How the law of cause and effect rules our lives
Tied in with the quest for deeper understanding, fulfilment and happiness is the amazing law of cause and effect. Sometimes, particularly in a spiritual or quasi-spiritual context, the expression “law of karma” is used. “Karma” simply means action but is often used to imply the fruits or results of actions, whether one’s own or someone else’s. It’s an expression that unfortunately is often misused and misunderstood, often leading to “deep and meaningful” discussions when often a straightforward explanation is all that is needed.
Simply stated, the law of cause and effect means that every effect, every set of circumstances, has its cause or causes. If I burn my hand on the oven door, for example, there are a number of causes that lead up to it, the simplest of which are my movements, the heat of the door and, almost certainly and most importantly, my lack of attention or co-ordination. On a grander scale, an earthquake has certain geological causes and so on. For physical events, the law is very easy to understand. Where we can often lose vision is in the application of the law in our own lives.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, in our present circumstances is without preceding causes. Things don’t happen “just by chance” – there is always a reason. We might put certain events down to luck but luck or fortune, good, bad or indifferent, is simply the law of cause and effect taking its course. The word “simply” is perhaps an overstatement because cause and effect is incredibly complex and we’ll need to have a deeper look at some of its implications later on; but let’s just say for now that this law is inescapable. When we start to understand it better, we begin to realise that there is no use at all in blaming others (which is a favourite human pastime) for our predicaments or for our state of mind. We have to take responsibility and there’s no copping out.
To be continued.
Read it all now in The Great Little Book of Happiness
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