Another look at karma, and how it is and isn’t, and is personal and universal, belonging to the part and the whole.
As with any maps, models and stories, the story of karma is a practical tool only, a tool that helps our human self to orient and navigate in the world. A tool that can be more or less useful depending on what we want to use it for. There is no value or truth in it beyond that.
And we can say that karma is and isn’t.
It is, because there is, obviously, cause and effect in the conventional sense.
It isn’t, because there is only what is here now, the five sense fields and what appears in each one. Anything else comes from the inside of a story. Past, future, time, continuity, space, extent, causality, all that is only found on the inside of a story.
It is individual, because we can find, in a conventional sense, causality within the boundaries of this human self. We see how thoughts and decisions are followed by actions in the world, and so on. It is also individual as a practical ethical tool, inviting and helping the human self to live in a more ethical way and follow the golden rule more easily.
It is universal and of the whole, because everything has infinite causes and effects, reaching back to the beginning of the universe and out to its furthest reaches. What we see locally, including what appears as local causes and effects, are just the local effects of movements within the whole.
So karma, cause and effect, exists in a conventional and practical sense. If we look a little closer, we cannot find it in our immediate experience. It can only be found on the inside of a story.
It is individual, again in a practical and conventional sense. And it belongs to the whole of the world of form, in that everything happening locally has infinite causes and effects, and is a manifestation of the movements of the whole.
And we can find all of this here and now, in our own immediate experience. How is it true for me, here and now? What do I find when I look for myself?