FAQ on the Law of Karma
By Richard Kieninger
Q: What is karma?
A: It's another way of saying unatoned sins. Sin is any human thought or action the eventual result of which is not for the good of all the persons affected. Thoughts must be included in the definition because of the power of mental activity to influence other minds and because thoughts are the forerunners of action. Basically, karma is the principal device of God's justice.
Q: What is karmic indebtedness?
A: There is no such thing as something for nothing! Every man, corporation, and nation must compensate fully for accrued profits and benefits. If one acquires more than he has rightfully earned, he assumes a karmic debt. If one is cheated or robbed of that which is rightfully his, he receives a corresponding karmic credit. If a man's karmic debits and credits have not been balanced out by the time of his transition, that is, death of the physical vehicle, they are carried over until the next incarnation. Absolute justice is maintained through all the universe in this way, and karmic accountancy is recorded automatically on the Etheric Plane of existence as set up by the Celestial Host. This record is part of the Akashic Record.
Karmic justice extends beyond mere economic considerations. If a man has murdered another and has not suffered the same fate during his present lifetime, then he will be struck down by a murderer during the prime of his next incarnation. In the same way, cruel tyrants may subsequently be born into slavery; oppressors of human rights may be born to the oppressed; the father who deserts his children may be orphaned in his next incarnation; he who crippled or dismembered another may later suffer the same fate as did his victim; a disseminator of racial bias may be born again into the race he debased only to suffer the cruel fate he himself instituted in the former lifetime. God takes no part in these man‑created hardships. He established the Universal Law that governs such things, and it is up to man to discern God's Law and guide himself accordingly to avoid future suffering. Every action instituted by an Ego puts into motion a reaction of equal value which will return to that Ego. Good returns as good; evil returns as evil.
Q: What are karmic credits?
A: Karmic debits can be offset by karmic credits so that a person can atone for his crimes by good works. Essentially, atonement is a matter of restitution, repentance, and determination to do works that are designed to equalize the indebtedness one seeks to offset. The workings of karma do not always wait until subsequent incarnations but can be almost instantaneous.
Q: So you can balance your karma by doing good deeds?
A: The art of doing good works requires a fine knowledge of ultimate ramifications, for what may seem a good deed may actually not be for the greatest good of the person for whom it was intended to be. To give money to a panhandler increases his karmic indebtedness because he has received something for nothing. The giver of the money in this case has contributed to the karmic indebtedness of another Ego and so must suffer an equivalent karmic debt for his act. Charity given to one who won't make his own way in the world, even though he is able, only compounds the loafer's indebtedness.
Q: Is all your karmic indebtedness balanced in one incarnation?
A: There are times when an Ego has earned so much karmic indebtedness that hundreds of incarnations of suffering will be required to fulfill justice. The Brotherhoods have made a merciful provision to distribute large karmic debt over many lifetimes so that retribution will not crush the atoning Ego with too great a burden for one incarnation. This cushioning provision, however, is gradually being diminished in order to coincide with certain plans for the end of this century. Mankind will soon suffer or enjoy the effects of its actions almost immediately.
Q: You mentioned earlier that there is national karma.
A: It should be clearly understood that nations as a whole each have a karmic account. The sins committed by one nation against another nation or by the government against its populace are karmic debits which must be balanced. The balancing usually takes the form of invasion and attack from another nation, pestilence, economic collapse, drought, earthquakes, and the like. National karmic indebtedness resulting from the sinful actions of a whole generation are the sins that fathers visit upon the children of later generations. It was such national karmic indebtedness that Christ removed nineteen centuries ago. In effect, all the nations of the world were allowed to carry on with a clean slate from which was withheld the just retribution due them for the wars, enslavements, political knavery, and false economic systems in which they had engaged. The removal of this crushing burden from the world was absolutely essential if mankind was to become civilized again.
Q: What about when Christ told a person that they were forgiven of their sins?
A: When, during Christ's ministry, He would tell a person that his sins were forgiven, He did not mean that person's karmic indebtedness was blotted out but rather that he was not in a state of condemnation."
Q: What did Christ mean when he said you could accumulate 'treasures in heaven'.
