Different Forms of Energy Yield Different Operations of Karma

We recognize that Energy is One. There is a unified continuum within which all energy moves. At the same time, there is a different application of energy depending on the plane on which it is operative and the field upon which it is working. We can see this easily with regard to the electro-magnetic spectrum where we see light waves, sound waves, electricity, magnetism, gravity all operating but having different actions and applications.

Similarly, the law of karma is universal, but it too varies its action to the plane upon which it is working out. Thus, we cannot attribute the results of mental acts to physical causes. It is true that there are influences between different planes which may impact or modify the pure action of a force that would otherwise be able to manifest in all its purity if it were not part of the complex interaction of planes that make up our existence. Thus, we can recognize that a mental act undertaken purely in the mental sphere will yield a potentially somewhat different result than a similar mental act occuring in a world of physical and vital action with those other forces weighing on the mental result.

At the same time, we need to then recognize that karmic response, cause and effect, is tailored to the type of energy put into action and the plane upon which it is operative. Thus, a mental force will have a primarily mental effect; a moral force a primarily moral effect, a physical force a primary physical effect. This actually helps us begin to understand why, for instance, morally “good” actions do not always result in physical or vital benefits–in other words, morally good people do not always get rich or avoid physical suffering, for example.

Sri Aurobindo concludes: “Forms of one universal Force at bottom–or at top–these may be, but in practice they are different energies and have to be so dealt with–until we can find what that universal Force may be in its highest purest texture and initial power and whether that discovery can give us in the perplexities of our nature a unifying direction.”

Sri Aurobindo,