#122 – Karma

What a rare punishment / Is avarice to itself.
Ben Johnson

In the essays we write for Simple Reality we have rarely used science fiction metaphors and analogies because, for the most part, even the most imaginative science fiction writer couldn’t conceive of anything as bizarre and fascinating as the “reality” that unfolds each day in our homo sapien sapien communities, nor as tragic.

To be as crosswise as we are with the way that the world “works” we have to ask: What do we understand, if anything, about how to behave in the community of our fellow humans? Take, for example, how many of us truly understand the behaviors of even our closest friends and family? Do words and phrases like “what goes around comes around,” “you reap what you sow,” “karma,” or “cause and effect” help with understanding human behavior?

Let’s take the definition of “karma” found in the book Emotional Clearing by John Ruskan which is more insightful than the short and simple and almost dismissive “explanations” many of us like to use. Because fear and the resulting paranoia is so prevalent in the Global Village, Ruskan focuses on the defensive reactions many of us frequently have. We can behave badly in such situations due to “the subconscious reservoir of negative energies, which we project outward and then experience as being directed toward us from other persons or circumstances.” (1)

Looking more deeply at that “subconscious reservoir” and how we create suffering for ourselves we must find the courage to look at our shadow. “Each of us contains both a Dr. Jekyll and a Mr. Hyde, a more pleasant persona for everyday wear and a hiding, nighttime self that remains hushed up much of the time. Negative emotions and behaviors—rage, jealousy, shame, lying, resentment, lust, greed, suicidal and murderous tendencies—lie concealed just beneath the surface, masked by our more proper selves. Known together in psychology as the personal shadow, it remains untamed, unexplored territory to most of us.” (2)

When are we going to talk about what cause and effect really means? To be a part of that conversation click on the link below.

Insight # 122:

If you bring forth what is within you,
What you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you,
What you do not bring forth will destroy you.
Jesus, Gospel of Thomas



  1. Ruskan, John. Emotional Clearing. New York: Broadway Books, 2000, page 109.
  2. Zweig, Connie and Jeremiah Abrams. Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1991, page xvi.

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