For many, good karma holds the promise of positive things in the future, while bad karma portends trouble. But despite this conventional wisdom, it’s actually an oversimplification at best.
Karma itself means action. The entire universe is eternally in motion. This action is karma in one form or another – the grass growing the tree branches bending in the wind. The universe is alive with forces and systems acting upon one another.
And the opposite of karma? Akarma is inaction in action. Take, for example, rain falling. It simply rains; this action just happens. Over time, as an individual is involved in a specific karma they want to master, they will eventually become an expert. At that point, karma can transform into akarma, an effortless effort.
Goodness, passion and darkness are present in everyone and everything, influencing our behaviors and driving our karmas. And our actions have consequences; they ripple outward and sometimes continue past our present lives. For karma attached to desires and results (sakam karma), we carry the resulting chains with us from life to life; they tie us to karmas we have done before and we will not be rid of them until the world brings them back around to us and gives us the chance to be free of them.
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