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View Full Version : Do you believe in karma? Why or why not?



MonaLeigh
12-01-2007, 01:17 AM
I have a hard time with karma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma), and maybe I'm not understanding it right. I think it's the belief that what goes around comes around. This is why I have a hard time with it. My mom died from cancer at 50 years old. She was the nicest, most generous, loving person I have ever known. She didn't smoke or drink and ate healthy. What did she do to deserve that? I know no one can answer that. What about murderers or child molesters who haven't been caught or are let off on a technicality? Where's their karma?

melaniehoo
12-01-2007, 01:23 AM
I do believe in karma, but I've also been fortunate that few bad things have happened in my life (knock on wood). I can't speak for your case - that sounds awful - but I've had numerous times in my life where a person treated me very badly and later had that turned on them. Two that stand out:

I had a roommate in college who made my life a living hell & decided it'd be best if I move out. Never talked to me first, nothing, just decided all on her own. (She did the same thing to another girl the next year). Shortly after I moved out she had some sort of medical episode in a store and had to be rushed to the hospital. She's ok, but I felt someone had my back.

My first year in Chicago I had a falling out with a friend & he said some really nasty things to me. I secretly liked him so it hurt much more than he realized. He was later robbed at gunpoint on his birthday. (he's also ok).

Now, I certainly didn't wish any of this on these people, and nothing that serious to make up for my hurt feelings, but no one else I know has had those things happen to them.

So yes, karma.

JoNightshade
12-01-2007, 01:26 AM
Well nobody ever said Karma was a law of nature, did they? I think it's pretty obvious that the world we live in isn't very fair.

As a Christian, I don't really believe in Karma. I think we get justice on the judgement day, from God. At that time, all wrongs will be righted, and everything inexplicable will be made clear.

On the other hand, I do believe that sometimes God allows us to suffer the consequences for our stupid or evil actions in this life-- usually for our own good. I think He tries to wake us up by letting us suffer now rather than later, when it's too late.

zahra
12-01-2007, 01:31 AM
Don't believe in it. Just look around you.

PattiTheWicked
12-01-2007, 01:33 AM
I accept the concept of Karma in that I believe like attracts like -- in other words, if you surround yourself with hostility and anger, that's what you'll attract. However, I don't think that everything in the universe can be blamed on some cosmic debit system -- otherwise, only shitty people would die from cancer, and good hearted loving people would have long healthy lives.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way.

joyce
12-01-2007, 01:35 AM
I also believe in karma. I don't know if that's the answer to why bad things happens to good people though. Sometimes even in the worse situations there is something good to be taken from it. Then there are times where there seems to be no good answer to why something happened. I also have had people in my life who treated me really, really bad. Each one of them seemed to have a date with karma eventually.

paprikapink
12-01-2007, 01:35 AM
I believe life has karmic elements, let's say. But I don't think it's a mathematically stringent, tit-for-tat, good gets good, bad gets bad kinduva thing. Karma, or balance, or equivalence, or just deserts, or poetic justice, or pay-back...whatever, it's a current that runs through life. Life is a very big thing, we each only see one tiny strand of the whole cloth.

JLCwrites
12-01-2007, 01:36 AM
So sorry about your mom. Mine died at 42 with cancer and the same good things could be said about her.

As far as your question goes... I do believe in paying it forward. Being positive to others sets a chain reaction and effects many more in a positive way. I don't feel karma comes from external rewards or punishments. It is only the soul that is effected. Your mom has a good soul. Inside, she may have felt proud of you, of the life she lived, and happy that she had a taste of that life here on earth. Her body was the one with cancer... not her soul.

Life isn't fair, but internally you should try to make the best of the short time you have here. Do something good in her honor. Spread the happiness that she may have felt for the loving family who stood by her side. Maybe that will help with your pain as well.

(This is just my perspective.)
Lots of hugs and support.
:Hug2:

brokenfingers
12-01-2007, 01:46 AM
Hmmm, I’ve had a few moments in my life when I thought there might be such a thing as karma.

As a matter of fact, recent events have gotten me thinking about it again and I’m beginning to swing towards the “Yes” side.

The thing that has yet to be answered is: Is it good karma or bad karma? (Lord knows I deserve both.)

jennifer75
12-01-2007, 01:49 AM
Can Karma occur in the same lifetime? Like do bad today, suffer tomorrow? Instead of in the afterlife?

