The Karma of Power


Power is essentially defined by a ‘sphere of influence’ — by the circle which surrounds a center and over which that center has a governing effect. This center can distribute goods, money, gifts, teachings, regulations, help, protection, laws, etc. All these can come from a center of power.

’Karma’ is the Law of Cause and Effect, paraphrased in the saying: “what ye sow, ye shall reap.” The energy, thought, intention, and feeling we carry within ourselves, as well as the actions we manifest in the Universe, are causes that generate effects in our immediate and even distant surroundings. These effects become part of the world we create. They emanate from us as co-creators of life and are returned to us, for good or for ill, in order to teach us how to maintain our being within a state of love and oneness within the Divine harmonic that is the basis for life.

In relation to the ‘karma of power’, there is a well-known adage regarding leadership and rulership that has applied throughout the ages — that “with power comes responsibility.” Yet, history is replete with examples of both leaders and nations who have wielded great power and who have not acted responsibly toward those who were within their sphere of influence.

Power is essentially defined by a ‘sphere of influence’ — by the circle which surrounds a center and over which that center has a governing effect. This center can distribute goods, money, gifts, teachings, regulations, help, protection, laws, charity, nurturance, or military force. All of these can come from a center of power. The ‘sphere of influence ‘ which surrounds such a center includes those who receive from it and who are governed by its authority, to whatever degree. In relation to parents, the ‘sphere of influence’ is their children. In relation to teachers, it is their students. In relation to governments, it is the governed. The ‘sphere of influence’ of a nation is both internal, belonging to the members of that nation, and external, belonging to the globall community. This ‘sphere of influence’ becomes larger and more active, the more powerful the nation is. It contains not just those who are regulated by the laws of the nation, but also those who are affected in their everyday lives by its policies.

Power that is based on a ‘sphere of influence’ where the center — whether it is a parent, a president, a nation, or an empire gives and the circle receives something — such power operates through ‘lines of connection’ that emanate from the center and radiate outward toward all within the sphere of influence. These lines of connection are based on several things: energy — the feeling-tone or emotional quality of what is transmitted; ideology, in the sense of thought and idea; and action, in the sense of behavior toward those connected with the center. Whether the lines of connection are used for good or ill, whether they emanate light or darkness or a mixture of the two, whether they are treated with awareness or with neglect and indifference, determines the ‘karma of power’. For with power comes responsibility to maintain the lines of connection in harmony with the Law of Love. This law seeks the well-being of the whole, not just the well-being of the self. The more influence the center of power has over others’ lives, whether economically, legally, educationally, or spiritually, the greater the requirement to maintain the lines of connection in good order and to establish and maintain relationships within the sphere of influence in accordance with Divine intention. This is the Law of Karma, and it is also the law of evolution in which karma will one day be transcended, when all may be held within the Law of Love.

When there is a significant departure from the Law of Love, when deceit is practiced by those in power, when arrogance, superiority, neglect, violation of individual rights, indifference, or outright cruelty gain ascendance, then the ‘karma of power’ as it applies to the centerof power becomes highly charged, ultimately requiring corrective action of great proportions in order to heal the attitudes that have caused the departure from right use of power, and to bring it into alignment with the Divine harmonic. There are qualifiers around this, however. When power is misused but the intention which guided action has been loving, or when there is a mixture of good motives and bad ones within those occupying positions of leadership, then the karma of power is mitigated by the mixture of motives. For action is only one determinant of the way in which karma operates. Thought and intention are equally important aspects.

With this in mind, we may look at the ‘karma of power’ as it applies to nations and surmise, from what has been said, that if and when a nation attains the status of a superpower, the lines of connection that radiate out to the ‘sphere of influence’ are many and long, and these lines of connection have great potential to affect the lives of millions if not billions of people. Where power is great, so too is responsibility. And where power and responsibility are both great, so too are the karmic effects of motives that endanger, neglect, or create harm within the ‘sphere of influence’, especially in relation to those who are most vulnerable.

Where are we, in the United States, with this? Only God knows this for sure. But we, individually, need to look at the attitudes we project, both on the national and on the international scene, and ask: Within the ‘sphere of influence’ in which the United States has an effect, have we as a government, past and present, and as a people, acted responsibly?


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