The Michael Teachings


Karma is formed when you significantly violate another’s domain, creating an energy imbalance that then seeks resolution. Usually a karmic debt is repaid in kind. For example, if A murders B, B will murder A or A will save the life of B in a subsequent lifetime.

Philanthropic or “good” karma results from significantly ex­panding another’s choices in a way that does not benefit you other than through the good feelings that arise.

In the Yarbro books, karma was specifically defined to mean a significant abridgment of another person’s right of free choice without prior agreement, such as murder. Michael through me sometimes refers to this as a “major karma.” Murder creates a significant energy imbalance because it robs someone of his physical body and all the effort he invested into setting up that lifetime. The murderer owes his victim that energy. A person who forms a karmic bond by murdering someone will, in a future lifetime, either be murdered by him, which cancels the debt with an opposite action, or will save his life, which is a more enlightened, joyful way of repaying such a debt. In rare instances, the energy imbalance is neutralized through “grace,” in which the murderer fully realizes his infringement, and both parties are able and willing to forgive the karma without acting it out physically.

Another example of a major karma is a thief robbing a large amount of money that someone worked to save, causing significant hardships that the victim cannot recover from, thereby reducing the choices available to the victim. The money doesn’t belong to the thief; it is “magnetically” linked to the person who generated it, and “tries” to return to its rightful owner, like a wave impelled to the shore, where it can return to equilibrium.

Through some other channels, Michael defines karma more broadly, as being any intense experience. This is more in keeping with the general new age use of the word. This would include lesser energy imbalances that do not significantly abridge another’s right of free choice or alter the course of his lifetime. Michael through me calls these “intermediate” and “minor” karmas. (In Michael’s People, Michael refers to the repayment of intermediate karmas as “acts of restitution.”) An example of an intermediate karma might be a business owner firing an employee unfairly; the owner has the right to do it, and although the employee might suffer some temporary hardship, it doesn’t generally cause major long-term harm. However, “what goes around comes around.” If the owner lacks fairness with his employees, he is likely to attract that sort of treatment in the future for himself. It may or may not come from those whom he treated unfairly. This differs from major karma, in which the “books” must be “balanced” with the same party.

If, in a future lifetime, the former owner were to meet the former employee, the former owner might feel guilty or rejective, depending on whether he was repentant. If he felt guilty, he might feel an impulse to help his former employee in a way roughly commensurate with the harm he had caused. If he follows his impulse, he may engage in an act of restitution, probably not knowing why he wants to be so “generous.”

If the former owner was not repentant, and the former employee had not resolved his feelings about what had happened, the former employee might inexplicably feel nervous, angry, or even the desire to “get even.” If the former employee now happened to be in a position to unfairly fire the former owner, he might do that, or he might choose to put aside his “irrational” feelings and act with integrity. This is obviously a milder experience of karma than if the former owner had murdered him; in that case, the former employee would likely feel powerful waves of energy seeking to be rebalanced. Although there is always free choice, he might feel overwhelmingly compelled to reciprocate what was done to him, or to allow the other person to make it up to him, especially if that was in their life plans. Minor and intermediate karmas are not centrally compelling in a lifetime in the way that major karma is. Only major karmas must be repaid before a soul cycles off. However, most of a soul’s intermediate and minor karmas will also be repaid in the passage of many lifetimes.

Of course, getting even, which can be an element of any kind of negative karmic repayment, tends to perpetuate patterns of injustice. The history of civilization could be couched in terms of vicious circles of getting even. There is always a choice about how a karmic debt is repaid. If an essence plans to repay a karmic debt in an upcoming lifetime, the means of repayment is likely to be discussed with the essence to whom the debt is owed. An essence may even agree to incarnate and be murdered at a particular time in order to repay a debt. Even if a person did not agree to repay a particular karma in this lifetime, if he gets involved with someone to whom he owes a debt and the “ball starts rolling,” he may repay it anyway. Once he is drawn into the whirlwind of a major karma, it can be difficult to extract himself from it until the karmic “ribbon” is “burned,” since its energies are so powerful.

