infinity wrote:Ok so following this line of thought, wouldn't it mean that any kind of action, including GOOD ones, will affect not only future lives, but also past ones?
Yes. You have to think of multiple incarnations like an extended body--all connected. If you are walking down the road and your foot slips on a banana peel, then the rest of you goes in response. That is essentially how karma works, but across incarnations. It's just a little more elastic in the process.
Most people consider "past lives" as over and done with, totally unchangeable. Try considering a different perspective... that your past lives are "living" right along with this one, and you are all effecting each other, real-time. That you are more of a gestalt entity--one that spans multiple bodies and souls, through time and space. They all affect each other, which is why you get those intuitions on what is right/wrong--other lives pulling in specific directions when certain circumstances arise.
infinity wrote:On a second note, this reminds me of the gypsy-type curses spoken of on AQ (I think it was there? Or was it here on CH?) - how those can affect you over multiple lifetimes and can be a pain to get rid of. But from the sound of reciprocal relationships, that's the default for any kind of 'curse' effect. And be implication so would any 'blessing' effect.
Curses affect the soul--the body responds to the change in the soul. Since the soul is nonlocal (cosmic), it is connected to multiple "body" incarnations, so not only can a curse affect you, now, but you in the future and you in the past.
One of the things that the RS teaches is that time is 3-dimensional, so the trick is to stop thinking of that "arrow of time" we are always taught, and start thinking of it as movement through a landscape. There are a bunch of you walking around that landscape, leaving paths in the dirt (your "past") and still out exploring the terrain. If one life knocks a tree over the path, another life may come along and have to change their path to get around the obstruction you just made. Of course, that lifetime may heave the log out of the way and throw it into the woods, just where you happen to be camped out, and clobber your tent. In which case, you want to get even...
Once you understand this "internal causality" across time, you can see how karma works, and why many people tend to cause their own problems, battling with self. The psyche works the same way with unconscious content.
infinity wrote:The thing I can't figure out completely though, is then how do the 'bad guys' really get away with 'skipping the karmic' effect then? Since it would not also affect past and future but also the present? Does that not mean that no one escapes the consequences of their actions?
Karma works with the spirit complex, that ethical part beyond space and time, as it is the connecting link between body and soul. They have two options: first, don't enter the reincarnation cycle, so you don't have more than one life in your landscape. Second, don't evolve sufficiently to develop an ethical spirit.