What Goes Around, Comes Around


by Jef Bartow

Our first principle of a principle-centered spirituality is "What goes around, comes around." Normally, this is a Western saying for either the Law of Karma or the Christian quote: "As ye sow, so shall ye reap." In my first book God, Man and the Dancing Universe, I discuss the spiritual energy of Balance as part of the Order characteristic of Spirit. Each of these three ways of looking at our first principle will provide insights into this powerful means of spiritual transformation.

Karma is usually translated as the law of cause-and-effect or one’s destiny. Every cause produces an effect. The term karma is actually translated as “action.” From the teachings of the Buddha, Donald Rothberg in The Engaged Spiritual Life provides key insights into karma: "At every moment, we are acting, and through our actions, we set in motion, support, or undermine tendencies and habits." It is “how our intentions tend to condition similar intentions in the future, and how skillful intentions tend to produce liberation and happiness whereas unskillful intentions tend to produce bondage and unhappiness."

Deepak Chopra puts it beautifully in that "whatever you put into the universe, the result will be commensurate." "Because it stretches over many lifetimes, the karmic balance sheet isn't worked out from day to day." In essence, he equates karma with love. How we live and express attracts either "love from spirit" or a "lesson meant in love."



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The adage mentioned above regarding the sower is normally attributed to Christ. It actually comes from St. Paul the apostle. In the parable of the sower, Christ provides the following as its meaning:

"for whosoever have, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that
which he seems to have."

If you have love, you will be given more love. If your life lacks love, even less love will come to you in your life. If you are selfish to those around you, your selfishness will only be increased. If you seek peace in your life but do not embody peace in the way you live, even less peaceful will your life become.

In God’s creative process, Order as a part of Spirit continually seeks to bring balance throughout manifestation. This may seem paradoxical to the idea of what goes around, comes around. The key is mentioned above in the "lesson meant in love." What comes back around to us is the loving fruits of our labor which is meant to either increase our bounty or provide us a loving lesson for the future. If we don't get the lesson involved, we just continue to live in our state of suffering.

What goes around, comes around operates at various levels. Obviously, our behaviors directly affect our environment and behaviors that come back to us from others. If we treat our children the way our parents treated us, we should expect them to react to us the same way we reacted to our parents. If we treat others the way we wish to be treated, love will attract to us those who will respond similarly.

Just as important in what goes around, comes around is our attitude and orientation. Energy follows thought and emotion just as much as our physical behaviors. It is not just what you think that is who you are, but also how you feel becomes who you are.

If one's family life is filled with criticism, selfish expectations and/or a myriad of other forms of mental and emotional suffering, each person in the family will sooner or later express the same suffering; most probably as they create their own family life later on. The power of contrary attitude and behavior to the suffering in our environment is how we change what goes around in order to change what comes back around.

If your vocation is to serve others in some way, the attitude and orientation by which you approach your service comes back to you similarly. If you dislike your job or believe it's beneath you, you will more and more encounter the same attitude and orientation from those you seek service from in life. How many of us have encountered this in the company we work for. The owner’s attitude and orientation sooner or later is demonstrated first by those in management and then the whole company in general. This is why the first principle in business consulting is that to find the source of key business problems, look to the owner’s attitude, orientation and behaviors. The culture of the business is always what's coming back around from the owners’ and employees’ going around.
Spiritualizing Exercises

So much of who we become is directly affected by our conditioning from family, community and society. This conditioning is constantly going around and therefore continually coming around. It is up to us to change the tide and flow in order to increase our spirituality. Simply, this is the point of turning the other cheek. At the same time, we each need to examine and change how we live by our conditioning. Thereby, we can purposely change what we are adding to what is going around.

Let's begin with our relationships. Define what it means for you to have a loving supportive partner or family life as part of your spirituality. Try to make your characteristics as specific as possible. One good example is: my partner gives me the freedom to pursue my spiritual growth as I need to. Another could be: my family provides me enough periodic solitude for my meditative and self-reflective practices.

Now examine your own attitudes and behaviors toward your partner and family. Do you provide them the same freedom within their lives that you seek? What family life characteristics do they seek you to give them? And remember, they may not seek the same solitude you do, but that does not mean that their needs are not just as important as yours. The key is: Are you giving based on what others need, just as you seek to be given based on your needs?

Next, evaluate your current vocational life in the same way. Even though you may feel you have less ability to make changes in your vocational environment than you do in your home life, you'll be surprised what you can do through your own attitude, orientation and behaviors. You may come to the decision, after some effort, that a radical change in your vocation is needed.

This should not stop you from continually changing what you're going around is in order to change what is coming around to you. I will guarantee you, that if you don't change your attitude, orientation and behaviors first, your change of vocation will only continually bring you the same results. Part of what goes around, comes around means is that we are all individually responsible for the circumstances and events in our life, not just the good things.
Finally, our attitudes, orientation and behaviors regarding our spiritual growth dictate our spiritual growth. In this Aquarian Age we cannot put responsibility for our spiritual growth onto a guru, master or teacher. The age of the World Savior is over. In general, our spiritual growth is either enhanced or diminished not by who we are, but what we put out into our universe of spiritual growth. From my experience, the majority of those who say they pursue spiritual growth and are "spiritually oriented" live much of their life just like regular humans. Unfortunately, they expect different results than a typical human life.

In this regard, I can provide a plethora of ways to accelerate your spiritual growth. One is my article series (in our educational archives) on the characteristics of Spirit. Each specifically provides exercises to expand and increase each characteristic within your life. Another series, Spiritualizing Habits for Life is a set of nine specific habits that will powerfully condition the pace and effectiveness of your spiritual growth. Each of these articles provides specific step-by-step instructions in implementing these habits.


A third article series entitled From Life Struggles.... to Living by Spirit goes directly to what I just mentioned regarding being spiritually oriented, but living life like other humans. These articles focus directly key aspects of human life and how we can eliminate our struggles and suffering to become our potential spiritual beingness. All in all, these three article series provide more than enough for anyone to pursue spiritual growth for decades.

Next month, we move to our second principle in a principled-centered spirituality. Its title is: Letting Everyone Shine, like Love, is Always Something to Be Given Abundantly.