Featuring “Many Happy Returns” Video

One of the great things about an organization that has been around for decades is all of the quirky treasures we come across in our archives. This little video is just that! Written by James Duron, Helen Schroeder, and David Stipes, this fun short film was created in 1972. But don’t let it’s dated look fool you; it’s full of valuable information about our purpose here on earth. And since our 2019 Enlightenment Series is focusing on “Discovering Your Soul’s Purpose,” we decided to make the transcript of this video our April blog as part of the series, and include the video too!


Self: I wonder, why are people different? Just made that way I guess.

Karma: All men were created equal.

Self: If they were created equal, why are they different now?

Karma: Because of me.

Self: Oh! Who are you?

Karma:  I am Karma, the law of cause and effect.

Self: The law of cause and effect? What’s that?

Karma: If you do bad things to other people, you cause trouble for yourself. If you do kind things to others, you get good in return. In fact, you get many happy returns.


Karma: Men have tried to explain why they are not different in many ways, ranging from evolution and heredity to racial memory and reincarnation. No single solution seems to answer all questions completely, though each sheds light on a certain area.

Self: This is like a big jigsaw puzzle huh?

Karma: Scientists in the western world have studied evolution and heredity to a great extent and have discovered much about how they work. They answer how but not why they happen. Why in a world where everything works upon cause and effect principles should the lives of men appear to be subject to chance and coincidence? You see, this is where I come in. the laws of cause and effect also influence the lives of men, for As You Sow, So Shall You Reap.

Self: Well I’ve fooled people before and did things I’ve gotten away with.

Karma: Well, you didn’t fool me. The law affects everyone, even you.

Self: What about Billy’s family? They are nice to everybody, but they are poor and have little to eat. And everything bad happens to them and what about the selfish people who never pay for being mean to others. I remember a mean man who…

Karma: The law affects everyone.

Self: How? How do we pay for our good and bad things?

Karma: The missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle of understanding is time, time for your good and bad deeds to bear results. Some causes take hours, days, months, years, even generations to reap the effects. Some effects are obvious, such as speaking to a neighbor unkindly and he answers in the same way. Yet, less obvious is the connection between the selfish things you think you got away with long ago and the seemingly unfair treatment you received from someone else in your life in the present.

Self: How can I pay for things I did a long time ago if I’m only 10?

Karma: You have been alive many times before and have done many good and bad things. You are receiving the effects of these good and bad things in this present life.

Self: You mean I have to make up now for things I did a long time ago?

Karma: Yes, this is why people are different. They are reaping different effects because they have done different good or bad things.

Self: How did it all get started? Why are we here?

Karma: To look at this, let us go back to the beginning, man’s beginning. Man was created originally in the image and likeness of God, which is spirit, not human. All were created equal. In order to be co-creators with God, man was given a part of the divine mind, which is a builder, in order that man may be true companions with God, rather than puppets or robots, they were given free will, the power to choose. Instead of remaining with God, in purpose and activity, man used his free will selfishly. He chose to come into the earth.

Self: Did I do that too?

Karma: Yes, you are like the prodigal son, you chose to take your inheritance, your creative ability, and spend it for selfish pleasure, causing problems and suffering. Because of the love of God and the law of grace, like the prodigal son, you too can choose at any time to arise, leave it all behind and go back to father as companion and co-creator. This is the purpose for which you were created originally. The choice is yours.

Self: How do I go back to God?

Karma: God, in his love and mercy, allows you all the time you need to learn to get along with and be kind to all people you know. For most people, it requires many lifetimes. The number of lives depends upon your sincerity and persistence, your effort and enthusiasm, your free will.

Self: My free will?

Karma: (Displayed: Forgiveness, Service, Patience, Cooperation). This means you can choose how hard you wish to work at being kind and good to others. You see, we have been talking about reincarnation of course, the view that man returns to earth many times, though always as a human being. God has not willed that any soul must perish. With every temptation he has provided a way of escape. Reincarnation is not a punishment, but truly and opportunity to learn and grow under the laws of karma; that is, cause and effect and grace.

Self: I know that karma means that you have to experience the same good and bad things that you do to others, but what does grace mean?

Karma: There are two laws that work in reincarnation, one is karma, the compensation for your deeds and the other is grace, the law of love and forgiveness. Grace is the removal of the obligations you must face in your life.

Self: How do I get the law of Grace to help?

Karma: (Displayed: Love (many times). Grace is related to the way in which you apply the creative, spiritual laws to your life. As soon as you put into practice what you know of the creative laws, you begin to live within the law of grace.

Self: You mean if I try to do the things that God would want me to do, then I am forgiven?

Karma: When you learn to control hate, fear, lack of affection, unkindness (Displayed on screen and selfish)) and instead, give kindness, patience, faith and love to all people, you are under the law of grace, the law of divine forgiveness. Reincarnation makes sense, along with evolution, heredity (words displayed on screen) and the rest of the sciences. It completes the jigsaw puzzle of understanding. It makes it easier for you to accept difficult situations, when you know they are of your own choice in making and enables you to build constructively, not just endure helplessly. It gives hope. If you cause you problems by going against the laws, by being selfish, you can eliminate them by living in harmony with the law by being unselfish. You can begin now to forgive and loving yourself and others. Apply the golden rule in all your thoughts, words and deeds.


Karma: This opens the door to God’s grace and helps in your life and you are again like the prodigal son, going home to the Father.

From the archives of the Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc.

Copyright 1972

Film by: James Duron and David Stipes

With: Margo Jackson and Ruth Stipes

Script by: James Duron, Helen Schroeder and David Stipes

Voices by: Roberta Dahlberg and Pierre Gardiner

Music by: Melodie Anne Bowling

Audio by: Henry M. Quinn