The Question of Karma - from Helen Schucman's unpublished notes - ACIM

A Course In Miracles (ACIM)

Helen Schucman's unpublished notes

The Question of Karma

About the question of karma: Most theories of reincarnation are essentially magical, and the whole question is not really necessary to religion at all. The chief value of the concept lies in its helpfulness in counteracting the idea of hell, a belief that is hard for the ego to relinquish. As the symbol of separation, the ego cannot escape guilt feelings, and fear of punishment is inevitable. Do not dwell on these fearful thoughts. 

 One of the main dangers of karmic theories is the tendency they induce to engage in the genetic fallacy, overlooking the truly religious fact that now is the only time. They look to the past for an explanation of the present, but do not succeed in separating the past from the present. They recognize that mind is the builder, but do not realize that it is only what it is building now that really generates the future. The past, in itself, does not have the ability to do this. Whenever we move from one instant to the next, the previous one no longer exists.

This course will lead to something quite different than past-life readings, because it points only to the future. It leads to a future that you will know. There was a past, but it does not matter. It does not explain the present or account for the future. Patients in psychotherapy frequently go over their childhoods in some detail and at considerable expense, and it merely encourages their egos to become more tolerable to them. I would hardly want you to repeat that same error.

You may be curious to know about your past. Knowledge is not won through curiosity, which is an ego attribute. Knowledge can be found only if it is sought to give it to someone else. This means that you are ready to appreciate its real value and have already accepted its worth for yourself. Even when you cannot go to God with someone, you can go for him and bring knowledge back to him.

If this is in the future, why would you care at all about the past, except to the extent that your ego objects to your rightful destiny? Are you interested in healing insanity or in studying its past? That is of concern only if you believe that something that could remedy it happened in the past. Even my personal history is of no value to you except as it teaches you that I can help you now. But no history of irreconcilable viewpoints is helpful in establishing truth. The soul has no history, being the same yesterday, today, and always. The history of a split mind is not a constructive focus for those who are being trained in an integrated and true concept of themselves.

I am quite willing to tell you about your past when it no longer is of any interest to your ego, and if it is of help to someone else. Otherwise, it would be much better to devote yourself to knowing God. I once told you that the Atonement will not be complete until all the children of God have come home. We do not care about where they have been or what they have done. We would not want to evaluate their past any more than we want to evaluate them.

It is almost impossible for the mind to look at some past-life readings totally without judgment of any kind. For instance, they often relate a bodily condition to the past even when they affirm that mind is the builder. Their emphasis on gains and losses is not to be yours. These terms are evaluative, and are therefore in variance with the goals of your course.

We have discussed the separation in some detail, as we have also done with its healing. The interim is of no importance. Your judgment is a real defense, without any attack on truth, only when it evaluates the separation and its symbols as what they are, and enjoins the withdrawal of your belief in them. I would indeed be a poor teacher if I allowed any interference in the development of a skill which you have by no means mastered.