Excerpt from The Light: The Law of Cause and Effect
There is often a comparatively large time gap between the instigation of an action and its result, which makes up the law of cause and effect. This is one reason it is sometimes difficult for people to recognize the relationship between the law of cause and the effect. For example, if you steal a car and go joy-riding when you are sixteen and twenty years later some kids steal your new Cadillac and wreck it, you may not see the connection. It is there, it is just your action being returned to you.
This also applies from one existence to another. Your soul has probably had many physical and non-physical existences prior to this one. However, it is safe for you to consider that almost everything you have in this lifetime is connected in some way to your experiences in past existences. Sometimes the connection is big and obvious; other times, it is subtle. But it really does not matter much if something is karmic or not because you still need to handle the situation in this life.
Before incarnation you have free will and you exercise it; after incarnation you have free choice. Before you incarnate you freely choose the various life circumstances you will come in with, such as your parents, country, race, sex and other physical attributes, as well as many possible life scenarios. After you incarnate you choose and keep choosing which of these many possibilities you wish to follow.
Many people see themselves as the sum of the past, the result of everything they have accumulated along the way, including from past existences. I prefer to look at life another way: the person I am today is perfectly positioned for my future.
The way I see it, the future, not the past, has put each of us where we are in this moment, in this place, in this position in our lives, so that we can claim the potential that awaits us. In this there is great freedom, great personal responsibility and great opportunity to learn.
BIO: John-Roger is the contributor of the Karma and Destiny chapter in The Light. He is also the founder of the Movement of Inner Spiritual Awareness (MSIA) and an author of more than 50 books on spirituality.