The concept of karma has permeated much of our culture. The result of a person's actions - from this lifetime or prior ones - coming back around and catching up. The perpetual cycle of cause and effect.

Sort of like a cosmic judicial system ensuring justice is meted out accordingly.

It's a comforting notion when considering the evil actions of others yet frightening when applied to our own transgressions.

But I'd like to take a few moments to discuss karma from the perspective of A Course in Miracles and how the course's teachings can help us escape from what we may believe is "coming back around" for us.

And this brief statement from the course sets the stage for our discussion: "Cause and effect are one, not separate." (T-26.VII.13)

The cause of everything we experience in our lives - without exception - is the choice we make in the mind, for either the ego or the holy spirit. "Which you choose determines what you see." (T-20.VIII.9) This is why cause and effect are one.

As such, it is not our past actions that eventually catch up to us. Rather, it's our mind's choice that instantaneously leads to our experiences. When we choose the ego, we will always contend with fear, guilt, pain, and sadness. Any brief moments of seeming respite never last long.

Conversely, choosing the mind of spirit leads to an awareness and channeling of nothing but love and peace. It's a healing warmth that softly embraces everyone.

Thus when we are not at peace - when it seems as if the world, our body, and other people are conspiring against us - we can gently remind ourselves that we aren't being punished. There is no karmic retribution exacting vengeance. We've simply gotten frightened, forgotten we are a mind, and chose the ego as our guide.

That's not a sin. Only a mistaken choice. And in every moment we are free to choose differently.

Therefore, the way out of the purgatory of pain is by first recognizing its source (our choice for the ego) and then returning to our inner guide and asking for help to be a purveyor of warmth, not war.

Join me in our Thursday Zoom session where we'll dive deeper into the concept of cause and effect and how we can use the course's teachings to transcend all pain. I look forward to seeing you then.