Growing up in India, “karma” and “reincarnation” have been part of, not just my DNA, but regular adult conversations as well. I haven’t always been curious about it, though. For most of my teenage and early adult years I avoided getting close to it because karma, I knew, was all about “sin”, “retribution”, and a record of my wrongdoings. I had no desire to dive deeper into it. The concept came to me through other influences too. “As you sow, so shall you reap” and the more scientific Newtonian “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” Celie’s words in Color Purple “Everything you do to me already done to you” brought home the message with clarity once more.
When I began to tune into a more spiritual perspective of life and take care of my unfinished business, I began to see karma and reincarnation in an entirely new light. I finally understood that the purpose of life is soul growth. And that we reincarnate to take care of unfinished business so our souls can grow to an even higher level. I know now that karma is more about “taking responsibility“, and that I do have a choice in creating new personal karma. The words no longer strike terror in my heart.
So when I spied a copy of Karma and Reincarnation: Unlocking Your 800 Lives to Enlightenment by Barbara Y. Martin and Dimitri Moraitis at the library, I pounced on it. It was a fascinating read. Among the many topics covered, it talks about our karma being recorded in the Book of Life.
The authors say the Book of Life is open to your page when you die and enter the afterlife. They describe it as “the record of the things you have done, said, thought, felt in the life you just finished and in other lives as well. It records everything verbatim, so there is no confusion.”
Some spiritual teachers call this process Life Review. It is essentially the experience you’re given in the afterlife of your life unfolding as a movie. “The key moments in the life you just lived are shown in crystal clarity. You see your accomplishments and failings. You see the real motives behind your actions, what you were thinking and feeling…the effects your life had on others, positive and negative. You see everything for what it truly is.”
So the real purpose of returning to physical fom–reincarnation–is to finish what still needs to be finished from a previous lifetime. In other words, resolve your karma.
What happens when we don’t resolve our karma? Let’s say you’re a conflict-avoider. Life will present you with people, opportunities and situations that put you bang in the middle of conflict. You have the free will to either continue to avoid them or learn the skills and lessons to grow to a new level. If you don’t get the lesson, you reincarnate to learn the exact same skills that were not learned in this lifetime. Sort of, like, having to repeat grade 4 and pass the exam before moving to 5th grade. To me, that is a huge incentive to learn the lessons I’ve been assigned in this lifetime.
How do you know what your lessons are? A good clue: Watch your triggers. See what pushes your buttons. Do you feel anger/irritation/frustration bubble up when someone ignores you? Calls you a name? Tells you that you need to stop being a victim? Those are your hot buttons, the issues you’re meant to learn from and grow out of. You were given those particular “hot buttons” so you can go inward and focus on the healing work to overcome them.
What are your hot button issues? Post them here.