Curses by Joe Shlabotnik
Curses by Joe Shlabotnik

Recently, a topic came up that I’ve not discussed here before. That of cursing. We could say cursing is the opposite of gratitude. It is an angry expression of non-acceptance.

Some people curse habitually. In some communities, it’s fashionable or cool, even a kind of vocal rebellion. Yet most spiritual communities don’t accept cursing as it’s harsh to people who are trying to culture an open heart. It’s an expression of non-acceptance, attack, and put-down.

Cursing forms of the Divine is called “blasphemy.” The Divine is unaffected by our moods and venting. However, the rules of karma are more difficult there. A being free of karma is transparent to it, so it just comes right back to the sender. This isn’t Divine retribution, just the way the laws of nature work. We’re cursing ourselves when we curse the Divine. Oops.

In the forum where this came up, they suggested blasphemy is “victimless.” However, when we’re being coarse and non-accepting, we create unresolved karma. We could say its self-victimizing. It can interfere with refinement too.

Ditto forgiveness. When, over time, we cannot let go and forgive another, we stew in our own juices and poison ourselves.

I’m not suggesting you should freak out if you’ve cursed a bit. I’ve cut lose myself when I’ve smashed my finger. This is where intention makes a difference. A little venting is fine but when cursing is energetic spewing or attack, we’re definitely creating karma.

You may find culturing gratitude is an excellent remedy if you have a habit of dissing others.

It’s worth mentioning another type of curse that’s energetic. They’re a kind of energetic binding that can block free flows. It’s become clear that some people throw curses by the way they project their energy, even if it’s unconscious. This creates difficult karma for them. Happily, the bindings themselves are easy to clear as long as they’re not entangled in other things.

I don’t mention this to create fear that those around us are subtly attacking us or limiting us. A lot of this is pretty obvious, like when someone is spewing their unresolved trauma at those around them. If we pay attention to how we feel and how others around us feel, we’ll have a good sense of the energy dynamics in play.

We can learn how to be with others in healthier ways. We can learn how we open and close energetically and how to avoid taking on another’s trash.

It still surprises me how hard we are on ourselves and others. I guess it’s the residues of rolling through a dark age. Happily, we’re lifting out.

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  1. Richard Barnes

    When someone increases his thought-force by development of consciousness, and then deliberately ‘lays a curse’ on a perceived enemy, he loses much of the spiritual merit he had gained (we are sensitive to this in the way we feel after such an outburst). What we commonly know as ‘cussing’ may be just an expression of anger or, as you say, being fashionably cool, but it bruises the environment. I have noticed however if it is done sparingly, and with affection, it can work well enough. I never seem to feel the need of it..

    1. Agreed, Richard. There are degrees of it all but being harsh does not have good effect or benefit.

      I used to pass on a lot of jokes to friends. But at a certain point, I realized a lot of “jokes” actually where at the expense of someone, or a group. The “humor” was actually a put-down, a way to feel better by putting something else down. Not really humor at all.

  2. Gina

    I’ve always said that I do not curse, I do not “take the name of the Lord in vain,” I’m merely vulgar. And I thought about how many words which were perfectly acceptable at one time have become vulgar. This sent me on a hunt to find the origin of the word “f**k,” After reading several sites, I realized what I was doing and that this was not the intent of your post, so I ceased my research. I haven’t, by the way, even used that word in several years. There’s another word that I find much more satisfying, but haven’t used in a while because I only use it in situations such as hitting my finger with a hammer. I find it interesting that it’s Anglo-Saxon words that tend to be considered rude while the latinate forms of them are socially acceptable. So what makes a word a curse? As you mentioned, it’s the intent that counts.

      1. Gina

        Once overheard my father talking to my four-year-old son, “Alan, if you want to learn how to fix cars, you must first learn how to cuss.” My father was an old cowboy of definitely Anglo-Saxon descent.

  3. This is an interesting topic, David. For me the outstanding example of a man who perfected the remedy to this problem was an ordinary Tibetan Buddhist monk, not a lama/guru, not famous, barely even known until near the end of his life. I met him a few times, drove him around, always in awe of his radiant compassion.

    His name was Palden Gyatso, captured by the Chinese during the Lhasa uprising against Chinese occupation in 1959. For 33 years he was held in various prisons and labour camps. He was regularly subjected to horrific torture of unimaginable brutality. Enough to say he lost all his teeth because of extreme electric shocks to his mouth.

    Asked in an interview how he survived the torture , he replied that he practiced “tonglen” on his torturers, not cursing them or hating them, but realising they were suffering more than him, returning their brutality as light and compassion. Which, he said, turned the physical pain into ” a kind of coldness.”

