Questions 3: Thoughts on Karma

Everyone seems to have their own thoughts on karma.  It’s a fairly ephemeral concept from what I can tell.  So, let’s just dive into the questions and see how many different versions of karma can exist.

  1. What is your definition of karma?
  2. How do you think it plays out in reality?
  3. How would you use it in fiction?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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18 Responses to Questions 3: Thoughts on Karma

  1. L. Marie says:

    1. Although I am not a believer in karma, my understanding of it is, what goes around comes around. Or just desserts in some cases. James Brown called it the big payback. 😊
    2. Many people think that people who do evil things get away with them. I heard someone talk about a woman whose son was shot and killed by a man. That man wound up slowly dying of cancer in a hospital.
    3. Though I wouldn’t refer to it under the term karma, I have written in terms of people getting a comeuppance.


    • Karma is tough to believe in some days. It is easy to see how underhanded and evil people are rewarded while good people suffer. I can think of several high profile examples. It’s definitely hard to make karma happen in fiction when reality doesn’t go that way. People would believe in dragons before karmic retribution.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. 1. As I understand it, karma is the law of cause and effect.
    2. We react to what happens and our reaction affects what happens next, and so on.
    3. In my current WIP, a boy wizard is reckless with his magic – he gets the results he wants, but negative side-effects come along with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does seem to be connected to that law. I’m iffy on the whole ‘we create our own effects’ thing though. I’ve noticed that there are plenty of times a person is subjected to effects due to someone else’s actions. Not sure if that’s what you were going for.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Karma is a complex web! Our thoughts and actions send out ripples through the web in all directions, affecting people we might have nothing to do with. They react to those ripples, sending out ripples of their own, and that way the ripples travel around the web until they eventually come back to us.
        Of course, this might happen in a future incarnation! 😉


  3. Karma to me is a life force that enforces equal treatment among humans.
    In reality, when inequality exists, the force moves in the direction of correction to a more equal state. A good deed creates inequality until the good doer receives a good deed from any source. In. the same manner, a bad deed creates inequality until the doer is in receipt of a bad deed from any source. The important point is that inequalities are not allowed to be ignored.
    I would use it in fiction to create a situation where there is a Karma bureau responsible for identifying the inequalities and administering the appropriate equalizers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. V.M.Sang says:

    Karma means you get what’s coming to, whether good or bad. You reap what you sow, to use another cliché.
    In reality, it doesn’t always play out. Someone does terrible things and doesn’t get found out. Here in the UK, some years ago, it was revealed that a popular broadcaster was a pedophile and had used his position to abuse many children. He died without being brought to justice.
    In fiction this can be used if reincarnation occurs. A person can pay for deeds in a previous life in the current one. This idea is used in Kathryn Kerr’s Devery Series.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think karma is a balancing of the scales. We’re supposed to be on a good path, and if we stay there everything is fine. If we don’t, some kind of leveling is supposed to happen. In reality, this doesn’t exactly happen. Hard to beat John’s way of using it and I hope he writes that story. Just because of my mindset, I’d probably use it to have my bad guys get what they truly deserve.


  6. I actually am toying with a story along these lines. The main statement is that the world is a mirror, and the face it shows you is your own. So if you are kind to people, they will be more kind to you. If you are cruel, you are likely to encounter cruelty.

    However, I think that focusing on Karma as “payback” that happens to other people but not oneself is a negative thought in itself. In a way, it wishes ill upon others. The lack of perceived payback can, itself, be a form of payback.


    • I’m on the fence about wanting karma to be payback. We do that when we feel we’ve been hurt and see the person who hurt us getting away with it. It’s a desire to see justice and get a sense that bad people do pay for their crimes. Not seeing that happen, which is common, means that evil deeds are rewarded instead of punished.

      Liked by 2 people

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