“Whatsoever thou reaps, that shall ye sow,” says the Bible. While the terms are agricultural, the analogy is clear. Whatever you give out in this life you get back. Today, most of us refer to this phenomenon as Karma, although there are different approaches to it:
- Certain religions, specifically Hinduism and Buddhism, accept reincarnation, and to them karma is the reaping of what you sowed in your past life.
- Some religious and secular individuals believe that karma may come in this lifetime or in a permanent afterlife.
- The scientific community is now reeling a bit from a study conducted at Emory University School of Medicine that has demonstrated that the same concocted fear is apparently passed down through 6 generations of mice.
What, then, does all of this belief and data on karma tell us about our own weaknesses? Are they passed down through generations? Are they consequences from our behaviors in a prior life? Or could they even be a result of how we have lived our life so far that has resulted in certain consequences? But there are certain weaknesses, the origins of which we cannot explain, and these may, indeed, be karmic.
Fears and Phobias
Some of us love chilling roller coaster rides. Others of us are horribly frightened by them. Why? No one really knows. It seems to be some inherent “thing.” Now roller coaster rides will not impact a person’s life much, but what about fearing failure so much that we refuse to take risks, even when they could ultimately improve our lives? Then a fear becomes a major “negative” for us. We can become “stuck.”
Being a Martyr
This is not the Joan of Arc kind of martyr. No, this martyr behavior is the inability to be able to say “no” to anyone, continually trying to meet the needs and demands of others, to our own detriment, and just accepting that status for our entire adult lives. This, too, could be karmic.
Lack of Self-Control
Perhaps our impulsivity and our excessive behavior comes from our great-grandfather, or from our past life of persecuting and condemning those who lacked self-control. Wherever it came from, it can wreak havoc in our lives today. We might drink too much, gamble too much, take unreasonable risks, commit crimes, and put ourselves and others in danger. And we may pay a pretty high price for these behaviors as well.
A Consciousness of Lack
There is never enough money; there is never enough time; there is never enough trust, loyalty, or love. These are people whose “lack consciousness” fosters a pessimism about life that they simply cannot shake free from. And it makes them unhappy people – people that others do not want to be around. The dwelling on lack has real consequences in this life too. When those thought patterns are held, then lack is what will be manifested.
Road rage is the manifestation of extreme anger. Pervasive anxiety over the state of the world, so much so, in fact, that we become fearful, is extreme and can cause us to retreat from normal activity. These extremes can harm us in very different ways, but still they do harm. And in many cases, we really don’t know where these have come from. We did not grow up in a family where these were present. We did not have traumatic experiences that would account for them. They are just “there.”
Determining if Weaknesses are Karmic
Psychologists and therapists can certainly explain these weaknesses in some of their patients. They have grown up in dysfunctional or violent homes. They have had traumatic experiences that have impacted their current behaviors. But what about the presentation of these weaknesses when there are no plausible explanations for them? We then call them personality traits but without any cause. The fact that they may be karmic must be considered.
Overcoming Karmic Weaknesses
Karma has been described as the process by which “God gives us the lessons we need to evolve spiritually.” It stands to reason then that overcoming karma is to discover now to learn our lessons and not have to suffer the weaknesses caused by those lessons. If, for example, we have the weakness of extreme anger, the lesson we must learn is to overcome that. If we don’t, it may be a lesson we must face again.
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