A: When a person has led a life wherein he renders greater service to his employer, patrons, and neighbors than anyone has the right to expect, he accumulates karmic credits. When one receives a salary for services properly performed, there are no excess karmic credits gained because the salary is full compensation. The loafer who does not give his employer a full day's work is over‑compensated by his wages and thus he acquires karmic debits. Conversely, the employer who underpays his workers nets karmic debits. But if the worker performs tasks in excess of those agreed upon for his wages, he gains credits over and above his wages. Karmic credits are the `treasures in heaven' to which Christ referred (Matt. 6:20). He who has a backlog of karmic credits has security, for he can draw upon these credits to fulfill his mundane needs. These credits also can be expended to afford protection from enemies and exemption from disasters.
Q: Would you please explain in depth what sorcery is? For example, what is the difference between merely thinking about someone and thinking about him in a way which interferes or incurs karmic debt? What is the karmic penalty for anyone committing sorcery?
A: As family members, we tend to think about our relatives in ways which are quite intimate--parents think about their children, what they want for their children, being concerned for their safety and education. This means that they are thinking about how they want their children to be and to act, and that unwittingly is sorcery. However, it's really quite unavoidable. To purposely think about a person to try to influence his thoughts or actions definitely qualifies as sorcery; and if the recipient of such thoughts begins to act on them or think on them, then, of course, there can be negative karma involved.
Q: What does that negative karma consist of? What is the penalty for that?
A: Whatever you have done to another person comes back to you as something which happens to you at a future time. If the person you sorcerized suffers emotional, physical or economic loss or pain as a result of following your imposed thoughts, the same thing will come back to you.
Q: A topic that came up on the seminar on Discriminating Metaphysics concerned how harmful it was for a person to be a medium communicating with the spirit world. Is there any harm to the spirit involved? Does that spirit gain negative karma while not incarnate?
A: Nobody is supposed to mentally manipulate the brain of another person. There is negative karma for the spirit if the person whose brain is being controlled does something which is harmful to himself or another.
Q: So the spirit who's on the Astral could incur negative karma then?
A: Yes. A spirit can receive karmic debits, but he can't get rid of them on the Astral. Which is one of the unfortunate parts of being on the Astral Plane. That seems unfair, doesn't it? But a spirit doesn't get karma on the Astral Plane unless he's messing with people on the physical plane, and spirits on the Astral Plane aren't supposed to do that.
Q: Can a spirit gain good karma?
A: Not while he's residing on the Astral Plane. Spirits can't get good karma.
Q: Not even if the spirit has been given permission by an incarnate person who invites the help of the spirit world?
A: No. Not even.
Q: When we pray for help, say, to solve a problem or work through something and get assistance that way, do we also incur a karmic debt when we receive such help?
Q: Is that something you need to take into consideration when asking for help?
A: Information is virtually free of charge. Bringing about actual changes in your finances or environment uses more credits. Saving you from perilous situations takes even more credits.
Q: So it would be wise to pray only in extreme situations?
A: I don't think it needs to be so extreme. It all depends on what you feel you want to trade your energies and your karmic account for. It's a matter of setting priorities. I'm not going to tell you that only in absolute horrible emergencies should you ever risk trading your karmic credits for that kind of Brotherhood assistance.
Q: Well, no one really has any idea what their karmic account is anyway.
A: But there are dues. I mean, if your new cars are lemons or something happens to them or you're always sick or broke, you've got to figure that maybe things aren't what they should be. There is one thing that you always get free-you don't have to pay any karmic credits for protection against negative spirit influences from the other side. Protection is offered free against spirit influences.
Q: Could that kind of help come from any one of those other spirit sources?
A: Right. It may even be your deceased grandfather, or someone like that, who knew how you needed help.
Q: But your grandfather isn't supposed to be doing that. Why is it that only Brothers are supposed to be doing that? Why can't other good-willed humans who are decarnate?
A: Nobody is supposed to interfere directly, but setting things up on this plane so that you can get the information that you need is a common practice with Higher Beings as well as lesser Egos who just want to help. This is a risky practice for them. They can easily get themselves into interfering. But there are indirect ways. Why did somebody sit next to you on a streetcar or bus who has information that you need? Spirits don't necessarily contact you so that you hear voices in the night or in a dream. There's a number of seats to sit in, yet the person sits next to you. Sometimes they influence you where to sit. It turns out that when you get into a conversation, it's just exactly the piece of information you were looking for.
Q: Brothers can influence a person where to sit down?
A: That's not really a direct control. What difference would it make, karmically speaking, if you sat in this seat or another?
Q: But don't they have to do that through some sort of mental influence on your brain?
Q: But they are allowed to do that yet they don't incur any karma?
A: Right. As I said, it's a delicate situation for them.