The Karma Trap: 3 Life-Changing Distinctions About Your Karma


The idea of karma is one of the most widely misunderstood concepts among spiritual practitioners, and within spiritually-inclined societies. In fact, karma is so widely misunderstood that I prefer to use the term “soul issues” instead. The latter phrase is a better fit, as I explain in Champion of the Soul. The following three distinctions, taken from that book, represent three key clarifications that can help you avoid what I call “The karma trap”. Though deceptively simple, these are powerful distinctions that have the power to change your life.

Related Article: What Is Karma And Learn How To Create Good Karma

1. The karma trap

One of the great problems with the popular idea of karma is that many spiritual seekers will tend to look at their lives and the “bad” things they have done; at their unsatisfactory level of enlightenment; compare themselves unfavourably with spiritual masters – and decide that they must have more karma work through. The result is that they become full of self-judgment and guilt. And these things, yet again, take the mind into remembered pasts and imagined futures (where redemption is only ever to be found later on).

Such a naïve spiritual seeker might go to a regression therapist to dig out some mind-crap that he feels needs resolving. He might believe that this will help him to go about emptying the karma bucket. Then hopefully one day he can rub his name off the cosmic blackboard and God will reward him with a wonderful life of enlightenment.

In such a scenario the mind takes over, filling the person’s energy field with self-denial.

Inherent in this delusion is that God is separate, and that one must await the great judgment in order to pass some cosmic test.

All this exacerbates the sense of separation, and prevents the person from surrendering and becoming deeply present. It prevents the relaxation that invites joy into the heart,

In other words, the search for enlightenment or redemption through past-life resolution is self-defeating. It ensures that redemption always remains in an imagined future, and in the hands of an imaginary God.

This is the karma trap.



2. Presence is more important than resolving karma

Almost inevitably, the idea of karma is conceived as a negative concept by the mind. Many religious and spiritual traditions depict it the same way. The most common take on the idea is as follows:

“You have done bad things in the past, and now you must suffer for them in order to make up for your sins. You cannot progress spiritually or become enlightened until all your crappy karma is used up.”

This is a false teaching. And it is a self-limiting one.

A common problem with the karma-as-sin idea is that the person comes to believe that he has to go out into the world and do good things to make up for the bad things that he did in this or other lives. So if you learn (or believe) that in your past life you were a serial rapist, you might decide that the best way to make amends is to take a job rehabilitating abused sex workers; or perhaps abstaining from sex altogether (“I am a sexual deviant, so I do not deserve to enjoy making love.”).

The primary false idea here is the delusion that God is going to reward you for doing good things.

God does not reward and punish because there is no God-as-father.

God is not a person. It is not a Big Daddy in the sky. It is an energy structure in which you are deeply embedded.

In a sense, God is you (but not your mind).

The idea of reward and punishment locks us into separation and ensures that we never awaken from the dream of mind and from the story of karma – regardless of what we do in the world.

Related Article: 12 Little Known Laws of Karma That Will Change your Life

Reward-and-punishment thinking is a bit like the situation where a schoolteacher writes a student’s name on the board when the child has been naughty. The teacher tells the student that if the name stays up, then the student will get detention. The teacher will only rub the name off if the student is good for the rest of the lesson. The student sees this, and – at least in theory – feels guilty and focusses on his work for the rest of the lesson in the hope that the teacher will notice and rub his name off the board.

I am not stating that spirit will never place you in mirror situations to those you perpetrated on others in the past (or past lives). This does happen, as far as I am aware. But the purpose is for learning, not for punishment.

Mirror experiences are not the most important aspect of soul redemption. Being present to life is. Presence is all that will ever set you free.

Presence is all you need to be free.

Presence is the true power of the Champion of the Soul.


3. What is truly important

The most important aspect of karmic resolution is surrender to the present moment and the grace of God. With this surrender process, soul issues and emotional disturbances will tend to arise spontaneously and in perfect timing. All the individual then has to do is deepen into those energy structures and allow them to have an expression in the moment.

The soul champion does not need to seek karmic resolution. Resolution comes to him in perfect timing, and with perfect grace.

The Champion of the Soul forgives himself and the world and finds love in all things before all things are resolved.

It is not necessary to wait for forgiveness. It is only necessary to accept it, for it is divinely given to all.

There is, therefore, no need to await soul perfection. There is merely a requirement for a deep, deep surrender to what is.

If in any given moment of surrender an awareness arises that there is the requirement for the integration of unresolved energy (great or small) within the emotional body – including that from past lives, the ancestors or cultural or racial sources – the soul champion relaxes and allows that to be perfect within the moment. He acknowledges any tension regarding the belief that things need to be resolved, that there needs to be closure.

And if there is a need to express deep feelings such as anger, grief, fear or guilt, then the soul champion relaxes and allows those energies to move through him. He does not judge them. He does not try to get rid of them. He does not try to change them.

And he does not take them personally.

The soul champion knows that all that which occurs within the moment of surrender is perfection, and it is occurring in perfect timing. There is no judgment that “I should not have done that thing”; or that “I should be more spiritually advanced”; “I haven’t arrived yet”; or “I need to become something in order to be enlightened”.

There is no need for guilt or shame.

No need to fear punishment, for none is coming (at least not from God).

These are all agendas of the mind to ensure that it does not release its grip on you.

Note also that such concepts are the basis of many spiritual teachings.

So be mindful.

Be conscious of the karma trap. Bring you mind into present-moment awareness.

You do not need to know everything about your karmic past or regress yourself to journey through other lives as other selves. All you need to know is the not knowing that exists within the now.



Marcus T Anthony (PhD) is a futurist of the human mind, writer and spiritual adviser. His new book is Champion of the Soul.

Marcus posts a new article on CLN every Saturday. To view his articles, click HERE.

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8 Reader Comments

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  1.' Thomas says:

    I’m always entertained when a spiritual teacher asserts that everyone else is wrong and their way is the truth . In my lifetime I’m learning that the human condition actually has more in common with one another than ideologies, belief systems and religions but we choose to go outside of our experience . It seems rather that we define who and what we are based on how others choose to live out their existence instead of our own personal experience and knowledge . I continue to appreciate a culmination of so much information, energy and knowledge but what I’m taking from most of it is we are really making thing complicating and just overwhelming . Anyhow interesting article .

  2.' Ancient Soul says:

    Wow, I completely agree, ive basically come up with the same perspectives myself, I am convinced what you say is true.

  3. Karma is not idea.. It is a Sanskrit word which means… Action

  4. Thang Nguyen Thang Nguyen says:

    Action and reaction.

  5. Raymond Lim Raymond Lim says:

    In Pali term is “intention”. Khama start at the intention level.???

  6. Azrak Brahim Azrak Brahim says:

    this is linguistic explanation. What about karma as idea, philosofy…

  7. Kzle Dawson Kzle Dawson says:

    Any action and thought full of energy you send out to the universe will visit you again 🙂

  8. Joseph explained from Spirit that Karma is not what vast numbers of people think it is.

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