Others Actions

Others Actions

Action 1 by Sam
Action 1 by Sam

Karma means action but refers to both the doing and the consequences. It’s often described as unfathomable because it operates “in the commons.” Everything is intertwined with everything else.

It’s also layered, causing action to take place within action. For example, we experience movement in the mind as thoughts, which becomes movement in energy as desire, then into movement of the body to accomplish.

Or we see the wind move through the trees, lifting leaves and birds, and spreading seed.

All of our actions interact with others around us and their actions, and so forth.

While we often experience consequences personally, that’s only because we’re seeking a certain result. Yet we have no control over the fruit of action.

When we let go of expectations and just do our best and allow life to support us, we get better results and have a much easier time of it.

Nature is always moving toward balance of the whole. Thus, it brings results in the most effective way to bring balance. With balance comes peace and happiness, so this is a good thing. Nature often does better than we could have conceived because it considers the whole. It also has the resources of the whole to work with.

When we act out of balance, then nature has to adjust to restore balance. We often experience that adjustment as difficulties.

Given how challenging it is to recognize what fruit is unfolding for us, we can see the folly of judging another. Most people are doing the best they know how in the moment.

Others don’t have the same constraints nor support in play, nor the same consequences unfolding. Plus, what’s happening on the inside is more powerful than any appearance.

For example, someone doing charity work. Helping others is good action that can help restore balance. However, if our motivation is to feel better than others, this has different results.

When we’re interacting with others, our responsibility is with ourselves. There is what someone does and how you respond. What they do is their karma. What you do is yours.

For example, we see someone doing charity work but wastefully. We may judge them harshly. Yet if their actions are from a good heart, they remain beneficial to the whole, even if not superficially efficient. But our own judgment may bring us trouble.

Not that we judge ourselves either. Again, this is the limited mind trying to control rather than accepting our limitations and doing our best.

Perhaps we see a spiritual teacher misleading students. This is difficult karma. But there is also karma for the students, if they do what they know to be wrong. Excusing egregious behaviour, for example. It takes two to tango.

Adding to the complexity, some are called to act in a way that helps others work out their stuff. They’re facilitating balance, though their actions may seem otherwise.

For example, you may have had a relationship with someone who didn’t like how they became around you. Your unresolved baggage brought out a balancing force through them that they were uncomfortable with. They may have expressed anger to balance your inertia, for example, when that’s not normal behaviour for them.

The collective expresses this way as well. The leader of an organization or government may have the best intentions. Yet when they become leader of a group, they step into that group’s karma, what Maharishi Mahesh Yogi called their deserving power. They become a vehicle for the collective karma, hopefully a facilitator of balance.

On top of karma, we can also have experiences arise to teach us things. That’s often tied into karma but can have a deeper source.

Again, you can’t tell by surface appearances. So it’s not advisable to judge others. Be mindful and responsible for your own actions and do your best. Discriminate what we know to be right. No one is perfect. We’re all still learning. But if we’re moving towards quality, it gradually gets better (YouTube).

For example, teachers can have great insights and support, but if they’re acting out on their students, they have some healing to do. Are we supporting healing or acting out? Are we engaging the drama or stepping away?

And yes, in the current time, there is a lot coming to the surface to be purified. That is giving rise to people feeling they’re doing the right thing when it’s creating imbalance and disharmony. Not to mention the tendency to see opinion as truth, failing even the last leg of dharma.

We have a fine opportunity to heal, but many are making something of a mess of it. If we’re not cluing in, we get to learn the hard way.

You can trust that nature is organizing and optimizes our experiences for best results and learning. The more we’re with life as it is and not resisting, the fewer side-effects we create and the more smoothly we can resolve what arises.

Others will experience their consequences in their time. That’s between them and life. Sticking our foot in it or judging will just entangle us.

Not that we shouldn’t act to right a wrong or correct an injustice. But we should do so with an intent to restore balance and to be responsible. Venting or acting against won’t help.

