It’s Time To Redefine Karma

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post titled “The End of Suffering” where I proposed that we needed to eradicate from spiritual teachings the concept that we choose to incarnate here for the expressed purpose of experiencing trauma and suffering. This week I want to talk about another problematic spiritual concept: karma.

I’ve seen a gazillion different explanations of karma, ranging from the idea that it’s a universal system of punishment for misdeeds in a past life, to the concept of balancing energies in this life that were left unbalanced in past lives.

I wrote a blog post ages ago about how this isn’t how I see karma:

Read “Karma and Effect”

I came to this view of karma while reading a Dolores Cannon book. In it, she kept talking about souls incarnating on earth and getting “stuck” in karma. The way she described it was that earth’s energy was dense and heavy, and once a soul got here, it was difficult to raise their vibration high enough to get back out. It occured to me at that moment, and has only become clearer and clearer as the years have gone by, that karma is simply the global consequences of our actions while on earth. The energy we leave behind.

When we incarnate into a cycle of trauma and abuse, and we don’t heal that cycle of abuse in our lifetime, it gets passed onto the next generation. After thousands of years of humans living and acting from this trauma, we’ve built an entire society around it where abusive behavior is considered completely normal. Any soul that is born into a new life here is subjected to that trauma and abuse by simply being here. That’s what people get stuck in: the shame and the anger and the pain that every generation before us has perpetrated onto the next. We are literally swimming in it. And it’s still here, every time we incarnate.

The old school definition of karma is a bigger problem in the spiritual community, though, especially from a trauma standpoint.

When you tell someone that the reason they were abused, oppressed, or otherwise had a shit life is because of their “karma,” you’re essentially telling them that they deserve it. And when you tell a trauma survivor that they deserve the treatment that they are receiving, you are being abusive (and that’s YOUR KARMA) and engaging in victim-shaming. You’re also ignoring the perpetrators of abuse and and mechanisms of oppression, which enables them.

Maybe the whole purpose of this karma thing isn’t to punish us or to teach us. Maybe it’s just the consequences of our collective actions, over time, and the way to release the karma is to heal ourselves, end cycles of abuse, and to liberate ourselves and each other from systemic oppression. Perhaps thats what this whole ascension thing is about.

Learn more about that whole ascension thing.

Thanks for being here,



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