Why is karma important?

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6 years 1 month ago #98726 by Kenneth Folk
Karma is important because there isn't anything else.

Once you can see that there isn't anyone in here, you can see that patterns continue to operate. This leads to that.

The Pali words are kamma and vipāka. Karma and the fruit of karma.

Cause and effect.

Remember the Doctor Pepper jingle from the seventies?

I'm a pepper,
he's a pepper,
she's a pepper,
we're a pepper,
wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvCTaccEkMI

With the same melody, substitute these words:

I'm a pattern,
she's a pattern,
he's a pattern,
we're a pattern,
wouldn't you like to be a pattern too?

This meta-perspective, this realtime recognition that there is nothing going on here but patterns, is part and parcel of awakening. You are not a thing, but a pattern.
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6 years 1 month ago #98733 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Why is karma important?
Can we substitute "process" for "pattern"? Pattern to me implies that this is more static than it appears to me. Not a huge deal but my inner obsessive-compulsive wants to use "process."
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6 years 1 month ago #98739 by Kenneth Folk

Chris Marti wrote: Can we substitute "process" for "pattern"? Pattern to me implies that this is more static than it appears to me. Not a huge deal but my inner obsessive-compulsive wants to use "process."


Yes, good point, Chris, thanks. These patterns are never static.

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6 years 1 month ago #98740 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Why is karma important?
The insight is that both pattern and process are characteristics, no? The process is not random or chaotic-- which is possible for processes generally.

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6 years 1 month ago #98741 by Kenneth Folk

Kate Gowen wrote: The insight is that both pattern and process are characteristics, no? The process is not random or chaotic-- which is possible for processes generally.


Yes, that's how I see it, too; the processes we recognize as Kate, or Kenneth, or Chris, are recognizable as patterns with some fairly stable characteristics through time. So everything is process and within the process we can identify patterns.
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6 years 1 month ago #98743 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Why is karma important?
My most stable process is my big nose.

:silly:
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6 years 1 month ago #98744 by Deklan
Replied by Deklan on topic Why is karma important?
Most humans confuse the symbolic representation of patterns with the process itself. Therein lies The Problem, I believe.

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6 years 1 month ago #98745 by Andy
Replied by Andy on topic Why is karma important?

Deklan wrote: Most humans confuse the symbolic representation of patterns with the process itself. Therein lies The Problem, I believe.


This sounds interesting, Deklan, but I'm not sure I understand. Could you give some examples?

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6 years 1 month ago - 6 years 1 month ago #98753 by Deklan
Replied by Deklan on topic Why is karma important?
Sure -- Language. We have words to indicate patterns in the process and most people treat the words as if they 'were' the 'thing', the identified patterns. I believe this same confusion, at a subtler level, accounts for delusion in the Buddhist sense. The most pernicious words are -- "I", "me", etc and "to be".

iwcenglish1.typepad.com/Wiki_Files/Image...ral_differential.JPG

(sorry if im hijacking this thread)
Last edit: 6 years 1 month ago by Deklan.
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6 years 3 weeks ago #98943 by Alex Serrano
As long as we don't cling also to "process/pattern", all will be fine.

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6 years 2 weeks ago #99033 by Mark Hampton
Hi Kenneth,

Do you see a relation between karma and the unconscious ?

I read a quote form Jung recently that raised this question for me : "That which we do not bring into consciousness appears in our lives as fate."

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6 years 1 week ago #99088 by Kenneth Folk

Mark Hampton wrote: Hi Kenneth,

Do you see a relation between karma and the unconscious ?

I read a quote form Jung recently that raised this question for me : "That which we do not bring into consciousness appears in our lives as fate."


I would say that, strictly speaking, karma is the impersonal law of cause and effect that governs human activity. So it's operating whether we know about it or not. There does seem to be a parallel with Jung's ideas, because in both cases things are different once something is brought into conscious awareness; awakening in the Buddhist sense is said to stop the cycle of rebirth. And one way to understand Buddhist awakening is to think of it as bringing previously unnoticed processes into conscious awareness. Similarly, Jung thought that bringing previously unnoticed processes into consious awareness would change the way we experience our lives as we reintegrate the shadow.

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6 years 1 week ago #99089 by Mark Hampton

Kenneth Folk wrote:

Mark Hampton wrote: Hi Kenneth,

Do you see a relation between karma and the unconscious ?

I read a quote form Jung recently that raised this question for me : "That which we do not bring into consciousness appears in our lives as fate."


I would say that, strictly speaking, karma is the impersonal law of cause and effect that governs human activity. So it's operating whether we know about it or not. There does seem to be a parallel with Jung's ideas, because in both cases things are different once something is brought into conscious awareness; awakening in the Buddhist sense is said to stop the cycle of rebirth. And one way to understand Buddhist awakening is to think of it as bringing previously unnoticed processes into conscious awareness. Similarly, Jung thought that bringing previously unnoticed processes into consious awareness would change the way we experience our lives as we reintegrate the shadow.


Thanks for the feedback.

There seems to be a connection between karma and fate in relation to this lifetime. From what I understand of karma it needs to be "worked" through via actions in the world i.e. actions that generate positive karma can "cancel out" negative karma. I'm not aware of meditation practises that are claimed to cancel out negative karma but maybe I'm misinterpreting things like metta practises ?

Jung describes the shadow as one of the major aspect of the unconscious. There seem to be quite a lot of western meditation teachers who agree that meditation is not sufficient in and of itself to deal with many aspects of the shadow.

It is tempting to associate how karma in buddhism is "carried across" the cycle of rebirth and how the unconscious can be thought of as being partly inherited and largely developed during early life. If someone did not believe in rebirth, then negative karma inherited at birth could be explained as the shadow. If buddhism does not have good techniques for dealing with the shadow then karma via rebirth would be a way of explaining how even someone awake suffers consequences of previous karma. Maybe I'm stretching this too far ?

You're familiar with Jung's notion of shadow, I wonder if you have thoughts on anima/animus in relation to awakening? As I understand it (very new to the topic) integration of anima/animus after significant integration of the shadow was what Jung associated more closely with awakening.

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