Karma for beginners: right action

Somehow the law of karma has people in all sorts of mental knots sometimes, so I thought I’d start out with the basics:

  • When you help someone today, they will be helped. You will get the blessings later.
  • When you hurt someone today, they will hurt. You will get similar problems later.
  • When you avoid negative actions today (murder, lying, stealing, sexual misconduct, alcohol abuse) – that may be tough today, but you will feel better later.

Some people use the law of karma to feel a bit better about the good things they’re doing. This is a good thing: not only are you helping people, you’re feeling better as well. Win-win.

Some people use the law of karma to justify indifference. Does that person have troubles? It’s their own fault! It’s easier to ignore the things they might do to help. Often we can’t do all that much, but that doesn’t mean we should just ignore or justify the suffering people experience.

For instance: voting parties that support helping those at the bottom of society, may mean laws get implemented that do actually help them.

A version of this post appears in my book Essays on Karma.

4 thoughts on “Karma for beginners: right action”

  1. Thanks. I understood karma, but I liked the bullet presentation you included. It spoke to me deeply this morning as it was so simple and to the point.

    Have a blessed day!

  2. Apropos of your observation that some people use the law of karma to justify indifference, HPB states “Inaction in a deed of mercy is action in a deadly sin.” So, sins of omission have consequences as well.

  3. We see people who hurt others living happily but they are reaping fruits of their previous good karma, once that account is closed the consequences of bad karma will surface

    1. God crashes galaxies together, sucks stars and attendant planets into black holes, and destroys civilizations with comets and volcanoes.

      I can’t see any reason to believe a consciousness capable of those sort of operations cares about human moralities. A practical perspective might be to undertake to see why things exist, not brand them as good or bad because of some imagined leavening device. My opinion.

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