However, my view of Karma is not punitive. It is not a set of strict rules or commandments, which we are bound to fail at if we try to follow them. The idea behind the karmic precepts is to do as little harm as possible in your intention. The intention behind your action counts more in this vibrational universe than the fact that you killed something for the sake of your own physical survival.
For example: When you kill an mosquito that is sucking the blood from your baby, you are doing a karmically good thing for yourself and the baby yet you are consciously doing harm to the insect. Maybe you didn’t intend to kill the mosquito but it happened anyway. Sometimes killing insects happens inadvertently, such as when you brush the insect away but its delicate structure succumbs to the force of your hand.
Your body's immune system kills all lifeforms that it doesn't recognize. You step on and crush countless microorganisms and tiny insects every day. Yet karmic precepts direct us to minimize the amount of harm we do in the world.
The reason for this unattainable ideal is to cause us to focus on how killing less evolved creatures impacts our own peace of mind. If you kill a Lyme tick, knowing that the act is harmless, and even helpful, your mind remains calm and even the act of squashing the tick supports meditation practice.
If you kill the tick with aversion and resistance, feeling horror and guilt, fear and loathing, the karmic consequences are not pleasant—for these emotions are not pleasant. But if you honor the life of the tick as you dispatch it to eternity, you are in a much lighter, happier place karmically.