Presently I’m teaching a series of classes based on the book, “The Amazing Power of Your Emotions,” by Ester and Jerry Hicks. During one of the class sessions, someone asked how the concept of karma relates to the Law of Attraction. More specifically, she wanted to know how does all the baggage we carry with us from life time to life time (i.e., the typical Western view of karma) affect the idea that we can of think our way into better health, better relationships and more wealth. In other words, what happens to all of our emotional and psychological and spiritual baggage? Do we just think it away? Or does it continue to haunt and pester us no matter how positively we think? This is such a fantastic question, one that will clarify the role our past has in creating a happy future.
Karma means action in Sanskrit. Unfortunately, karma is often seen from a perspective that limits it to a kind of fate, “my car was stolen because I must have stolen someone else’s vehicle in a previous lifetime…it’s my karma.” The Law of Attraction on the other hand, seems to discount the very popular notion that in order to understand the present and create a better future we need to delve into and understand our past. It appears then that The Law of Attraction is always leaning forward and our karma keeps us with one foot in the past.
Working with Our Karma
Karma is the habitual ways in which we view ourselves and the world; it is the unconscious modes of behavior that we have inherited. Biologically we have inherited many traits and habits, for example inheriting your Grandmother’s temperament as well as her eyes. We also “…inherit the eyes that we are seen with,” as Dr. Stephen Cope discusses in his wonderful book, “Yoga and the Quest for the True Self.” That is, in addition to our biological inheritance, how we see ourselves and our world is determined by how we are seen by those closest to us and by how our society sees us also. How many African American men have you heard say that when they walk past a woman she grabs hold of her purse? If a young black man is seen as a menace by society then that world view often times becomes a filter for how he sees himself and the world he lives in. Contemplate how it would feel to walk by someone who looked at you with fear and suspicion? Would you feel angry, indifferent, defiant? Or would you implode taking it all in allowing it mold your deepest feelings about who you are? Then ask yourself what action (karma) would arise from those feelings, from that viewpoint, from an unconscious sense of self derived from an outsiders view of you? Perhaps there is a situation in your life that is more personal and immediate, one that allows you to see that who you think you are, is really tied to the things that your mother or father has said about you and to you. The truth is, is that we all share in this reality and this is the basis for most of our personal and collective suffering, wrong view.
Karma is also the energy that moves through us and like a magnet it attracts more of the same to us. We call this aspect of karma, the Law of Cause and Effect, what comes around goes around, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. According to this law, if we are silently or not so silently indifferent, we will, through our actions, attract that same indifference to us. We will create for ourselves a world of apathy where nothing every moves, or breathes or lives. If on the other hand we are aware of our feelings of indifference and separation or whatever, then we become the master of our destiny…we now can exercise the supreme gift of choice.
Working with Our Karma and The Law of Attraction
Choice is the energy that drives the use of the Law of Attraction. Like karma, the Law of Attraction is often over simplified and misunderstood. The Law of Attraction is not just positive thinking. Positive thinking is meaningless if we do not understand the habitual patterns and beliefs (i.e., our karma) that motivate our thoughts and actions. This is how these two concepts of the same reality, karma and The Law of Attraction, can work together. If you desire better healthier relationships, then you need to become aware of how you feel and you behave in your relationships. If you desire love and support, ask yourself, “Am I loving and supportive? Or do I have a habit of undermining myself and others in my relationships through my neediness, my anger, my sense of unworthiness?” The Law of Attraction tells us, that we must become what it is we desire. The Law of Cause and Effect demands it since we can only attract what is like our view of ourselves. How can we create peace through anger and resistance? How can we attract love when we undermine or belittle ourselves or our loved ones.
At the core of The Law of Attraction is action, we must become, we must do, we must create the container that will hold our desire. If you desire to lose weight, you must eat more healthfully, exercise more regularly, and create a positive mental atmosphere about your sense of well-being now. When you do this, your body takes over, it responds to your thoughts, intentions and actions. You don’t tell the body how to shed the pounds, you just create the conditions for the intelligence of the body to take over. It is the same with this Law of Attraction. You must be the architect of the container to hold what it is you desire, then the intelligence of the Universal Body will take over… and your cup will overflow with all the good you can stand!
Photo Credit: Jeremy Thomas