal justice system), I do not subscribe to such a notion.

I am a student of Tantra, and in the precepts of that philosophy there is a yogic interpretation of Karma which is devoid of our Western obsession with good vs. evil. What you are referring to in your inquiry is something far different. Essentially what you’re asking me about is the rather problematic notion that people who do good get good in return, while people who do evil get evil. I know it sounds reasonable, even delightful considering the things some people do, but if you look very closely with the most realistic of eyes, you will find at the core of this very reasonable-sounding notion the basis for pretty much all the world’s hatred, prejudice and problems. For who defines what is good and what is evil? And if you assume that certain fundamental notions are universal and easily applied to all cultures, religions and situations, then you are sadly mistaken.

Like all notions of “some things are good and other things are bad,” Karma simply provides a means to exercise control. The foundation of the idea, however well hidden, is an implied centric belief in the personal mindset of whoever is in charge at the time. Wars are fought, people are raped, killed and tortured most often in this world because one group is convinced by their moral or theological standards that they are right while the other guy is wrong. That some cosmic force is going to punish people who think differently than we do or behave in ways we don’t approve of is only a variation on the theme. Centric good vs. bad thinking is a curse to humanity.

Mystics of various schools and Magi of certain traditions know the score. In the last words of Hassan-I Sabbah “Nothing is truth. Everything is Permitted” If you embrace that concept, all of your perceptions will alter. The idea is to find a way to respect our fellow humans without the imposition of spiritual laws and mandates. We see how well all our laws and rules have worked for us so far. But to alter our own ideas enough to see that our truths are not true for others, is a genuine challenge. It is also a point of spiritual liberation.

Liam

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12 thoughts on “Sex Q&A: Does Karma Exist?

  1. Jan

    you explained it but did not explain it. :) nice way of answering a deep question that cannot be really understood by text but only by personal experience. Karma has a law of its own. its not bound by our laws but by its own. we must be first enlightened to really understand it. first we must get out of the trappings of our beliefs and have an open mind to our actions and those of others. i have gone through a miserable period in my life which i do not believe i deserve, but it would not have come to me if there was not a lesson to be learnt from it. we are here to learn life lessons and grow. its all about evolving as human beings and for the life after this. this is only temporary. either we learn what karma has to teach us or we shall be returning until we do. :) my 2 cents on karma. nice article liam. as always, i always try to keep with yours. you have a great gift and you are straight forward in your writing most of the time. keep it up

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  2. Aisha x5865

    Great article Liam! You explained your stance on karma so succinctly and I would say that my opinion on it runs pretty close to yours
    So much of the western influence has infiltrated the teachings of Karma so that they take on the form of good/bad and reward/punishment.
    Far too often I hear people say “thats okay Karma will bite her in the behind” to which I might often challenge them and say or perhaps this is Karma’s way of teaching YOU something about yourself or redirecting you in your life- in that way the person has done you a good service

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  3. Mary

    I find this article to be so valuable, it is a believe that I have always debated in my mine. I have seen terrible things done in the name of one believe over the other and the idea of suppressing and control.

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  4. Richard

    Every action, or inaction, has consequences. And those consequences have consequences, & so on, & so on. I’ve always considered this to be the essence of karma. If a tree falls in the forest & there is no one around to hear the sound, is there still karma? It would seem to me that there is, & that in a world populated by over 7 billion humans, it won’t take long for someone to feel those karmic consequences, in some way or another, without ever knowing what initiated them. I may have done something in a previous life, that I & everyone I knew at the time thought was a particularly virtuous thing to do, that set in motion a train of consequences that has actually brought me some form of suffering in this lifetime, & unless someone can regress me to that past life, I have no idea what it was, or how it led to what it did. Even if I did come to know, would it change anything? What people need to understand is that the concepts of “good” & “evil” are products of human culture. They vary from place to place, & from time to time. Karma operates independently of human culture, & even of humanity as a species. However, karma is a useful concept when considering an action, or refraining from an action. Sometimes, with a bit of forethought, the consequences are pretty clear. It is those consequences that really need to be considered. Not whether one’s cultural indoctrination would classify the act as good or evil. After all, in Nazi Germany, turning in a rogue undesirable, & contributing to genocide, was a “good” thing.

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  5. Denise

    Thank you for this, Liam. I studied philosophy in college and remember in Eastern religion my professor taught us that the only “good karma was no karma” because truly karma was about learning lessons in each life that the universe needs you to learn. Only when your karmic balance sheet is equal, and all lessons are learned, are you able to achieve nirvana, which is the ultimate reward.

    One of my biggest pet peeves in life is this Western obsession with people getting the karma they deserve. If people truly understood what it really meant, they would spend more time thinking about the “why” behind what happened rather than who was right or wrong in a situation. With the exception of very few, eg, an Adolf Hitler for example, no one is truly wrong 100% of the time. It is very often us struggling to cohabitate in a world where we’re all struggling to master some lesson.

