Various individuals have different belief structures. Some of them take the form of organized religion. Others are less clearly defined. The concept of karma is not one that you would consider a religion, per se. Still, those who believe in it feel that it affects their lives profoundly. Is there scientific evidence to back that up, though? Is there a way to tell whether the concept of karma is essentially a fantasy? Can we see and feel the force of it all around us?
What is Karma?
You’ve likely heard of karma before, but maybe you don’t fully understand it. We’ll get into whether karma truly exists and has a scientific basis. First, though, let’s make sure that you know what we mean when we use the term.
Karma is a concept that exists in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is the idea that the sum of a person’s actions in this state of existence will decide their fate in future lives. According to this definition, reincarnation happens to humans. This means that even though we die in our current form, we come back in another.
As you can see, karma sounds a great deal like a religious belief. You can choose to think of it in that way or not. When most people talk about karma, though, at least in Western society, they don’t necessarily use the more traditional definition.
When they say “karma,” what they mean is that whatever sort of energy you put out into the world is the same as what will come back to you. In other words, if you act in good ways, good things will come into your life. If you operate in harmful ways, then negativity will be your reward.
Is there a Scientific Basis for the Idea of Karma?
The question of whether there is science behind the concept of karma is a tricky one. There is no way to prove that humans, or any other life forms, will go through reincarnation. Some people claim to be able to remember their previous lives. All we have to go on, however, is their word. You can see a psychic who can take you on a regressive journey through some of your previous lives. Most people, though, would not consider that to be scientific.
The short answer is that there is no way to prove that karma exists and is a force in the world. Still, if you think about karma according to the Western definition, it becomes a little more quantifiable.
Think about it in this way. You see a man begging for change at the side of the road. You give him some money, thereby doing a good deed. You are putting positive energy out into the world. Later that same week, your car breaks down. You’re at a loss because you don’t have a spare, and this incident has stranded you at the side of the road. A passing driver stops to help you, even though you don’t know them.
On the surface, there is nothing to tie one incident with the other. Certainly, there is no scientific formula that connects them. Still, as the kind stranger is helping you with your flat tire, you might not be able to stop thinking about the way you helped someone in need. Those who don’t believe in karma would call this a coincidence, and maybe it is. At some point, just like every other belief system, the existence of karma becomes a matter of faith.
Karma Helps You to Do Good Works
While you cannot prove that karma exists, you cannot disprove it, either. Not only that, but when you help others, you feel better. If you act badly toward people, then it will make you feel bad as well, if you have a conscience, that is.
Maybe we cannot prove that karma exists, but any belief system in the world will tell you that doing good is its own reward. The way you feel when you do charitable work demonstrates this. Looking at the situation in this way, whether karma truly exists or not almost becomes of secondary importance. Doing good things for their own sake is part of what elevates us and makes us better people.
As always, make sure to download the latest version of the app to get access to the latest features (iPhone here and Android here). The karma functionality is at the time of writing only available to iPhone users.