The main reason it's difficult for the western mind to understand the concept of karma is the way we are taught right from the beginning. It's hard to get our thoughts to focus on Universal balancing when we are still thinking from the prospect of good vs. bad.
When a person is constantly acting in a selfless way, even to the point to protecting others from the consequences of misguided or not thought-out actions, know one would automatically think the selfless one is doing anything that needs to be balanced out. Yet there is, and karma will ultimately correct those over-functioning and under-functioning situations.
When children are not given the opportunity to experience the consequences of their actions—either positive or negative ones—they will be given chances over and over throughout their lives to understand life must be lived in balance. Those who over-function will be forced by it becoming more and more difficult to continue doing, being, saying, living too much for others. The load on the karmic scale, be it caused by financial, physical, mental, or emotional weight, will become so heavy that it is no longer possible to continue piling it on. And those who are under-functioning will find it is more and more difficult to find another willing to rescue them.
Except from Spiritual Years by Mason Clare
Karma is a term used by many belief systems that promote the idea of reincarnation. Reincarnation in the sense of soul evolution. The physical location of the soul is not necessarily relevant. Karma is not considered good or bad. There is no blame involved. Blame is a world used on the basis of perception, a perspective that demands actions be considered either good or bad. Karma is the balancing of the positive and negative forces that occur, the consequences of actions taken, a method of helping each soul to learn.
You may well ask, "What does balancing mean?" A very simple example can be made of a couple who don't share in their domestic responsibilities equally. One gives the other burdens. Perhaps clothes are not hung-up or placed in the laundry, or dishes are left unwashed. The one playing the victim role needs to be the victim. There is some underlying need which is being fulfilled by continuing acts of martyrdom. Maybe it's a need to be needed from a sense of low self-esteem, or a lack in self-belief that he or she can be loved without some cause or need. It could also be a need to be needed because of things taught in childhood that were intended to be short term survival techniques that are no longer appropriate to adult living. Whatever the cause, the victimizer is providing the victim with what she or he believes in needed. Should the victim then lament they hope the other person gets this same treatment back from another…well, karma is being expressed and exchanged. All in this world is perfect. We each create the perfect opportunities for ourselves, even opportunities to continue the endless rounds of karma or, the opportunity to grow, learn, and end some karmic cycle.
When we can have an act of unkindness occur in our lives and simply say, "I'll never act like that towards another", we are breaking the rounds of karma. When we stop saying, "I'll get you back, Buddy", or "I'll get even", or "I hope someone teaches you a lesson!", we are then learning to live, let live, and walk away from revenge and karma. The balancing intends to be used for the ultimate creation of joy in each of our lives.
Copyright Ó 1999 by Mason Clare