Let’s say, for example, that in a past life a person murdered someone with whom he has a close soul-level connection. Let’s also say that they did not plan to settle that debt in this lifetime—they felt that it would be better to work on some other lessons together beforehand. So they meet and become involved with one another. There may be an underlying discomfort due to the outstanding karma—the one who had been murdered may at times feel an inexplicable nervousness or wariness in the other person’s presence, and the one who had murdered may still carry the unresolved emotions that led to the murder in the first place. However, their basically close soul-level connection draws them together and they seek to work things out with each other. If they get to a point in their relationship similar to the point at which the karma was incurred the “last time around,” they may find that they have grown enough to deal with the challenges that arise in a more mature way. They may also find themselves again engulfed by the emotions that come up. In the heat of the moment, the one who killed may kill again, incurring more karma, or the one who had been murdered may this time be the murderer—the energy imbalance of the original karma may surface in full primal force, like a tidal wave, and seek to right itself any way it can.

After a karmic debt is repaid, those involved can carry “karmic residues,” leftover ill feelings that will usually, in time, fade away. If we meet someone who at first triggers negative feelings in us, but whom we come to like or feel neutral about, this could indicate that we were dispersing karmic residues.

Sometimes people assume that every difficult relationship is karmic—that is not the case. Some people are just hard to get along with, or push a lot of our buttons. Also, people can develop patterns of behavior with each other after several lifetimes together that may not be fully productive, but are not karmic. With deliberate work, these patterns can be changed. An example might be two people who basically love each other but habitually compete rather than support one another. There is no energy imbalance here, just an encrusted way of relating.

There is also what Michael calls “self-karma,” which could be defined as an energy imbalance within oneself caused by false, limiting beliefs acquired in past experiences, either in past lives or earlier in this lifetime. This can result in a disease, for instance, that requires a righting of the internal imbalance in order to heal. Seventh-level lifetimes, whether young or old, are often taken up with attempting to deal with self-karmas.

If, for example, a person harbors bigotry without overtly acting it out and tangibly harming someone, he has not incurred a karmic debt, but he may generate self-karma and feel compelled into situations that bring him face to face with his bigotry. Someone who hates members of a particular religious group or race may, in a later lifetime, choose to be born into it so as to deal with that bigotry, just as he might had he incurred a karmic debt with a member of that group or race. However, specific prejudices are fixations of the personality and are not, per se, carried from lifetime to lifetime, although the tendency to have prejudice is. Prejudice is a projection of some rejected part of self. The exact object of a person’s prejudice depends on the culture into which he is born: he will tend to hate whatever group is “popular” to hate in that culture. For instance, in one lifetime his prejudice may be fixated on Roman Catholics; in another, on blacks. However, there can also be patterns from lifetime to lifetime: for example, people may be misogynistic and/or homophobic in many of their male lifetimes if their male energy tends to reject their female energy. Coming to terms with prejudice is a way of learning to love and accept all parts of oneself. Whether a person does this through repaying a karmic debt owed another person, or internally, by dealing with self-karma, the fundamental lessons are the same, since our relationships with others reflect our relationship with ourselves. When a prejudice arises in us, it can be useful to ask ourselves what part of ourselves that particular group represents to us.

More On Karma
(From chapter twelve, “Karma” in Being in the World)


Karma is one way you learn on the physical plane. In karma, you have an extreme experience, and balance it with the opposite ex­treme experience. By learning both sides of an issue, you can come to a new understanding that puts you consciously in the middle. You may go from one extreme to another, back and forth, for several lifetimes before you finally “wake up” and find that balanced place.

Suppose that in one lifetime you are murdered and desire revenge, so in the next lifetime you murder the one who murdered you. In the lifetime after that one, you become the victim again, and so on. You flip-flop in that way until you wake up and see that you are both the murderer and the murdered. You recognize that both these parts are inside you, and make peace between them. Then you no longer need to repeat the pattern. That is integration.


You can choose how and when you repay karmic debts. Suppose that you had a lifetime in which you killed people indiscriminately and caused a great deal of suffering. Generally, if you consciously deliberate on it after the lifetime, you will want to start re­paying those karmic debts during your next lifetime. You may have a painful or early death, or suffer great losses. On the other hand, you may decide that for the maximum growth, it would be better to have an experience of what it is like to be really loved. In that case, the next life may be a relatively easy and comfortable one. You must eventually deal with your karma, but sometimes, repaying karmic debts is put off for centuries or even millennia. That is not usual, though.

Karma is a compelling influence, and if you do not plan and make deliberate choices about how you will repay your karmic debts, you will eventually repay them anyway, but haphazardly. If you are in the vicinity of someone with whom you have a karmic tie, you tend to attract one another. Whether or not you had intended to, once you start the wheels of repayment in motion, it is difficult to stop them. However, although what is occurring may appear haphazard, you may actually have chosen it even though you do not consciously remember having done so.


