How Does Karmic Retribution Exact Itself?

Question: How is karmic retribution able to be so exact after many lifetimes? For example, how is it that ‘enemies [tend to meet on a] narrow path’ (冤家路窄)?

Answer: As the workings of the law of karma operate at an unseen level until physically experienced, let us use a physical example as a parallel to explain how it works

When rain falls on mountaintops, it forms streams and flows downhill. Even if it takes a long time over a long distance, meandering through all kinds of big and small obstacles, the water eventually finds its way to the sea due to the law of gravity that attracts the water.

Just as the law of gravity ensures stream water will naturally meet sea water, the law of karma is such that it those with affinity will be attracted together to interact naturally. However, as the law of karma is neutral, both those with positive and negative affinities will be attracted, while these affinities can transform for better or worse with changes in attitude.

Just as the stream water can freeze or evaporate depending on weather conditions before reaching to sea, even possibly not reaching it, karmic seeds will not bear fruits when supportive conditions are temporarily or permanently lacking. Karmic effects can be diluted through creation of the opposite kind of karma too.

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