Have you ever felt drawn toward someone without a conscious thought as to why? Have you ever met someone for the first time and immediately sensed a strong connection?
Perhaps you harbored ill will toward someone for no particular reason that went beyond any identifiable stereotypes. On the surface, these encounters might appear to be random. Yet, there is something in these interactions that point to an inherent destiny.
Your personal experience might have a larger context. One possibility is that what you are experiencing could be of a karmic nature. Although knowledge about karma has been held for thousands of years, the teachings have rarely been shared with Westerners.
Traditionally, the knowledge was held in closed monasteries or temples in the East, reserved only for those people who were interested in completing their final incarnation, something that Western living tends to interrupt.
Linking Chi to Karma
The word karma is often thrown around quite unconsciously. People say, “We must have had a past life together,” or “I must have been royalty in a past life.”
Maybe this is true and maybe it’s not.
Most of the time, these statements are mental thoughts, abstract ideas that are not necessarily based upon reality and have no bearing on your current life in any case. However, they do speak to the underlying consciousness of the energy behind life.
The great secret is this: Chi is the link between you and your karma.
The sixth energy body (of the eight energy bodies in Taoism) is called the causal or karmic body. As you develop the ability to feel and work with chi (qi), eventually you can reach a point where you access karma.
Why would someone want to consider their karma?
At the base level, it is important for people to become aware of the effect they have on others and the effects others have on them. The spirit of “what goes around comes around” is universally recognized, but there are much deeper and more significant forces at play.
At the more advanced levels, a person can consciously and directly consider karmic debts one by one, and possibly resolve them. In fact, karma is one of the reasons we are on this planet in a human body.
The Nature of Karma
From the point of view of Buddhists and Hindus, karma, a Sanskrit word, is defined as “cause and effect.” Once energy goes out in any direction, it always returns to itself. In this view, if energy goes out as good, it would return as good. If energy goes out as evil, it returns as evil. If energy goes out as confusion, it comes back to create more confusion. These effects could occur immediately or over a long period, such as over many lifetimes.
If you want to test the cause-effect relationship of karma, do this: For two days, smile and only say kind things to everyone you greet. Carefully observe the ways in which people treat you. Then, do the opposite for two days—insult every person you greet. And watch how they react.
You could say that you attract certain energies to yourself because of the karma you put out. If you punch someone in the face, that person will most likely punch you back—maybe literally, maybe figuratively. You can say this is karma, but in the Taoist view, it is not the whole story.
The Taoist law of Return
Taoists do not actually use the term karma. They talk about the Law of Return. For Taoists, all energy flows in a circle. On this, contemporary physicists and Taoists agree.
Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It just keeps changing forms as it travels through specific cycles in circular energetic patterns based on the intent that is manifested. Recall that any level of intent has both a yin and yang component. In a yin cycle, energy is moving toward or being absorbed by something. In a yang cycle, energy is emanating or moving away from something.
According to the Taoists, karmic energy goes out from some origination point and returns to itself in some fashion. By the time the energy returns, it has become changed and might not resemble the quality of the energy that went out. Very often, the exact qualities of its journey cannot be ascertained. The Taoists say that one of the possibilities—but only one—is that the karmic energy might come back in the way it originated.
Bouncing a ball against a wall and having it bounce straight back to you is an example. But that is only one possibility. A strong gust of wind may come and blow that ball in either direction or it might be blown away altogether.
More likely, in the Taoist perspective, karmic energy is moving throughout the universe. You become a particular focal point where karma moves through you and thereby causes an effect in you or others around you, an effect that might or might not be connected to your own current, obvious, recognizable actions.
Often, when people talk about karma, they assign positive or negative interpretations of events as resulting from a perceived good or bad action, respectively. However, the karmic energy that attached itself to you and becomes bound inside you might have nothing to do with the energy you put out. It might have more to do with much larger flows in the universe that just happen to cross your path. These flows could have started while you and I were not even guests on this planet.
So, you could say that the Law of Return has three properties:
- All energy runs in a circle
- Any energetic movement has a yin and yang component, or intent, which determines whether energy is expanding outward or being absorbed inward
- The energy going out always returns to the origination point, but not necessarily in the same form or time frame in which it went out
Types of Karmic Influences
Think of karma as a carrier wave. To have an effect, it must intersect with another carrier wave to manifest some sort of consequence, whether inside you or in the universe.
For example, the basis of astrology is that a carrier wave in the stars intersects with something inside you and creates an effect within your personality or character that strongly influences how you will react to some external event or internal thought process. It is the intersection that causes a manifestation.
In the karmic view, the context of your life and your external circumstances determines, to a certain degree, how a karmic wave is going to move inside you and consequently affect you.
So, the good news is that not everything you interpret as being of negative consequence is actually a direct result of your own “bad” actions or character. What happens could just as likely be a result of the karma of the family or nation you were born into or even the karma of the entire human race. It may have nothing to do with you personally—you may simply be an impartial catalyst for larger events downstream.
Conversely, when good things happen, it may or may not have to do with your personal qualities of goodness in your character. There might be some element of luck involved.
The temptation is to use the term “random energy,” but it is not random in the grand scheme of things, even though it might often seem to be the case for you personally. Almost everyone is caught up in larger waves of karmic cycles.