Karma is simple, really. And is true of every single action and idea everywhere.
I get a good idea of how karma works while surrounded by pinyon trees here in my yard.
There are nuts In the pinyon’s pine cones.
And pine nuts contain seeds that, when given favorable conditions and no obstacles, will take root and grow into huge pine trees.
So too, it is with our ideas.
If an idea is given favorable conditions in our head and no obstacles, it will grow into a habit, which in turn, grows into talk, judgement and action..
No matter what — both seeds and ideas have consequences.
Both will either grow or die.
Even when they die, they decompose and fertilize the ground for others to grow — the pinyon nut in the ground, the idea in our subconscious.
A Seed’s Essence Is Invisible
Neither the essence of a pinyon seed or of an idea can be seen.
A delightful chat between father and son in an Upanishad explains:
“Why can’t I see Atman which you say is all pervasive and in everything?” asked Shvetaketu.
Uddalaka told his son to bring him a fruit from a Banyan tree.
Shvetketu picked and brought a fruit to his father.
“Cut it open, son, and look inside. What do you see?”
“Tiny seeds, father,” replied Shvetaketu.
“Cut open a seed,” Uddalaka said.
“I cut it open,” Shvetaketu said.
“What’s inside?” asked Uddalaka.
“There is nothing there” responded Shvetaketu.
“If there is nothing inside,” said Uddalaka, “how then can that tiny seed grow into a huge Banyan tree?”
“That, Shvetaketu, is the Atman, the essence of all things. The Atman pervades the universe. And you, my son, are a part of that universe.”
So what about the karma of ideas we allow in mind that we can’t see?
Karma always has consequences.
For example, kindness to others, though we can’t see it at work, favors our nervous system that is kind to itself, and then we are kind to others.