    The exact opposite of cursing.
    He eventually escaped from Tibet in 1993 and toured the west raising awareness of the ongoing oppression in Chinese-occupied Tibet.

  4. Michael

    Hi David!

    Great article/transmission!!!
    Had a huge release from reading it….from a past life where i cursed the divine (and through that myself).

    To forgiveness i would add that it is often used as a spiritual bypass…. saying or trying to convince ourselves that we have forgiven something when we really have not.

    To me true forgiveness happens when i fully feel what the actions of another person have activated within me (stories and emotions)… thereby clearing the incident. So to me it is more a result of me being honest with myself than a doing….the doing i do is just the Intention to be forgiving while i fully feel through the activation.

    1. You raise a good point, Michael. Forgiveness isn’t a mental exercise where we label something forgiven. It’s the end result of deep healing and letting go of our need to hold a grudge.

      Yes, more an allowing than a doing.

  5. Richard Barnes

    Even hoping that a certain politician goes to jail is entertaining negativity like a curse on him. It is not necessary because we reap as we sow in any case and taking some of that mud into our own awareness won’t make it happen any more .

    1. Hi Richard
      Noticing we negatively judge others is a sign we have healing to do. But in that, we have to be careful not to turn that judgement on ourselves. In effect, our self-judgement can turn into a self-curse.

      If we can notice we’re judging without judging that, we can take the power out of it. And yes, let others reap what they sow. Some have a nice consequence holiday, then consequences crowd in rapidly. So don’t worry if they seem to be getting away with it. Everything has to come back to balance.

      I’ll also note that a lot of news is focused on what’s wrong and who’s to blame. That can really encourage this negative judgement. If we’re struggling with it, taking a news holiday can be healthy. Ditto for friends that focus on what’s wrong.

  6. Sharon

    I sometimes wonder if since covid, many of us are walking around with a mild case of tourettes and then any overstimulation can trigger it. Sanskrit phrases are wonderful remedies which also can actually heal the condition. And gratitude too is a beautiful and healing practice.

    1. Hi Sharon
      Not quite sure what you mean, but a lot of people cloistered during COVID and haven’t entirely emerged again. What was normal before seems too much now.

      Yes, Sanskrit phrases/ mantras have properties that can be healing. And yes, I found huge benefits from culturing gratitude. Thanks.

  7. Peter Goodman

    Thank you David!
    So simple and clear for where “we” need to proceed to lift ourselves out of the coarseness, from the Dark into the Light.
    I find the deep patterns I have developed over time and lifetimes are loosening as I develop. And I am an old Construction worker that cursing is the language of construction.
    As with all your posts the larger perspective that you bring to all yours post is soooo refreshing and enlightening. Thank you.

    Peter Goodman

    1. Hi Peter
      Yes, in come communities, cursing is the norm. In fact, you’re viewed as light-weight if you don’t. The police community I was in preferred dark humor and did macabre hazing at times. My former partners nursing community liked it raunchy.

      Sometimes, this is ways for people to cope with the workload, hazards, and trauma. Less harsh that what’s happening around them. Perhaps a fine line between that and directing a curse with intent. But a big difference in consequence.

  8. Harrison

    Interesting article, great comments and a timely topic too. A friend I admire has a wonderful trait and capacity for blessing others – seeing the best in them and acknowledging it in a way that is empowering and healing. What a great way to show up in this world and what a friend to have. Just recently, I had the opposite experience of an unknown person leaving a couple of untraceable cursing messages on my phone. I could see the blessing that this was as triggering a deeper unresolved issue and the feelings related to it for an overdue healing. As much as I aspire to embody the gratitude and compassion of the Tibetan monk, Palden Gyatso, I also wanted to access a few “Shastras” for protection and to return to this misguided sender their stuff without letting it land on my field. And if there’s ultimately no-self there’s no one here to be offended or take offense. Tough love, maybe and certainly aspirational in terms of how I would like to show up in dealing with adversity with both good boundaries and the boundless. – ps – one other aspect of Palden Gyatso’s story was when he made his way finally to Dharmsala his fellow monks asked him what was his worst moment in all that suffering – as he reflected they thought he would recount some terrible act of torture he suffered – instead he said there was a moment when he “almost lost his compassion.” Talk about humbling….,.

    1. Hi Harrison
      It’s unlikely the cursing was personal.
      It’s a little late to return it once received. The key is being transparent to that energy. Then nothing lands and the energy dissipates. No-self helps with non-attachment but it’s healing that clears up the hooks and habitual resistance.

      You have a kavach or shield already but unresolved shadows that resonate can open it up. Healing those clears up the tendency.

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