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  6. Bonnie Marash

    I have seen Karma in action. I was renting a hme hoping to buy it but the person that arranged the sale was not even on the deed so I realy should never have entered that deal. Her X owned the house. He evicted us and I went t court. The judge was one of his buddies. This happened IN the south in a very small town. The judge ruled that I had 10 days to get out, when I asked for a little more time because I am disabled ha refused. Well we moved this was Dec, then in Aug his house caught fire, He hired someone to use a kerosene heater in the house and it just happened to catch on fire. He was caught for insurance fraud. To me that is karma I was hurt by that person and he ended up in jail, and i have seen it at work in the lives of others.

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  7. ilat

    Very interesting to me and food for thought. I have thought for some time that organized religion is all about exercising control, now to consider karma may be the same is, as I say food for thought. I appreciate your truths in the last paragraph, and it makes sense to me.
    Thank you for the articles you write.

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  8. nicolas

    ” The idea is to find a way to respect our fellow humans without the imposition of spiritual laws and mandates.” I agree to this written up there in the Karma article. That’s what’s all about. I THINK. All that spiritual bull _ _ _ _ from pretty much all the segregated coreligionists religions people go to these things ( I did it when I had no clue had to in order to speak this way other wise ) years with the alternative semi rude attitude Kabbhalists and then the sublime romantics frog like Victorian Buddha’s siting on a Lotus Flower by some pond pretending one direction mind, then the Catholics, then the Mormons, then the reincarnation concept along etc etc the list is endless, from Herbalists to Globalists, etc but at last no one wants to consider each other’s point of view and most important what is needed to save HUMANITY is RESPECT. ” The idea is to find a way to respect our fellow humans without the imposition of spiritual laws and mandates.” WELL SAID.

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  9. sbsteinb1Suzanne

    Hello Liam,
    I agree there is no order in such a strict fashion as good recieves good (expecially since the most pure people have suffered more than anyone else, becaue their suffering has made them pure and good) however order is the foundation of all society. So I do believe there is morality, it does not perhaps aways lead to spiritual rewards, however morality is still underlining our goals and our behavoir. I personally at times take a reigious perspective of right and wrong, where the balance happens in a day of judgment that all creatures and life forces go through on the otherside, however the context of that judgment and how it restores order, has often elluded me. I believe morality and karma, saddly are not connected, but that is the challenge of being human, is to do the right thing without any emotional rewards and only wisdom. For perhaps, there will be a purpose far deeper than order. I believe that bad people are at times never punished as well. But many spiritual people see pain as the attention of a higher force, to create change and elevation. Being a bad person does create order (I had a dream about it.) but that order is not a divine order, or can not be rectified from a higher power. As we are all but servents, and sometimes our own power is just an illusion. Even evil qualities have purpose and they exsist to fufill their purpose, just as postive qualities do. I tend to take another religious perspctive on this too, that states the only true consequence of our actions here on earth is not our emotions, but how cose we feel to our divine purpose and G-d. And if you constantly do things to seperate you from good, you will feel distant from good and closer to evil, and being a horriable person won’t seem horriable because it will be where you feel you belong, and there will be order there too. (yet, one day a very long time ago, when perhaps I was facing my own peronal cross roads, an angel told me, that those on the darker path of life, never rise as high in our so called order, as those taking a whiter path.)

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  10. Teddy

    I really enjoyed the part on Karma ,it’s put a total whole light on truth vs. lies ,or nothing is Truth . Everything is permitted .

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  11. quinn ext 5484

    “But to alter our own ideas enough to see that our truths are not true for others, is a genuine challenge. It is also a point of spiritual liberation.”

    very profound statement…

    after 911 my preception of karma changed…being buddhist and living my life according to the “universal law of cause and effect” and seeing such violence take place, gave me pause to think about this topic of karma quite deeply.
    i know there are layers to understanding life and i agree with you that karma is one way to explain why things happen the way they do in ones personal life. on a very basic level.
    i do not think you can escape karma, or there is bad karma.
    i think there is energy and what we do with that energy is either right for the one making the cause or not.
    effects will follow… maybe not instant karma, like the beatles sung, instand karma is gonna get ya…
    but some time in some life time in some moment in time our actions our causes have an effect, some where some place, some how…
    and the effect might not even be revelant to the cause.
    and there ya have my sunday morning soapbox rant on kamra.
    thanks liam for such an interesting article.
    -quinn

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  12. robin

    I am always interested in questions such as this and would like to contribute my somewhat uneducated but experienced opinion. I don’t believe in right or wrong. That’s a judgment and someone has to draw the line between the two. The Universe has a “force” that is not a humanistic reasoning mind..not a personage. But I believe this force does recognize positive and negative energy. You can do a good deed but if your intent is to manipulate someone or something then I think the universe recognizes the negative energy of the intent and not the deed. There is no judgment that this is right or wrong but the energy of intent is somehow recognized and does create more positive or negative energy around us. Can it come back on us? I believe so but this is the tricky part. The universe cannot separate how, what or when…maybe not even who. If our intent is negative it could follow not just us but our children. It would make more sense for all of us to think positive, speak positive and do positive with loving intent!

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