Beach Walk 654 – I Don’t Believe in Karma

A new social web application I’ve been playing with called Plurk has a feature called karma points. You earn points by inviting people to join, posting messages, etc. In other words, you earn good karma by promoting their service. I find it irritating, and was discussing this with David Beaudoin, and such was the inspiration for this episode. I find karma to be a concept that mis-places blame where none is due, induces guilt when consciousness is more useful, and confuses genuine feedback aka cause and effect from any given situation with shoulds and should nots. What do you think about karma?

Otherwise, Plurk has some nice features, including a graphical timeline and threaded conversations.

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Hawaiian word:
Kumu: cause
Hopena: effect

Be in Touch!


  1. Buddy 'Friendly' Wachenheimer says

    Rox, I don’t buy karma either, nor would I sell it ๐Ÿ˜‰

    However, I do believe in cause & effect, too.

    In fact Shane I just noticed an inadvertent ’cause’ that might have a negative ‘effect’ if not addressed somehow.

    Carefully note the end scene where you show the Primo sponsors water bottle…

    Because of the positioning of the bottle in relationship to the altitude of your camera lens the area of the bottle right above the label picks up the oceans reflection and makes the water inside the bottle look like piss (not cool).

    You might want to re-shoot the bottle and play around with the positioning, camera angle, and lighting a little to address that illusion.

  2. Buddy 'Friendly' Wachenheimer says

    PS–painting the backside of the bottle white OR taping a piece of white paper to it might work too.

    Otherwise the end scene is lovely and effective.

  3. Hey Rox,
    I had to think about this for a minute because as I don’t really dwell on karma or think about it consciously, I do use it to keep me in check – so to speak. I grew up calling it “bachi” (Japanese version of karma) & I tend to think what comes around goes around. If I do something that I consciously know is bad, it may come back to bite me (that’s the keeping in check part!). So if I try to be good altogether, I don’t have to worry about bad karma or causing bachi. Now I’m rambling. Might not make sense to anyone else – but it makes sense to me in my own little mind. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a good day!

  4. Nice subtitling ๐Ÿ™‚

    Buddy, you make me laugh. You have a point, though. It’s the plants and sand that are causing the colouring of the bottle… but I wouldn’t say it looks like piss!

    I agree with you, Rox, on Karma. From my reading about Hinduism a long time ago, I understood that karma was inextricably linked with caste, the incredibly oppressive Indian class/race system. If you did good deeds, you’d be reincarnated into a higher caste, and vice versa.

    Reading the Wikipedia entry for Karma in Hinduism, it doesn’t seem so clear – more like this has come to be understood, but isn’t defined in the scriptures.

    Either way, it’s a cop out – a combination of guilt-inducing threat and an explanation of why bad things still happen if there are deities to protect us. At least it’s a better explanation than the contemptible “God moves in mysterious ways” that the Christians thought up… but still a poor substitute for reality.

    I’m with you. Do good – and if you do bad, try to make up for it. The idea of an eternal multi-lifespan credit balance of good behaviour seems to me to be obviously counterproductive in encouraging that same good behaviour and thoughtfulness. Religious gimmicks. Go figure.

  5. ps the Flash version was glitching on this one, too.

  6. I do believe in karma, to a degree. I’m what I describe as an agnostic with a buddhist bent. My bent is: what goes around comes around. I try very hard to live by that fact, and I try to do good. But, like you, if I don’t for some reason, I make amends.

    Studying Buddhism has really helped me out as I used to have a pretty bad temper and some anger issues. I’ve been able to use the concepts of karma, not as guilt, but as a way to relieve some stress. Strange, I know. If something is completely out of my control, my terrible boss for example, there’s nothing I can do, therefore, I leave it to karma. He’ll get what’s coming to him. And I can move on with my life. It doesn’t have to happen in this lifetime, I just somehow feel better knowing it will.

    (and I also know it may not. Life is strange. I try not to take it very seriously anymore ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Susan and my dog Lexie says

    The “what goes around comes around” idea may appear as karma to some, but I see it as still an eventual cause and effect in play. If someone is doing terrible things, then their percentage is greater to have something negative happen down the road only because a groundwork/habit has been laid to expose themselves as such.

  8. Karma is “what goes around comes around” (to put it simplistically) and it’s cause and effect.

    By definition: Karma is the concept of “action” or “deed” in Indian religions understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect originating from Hinduism…

    Even if you don’t believe in Karma itself and choose to think of it as cause and effect, most people agree it’s best to just not be an a$$ and it’s generally a good idea to be good.

  9. I agree to a point.

    I think of karma in terms of lessons. When someone is attracting a lesson to them, they decide what karma their response will produce. If they decide to act self-centeredly in the face of the lesson, they will have to retake the life lesson again, and the next time it will probably be more difficult or painful. I consider this negative karma, and if the person approaches the lesson in a loving way, then good results. I consider this positive karma.

    There are many ways to consider life, and this is only my food for thought.