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The Law of Karma and the Law of Forgiveness
[Note: This is taken from Florence Scovel Shinn's The Game of Life.]
Man receives only that which he gives. The Game of Life is a game of boomerangs. Man's thoughts, deeds and words, return to him sooner or later, with astounding accuracy. This is the law of Karma, which is Sanskrit for "Comeback." "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
For example: A friend told me this story of herself, illustrating the law. She said, "I make all my Karma on my aunt, whatever I say to her, someone says to me. I am often irritable at home, and one day, said to my aunt, who was talking to me during dinner. 'No more talk, I wish to eat in peace.'"
"The following day, I was lunching with a woman with whom I wished to make a great impression. I was talking animatedly, when she said: 'No more talk, I wish to eat in peace!'"
My friend is high in consciousness, so her Karma returns much more quickly than to one on the mental plane.
The more man knows, the more he is responsible for, and a person with a knowledge of Spiritual Law, which he does not practice, suffers greatly, in consequence. "The fear of the Lord (law) is the beginning of wisdom." If we read the word Lord, law, it will make many passages in the Bible much clearer.
"Vengeance is mine, I will repay saith the Lord" (law). It is the law which takes vengeance, not God. God sees man perfect, "created in his own image," (imagination) and given "power and dominion."
This is the perfect idea of man, registered in Divine Mind, awaiting man's recognition; for man can only be what he sees himself to be, and only attain what he sees himself attaining.
"Nothing ever happens without an on-looker" is an ancient saying.
Man sees first his failure or success, his joy or sorrow, before it swings into visibility from the scenes set in his own imagination. We have observed this in the mother picturing disease for her child, or a woman seeing success for her husband.
Jesus Christ said, "And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."
So, we see freedom (from all unhappy conditions) comes through knowledge - a knowledge of Spiritual Law.
Obedience precedes authority, and the law obeys man when he obeys the law. The law of electricity must be obeyed before it becomes man's servant. When handled ignorantly, it becomes man's deadly foe. So with the laws of Mind!
For example: A woman with a strong personal will, wished she owned a house which belonged to an acquaintance, and she often made mental pictures of herself living in the house. In the course of time, the man died and she moved into the house. Several years afterwards, coming into the knowledge of Spiritual Law, she said to me: "Do you think I had anything to do with that man's death?" I replied: "Yes, your desire was so strong, everything made way for it, but you paid your Karmic debt. Your husband, whom you loved devotedly, died soon after, and the house was a white elephant on your hands for years."
The original owner, however, could not have been affected by her thoughts had he been positive in the truth, nor her husband, but they were both under Karmic law. The woman should have said (feeling the great desire for the house), "Infinite Intelligence, give me the right house, equally as charming as this, the house which is mine by divine right."
The divine selection would have given perfect satisfaction and brought good to all. The divine pattern is the only safe pattern to work by.
Desire is a tremendous force, and must be directed in the right channels, or chaos ensues.
In demonstrating, the most important step is the first step, to "ask aright."
Man should always demand only that which is his by divine right.
To go back to the illustration: Had the woman taken this attitude: "If this house, I desire, is mine, I cannot lose it, if it is not, give me its equivalent," the man might have decided to move out, harmoniously (had it been the divine selection for her) or another house would have been substituted. Anything forced into manifestation through personal will, is always "ill-got," and has "ever bad success."
Man is admonished, "My will be done not thine," and the curious thing is, man always gets just what he desires when he does relinquish personal will, thereby enabling Infinite Intelligence to work through him.
"Stand ye still and see the salvation of the Lord" (law).
For example: A woman came to me in great distress. Her daughter had determined to take a very hazardous trip, and the mother was filled with fear.
She said she had used every argument, had pointed out the dangers to be encountered, and forbidden her to go, but the daughter became more and more rebellious and determined. I said to the mother, "You are forcing your personal will upon your daughter, which you have no right to do, and your fear of the trip is only attracting it, for man attracts what he fears." I added, "Let go, and take your mental hands off; put it in God's Hands, and use this statement:" "I put this situation in the hands of Infinite Love and Wisdom; if this trip is the Divine plan, I bless it and not longer resist, but if it is not divinely planned, I give thanks that it is now dissolved and dissipated."
A day or two after that, her daughter said to her, "Mother, I have given up the trip," and the situation returned to its "native nothingness."
It is learning to "stand still," which seems so difficult for man. I have dealt more fully with this law in the chapter on nonresistance.
I will give another example of sowing and reaping, which came in the most curious way.
