Uluru (circa 2003), Photo: Richard Power
Karma is not "cause and effect." Our conception of the universe is no longer limited by Newtonian physics, why should our conception of karma be stuck there? In the post-Einstein universe, karma means something more like "every event is bound to every other event in ways that are beyond comprehension." One should approach karma (whether one's own and or another's) with an attitude of profound humility.
What we can know with certainty, if we allow the truth of it in, is that all life is a oneness, and whatever pain you cause you cause to yourself whether directly or indirectly, whether the consequences are immediate or delayed. But this is not cause and effect, this is path of love, the way of the tao, the journey of oneness into the revelation of itself in the utter uniqueness of every particular.
Likewise, I no longer view reincarnation as a procession of "lives" occurring along a linear timeline. That timeline is simply a convention we need to process information that would be otherwise beyond our capacity. In reality, the three times (past, present and future) are more like views, or angles, between constantly moving points, within a continuum; and all of our incarnations are actually happening simultaneously.
-- Richard Power