December 21, 2017

Is Karma really an Absolute Law?

What if our perception of karma is wrong?

Sometimes we must challenge long-held beliefs to forge a new path and create greater focus in our lives.

Think about this:

For more years than I can remember, I used to always say to people who were in a tough relationship that it was because they mistreated someone in the past. If they were struggling financially, it was because they had very little respect for money. Many times on social media, you’ll see people say right after someone gets dumped in a relationship, “Don’t worry, karma will bite them in the ass.”

In other words, we reap what we sow. But is this absolute statement a big fat lie?

I’ve worked with people who have had affairs on their partner, yet slept like a baby every night. They didn’t suffer the consequences that other people suffer. And these weren’t psychotic individuals. They were everyday kind of people who just had decided they wanted to be with someone else. After working with them for six months or longer, it would become clear that there were still no ramifications to their actions. When they would return five or six years later, and when I would ask them about how the last number of years went in the new relationship, they would be honest with me and say they hadn’t had any problems at all.

But if karma was absolute, as we’ve been taught, they should have suffered in some way. There should’ve been chaos and drama in their minds that created guilt and shame that would not allow them to sleep, that would damage their relationships in some way.

I’ve also worked with people who have been unjust and mean-spirited toward others, and they don’t think anything about it. When I dig for details about their current business and friendships looking for signs of people who may be treating them the way they treat others, often times the answer is that there are no such people to be found—they are completely fine.

Now, this article is not condoning people to cheat on others, steal from others, or mistreat others.

Rather, it is to consider that many times we take these “laws of life” as absolute, and they may not be.

So what’s the takeaway from the concept that karma may not be absolute? We need to quit wasting our time saying things like, “They’ve got it coming—karma is a b*tch.”

That actually puts us in a negative state of mind. Wishing ill on another person is not healthy for us, and I doubt if it’s going to have any effect on them. What it truly does is take our energy away from living a positive life.

As a society, we need to drop this whole thing about people getting their “payback,” because as I just mentioned, it takes away from us being positive, progressive individuals.

Be careful of what you believe in—many of the old “laws of the universe,” just like the law of attraction or statements like “whatever you believe you can achieve,” are not 100 percent factual either.

Be careful. Be selective. Just because famous motivational speakers have told us that karma is absolute, does not mean it is at all.


Relephant reads:

The Truth about Karma.
Karma: It’s Not About what we Do.


Author: David Essel
Image: someecards
Editor: Emily Bartran
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis

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Gail Kavanagh Dec 23, 2017 5:36am

According to the bhagadvita, karma is the action you have to take in this life. in the Bhagadvita, Arjuna asks Krishna why he must perform a terrible act of war: Krishna says it will not be a sin, because it is Arjuna's karma, the action he must take for the greater good. Sometimes our actions cause suffering but a greater good will follow. We do not really understand karma, it is true. We think it is simply tit-for-tat, but it is much more complex. Karma is not instant, we create consequences in our lives that follow us into other lifetimes. Nor is it our bitch, punishing those harm us Karma simply is. Payback, if we want it, is our job. .

David Essel Dec 22, 2017 1:04am

no we are not muddling anything....i studied buddhism for years and interviewd the leaders like lama surya das more times than i can remember...many people hope karma is absolute, like i mention in the article, so those who did them wrong will suffer as well.....it's not anywhere near 100% true...also, remember buddha said " we become what we think about all day long"....this is not factual either...you can think all you want, it will not bring you weight loss or help make money or any other goal by itself....it s time we awaken, and this article is at least a starting point...de

David Essel Dec 22, 2017 12:59am

if you are hoping he get payback, energy is beng wasted, as many peope never get paid back for their treatment of others...i think a better use of energy is to work on releasing your anger, which will free you...easy? no...worth it ? absolutely....nd a great way to be a powerful role model for chidren...if we become a victim in life, lamenting the fact we have been mistreated...we will suffer forever.....if you want, text our office 941.266.7676 and we can chat a bit for free...david

Helena Xiao Dec 22, 2017 12:18am

I believe karma, or rather, life lessons. If you believe in past life and after life, people will eventually be given chances to learn to be nice and loving towards each other.

Linda Lewis Dec 21, 2017 6:23pm

This is not the understanding I have from buddhist teachings. First off, there is no expirey date on karma. It can be instantaneous or eventual. It is relative, not absolute, but that does not mean it isn't true. It is the law of cause and effect we witness in the relative world in which we live. What is absolute is that this karmic dance displays itself on the dance floor of space and emptiness, which pervades everything. In order to understand the buddhadharma you need to understand the union of relative and absolute truth. Your article only muddles the two, and depresses people like Meli Oflitteton below.

Meli Oflittleton Dec 21, 2017 4:21pm

Thanks. As someone whose husband repeatedly cheated on me with a girlfriend from 40 years ago, even during marriage counseling to get OUR marriage back on track, and 6 months later I'm divorced and he's buying a house with the whore he cheated on me with this article was incredibly depressing and just destroyed the last thing I could hold on to. So they're going to be blissfully happy as soon as she gets HER divorce, and why the hell did I teach my kid to be ethical, honest and loyal? Obviously you get what you want if you lie, cheat and betray others. And the rest of us are crushed beneath their feet.

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David Essel

David Essel, M.S. is the best selling author of nine books, a counselor, and master life coach and inspirational speaker whose work is endorsed by celebrities like Jenny McCarthy, Wayne Dyer, ‪Kenny Loggins, and Mark Victor Hansen. David accepts new clients monthly via Skype and phone sessions from anywhere.

His new book Focus! will be released early 2018. Find out more on his website.