Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me

TOPIC: karma

karma 04 Aug 2011 12:04 #3325

This article brings to mind something I'd thought of before.

It's this one: http://www.unfetteredmind.org/articles/karma.php

He talks about the distinction between the western conception of karma as direct cause and effect, versus the eastern understanding of it which is more complex and subtle.

What it reminded me of is how westerners in general tend to think of karma as similar to the reward/punishment system of popular Christianity - that is, do bad things and you will be punished by bad karma, do good things and you will be rewarded with good karma.

Thoughts?
The administrator has disabled public write access.

karma 04 Aug 2011 16:26 #3326

It's an interesting framework. So far I mostly thought of karma in terms of "the result from what acted," that is, the effect of an action of the actor. Mostly this shows up through creating and liberating habits. I like the depth of his thinking in the other parts of the framework although that depth also exposes how complex those systems are and how difficult it would be to see the full fruit of any single action.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

karma 04 Aug 2011 23:57 #3327

I find the article saying the same thing as reward/punishment, in this case preaching against lying because bad things will happen.

Obviously he's trying to say that certain actions become habits and long-term habits become solidified... huge lesson to learn, but using the expression "karma" to teach this doesn't seem right to me, not at all.

Karma just means cause. Vipaka just means effect. No big deal, yet mysterious since cause and effect will forever be a best guess, never fully known.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

karma 05 Aug 2011 00:32 #3328

I did think his distinction was on the subtle side. :D But like eran pointed out, interesting to broaden the typical western conception of crime & punishment to include the very many ways our actions affect things. But, I tend to agree, as shargrol said, it is even more subtle than that. We cannot begin to know how each action impacts things, because the interrelation of things is so complex. Technically every footstep, breath, glance, breeze, vibration of an atom has a ripple effect, no? So to focus on "I was mean to so and so and now I'm going to suffer the consequences" is a rather gross level of observation. Not that one should go around being mean and nasty, anyway.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

karma 05 Aug 2011 11:03 #3329

Right, this is subtler than the kind of tit-for-tat gross level idea of karma. And it also brings in the gross psychological dimension of cause and effect into the discussion. But it doesn't quite get to the crazy paradoxes of instantaneous arising of cause and effect (how cause is only inferred in retrospect) or does it broach the whole magick idea that you can intentionally adopt a belief/view and create a new reality.

I work in the scientific world [how's that for specific for this public forum :) ] and it was interesting to see that he thinks growing is something other than mechanical cause and effect. To me, a tree growing is exactly the same as the mechanism that connects an accelerator pedal to the wheels of a car, except it is enzymes working in solution, so-to-speak. Growing is just finer scale cause and effect over many fine scale temporal cycle.

One of the escapes from cause-and-effect/pre-determination is realizing that this idea only occurs in retrospect. It's a philosophical problem outside of now. There is no way to test for free will, so all the arguments are somewhat moot.

The other escape is breaking down the level of determination through insights into dependent origination... which seems like the idea he is ultimately setting up.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

karma 05 Aug 2011 11:55 #3330

This is related to what I call "flow." Flow is a sense that developed in my practice a few years ago and it is a way to feel what the universe is doing. In real time. So if you have a sense of that flow you can kind of sort of feel which actions at any given moment are with flow or against flow. To me, that is also karma, as those actions that are with flow are harmonious and those action that are against flow are disruptive.

And yeah, this seems counter to the idea that there really is no agency so it may be that the sense of flow is something layered in on top of all the unseen forces that drive our actions and our lives. But the sense of flow appears to be real. I've compared notes with other practitioners who report a similar feeling.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

karma 05 Aug 2011 14:02 #3331

That's interesting, Chris. I never thought of connecting the idea of karma and the experience of flow.

Your description of flow is in synch with what I have experienced. I'm not sure it is counter to the idea that there is no agency? On two levels, one being flow seems agentless on the human level (to me at least) because it is a sort of "not doing". On the bigger level flow tends to seem to have agency - that is, I find it comfortable to use a metaphor like allowing God to act through me, or opening to Divine Will - and one tends to perceive things as meaningful and "meant to be." But that doesn't require that their actually be any agency (which apparently there is not), even if we tend to apply a sense of agency.

Do I make sense?

My teacher once said (paraphrasing) that there is no agency, but it is our nature to perceive agency, and we can recognize and honor that as part of our nature.

Thoughts?
The administrator has disabled public write access.

karma 05 Aug 2011 14:05 #3332

I'm trying to have no thoughts today ;-)

But... I was careful to write "seems" and not "is."

Tee hee hee.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

karma 05 Aug 2011 14:10 #3333


... it doesn't quite get to the crazy paradoxes of instantaneous arising of cause and effect (how cause is only inferred in retrospect) or does it broach the whole magick idea that you can intentionally adopt a belief/view and create a new reality. ...



-shargrol

Yeah, still fairly unclear on how that works. But it seems to. :D
The administrator has disabled public write access.

karma 11 Mar 2013 19:36 #9779

Hi
The web page linked to at the beginning of this discussion is no longer live.
However, here is my tuppence-worth on the topic of Karma... What I've come to, since prior to watching The Matrix (LOL), is a theory that karma is akin to 'the programming language for the Universe'.

All 'effects' are programmed into the software via thoughts and actions. There has been many millennia/epochs of data and input, which has created a multi-faceted, highly complex Universe that generally abides by the programming laws. What 'appears' to us are the effects of karmic programming, as if we were in a virtual reality.

Unlike a virtual reality, this software (karma) has no programmer. It is self-programming via the actions and intentions of all the beings (created by the software as almost autonomous programs), and there is no hardware (no 'computer'; more like a dream-scape).

The 'cause' of the things that appear are therefore two-fold: (1) normal cause and effect as programmed into the evolutionary Universe of appearances; and (2) the intentions and actions of the (almost) autonomous programs [beings] within the created Universe both past and present - with an emphasis given to those being created now.

For me, this framework helps to get past the 'judgemental' stuff normally associated with karma, alludes more closely to the 'no-self' insights, plus gives a reason for our 'intentions' being important.

Just realised, this is probably just a "note to self" since I had one of my "if there is no-self, what's the point?" moments this morning. :-D

Works for me - for now. Any thoughts?

:-)
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Shoshin

karma 11 Mar 2013 19:55 #9783

That specific link didn't work, but I generally like MacLeod's stuff.

For all I know rural peasant Buddhists learn or believe the "if I kick a dog I will be reborn as a dog" version of Karma. I know a Theravada-trained Buddhist who was a bit of a karmic-point-counter. If something didn't affect karma (by violating the list of rules the monks taught, like not drinking, not killing insects, etc.) then it didn't matter if you did it or not. It wasn't a very mature understanding (yet).

Anyway, people seem to have an enormous drive for "fairness" in the little kids sense of things: NOT FAIR! He got more than meeee! How come he doesn't get a spanking too? etc. Karma, sin etc seem easily spun to support that game, so we can gloat over who's getting the right punishments for being bad. The more subtle understandings of them don't satisfy that need.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Colin

karma 11 Mar 2013 19:56 #9784

My experience has been that karma is something that is better felt than thought.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

karma 11 Mar 2013 19:59 #9786

Good lord - is this a resurrected thread? At least I more or less repeat myself each time I post. For a minute I thought I had gone crazy....
The administrator has disabled public write access.

karma 11 Mar 2013 20:00 #9787

I love resurrected threads. It means people are reading deep.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: every3rdthought

karma 11 Mar 2013 21:29 #9793

Given the topic, not so much resurrected as reborn :)
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kate Gowen, Ona Kiser, Shoshin
Time to create page: 0.189 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum