It would be very easy to come up with an easy answer to that question but I’ve learned over the years that answering it raises issues that are more important than the answer itself would be.
Let me see if I can work my way up to an adequate statement of why I say that. Let me begin by offering a comment that the Master Hilarion made in the 19th Century about whether we mortals could ever understand the workings of the law of karma. This statement has always guided me on the subject:
“The operations of the actual laws of karma are not to be studied until the disciple has reached the point at which they no longer affect himself. The initiate has a right to demand the secrets of Nature and to know the rules which govern human life. He attains this right by having escaped himself from the limits of Nature and by having freed himself from the rules which govern human life. He has become a recognized portion of the divine element and is no longer affected by that which is temporary. He then obtains the knowledge of the laws which govern temporary conditions.
“Therefore, you who desire to understand the laws of karma, attempt first to free yourself from these laws; and this can only be done by fixing your attention on that which is unaffected by those laws.” (1)
SaLuSa says: “Life seems complicated but in reality it is quite simple, as you will always find yourself to be in the right place. It is much the same with the people that enter your life, as that is also by arrangement and agreement.” (2)
Life may appear simple to an ascended master, but the workings of the law of karma have always seemed to me to be the most complicated circumstances I can imagine. If I were to comment on karma, I would run a much greater chance of being wrong, I believe, than of being right.
That’s completely aside from the fact that I would not know what the answer was anyways because I have no special insight into the workings of karma, no ability to read the akashic records, and no knowledge of the soul’s life contract.
Added to the great chance of my being wrong is the tremendous heartache that the survivor might go through who, having lost one to, say, a serial killer, now must endure the suggestion that the dead friend or relative in fact signed up for the experience.
I would imagine that it would be crazy-making to hear that your baby signed up for the experience of being horribly maimed by depleted-uranium poisoning. I resolved long ago not to be the one to make such a suggestion, whether it may be true or not. To do so would be to risk re-traumatizing the already-traumatized.
In saying this I’m guided by Gandhi’s statement that ahimsa (harmlessness) comes before truth. It does for us mortals who have a tendency to be harmful at times. As long as I have the ability and the desire to harm, I put harmlessness before truth.
For me, it works that I study karma so that I conduct my own life wisely and prudently. I’m eager to know about my own karma. But it doesn’t work for me to comment on the karma of another and it’s something I don’t do – except in the case of, say, Nazi butcher Irma Grese who murdered and maimed countless people and is said to be headed for liquidation. (3) Apart from so obvious and reprehensible a situation, my contribution is to stay away from potentially-damaging statements.
Having said that, I am hard at work on the next instalment of the series on soul contracts and in it the galactic and spirit teachers comment on karma. I will reproduce their comments. I just won’t make them on my own authority.
I regard karma as a situation around which it’s necessary to operate with perhaps the most … what is the word? … delicacy of perhaps any subject I can think of without somehow lying down before evil or sacrificing the need to oppose it where I see it.
The question is a very good one and the answer to it, for me anyways, is not an easy one to formulate.
(1) Ascended Master Hilarion, speaking through Mabel Collins, Light on the Path and an Essay on Karma. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974, 38-9.
(2) SaLuSa, Oct. 4, 2010, at http://www.treeofthegoldenlight.com/First_Contact/Channeled_Messages_by_Mike_Quinsey.htm
(3) See “The Suggestion that Some Spirits May Eventually Disintegrate or are ‘Liquidated’” at