“This Law — whether Conscious or Unconscious — predestines nothing and no one. It exists from and in Eternity, truly, for it is Eternity itself; and as such, since no act can be co-equal with eternity, it cannot be said to act, for it is action itself. It is not the Wave which drowns a man, but the personal action of the wretch, who goes deliberately and places himself under the impersonal action of the laws that govern the Ocean’s motion. Karma creates nothing, nor does it design. It is man who plans and creates causes, and Karmic law adjusts the effects; which adjustment is not an act, but universal harmony, tending ever to resume its original position, like a bough, which, bent down too forcibly, rebounds with corresponding vigour. If it happen to dislocate the arm that tried to bend it out of its natural position, shall we say that it is the bough which broke our arm, or that our own folly has brought us to grief? Karma has never sought to destroy intellectual and individual liberty, like the God invented by the Monotheists. It has not involved its decrees in darkness purposely to perplex man; nor shall it punish him who dares to scrutinise its mysteries. On the contrary, he who unveils through study and meditation its intricate paths, and throws light on those dark ways, in the windings of which so many men perish owing to their ignorance of the labyrinth of life, is working for the good of his fellow-men. Karma is an Absolute and Eternal law in the World of manifestation; and as there can only be one Absolute, as One eternal ever present Cause, believers in Karma cannot be regarded as Atheists or materialists — still less as fatalists: for Karma is one with the Unknowable, of which it is an aspect in its effects in the phenomenal world.” ………..Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2 page 305
This is probably one of the best ways to intellectually grasp the concept of Karma. Karma is usually visualized as something being handed over to us from our previous incarnations, as a retribution for our past state of failings. This attitude assigns the onus to a Divine being and leads to a very tricky question; if karmic imprints both past and future are in the domain of the Divine why are we subject to all the pain when the retribution can be swift and wholesome or why at all are we subject to this experiences?
The answer lies in the way we conceptualize the law of retribution. As Madame Blavatsky clearly points out karma is eternal. It is rooted in the eternal wisdom of the universal consciousness. It is action itself and yet no action as it is the original plenum of existence where there is no duality. Cause and effect are only in the mind of the Ego as perceived in its dual nature of creature and creator.
In Vivekachudamani , Sri Adi Sankara says:
“Raising the thought of "I" from the body to the Self that is Consciousness, Being, Bliss, and lodging it there, leave form, and become pure for ever. Knowing that "I am that Eternal" wherein this world is reflected, like a city in a mirror, thou shalt perfectly gain thy end. What is of real nature, self-formed, original consciousness, secondless bliss, formless, actless—entering that, let a man put off this false body of desires, worn by the Self as a player puts on a costume.”
It is the microcosmic ripples, which innately and ultimately has the potency to subside to the Divine ambient level of non-action, that we mistake for field of karmic action. In Statistics, we call it the “regression toward the mean”. In karmic action it is called “progression towards Omega point” (as defined by Teilhard de Chardin, the great French Jesuit who was an Anthropologist and Theologian).
Karma is like a mirage, a reflection due to the laws of manifestation and our physical nature. Like a fore knowledge of a mirage warns us of its false reality so also through deeper knowledge we must realize that it is futile to blame the mirage and assign attributes rather than realize how foolish we are due to our ignorance of our true nature. We are endowed with free will due to our divine nature and through every act in our past, present and future incarnations, entire manifestation progresses towards the sublime state of non-action.
This in Vedic philosophy is know as the ‘Mahapralaya’ (In the Samkhya philosophy, one of the six schools of classical Indian philosophy, Pralaya means "non-existence, a state of matter achieved when the three gunas (principles of matter) are in perfect balance. The word pra-laya comes from Sanskrit meaning 'dissolution' or by extension 'reabsorption, destruction, annihilation or death'.)
Hence there is no law of retribution but a law of eternal cycles.
Love to all