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On Karma and Reincarnation. The power of Forgiveness.

Updated on January 1, 2011

Lately I’ve been educating myself on the theories of Karma and Reincarnation through a book called “Unlocking Your 800 Lives to Enlightenment”. According to the author, Barbara Martin, we are granted 800 lives in order to reach that level of supreme illumination, peace, and unconditional love giving power that we all need to be part of the “other world”. During these 800 existences we are faced with circumstances that challenge us to forgive, love and excel at any given aspect of life, and depending on our reactions and how we respond to these situations, we’ll either upgrade our continuation and quality of life in the next life, or digress to a less spiritual and even more challenging existence. Also, during these 800 lives we take the shape and form of any living creature on earth and we’re given a chance to gradually advance onto the next stage depending on how we lead our existence. We basically have to earn the privilege to move forward to a better, more complete form of life.

There is so much more than just this plain explanation I have given of the rules of Karma and Reincarnation, and so many more aspects of Karma that I had never considered before, like for instance the fact that there are many different kinds of Karma that we ought to gain in the course of our life, like money Karma, career Karma, friends Karma, and relationship Karma. That would obviously explain why I have such amazing Karma when it comes to finding exceptional friends who take care of me amazingly, but I have very bad luck in the relationships with men department. Apparently Karma is not one big general revenge pattern that includes the totality of our existences, rather the rule of “what goes around comes around” is far more complicated than that and it touches every single aspect of our lives in a different manner. Also, we may not be able to see the fruits of our bad or good karma in the course of one only life. Instead, the seeds we plant in this life may actually ripen in our next existence, whether good or bad. The bad news of this boomerang effect, however, is that if we seed bad karma in this life, that exact Karma will get back to us eventually just threefold as bad AND with a vengeance. As for the good Karma, the same rule obviously applies, and that’s clearly something that will come to our advantage in the next life, as we don’t have to struggle as much to gain a position of respect and fulfillment in a specific field of life.

The other bad news is that if we are unable to resolve a conflict with somebody in this life, we are gonna have to ultimately meet them again in the next existence in order to determine, neutralize, and finalize the bad karma we have built with them in this life. Oh, the grief to have to meet again the same person who tore us down the first time, just to be put in the same situation and handle matters differently! Most people make the same errors over and over again, and that’s why it takes almost a 1000 lives to finally learn the lesson. However, if one of the two people involved in the conflict was able to resolve his feelings of spite and anguish on his own part, the other person who was unable to act upon the laws of God will be put in the same circumstance with the only but substantial difference that the roles will be inversed; rather than being the perpetrator, he shall be the victim (and vice versa) and get to have a taste of his own medicine. Now, again, my explanation is really as superficial and generalized as it gets, but how amazingly cool would it be if such theory were actually true? Just imagine all those people who wronged you and belittled you getting to walk in your shoes, not for a day or two, but until they’re in fact able to find forgiveness in their heart.

Forgiveness. Such a regular word, and such a hard principle to follow. What is really forgiveness? I can tell you what forgiveness is to me. Forgiveness is being able to love (not being in love, but simply loving) someone who hurt you so deeply you felt like the breath of life had left your spirit for a moment, and all you could see was a shade of death laying on everything around you. It’s too easy to forgive someone who has not hurt us to that extent. The real challenge is to be able to grant forgiveness to the ones who have shaken us to the very core of our belief in love, the ones who took unfair advantage of our capability to love them despite their faults, the ones who were never able to appreciate the meaning of sorrow when it came down to breaking our heart. The ones who were never big enough men to grant us a sincere apology to our faces, but instead decided to remain in their little world of shame and misunderstanding because they were so little they could not bring themselves to get out of their comfort zone. After all, it’s not easy to take responsibility of our actions when such actions are dishonorable and shameful. Yet, some of us are able to do so regardless because we feel like we can’t live with the notion that someone out there lives in misery because of our actions. It takes being a big man to admit we were wrong, but it takes being an even bigger man to admit we were wrong to someone else’s face, especially the face of the person we wronged.

Now, mindful of this concept of forgiveness, how many of us can actually say we are capable of forgiving our enemy to the point that we wish them the best in life no matter what? Well, if you are unable to forgive in this life, you will have to redeem your power of forgiveness in the next, or the next after the next, or even the next after the next, after the next life.I thank God we’re given so many chances to resolve our negative feelings to purify our souls.

As for me, I have forgiven. It’s been a process, I admit. It’s been a painful and challenging process. But I’m finally there, I’m finally at peace. As with all processes, it wasn’t easy. I went from moments of extreme anger, to moments of total discomfort. It took all the positive energy I could gather from my spirit. But I’m finally at peace with myself and with the person (whom I must have met in one of my previous lives) who shook ME to the very core of MY belief in love. It would be nice to be able to forgive this man openly, to his face, maybe sipping on a cup of coffee, but I don’t think I will be able to fulfill this desire in this life, as the pure knowledge that I have forgiven him is comforting enough for me, and I am afraid to see him again, to reopen gates of tears and pain I have decided to lock down forever. There is much more than forgiveness involved in this story, there are feelings I maybe won’t be able to give away for a long time.

“So, if one day *you*, yes you, will find yourself reading these words in a moment of discomfort or guilt (if that ever will come to you), just know I have forgiven you. Despite the fact I said you were one big f*ing mistake, I have forgiven you. In my heart, I have forgiven you”.


