As You Sow, So Shall You Reap

With these words, “As you sow, so shall you reap,” Jesus is teaching his listeners that their actions have moral consequences. Good actions lead to good results, bad actions to bad results: That is the most common understanding of Karma. But in a broader sense, Jesus is making a point about life on the spiritual path. The world is a mirror of the self. The reason that good actions lead to good results isn’t that God listens in, makes a judgment, and then rewards you with a good result. Instead, action and result occur simultaneously.

There is a constant, instantaneous calculus taking place with your every thought, word, and action. Most people don’t notice good or bad results unless these are dramatic, but the world functions as a mirror down to the minutest detail. The mechanics of consciousness are set up so that inner and outer dimensions match perfectly. Why does it take Jesus or another enlightened master to point this out? Because the mind is so complex and human nature so multilayered that we are easily conditioned to overlook the links between inner and outer. Separation is based on our own willingness to ignore certain images, some of them upsetting and disturbing, that the world reflects back to us. On the spiritual path, you become more willing to see what is right before your eyes—if not the eyes of the body, then the eyes of the soul.


This is an exercise to teach you how to look into the mirror. You are going to see yourself in two people, someone you greatly admire and someone you intensely dislike. Begin with the person you admire. Make a list of his or her most admirable traits. Try to be as personal as possible. There are many strong, courageous role models, so, for example, why did you chose Nehru in particular, or Mother Teresa, or Martin Luther King Jr.?

The answer is that your own aspirations match your hero’s achievement. Some quality in you seeks to emerge. It may be the seed of compassion that is drawn upward by Mother Teresa or the seed of altruism drawn upward by Albert Schweitzer. If you pick Jesus, a figure so immense that he belongs to the whole world, look at your own desire to expand in all dimensions; perhaps the seed of freedom wants to grow.

Now reverse the exercise and pick someone you intensely dislike. Write down that person’s worst qualities (this part usually isn’t very hard) and then consider how you also embody those qualities without being able to see them in yourself. We project onto others what we cannot face in ourselves. Try to avoid picking someone universally hated like Adolf Hitler, because the enormity of his actions may drive you further from seeing yourself. It’s better to choose someone closer to your own life.

This exercise becomes truly valuable when you carry out both parts. The world is not just a mirror but a teaching mirror. Learning to look into the world as a mirror helps to heal separation, as you see that you are included in creation, not living in some private exile outside of it.

Adapted from The Third Jesus, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2008).


Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago


Debbie Miller
Debbie Miller5 years ago

Just be good for the sake of feeling good God within yourself!

Dot A.
Dot A5 years ago

From what I'm reading we each personalize this 'mirror-ing' and how else could we do anything other than that?
-the 'spark' we bring with our own understanding is the 'spark' of the divine-

This is what makes sharing exciting and useful as well. - a multi faceted mirror ing -

heather g.
heather g5 years ago

Unless I've missed something, I don't feel I need a mirror for this exercise.

Every day, in my interactions I see either admirable qualities or those that are not admirable at all. Most of the time I see the less admirable with compassion understanding where they come from. I think about these qualities and how they relate to my behaviour and what I can learn from my interactions with people....
Hmmm, I've probably missed something

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

I think people should strive to be a good person because that is who they want to be. Not to earn cosmic brownie points or to make it into heaven. I think the intention of the action should be taken far more into account.

Dot A.
Dot A5 years ago

The more I see the 'unlikable' in the mirror, the more I desire God's Forgiveness. Seeing our Salvation and walking in the Light seem to 'go hand in hand' - and make each day a day to again, examine the mirror to the soul.

Diane K.
Diane K5 years ago

Thank you for this exercise & ways to "see".

Miranda Parkinson

Always spot on!

Lin Moy
Lin M5 years ago

It is easier finding our bad than the good.

Heather M
Heather Marvin5 years ago

thanks Deepak.