The Fundamental Meaning of Karma

The characteristic action of the typal formation, or even the individual action within the type, is not the entire picture of the universal manifestation. There is also the evolutionary power of the will of the Spirit that manifests through Nature. There is a continuous unfolding and development and this lends to the individual soul, as representative and portion of the Spirit, the ability to change. While the action of Karma, as a law of energy in Nature, will bring results forward, the individual soul has the choice of action, reaction, response and development that can make an enormous difference over time in the ongoing process.

Sri Aurobindo describes this process: “His nature is what it is because he has so made it by his past; he has induced this present formulation by a precedent will in his spirit.”

“He has developed by his own long evolution of that humanity the character and law of action of his present individual being; he has built his own height and form of human nature. He may change what he has made, he may rise even, if that be within the possibilities of the universe, beyond human and to or towards superhuman nature.”

The result of past action, in the form of the present karmic circumstance the individual must experience, creates tendencies and, for an evolutionary process, obstacles to change. However, these obstacles can become opportunities for the conscious exercise of the will of the Spirit to modify results going forward and create a different formation than the one that would otherwise project itself forward in a static circumstance.

“This evolution and all its circumstances, his life, its form, its events, its values arise out of that urge and are shaped according to the past, present or future active will of his spirit. As is his use of the energy, so was and will be the return of the universal energy to him now and hereafter. This is the fundamental meaning of Karma.”

Sri Aurobindo,Rebirth and Karma, Section II, Chapter 13, The Foundation, pp. 112-113,

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