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Author Topic: More on that pesky "Karma" thing  (Read 5970 times)

yewberry

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Re: More on that pesky "Karma" thing
« Reply #45 on: September 01, 2011, 12:55:45 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;17131
In the quote (and in a Buddhist Karma context in general), good and bad don't really seem to refer to moral choices as we usually thing of them but more like what we might think of as the results of physical law.  Gravity, for example is not usually thought of as having a moral component even though we refer to the effects of gravity as good and bad: a good effect we aren't hurled off the spinning Earth vs a bad effect like falling off a cliff and getting hurt.


Which is why I brought up the non-suffering sociopath.  And that pivotal part of my question has yet to be answered.

Brina

Starglade

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Re: More on that pesky "Karma" thing
« Reply #46 on: September 01, 2011, 01:35:41 pm »
Quote from: yewberry;17143
Which is why I brought up the non-suffering sociopath.  And that pivotal part of my question has yet to be answered.

Brina


You won't get two matching answers, even from Buddhists on the same path. Mine is this, based on my limited understanding:

If the action is intentional, it has a greater result than if it is not, regardless of whether the action is considered to be "good" or "bad" ("leading to happiness" or "leading to suffering"). So, if the nonsuffering sociopath sets out to kill--to knowingly cause harm to another--his/her action is intentional and it will have a greater result (esoterically speaking) than if I were to accidentally strike a pedestrian with my car. The sociopath might suffer later in this life, or might not. Doesn't really matter, in Buddhist thought, how long it takes. The point is, his/her action caused suffering to another, and therefore accrued on the "negative side" of the equation.

This is beyond the basic concept of "karma is cause and effect" and into a more esoteric realm of how karma accrues. Not the same issue, but a further development of it, delving into the moral framework built upon that concept of cause and effect. Intentional actions are more weighty than unintentional ones, whether they are "good" or "bad."
"The Eightfold Path is sometimes called the pathless path. Each step brings a growing awareness that enlightenment is in the here and now--in the world and in our relationships as we read these words . . . now." -- Jonathan White
http://grammargeddon.com

yewberry

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Re: More on that pesky "Karma" thing
« Reply #47 on: September 01, 2011, 01:44:09 pm »
Quote from: Starglade;17157
This is beyond the basic concept of "karma is cause and effect" and into a more esoteric realm of how karma accrues. Not the same issue, but a further development of it, delving into the moral framework built upon that concept of cause and effect. Intentional actions are more weighty than unintentional ones, whether they are "good" or "bad."

This is what I'm getting at.  Karma accrual and esoterica at the woo-woo of which I speak.  And they, albeit obliquely, help define karma as more than simple cause and effect.  My point is that if there isn't more to it, why be Buddhist?

Brina
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 01:44:32 pm by yewberry »

Starglade

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Re: More on that pesky "Karma" thing
« Reply #48 on: September 01, 2011, 01:58:54 pm »
Quote from: yewberry;17160
This is what I'm getting at.  Karma accrual and esoterica at the woo-woo of which I speak.  And they, albeit obliquely, help define karma as more than simple cause and effect.  My point is that if there isn't more to it, why be Buddhist?

Brina


And my point in answer to that is: I have come to believe, through my personal experience of it, that past karmic accrual (the results of actions, which apparently do follow me from life to life) has led me, this time around, to find this particular Buddhist path.

Someone else might decide that sitting in meditation for a few hours a day is the best path for them, and become a Zen Buddhist. That's not my scene.

Doesn't change the simple fact that Karma Means Action. Cause And Effect. Without cause and effect, the rest isn't even remotely possible. Karmic accrual is not Karma, it's another level. Using "karma" to talk about the process of accrual is innacurate at best. (Yes, I know--it's done all the time. Drives me batty, too. Doesn't make it accurate, makes it accepted.)

Why be Buddhist? Why be anything, for that matter? Because one's called to it, for whatever reason. Some will say it's karmic accrual. Some will say they don't want a religion, they want a philosophy and this one makes sense. The Four Noble Truths are a pretty simple concept, after all. WAY simpler than this convoluted discussion. :-)
"The Eightfold Path is sometimes called the pathless path. Each step brings a growing awareness that enlightenment is in the here and now--in the world and in our relationships as we read these words . . . now." -- Jonathan White
http://grammargeddon.com

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