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"Karma has no hold:" Incorruptables. Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Neale, Sep 23, 2006.

?
  1. Yes, it does.

    8 vote(s)
    61.5%
  2. No, I don't believe in Karma.

    4 vote(s)
    30.8%
  3. Yes, but only so far as we are a part of the "wheel."

    1 vote(s)
    7.7%
  4. No, the notion of karma is irrelevant in the "big picture."

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Other, please explain.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Neale

    Neale Debonaire Rationale

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    According to The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma translated by Red Pine:

    "Despite dwelling in a materrial body of four elements, your nature is basically pure. It can't be corrupted. If some habits [(here,) of sexual pleasure] remain, they can't harm you, because your nature is essentially pure...Regardless of what we do, our karma has no hold on us."

    Regardless of your faith, you can embrace the idea of "what goes around, comes around." I believe here that the teaching is basically saying that the true nature of one's self is not limited by "negative" karma, or for the same token - enhanced, by "positive" karma. One's true nature is free of this "wheel."

    This may be an elementary Buddhist notion, but I feel it's a breakthrough idea for me :p Your thoughts?
     
  2. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I didn't see the poll; I said 'Yes it does', because (for me for example), I am not 'enlightened'; I haven't the wisdom and the control to be as solid as a rock........I am still swept by emotion..........


    I rather like this explanation of it..............I think basically, the message is to use whatever befalls one in a positive manner. Strangely, something that came to me only yesterday...........I was meditating (but I am not Buddhist, and believe in God), and realised that I was thanking God for whatever has happened to me through my life - even 'the really bad stuff'........we are a product of our experiences, and experience of bad things (i would say) teaches us compassion for others.


    http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhism/C%20-%20Zen/Ancestors/The%20Zen%20Teachings%20of%20Bodhidharma/The%20Zen%20Teachings%20of%20Bodhidharma/THE%20ZEN%20TEACHINGS%20OF%20BODHIDHARMA.htm


    Anyone, who gives up the transcendent for the mundane, ill any of its myriad forms, is a mortal. A Buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad. Such is his power that karma can’t hold him. No matter what kind of karma Buddha transforms it. Heaven and hell are nothing to him. But the awareness of a mortal is dim compared to that of a Buddha who penetrates everything inside and out. If you’re not sure don’t act. Once you act, you wander through birth and death and regret having no refuge. Poverty and hardship are created by false thinking. To understand this mind you have to act without acting. Only then will you see things from a Tathagata’s perspective.
     
  3. Neale

    Neale Debonaire Rationale

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    That is the book I'm reading right now, mentioned in the original post. I was going to find that passage in the book for reply, but you beat me to it. :D
     
  4. cardero

    cardero Citizen Mod

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    I am going to vote no. Karma as expressed as a point system means someone or something has to be keeping score which in some way would imply a guideline of good and bad. Though it is not out of my perception that people who incarnate into a physical existence may install purposes that cross each other’s lives, the concept of karma doesn’t necessarily describe action and reaction as much as it reeks of judgment and sentencing.
     
  5. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Don't you think that we, as individuals, judge ourselves though ? (which you could take as being Karma).

    I do something that I know is wrong, I usually end up trying to make amends......it is almost as if I am using a points system on myself..............
     
  6. Neale

    Neale Debonaire Rationale

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    I feel that it isn't taken inherantly as an objectifiable and quantitative "point system" so much as it is considered a "fact of life." Proponents of karma obviously have to believe certain aspects of cyclical reincarnation and topics of "the mind" for it to truly make sense.

    Christians too harbor this idea in a variant degree as in Job 4:8, "Even as I have seen they that plot iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same."
     
  7. cardero

    cardero Citizen Mod

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    I do believe that the only individuals we should judge are ourselves but sometimes we judge ourselves too harshly and this may not be a fair way to appoint or ascribe karma to. The concept of Karma generally works better when we have offended someone else and if anyone who has ever tried to make amends with another person knows, the point systems may not match up.

     
  8. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Ah Yes, I agree; and that is where I have problems with the Christian 'answer' ; you should have faith that God will forgive you............I do, but I can't forgive myself, which means I think my opinion is woth more than God's ? No, of course not, but you see where I am going.......
     
  9. Neale

    Neale Debonaire Rationale

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    In the Judeo-Christian "all-merciful" model, how would this apply to those who don't really have that specific faith? Is God's forgiveness entirely Christian property?

    If not, what is there to base temporal forgiveness upon outside of the grace of God? Is the human concept of moral rationality subjective to God's forgiveness and admonition? I like to think not as per the "free will" diagram, but will God (given he is benevolently forgiving) ultimately condemn those who behave outside of the Christian moral core? That, in and of itself, has been a series of moral bell curves throughout history, so unless God is inherantly mutable this doesn't work.
     
  10. cardero

    cardero Citizen Mod

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    I think I understand what you are saying and in some circles, the karma system is directed to what you will become in your next life but I do not think this is a fair assessment either. For example, some theories of karma may suggest that depending on how well you do as a human in this lifetime you may only come back as a wasp in the next. This suggests that the chance of reincarnating into another human existence is the ultimate prize in doing well in one's lifetime. This theory also suggests that the choice is out of our hands. It also proposes that anything other than human is a "lower life-form". I do not believe there is any such judicial system. To be honest, for the duration of life, the kind of responsibility and for the ultimate experience, a wasp’s existence is looking pretty interesting at the moment.


