Reverse Karma (a poem)


Karma, people say

is the great Equalizer.

That you get what you give

That the universe gives what you deserve

measured in spoonfuls

Good for good

Bad for bad.


But here is the truth

(I offer it to you with no shiny bow

no pretty package):


No of it matters.


You can choose to be cruel

walk the wide path through a valley of vice

build your throne on the hearts of others

reflect your self-hatred

scorn what is good

and life will reward you

with glory, with riches

with honor

with love.


You can sow seeds of kindness

cascade with self-love

pour it into others

reflect inner peace

like sunshine

strive to always do good

give generously

and end up alone

always so alone

always unloved

in return.


There is no Karma.

That is only something we offer each other

to make us feel better

to offer sparks of hope

when there really is no hope.


The truth is, no one knows how to explain

why God so often

blesses those who choose to do wrong

and punishes those who choose to do right.




19 responses to “Reverse Karma (a poem)

  1. Wow! That is one powerful poem. It’s a truism little expressed or acknowledged. Until recently I used to believe in comforting karma but now I lean towards the opposite. It’s a scarifying and honest poem.

  2. hi jup… sorry for delay, but busy and got sidetracked by many things. In looking through your poem, I realized I had two things to try and emphasize to you. First is this quote which gives an imaginative picture about what the nature and purpose of ‘evil’ is:

    And second is to emphasize that to understand karma, you really need to expand the context of your thoughts to imagine many past and future lives. Trying to understand or judge karma within the context of only one life, what we can presently remember, is like trying to understand a tree from an acorn or a fallen leaf. There is fat more to the story. Good thing too, because it (many lifetimes) affords people the chance to make mistakes and to experience forgiveness from both sides of the coin.

    hope that stimulates you. I like your blog. Cheers.

    • Thank you for returning to share your thoughts. I truly do appreciate the various perspectives other bloggers have, and how they help me to think more deeply or refine my own.

      The Buddhist concept of Karma goes far deeper than, I believe, most people of average intelligence can grasp. Though I am not a Buddhist, I have read enough about the concept to know that it is not meant to be about the shallow tit-for-tat revenge of the universe that people often mistake it to be. The Buddha himself contradicted this notion! To believe that one’s poor fortune must be due to some bad choices in one’s former life is terribly fatalistic. Do people, then, not have free will, because we are doomed to suffer or be rewarded for our actions in prior lives? Nonsense! That is not Karma; at least it isn’t the Buddhist idea of Karma. Here it is actually:
      Karma Niyama – order of act and result, e.g., desirable and undesirable acts produce corresponding good and bad results. As surely as water seeks its own level so does Karma, given opportunity, produce its inevitable result, not in the form of a reward or punishment but as an innate sequence. This sequence of deed and effect is as natural and necessary as the way of the sun and the moon.
      Cause and effect? Our actions have natural consequences? Well, that is much more believable.

      As far as evil being a necessity for man to achieve holiness, well I again must disagree. Evil exists because it exists. Because people choose to do wrong instead of right. Because people shun goodness and ethics and morality. To say that evil is necessary in order to highlight what is good or holy is like saying that ice and snow are necessary in order to highlight the goodness of sunshine and warmth. Many people living in warm, sunny climates would disagree. 😉 I could say more, but maybe a future blog post would be a better idea. Thanks again for the exchange of knowledge.

