Karma does not exist! The typical conception of karma is like a delayed reward and punishment system. We are not talking about straightforward cause and effect, but a situation where the karmic result is hidden, delayed or otherwise not directly connected to the deed. According to this concept, a bad deed may actually pay off in the short run but a negative result will at some point come back to haunt the evildoer. Likewise, someone may even be punished for a good deed, but there will be an eventual beneficial payoff.
Life experience shows that this concept is not true. Ill-gotten gains are enjoyed to the fullest by very bad people and very good people have terrible accidents. Murderers die peacefully in their sleep from old age while candidates for sainthood suffer horribly. The believers in karma may explain this away by saying that the person will be rewarded or punished in their “next life”. This is a theological argument that cannot be proved nor disproved. As such, karma is no longer a “universal law” that must be obeyed. Rather, it becomes completely an article of faith, and therefore a matter of personal choice.
The typical concepts of heaven and hell are exactly the same as the belief in karma, but the consequences of actions are rewarded or punished in a mythical afterlife. Many pagans even go so far as to believe in the so-called “law of three” whereby the karmic reward or punishment is supposedly trebled. This makes the punishment for an evil deed three times as bad as the deed itself. Are we scared yet?
Truly, there is no reason to be scared! All of these concepts are simply attempts to control behavior. There is no evidence for any of it – it all a matter of choosing to believe or not.
Yet, experience tells us that maybe there is a grain of truth in the notion of karma. It is because our actions do not always produce the results we expect. So we assume the expected result somehow “got lost” and will return to us at some later time. However this is not the case. We have just interacted with Chance, Fortune or Luck and the results we obtain are truly what they are.
There is another process, which may be similar to karma is some ways, whereby actions produce results that are unexpected but are in certain aspects similar to the expected results. This process is actually a form of recursion that creates metaphysical fractals. Fractals are self-similar structures that can be generated mathematically by a recursive formula - where one of the steps of the formula consists of rerunning the formula. There are many examples of fractals in nature, for example a both a leaf and the whole tree exhibit a similar structure.
Metaphysically this occurs when we apply a programmed set of thoughts and deeds to situations. We have many of these sets that have developed as an efficient way to deal with circumstances we encounter. Usually we run through such a program in a standard way expecting certain results. However, the base set of circumstances we are working with is not identical – something is usually different. Therefore the strategy that produced a certain result in the past now produces a different, but nonetheless similar result. We may try again, and again the result is not as expected, but is oddly familiar. These metaphysical fractals are especially common in our relationships with others. We do the same things over and over, but with different people, and we can’t understand why our results keep changing! Throw the effects of Luck and Chance into the mix and it’s no wonder we have a hard time getting the outcomes we desire.
The primary strategy to counteract this effect is to mix it up a bit. Try something new! And remember - don’t be afraid of the karma!