Back to Top

Marilyn Perry on Karma - An Outline of this Essential Buddhist Concept

Karma is the universal Law of cause and effect.

Karma is everything and everything is Karma.

In Buddhism, Karma is codified as Myoho, where Myoho means, literally, Mystic Law, the Mystic Law of cause and effect.

At Karma’s most general conceptual level, there are two fundamental types of Karma:

  • Immutable Karma, and
  • Mutable Karma

There are three general categories of Immutable Karma:

  • Karma destined to appear in one’s current lifetime
  • Karma destined to appear in one’s next lifetime
  • Karma destined to appear in a later lifetime

Karma carries over across multiple lifetimes.

Karma in one’s present lifetime is comprised, in part, from the Karma of one’s past lifetimes.

Karma in one’s present lifetime is comprised, in part also, from the Karma in one’s present lifetime.

However, there are additional aspects of, and additional dimensions to, the nature of Karma:

  • Manifest Karma, and
  • Latent Karma

Manifest and Latent Karma can be further codified into:

  • Latent Cause
  • Latent Effect
  • Manifest Cause
  • Manifest Effect

In an over simplified way, one might describe Latent Karma, either as cause or effect, that isn’t readily observable and/or quantifiable, especially when it might exist internally within a person and is likely not externally observable by others. Notably as well, since some Karma is mutable Karma, latent causes and effects can become manifest causes and effects due to their mutability. 

Given the foregoing, it becomes apparent that there exists:

  • Immutable Latent Cause
  • Mutable Latent Cause
  • Immutable Manifest Cause
  • Mutable Manifest Cause
  • Immutable Latent Effect
  • Mutable Latent Effect
  • Immutable Manifest Effect
  • Mutable Manifest Effect

All these aspects of Karma are observable throughout daily life and throughout the universe, throughout the entire universe, because the universe is Karma. 

Although this explanation has been abstract, and may seem abstract, it is provided here without concrete examples, because concrete examples might detract, and distract, from the universal and absolute nature and meaning of Karma, the meaning of the Universal Law known as Myoho.

Thank you for visiting this website, my Marilyn Perry personal website, and enjoying the information and content shared here at

Marilyn Perry