What Rolls over the Devil’s Back

“What rolls over the devil’s back slides up under his belly” has been a traditional saying in my family for as long as I can remember. The intent of it is to express karma, similar to other sayings like: “reap what you sow”, “payback’s a bitch” and “what goes around comes around”.

I have heard this saying so much throughout my life that I have really not given it much thought other than to determine if I agreed or disagreed that someone was deserving of a karmic payback. But then today I thought about it. This is the only karmic saying that I have heard that reflects a religious connotation. In this saying, the deeds of the devil are being referenced.

Illustration of the Devil in the Codex Gigas, ...

Illustration of the Devil in the Codex Gigas, folio 270 recto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My own perspective of the “devil” is quite different from traditional Christian thinking. I don’t see the “devil” as a being, but a force. I see the devil as our ego, and as an adversarial force that hinders our spiritual insight. Through this force of ego our attention grows misguided and focuses on the material and not the spiritual. We become enamored with ourselves – who we are, what we have, how much better than the next guy we have become. Our lives become focused on “me” – what gives us comfort, pleasure, satisfaction and what does not irritate and inconvenient us and our sense of self. When, from a spiritual standpoint, we should be focused on others – what gives them comfort, pleasure, satisfaction with no regard to how it irritates or inconveniences us. This is true spirituality; it is connecting with oneness and the realization that we each are part of the whole.

I have started to see this old family saying as a reference to the break in oneness. The division that we cause when we focus on ourselves alone. And I see it as an expression of the laws of attraction. What we put out we receive back. Otherwise, as it rolls off our back it rolls up under our belly and smacks us in the face. Because we are connected through spirit when we hurt others we are hurting ourselves. Eventually, as karma speaks to, the harm done reinvents itself and travels across the universal nerve until it finds us and we receive what we gave.

Do you want good things in your life? Then put good thoughts and deeds out into the universe.


2 thoughts on “What Rolls over the Devil’s Back

  1. Very true. There’s a couple quotes from “Conversations with God” that are particularly apt. “What flows through you sticks to you” and “If you want something, give it away”. The full experience is not in the having, but in the giving, in the act of expression, and it is there that we define ourselves.

    • The last words in your comment says it all for me. Whether we realize it or not, we do define ourselves in how we interact with others. I have realized that the only things that I ever feel guilty about involve poor or abusive actions toward others. Those are the acts that cause me sleepless nights and self dishing guilt if strong enough.

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