“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”
– Mother Teresa

Rather than being against, what are you for? What can you promote? What you put your attention on grows stronger, so strengthen what is right.

Those aspects that help facilitate learning and purification are good. Those aspects that divide people, not so much. They’re often mixed because peoples motivations are mixed.

So yeah, it’s complicated and almost impossible to judge.

And yet, the principles of karma are simple. For every action, there is an equal consequence. If the action is movement towards balance, the consequence is progress. If the movement is towards imbalance, then there will be a correction we may experience as a difficulty. The consequences may come quickly or slowly, depending on the cycles of time.

Often, consequences will come in batches during the cycles of time. I’ve mentioned how we’re in a time of healing, for example. Some will be in a more inward period, while others will be in a more outward stroke. For some it will be a smooth time, others bumpy. There are many variations in play.

How we respond to consequences determines if they resolve, are resisted so they’ll come back again later, or are amplified.

One joy of awakening is letting go of doership and the attachment to results. We let go of control and allow nature to move through us. This means the trends shift, and we resolve much of what arises in life. Over time, the dramas settle and life becomes smoother and simpler.


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  1. Jeff

    Very well written and to the point. Certainly intent is a key component to determine the quality of an action. I think I remember a quote from Maharishi that went something like, when someone speaks ill of you, they are doing you a favor and are taking your karma.

    1. Hi Jeff
      Thanks. Yes, it can work that way but rather depends. The message is I think to change our attitude about how others are so we’re not doing that ourselves, so we’re avoiding reactivity and resistance.

  2. Lew

    Wonder if you can comment on this…. I.was thinking that spiritual practices such as meditating, chanting, or devotional practices are also a sort of karma… That is if karma exists in the relative field then it extends through all levels of the relative including the higher levels up to transcendence and that transcendence also effects karma by taking our awareness out of it and reducing it’s effect because the transcendence is then brought into the relative and the actions themselves eliminate lesser binding actions and are used to nourish the establishment of unity into the awareness… Sort of Maharishi’s concept that by large numbers meditating etc. conflict, crime etc. can be reduced and higher more uplifting forms of actions replace the negative…

    1. Hi Lew
      Action primarily operates on it’s own level. So a physical action has physical results. The more subtle levels are progressively more universal and so broader in scope. For example, there is a lot of intentional distortion of truth currently that is spreading widely. Thus the consequences are also more wide-spread and difficult.
      The exception is practices which transcend themselves and go beyond the field of action. In that open space, all can be resolved.
      Karma exists on all levels up to pure consciousness without content. But on the celestial and in the field of creation, there is no resistance so any action finds its fulfillment. The issues with resistance and time lags are in the physical, emotional, and mental levels, with a bit of spill-over into the subtle geometry.
      So yes, spiritual practices are a kind of karma, but one that transcends karma and thus accelerates its resolution. Karma is stored in the collective so collective practices help resolve the collective. They also produce collective effects in group consciousness due to collective transcending. ie: it’s not just karmic in effect.
      It’s not so much we bring the transcendence into the relative (although it can be experienced and framed that way) but that we resolve the barriers to it being present along with the relative (and later, the relative and absolute become one).
      Yes, action can also bring balance and is part of spiritual integration. Just keep in mind it’s not personal in the way we might think. Karma and the relative are almost interchangeable words.

  3. Sharon

    Such a rich topic and I enjoy how thoroughly you’ve covered it.
    I also enjoy Maharishi’s analogy of karma being like a bill that comes due:
    a $100 bill comes due. If one has $1000 in the bank, it’s a bit of a challenge.
    But if one has $10,000 in the bank, then it’s a very small matter to pay it.
    Perhaps we can think of positive karma as a refund (-:

    1. Thanks for sharing, Sharon. Agreed – a similar life event can be trivial to one person but very challenging to another, depending on their resources (financial, health, emotional, energetic, resilience, etc.).

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