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- Bill Gaum
We have all lived hundreds of lifetimes (see: Reincarnation). And as we go through our various lifetimes we often make mistakes based on the fear that we might not get all that we "want" or "need", as well as the erroneous belief that living selfishly will make us happier. The kind of mistakes we make might include: manipulating others to get our own way; deliberately hurting someone's feelings to "teach them a lesson"; being controlling, dominating, or selfishly manipulative in some way; lying to others; being antagonistic, spiteful, greedy, stealing, and so on. When we mistreat others in these ways, we set into motion an inexorable law which now requires us to become the "victim" of similar experiences in order for us to learn what it feels like to also be the victim of these same kinds of mistreatment. Jesus taught this law as:
"As you sow, so shall you reap."
Similarly, some New Age people say:
"What goes around, comes around."
For instance, if we try to manipulate others to our own selfish advantage, then at a future time, perhaps in a future life, we will be the victims of similar deception and manipulation. And when this happens, we start feeling and thinking to ourselves, "Hey. That isn't fair! No one should treat another person like that! I never would!" And we become a little less manipulative. The same process works for any selfish behavior whether it is for the more obvious ones like stealing, lying, & murder, or the more subtle ones like being domineering; sneakily tricking another person for our own advantage; being insulting, sarcastic or unkind; or any other selfish, self-destructive behavior. The only way that we can truly learn that selfishness is ultimately self-destructive and self-defeating, and that it is never right to take advantage of others, is for us to go through heart rending experiences where people take advantage of us. As we can now see, this realization is achieved very slowly, but effectively over many lifetimes by the law of karma.
The kind of karma we are going to experience in the future is determined by our past and present intentions. What are our intentions? Did we deliberately intend to hurt whoever got hurt? If we did, then we will have to go through pain and suffering similar to the the pain and suffering we've deliberately caused for others - but it will be more intense and longer lasting. This karmic suffering may occur in this present lifetime or in future lifetimes, in this physical realm or in other realms which exist at slightly different vibrations. It's important to realize that karmic suffering is never, ever, for the purpose of punishment. Punishment simply suppresses behavior - it doesn't change one's underlying intentions. Instead, the purpose of karmic suffering is to have experiences that help us to begin to feel in our hearts that no one should ever have to suffer in such a way and to help us to want to compassionately help others in the future who are suffering in similar ways. Thus, karmic lessons soften our hearts and bring about a wonderful change in our feeling world so that in the future we are less likely to want to cause someone to suffer in that way while awakening compassion in our hearts.
Another aspect of karma is as follows: If we hurt someone, but we hadn't intended to hurt them, then we are not required to go through similar karmic pain and suffering (karmic lessons). But we are required to help the person until the negative consequences are erased. In other words, regardless of whether we intentionally or unintentionally caused someone pain, we will have to work to correct the negative effects that pain and suffering has caused on that person or persons. This can be done from the higher realms as well as down here in the physical realm and can take many, many lifetimes. If we are qualified to Ascend, then we can continue to help that person from the Ascended state.
By the way, the Old Testament teaching of "an eye for an eye, a tooth for tooth" as a justification for revenge has been greatly misunderstood. The original teaching as originally given forth was a teaching about the Law of Karma. It stated that if we deliberately hurt someone, then later we will be hurt in a similar way, either in this lifetime or a future lifetime, so that we can learn that it's never right to deliberately hurt another person or take revenge. So the quote, "an eye for an eye, a tooth for tooth" originally meant that if we intentionally blind someone in their eye, or knock their tooth out, then later in this lifetime or another lifetime, we too will lose an eye or a tooth, or be hurt in a similar way. So the tradition of using this quote as an excuse to wreck revenge on someone is based on tragic ignorance and has turned the whole teaching upside down.
You can't deliberately hurt or take advantage of someone else, without setting up the same kind of future painful karmic lesson for yourself. Want to be happy in the future? Be kind, fair, compassionate and selfless now.
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