In 1686 Isaac Newton presented his third law of motion. It states:
"All forces occur in pairs and these two forces are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction." In other words, for every force there is an equal but opposite force or every action is always opposed by an equal reaction.
This law forms, together with his two other laws of motion, the basis for classical mechanics. But why should this physical law not apply to all forces and actions?
In Hindu philosophy the sum of a person's actions are viewed as decisive for his fate. Every time a person thinks or does something, he or she creates an action; a force; a cause that in time will bear its corresponding effects This law of cause and effect is an integral part of Hindu philosophy and also known as Karma.
Although this principle seems to be alien to Christianity the first phrase stated above actually has its origins in the Christian Bible i. And it contains a few more phrases with similar meaning:
He who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward ii He who sows wickedness reaps trouble iii
The second proverb is much more recent (late 20th century iv) and apparently originated in the United States. In the Oxford Dictionary you will find the following explanation: the consequences of one's actions will have to be dealt with eventually. The third phrase is basically saying the same as the first two and known as far as Russia to Vietnam to Spain.
But this law of cause and effect is not always easy to see. How often have I not been able to see any consequences at all for things I thought should have an immediate consequence or effect. It took me a long time to realize that my time frame is limited, my impatience ample and that I do not know or see everything, especially if it concerns other people.
It took me even longer before I could see links between actual consequences, good or bad, and the original thoughts or actions. How often did I not feel that I was doing all the right things when things were still going badly wrong. It took quite a lot of misery before
I finally learned that often hidden under the best of intentions and the most logic of reasoning a deep hidden fear or well-camouflaged greed were the actually drivers of my actions and thoughts. I can say from experience now that in the end, those deeds, even if they are as well-camouflaged as charity or wanting the best for everybody, bring only tears.
All that we are, is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him. (Buddha)
For every force or action, even it is just a thought, there is an equivalent reaction or consequence. It is not always easy to see and sometimes it is impossible to see, a bit like gravity. But there is a law of cause and effect. It applies to everything and everybody and its name is 'Righteousness'.