Karma and reincarnation are closely related in many belief systems. Karma is the universal discipline or law, of cause and effect. Reincarnation is the rebirth of our souls to learn, grow and release any accumulated negative karma. As the saying goes, 'as you sow, so shall you reap'. This means: if we perform kind and positive acts toward others with no thought of renumeration of any kind, that produces good or positive karma. If we perform cruel or hateful acts or deeds toward another, (with the intent to hurt or cause them harm), that in turn produces bad or negative karma. Intent is the key. If you unintentionally hurt someone/something this will still have karmic effects on your soul, but it will be noted that the act was unintentional. The karmic debt wont be as severe as it would be, when the intent was to purely hurt or harm. Karma applies toward deeds committed against both humans and animals.
Throughout our lifetimes we accumulate karma. It depends upon our actions in that given life whether it is positive or negative karma. In any lifetime, if we have accumulated negative karma, we will have the option to 'work it off' in our next incarnation. This cycle repeats until we have removed the negative karma from our souls.
Once our physical bodies die, our souls are released and return Home to Heaven. We have a 'cooling off' period, where our soul adjusts to the death of the physical body. When we have adjusted, we are taken to a viewing room where we have a review of the life which we have just had. We see our actions both positive and negative here. We also view our life from the perspective of everyone we have interacted with in both positive and negative actions, and, how it effected them. Once this review has ended, we are taken to a counselor who helps us deal with what we have witnessed in the review. We then spend time in spirit, working on our souls and doing things for the Highest and Best good of our own souls, and, for the aid other souls in spirit. We are given jobs which aid in our souls growth. No one is exempt from working, we all have jobs to do.
When we have spent a period of time in spirit, we are given a choice. We can return to earth and work off any karmic debts we have accumulated, or stay in spirit a while longer. The quickest way to work off karmic debts is to reincarnate, although some do decide to stay for longer. There is no pressure on us to reincarnate, however we eventually do return to earth. Although it is good for the soul to release any karma here on earth, as it has the benefit of incurring positive karma, we can work our karma off in spirit too. This takes a longer time than if we reincarnate. The 'down side' to reincarnation is we can also incur more negative karma too.
If we decide to reincarnate we are charged with writing out a life plan. Once again counselors help us in the writing and planning of our life plans. The purpose of the life plan is to have the lessons we need to release our karma, and to allow our souls to grow.
It takes several months to write and organize our life plans as there are many factors to take into account. We need to decide which family we are to be born into, and they need to agree (this is decided between ourselves and members of our soul family, and friends in spirit). We also need to decide which religion and country we are to be born into. The planning is very meticulous, we decide what lessons would be beneficial to us in order to learn our lessons and release karmic debt. We are in control of the planning of our life plans, although if someone disagrees with our choice of partner for example, another has to be sought. It is also overseen by and needs the approval of God before we reincarnate.
When all of the details are in place, our parents have incarnated and we are ready to be born, we review our life plans to make sure that we are still have the same goals and lessons to learn, that we had when it was written. If things have changed in any small way, ie: the spirit who agreed to the partnership changes his/her mind our 'second' choice will be asked if they will incarnate with us. Once everything is in place, we are then reincarnated into the family that we chose, and the karmic and reincarnation cycle begins once more.
Free will plays just as big a role in spirit as it does here on earth. If we live our lives in peace and always try to do our best for both others and ourselves, karma can be released and we can ascend to the beings we are in truth. Once we are those beings, there is no need to reincarnate as we have no karmic debts whatsoever.