    That could probably be experienced in this lifetime. For example, if someone works as a police official or a military soldier there is a chance that they may get killed in the line of duty (he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword). If someone is wicked they may prefer to attract wickedness or surround themselves with like-minded individuals. If someone enjoys listening to country music and plays an instrument, most likely they would prefer to play country music with other members who also have a passion for coutry music.
     
  11. Neale

    Neale Debonaire Rationale

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    Beliefs differ from tradition to tradition, and this is certainly one of them. I'm not digging the idea of a judicial system either, so I'm in agreence with you here.

    That's entirely true. One can apply most karmic models to strictly here-and-now, present-time/present-life applications, and I believe that some are to be interpreted as such. I'm reminded of the "Thorn in the Lion's Paw" story for a strong illustration of this concept.

    I don't think this is a proper instance of karmic force so much as it is inductive logic. There's no intrisicly "karmic" responses that would exist from from simply enjoying to country music, I would think. Such is the same with most inductive, daily decisions. If one enjoys movies, and also enjoys popcorn more so than candy, the chances of that person getting candy at a movie theater are slim. Is that karma?
     
  12. akshar

    akshar Active Member

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    Yes. Karma is a universal law, what goes around comes around, it is an undeniable fact, non-hindus seem to belive simply because we had the idea it can only spply to hindus, Well that rubbish its a law a fact whatever you wanna call it. It's true as well your presentactions reflect on your futures ( sorry if my english a lil messed up there im only 11) If you were to good in our present birth which has been given to us after many many other births we might just be lucky enough to come back as a human and even with a happy life and f you are perfect our soul can be released from the cycle of birth and death. I bet your thinking, this kid is 11 what does he know? Bull****. I am not thick i know my stuff. I belive in karma from experience, at my school i took somenes tie the next day i came in my tie was taken off me by a school mate and he ripped it and i was caught without a tie by an inspector who came in that day, i was given a months worth of detention,2 hours after school every day. I'm a 100% sure all my other actions will reflect on my future.
     
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  13. cardero

    cardero Citizen Mod

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    I may have been reaching with the last example but when I was in a band we used to play country music and to see everyone dancing and having a good time it sometimes makes a musician wonder if they are providing some type of service to society. Music as karma? Maybe not but it is very influential.
     
  14. Phillip

    Phillip Member

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    I didn't read the whole thread, but I don't believe in karma. Never have. I try to be a very good person. I think on the whole I cause myself problems over it. Baring those events where it's all my fault, I think I get the random chance "crap on" more often than the average person. Rarely do great things happen to me. Usually if something random that's good is going to happen to someone, it happens to someone else.
    And no, I'm not convinced I'm a great and wonderful person, but I do try to be the nicest, most helpful person I can be, and I usually get nothing in return.

    To explain karma in my own mind, I think it generally has to do with the fact that people know on a subconsious level whether or not someone is a good person with minimal contact with them. I also think that people are more likely to be nice to a person they think is a good person. But then again there are also people who like to take advantage of those they think they can(I get a lot of that at work, therefore I spend less time with my customers and make less money(tips)).
     
  15. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    Karma can also come in the next life.
     
  16. lamplighter

    lamplighter Almighty Tallest

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    I believe karma in an atractive sense? In that the more good you do the more favorable it becomes for good things to happen to you and vice versa. Though how timely karma comes back is inconcistant.
     
  17. Ozzie

    Ozzie Well-Known Member

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    You can embrace the idea of what goes around comes around if you want and distinguish this from your true nature if you wish. Want and wish both describe desire. Perhaps your assertion that karma had no hold is just wishful thinking?
     
  18. Neale

    Neale Debonaire Rationale

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    I directly quoted from the Zen Teachings of the Bodhidharma (see original post), this isn't my own personal agenda. I believe here that Red Pine translates this as the notion that our true (Buddha) nature is essentially incorruptable from negative karma and lacks the benefits of positive karma.
     
  19. Engyo

    Engyo Prince of Dorkness!

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    I look at karma as something akin to a scientific theory in that it attempts to take empirical data and use that to postulate a principle which helps define/explain the empirical data gathered. I know that I have been able to use the theory to predict outcomes in my life successfully.

    Is there someone keeping score somewhere? I doubt it. I think it has more to do with our own individual impact on our environment, whether physically, societally, or in whatever manner you choose to examine.
     
  20. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    Who is doing the judging and sentencing? There is no such judge in any of the main Dharmic religions that I'm aware of. The idea that karma is a "point system" is an overly simplified concept accentuated in the West. It is not a system of punishments and rewards. Karma is nothing more (nor less) than the results of our own actions.

    If I wanted to go north, I should make every effort to go north. That's not a moral should, it's a prudentiary should. It's not morally wrong to go east or west or even south, it's just not conducive to getting to where I want to go, north. So if I go south and then find that I am further away from my goal than I was before, it is not because I have been punished for going south. It is merely the consequences of my own actions. That is karma.

    In the Dharmic traditions, whether the goal is nibbana or unity with Brahman, it is generally thought that actions that are selfish etc will take you farther from your goal and actions that are kind etc will bring you closer to your goal. It's more complicated than that but I'm just focusing on what we generally call ethics because that's where the confusion seems to be. In these traditions, there is no judge saying "Cardero, you were mean so I am sentencing you to be reincarnated as a roach." :p Whatever happens to "you" is the result of your actions and purely the result of your actions. And if you've done things that have taken you away from God/Nibbana (yes, I know they're not the same), you can always turn it around and do things that will take you back closer. It's just going to be that much harder.
     
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