Did Jesus's death wipe out accumulated mass karma?

No. It was not designed to do this. Karma, as we define it, is incurred individually. You have to repay your own karma.

So there’s no such thing as mass karma?

There is only mass karma in the sense that many individuals may have incurred karma simultaneously, and may tend to work on it together as well. Jesus’s death was a psychic symbol that has given humanity as lot to think about. Christianity as you know it today is a reaction to that one event, mostly an attempt to avoid dealing with the guilt felt about that event. Christians get to say that it was someone else who was responsible for crucifying the Lord. In such denial is a continuation of the inner crucifixion of the Lord within, which is the essence.


Just as someone can literally stick a knife in another person, he can also stick a vibrational knife in him through the intense projection of hate or another destructive force. It is karmic in either case if it harms the other person.


If through manipulation you produce deep confusion or distur­bance in another person who is not capable of defending himself from it, you have deprived him of choice and therefore have cre­ated karma. This could be called a mind-fuck. If you chose parents who ended up planting some negative belief systems in you, welcome to the human race-that is not a mind-fuck. You chose the parents and you got their belief systems. Parents can mind-fuck their children, but it would have to be a deliberate and serious infraction.


When you are around someone with whom you have strong karmic ties, you can be pulled into a whirlwind of emotion and other forces you do not understand. You can feel quite blind for a while, simply because the intensity of what originally created that karma is triggered in you. The more you maintain an objective, neutral consciousness, the better you are able to handle these forces when they come into your life.


Grace is the neutralization of karma solely in conscious­ness, learning its lessons without physically acting it out. Grace is al­ways possible, but most choose to pay back their karma physi­cally because they are not capable of balancing karma purely in con­sciousness.

Suppose that a person murders someone in cold blood. He is not likely to seek grace. The fact that he committed this act indi­cates that he is deeply enmeshed in the karmic state, and probably has little or no vision beyond it. But for the sake of argument, let’s say that after that lifetime, he seeks grace; he does not want to be killed by the person he murdered in a future lifetime. He would have to undergo an enormous amount of growth to receive grace. He would have to develop sufficient empathy and compassion to feel what it was like for the other per­son. Mere remorse is not enough. Realistically, he is probably going to need to be killed by him and perhaps undergo other physical plane experi­ences to awaken in that area and learn the lesson. Grasping it without tangible experience may just be too difficult for him.

Grace is more possible when karma is less extreme and its lessons are within easier reach. Grace is not undertaken unilater­ally. The victim’s essence must agree to it. However, since being repaid a karmic debt can be almost as unpleasant as the karma it­self, this is usually not a problem. While grace is usually achieved from the astral plane after the lifetime is complete, it can also be accomplished from the physical plane when the person who cre­ated the karma experiences major growth.

In between the two extremes of repaying a karmic debt through “an eye for an eye,” and neutralizing it through grace, is what might be called modified grace. Continuing the example above, modified grace might entail the murderer saving the life of his former victim in a future lifetime, perhaps in a doctor/patient relationship in which the doctor received no pay. This is a more enlightened and compassionate way to repay that karma.

Some karmas can also be “worked off” from the astral plane, again by the agreement of both parties. Since karma is fun­damentally an imbalance of energy, repaying it is a matter of doing whatever it takes to rebalance it. Occasionally, an essence who is otherwise complete with the physical plane attempts to work off a remaining karmic debt from the astral plane rather than reincar­nating. If he is not successful, he will need to reincar­nate in order to repay the debt.


Sometimes a person knows that he has a lot of karma to repay, and that doing so will probably not be very pleasant. It is under­standable that he would feel some dread, but he can use the dread to help himself prepare to handle the karma better. If he braces against the karma, in anticipation of pain, he will have more pain-resisting something increases its impact when it hits, whereas embracing it softens its impact. If he is going to repay the debt anyway, it makes sense to embrace rather than resist it.

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About Shepherd Hoodwin

Shepherd has been channeling since 1986. He also does intuitive readings, mediumship, past-life regression, healing, counseling, and channeling coaching, where he teaches others to channel. He has conducted workshops on the Michael teachings throughout the United States. His other books include Enlightenment for Nitwits, Loving from Your Soul: Creating Powerful Relationships, Meditations for Self-Discovery, Opening to Healing, Growing Through Joy, Being in the World, and more to come.

Visit his website at ShepherdHoodwin.com

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