© 2011 Roberta S


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    • robertaharden profile imageAUTHOR

      Roberta S 

      6 years ago from California on the rocks

      Hey there, sorry for my delayed response. Forgiving is probably the biggest challenge we are faced with on this earth...For the longest time I had wished there were magic words I could find or hear that would let me finally tear down that wall of pride that stood between me and forgiveness, only to find out that there aren't. I guess I have come to approach forgiveness with an understanding that it's not about the person who hurt us who dictates our ability to forgive, it's our own self that has to be ready for the step of forgiveness, and altough that may sound simple and banal, if you haven't fully integrated that concept into your every day life, you will just not be able to forgive, ever. I guess what I am trying to say is that you have to find the power of forgiveness and resolution within yourself, regardless of what the other person thinks or does, or how your relationship with the other person ends. Some people, throughout their entire life, will NEVER look for redemption, will never try to make things right,but instead, they'll settle for what comes easy and what's comfortable, which is standing their own grounds, even if they're wrong. I guess that's the hardest part of forgiving somebody is realizing that that person just isn't willing to grow and develop into a better person. To make a long story short, pcharboneau, I would say the best advice I can give you is to look within yourself, deep inside, the part that nobody else bu yourself can see,and ask yourself: what has hatred and resentment done for you? what would forgiveness give you the possibility to achieve? How does your current situation help you towards the path of resolution you long to work on? Remember, forgiveness is about nobody else but yourself, your personal development, your potential as a person. Your own fulfillment and happiness depend on your capability to let go of the negative and the past. There is nothing we can do to change what's happened, but we can do wonders about what will happen in the future. Best of luck to you.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Your article is interesting. Although I don't agree with everything, I appreciated your description of being shaken to the core of our being by someone, whom we then need to grant forgiveness. I thought I had forgiven someone, until I was recently challenged by that person's impending death. I discovered that I hadn't forgiven that person afterall. Unfortunately, there doesn't to be an opportunity for resolution, so I must find a way to forgive that person before I carry that negative karma into my next life. Any suggestions?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Its wonderful you are able to forgive.

      And isn't it wonderful that WE are forgiven first. Which was and is THE transforming power of the Cross.

    • robertaharden profile imageAUTHOR

      Roberta S 

      7 years ago from California on the rocks

      That's an interesting theory for sure, and maybe, just in a different way, it summarizes the experiences of forgiveness and love I have learned in this past year. You said something that is so true: for as long as we want something outside of ourselves, we shall never find it. I have so strongly searched for love in this past year, after my last broken engagement, and when I thought I had found it, I realized that all the love that was in that relationship came from me only. But I couldn't love for two people. I had to learn to appreciate the love I have inside of me in order to understand what true love really is. I think that's ultimately what led me to forgiveness. The understanding that, no matter how deeply and strongly this person has hurt me on many levels, first off the betrayal of the total trust I had put in him, I am still capable of loving him, and that's ok, I can live with that notion. I am not angry anymore, and truly, as I was telling my friend who came over last night, I forgive him because he doesn't know what he's done. For the longest time I kept on wondering what that magic sentence meant, the sentence that Jesus Christ uttered on the cross,and I am so delighted to finally appreciate its meaning. He didn't know what he was doing not because he didn't know that lying and acting out of mediocre intentions is wrong; but because his current spiritual level doesn't allow him to act in a higher way than that. And that's something that happens every day in every aspect and field of life. Holding somebody responsible for the wrongs they've committed when we are aware that their spirituality is broken and corrupted is like giving the life sentence to a mentally challenged man who can't appreciate the gravity and seriousness of the crime they've perpetrated. It's just useless, and somewhat unfair. I don't know that I am quite at my 799 life yet (you silly you!), I do know that I am just uncapable of hating and keeping anger in my system. I still have way too many faults to believe I am anywhere close to my 800th life, but I hope to be close enough to it. I'm on my way to unconditional love. That much I know.

    • ilmdamaily profile image


      7 years ago from A forgotten corner of a dying empire. OK, it's Australia :-)

      How lovely Roberta - to see you incorporate the lessons of this life with such determination and earnestness and success:-) And to embrace the process of evolution by opening your heart and mind to learning about such new and different things! This is very healthy!

      I read something interesting yesterday Roberta about surrender that I think is relevant here.

      The idea is this: you cannot find peace. You cannot find pleasure. Or happiness or content. Or anything else for that matter. You can only surrender yourself to the experience of each of these that you already have. And through that surrender you increase your ability to experience higher levels of that which you have surrendered to.

      For in actively searching you exist in a state of "want." And as long as you "want" you shall never find. For you define your existence from a perspective of lack.

      But once you move into the perspective of appreciation - the acknowledgement and acceptance of what you already have - you truly begin to expand your capacity to experience more of that same thing.

      So in the search for peace - or pleasure (or anything else for that matter) - rather than actively searching outside of ourselves for it, we surrender to our own experience of it. For we all do have an experience of all these things, however small. We surrender to the peace of the moments between stopping and going at the traffic lights. We surrender to the pleasure of a simple piece of fruit at breakfast, or the hum of a mustang engine:-P.

      Paradoxically by losing ourselves in the supreme presence of that moment, we reach something higher than ourselves...something divine even - and in a strange way we find our truest selves.

      It's such a paradox, but I gave this a chance and to be honest the results have been mind-blowing. Truly.

      And perhaps so it is with forgiveness? Perhaps it is not our job to find forgiveness in others? Perhaps all we can really do is surrender into our own experience of forgiveness within - and of - ourselves. And perhaps in that surrender our capacity for forgiveness is heightened, expanded and increased?

      Or maybe I am wrong. Regardless though, I think you've got it right this time Roberta - and so at worst you've got 799 lives to go;-)


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