A woman came to me saying, she had received a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill, given to her at the bank. She was much disturbed, for, she said, "The people at the bank will never acknowledge their mistake."
I replied, "Let us analyze the situation and find out why you attracted it." She thought a few moments and exclaimed: "I know it, I sent a friend a lot of stage money, just for a joke." So the law had sent her some stage money, for it doesn't know anything about jokes.
I said, "Now we will call on the law of forgiveness, and neutralize the situation."
Christianity is founded upon the law of forgiveness - Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Karmic law, and the Christ within each man is his Redeemer and Salvation from all inharmonious conditions.
So I said: "Infinite Spirit, we call on the law of forgiveness and give thanks that she is under grace and not under law, and cannot lose this twenty dollars which is hers by divine right."
"Now," I said, "Go back to the bank and tell them, fearlessly, that it was given you, there by mistake."
She obeyed, and to her surprise, they apologized and gave her another bill, treating her most courteously.
So knowledge of the Law gives man power to "rub out his mistakes." Man cannot force the external to be what he is not.
If he desires riches, he must be rich first in consciousness.
For example: A woman came to me asking treatment for prosperity. She did not take much interest in her household affairs, and her home was in great disorder.
I said to her, "If you wish to be rich, you much be orderly. All men with great wealth are orderly - and order is heaven's first law." I added, "You will never become rich with a burnt match in the pin-cushion."
She had a good sense of humor and commenced immediately, putting her house in order. She rearranged furniture, straightened out bureau drawers, cleaned rugs, and soon made a big financial demonstration - a gift from a relative. The woman, herself, became made over, and keeps herself keyed-up financially, by being ever watchful of the external and expecting prosperity, knowing God is her supply.
Many people are in ignorance of the fact that gifts and things are investments, and that hoarding and saving invariably lead to loss.
"There is that scattereth and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty."
For example: I knew a man who wanted to buy a fur-lined overcoat. He and his wife went to various shops, but there was none he wanted. He said they were all too cheap-looking. At last, he was shown one, the salesman said was valued at a thousand dollars, but which the manager would sell him for five-hundred dollars, as it was late in the season.
His financial possessions amounted to about seven hundred dollars. The reasoning mind would have said, "You can't afford to spend nearly all you have on a coat," but he was very intuitive and never reasoned.
He turned to his wife and said, "If I get this coat, I'll make a ton of money!" So his wife consented, weakly.
About a month later, he received a ten-thousand-dollar commission. The coat made him feel so rich, it linked him with success and prosperity; without the coat he would not have received the commission. It was an investment paying large dividends!
If man ignores these leadings to spend or to give, the same amount of money will go in an uninteresting or unhappy way.
For example: A woman told me, on Thanksgiving Day, she informed her family that they could not afford a Thanksgiving dinner. She had the money, but decided to save it.
A few days later, someone entered her room and took from the bureau drawer the exact amount the dinner would have cost.
The law always stands back of the man who spends fearlessly, with wisdom.
For example: One of my students was shopping with her little nephew. The child clamored for a toy, which she told him she could not afford to buy.
She realized suddenly that she was seeking lack, and not recognizing God as her supply!
So she bought the toy, and on her way home, picked up, in the street, the exact amount of money she had paid for it.
Man's supply is inexhaustible and unfailing when fully trusted, but faith or trust must precede the demonstration. "According to your faith be it unto you." "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen - " for faith holds the vision steady, and the adverse pictures are dissolved and dissipated, and "in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
Jesus Christ brought the good news (the gospel) that there was a higher law than the law of Karma - and that that law transcends the law of Karma. It is the law of grace, or forgiveness. It is the law which frees man from the law of cause and effect - the law of consequence. "Under grace, and not under law."
We are told that on this plane, man reaps where he has not sown; the gifts of God are simply poured out upon him. "All that the Kingdom affords is his." This continued state of bliss awaits the man who has overcome the race (or world) thought.
In the world thought there is tribulation, but Jesus Christ said: "Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
The world thought is that of sin, sickness and death. He saw their absolute unreality and said sickness and sorrow shall pass away and death itself, the last enemy, be overcome.
We know now, from a scientific standpoint, that death could be overcome by stamping the subconscious mind with the conviction of eternal youth and eternal life.
The subconscious, being simply power without direction, carries out orders without questioning.
Working under the direction of the superconscious (the Christ or God within man) the "resurrection of the body" would be accomplished.
Man would no longer throw off his body in death, it would be transformed into the "body electric," sung by Walt Whitman, for Christianity is founded upon the forgiveness of sins and "an empty tomb."
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