Theosophy, Spiritism, New Age
The idea of karma was popularized in the Western world through the work of the Theosophical Society. In this conception, karma was a precursor to the Neopagan law of return or Threefold Law. The idea that the beneficial or harmful effects one has on the world will return to oneself. Colloquially this may be summed up as ‘what goes around comes around.’
The Theosophist I. K. Taimni wrote, “Karma is nothing but the Law of Cause and Effect operating in the realm of human life. And bringing about adjustments between an individual and other individuals whom he has affected by his thoughts, emotions and actions.”. Theosophy also teaches that when humans reincarnate they come back as humans only, not as animals or other organisms.
In Spiritism, karma is known as “the law of cause and effect”, and plays a central role in determining how one’s life should be lived. Spirits are encouraged to choose how (and when) to suffer retribution for the wrong they did in previous lives. How we know of this without remembering we had the choice is ambiguous. Disabilities, physical or mental impairment or even an unlucky life are due to the choices a spirit makes before reincarnating (that is, before being born to a new life)