      • Probably too lengthy a discussion to conduct within blog comments. 🙂 But I will try & thanks for your reply. I’ll take the 2nd point first because it is easier. THe Steiner quote does not imply anything about the purpose of evil being to ‘highlight’ goodness. It does not say this. The idea is more that it provides an opposing force with which to struggle. Goodness must be seen as an active thing, a developing capacity we cultivate over the course of lifetimes. Good is not merely an adjective; then one does not grasp its inner meaning. In the long run, goodness involves the ability to sacrifice — out of love. All of us have evil within us if we consider ourselves deeply enough; none of us are as of yet Christ-like. Tying this concept in a little bit with what you said about karma (I do not ascribe to the Buddhist notion of what karma is, which seems abstract to me whenever I read about it, but rather an esoteric Christian one — which you will not find in any external religious or evangelical sources), you mentioned free will. This too develops, or evolves over lifetimes. We cannot be capable of goodness, especially holy goodness as the quote describes, without the possibility of evil. Else it would be automatic, or ‘natural’, not a product of straining our will and integrating our beings. When you speak of evil existing because people choose wrongness or immorality, this shows how difficult goodness actually is to consistently perform. Yo are right that karma should not be conceived as a simplistic accounting of good vs bad in a soul ledger. But if you reduce it simply to cause and effect you are whitewashing the concept out of existence. (Understandably, because natural science exerts such a powerful prejudice over modern culture’s way of seeing reality.) The question is what gets caused? What are the effects over multiple lifetimes? This is a deep spiritual matter and it deserves to be lived with as a puzzle, not simply expalianed away without developing any understanding as to what it all implies. How does destiny jibe with free will, if we have any? We have a certain amount of freedom, degrees of freedom. Our life scripts, as designed via cosmic laws which have nothing to do with outer science, and of which karma is only one aspect, We will come into a life pre-destined to meet certain people and certain themes and situations, whihc afford us the right opportunities to make good past errors AND also to cultivate new growth, morally. Whether we respond is up to us, and points to our freedom. Things are not black and white. Sacrifice is even beyond this, because we can choose to creatively do something, not in our own best interests, out of love or compassion or conviction, and no karma will ever force this upon us. Anyway… a quote such as Steiner’S is not meant to be agreed with or disagreed with. Because it is beyond our usual understanding. It is instead a gift, a doorway, that is meant to be pondered for some years while considering how it relates to experiences and observations we form in life and especially social life. To agree with it or disagree with it is actually to dismiss it. People do this often; they treat spiritual matters, matters for contemplation, as some kind of scientific thesis to be commented upon analytically and quickly categorized. That is why people understand nothing of a spiritual nature. And also why religions can run so rampant as false authorities in this realm of discourse… because people do not want to do their own deep thinking. Only other thing I can tell you is: I was where you are, decades back. So, I recognized the tone within your writing, and know the basic outlines about where this kind of view is mistaken. You might dislike hearing this, but that is okay with me. 🙂 And thank you! For the exchange.

      • It is funny that you say that I sound like you did, years back, because I was thinking the same way about your writing. I was once a very spiritual, determined, conservative Christian who knew scripture back and forth, and could hold my weight in discussions of apologetics, free will vs. predestination (Wesleyanism vs. 5-pt. Calvinism), and the whole spiel. My own concepts of faith have evolved immensely over the years, to the extent that I now believe that to KNOW the answers is to know nothing at all. I enjoy open-minded discourse about spiritual philosophies and principles, but I abhor when anyone tells me that I must accept or ascribe to any one creed or way of thinking, lest I somehow be damned. 😂 Yes, religions can run rampant as false authorities in many spiritual matters, and contradict themselves, as well. But people are like sheep, for the most part. They have not evolved enough morally, or lack the ability to understand the “why.” Other than gaining some extrinsic reward or suffering some extrinsic punishment, why must we choose to be good, to exert kindness and forgiveness, even when others do us wrong? Why must we love even those who do not love us? Why must we help the poor, the hungry, and the hurting? Why, if not to earn something? Why must we avoid evil and harm, if not to avoid punishment, damnation, or bad karma? Understanding the why, apart from religious doctrine (because the Bible says so) or apart from the threat of punishment (hell) or the promise of reward (heaven), requires a higher plane of morality and spiritual understanding, which are beyond most human beings. Hence why I believe some people are called to be shepherds. The shepherds are meant to grasp this wisdom and guide the masses. And sorry, I am once again saying much, much more than a blog comment usually calls for. 🙂 I really must write more about this in a future blog, though I may water it down as I often do in my blog posts. I prefer to present truths hidden in easy-to-swallow bites.

  3. Pingback: Poison Deconstructs Karma – Four Square Miles of Noise

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