If so, I do. Because Thanksgiving day I called somebody a P.O.S, and the next day was totally crappy for me. Quite deserving.

jennifer75
12-01-2007, 01:50 AM
What about murderers or child molesters who haven't been caught or are let off on a technicality? Where's their karma?

I've asked the same thing about Lottery winners that are in their eighties, or already loaded, or retired and already happy financially, then they win millions. Why?

melaniehoo
12-01-2007, 01:57 AM
Hmmm, I’ve had a few moments in my life when I thought there might be such a thing as karma.

As a matter of fact, recent events have gotten me thinking about it again and I’m beginning to swing towards the “Yes” side.

The thing that has yet to be answered is: Is it good karma or bad karma? (Lord knows I deserve both.)

With all the BS in my life in the past year, I'm still hopeful that it's all towards one good thing we're praying for. I had my first good thing yesterday which I hope is a step towards our goal.

Sorry to be so ambiguous, but you know...


ETA: and I try to follow what Turkey said about paying it forward. I try my best to not do anything bad to others.

Siddow
12-01-2007, 01:58 AM
I believe in karma, but I think the big things (like when you die, and how) are left to fate.

I see karma in action all the time--I tell my kids to do something, they sass, then wham! Someone's walking into a wall or stubbing a toe on a table leg.

I called a woman a 'rock muncher' cause she had knarly teeth (not to her face) and wham! My daughter bites into a rock (!!!! she was 18 months old) and breaks her front teeth.

Karma is in the little things. I see it as life's little zingers. :D

William Haskins
12-01-2007, 01:59 AM
no.

III
12-01-2007, 02:01 AM
I believe you reap what you sew. I think the concept of karma is kind of a mystic extension of that, that there are other forces working to ensure you reap what you sew. To a small extent, I do believe that, but I don't believe in Karma as a reliable force. I do believe if you give love, you'll receive it, and if you give hate you'll receive it. The rest is life happening.

Jcomp
12-01-2007, 02:22 AM
no..

eldragon
12-01-2007, 02:33 AM
Yes.

I wrote a long post, but then erased it.

So, just yes.

MonaLeigh
12-01-2007, 02:37 AM
Your mom has a good soul. Inside, she may have felt proud of you, of the life she lived, and happy that she had a taste of that life here on earth. Her body was the one with cancer... not her soul.:Hug2:
She died over 8 years ago, and it still immediately brings tears to my eyes to think of her. Your last sentence is probably the most touching thing I've heard since she died. Thanks.:Hug2:

clockwork
12-01-2007, 02:42 AM
I have no proof that karma exists but I think choosing good actions over bad in the belief that it means something to the universe isn't the worst idea that ever was.

KTC
12-01-2007, 02:43 AM
To believe is to suggest that it is a faith-based idea. Karma exists. Nobody has to believe in it.

JoNightshade
12-01-2007, 02:45 AM
To believe is to suggest that it is a faith-based idea. Karma exists. Nobody has to believe in it.

But can you prove it exists? I don't think it does. And I can't prove you wrong and you can't prove me wrong. Soooo, doesn't that mean it's a faith thing?

maestrowork
12-01-2007, 02:46 AM
The way I look at it: if you believe in karma, then you will have karma. If not, probably not. Also, the mind is an interesting thing, and collectively, I think people can make something happen. So if you piss off a lot of people, they may wish ill on you. The negative energy will eventually catch up. And you do good things, positive energy will flow toward you.

KTC
12-01-2007, 02:49 AM
If only you would believe, Jesus said.

KTC
12-01-2007, 02:50 AM
People will say things exist because they know they do. And they do for them. There is this and there is that. To say you believe in this and you believe in that...I see that as a weakness. If I think something exists, than it does...solidly...not just in my belief system but in reality. Karma is there.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
12-01-2007, 02:51 AM
I believe in karma... but I also believe in reincarnation, so if something bad or good happens to me, it might be for something in this life or one previous. I've always said I must've done something magnificent in one of my former lives to have been rewarded in this one with Ol' Boy's love 'cause I sure haven't done anything that great to be rewarded for in this one! :)

Hillary
12-01-2007, 03:06 AM
I've had my doubts. (Or, rather, I was certain I must've murdered someone when I was a baby or something, because really...) But I'm restocking faith in it.

So, yes, I believe in karma. I also believe I'm not all-knowing. So I certainly don't understand it completely. And asking a million "Well, Where's the karma in THAT?" questions is going to get me nowhere. My Godmother died, painfully, from breast cancer, at a young age. She didn't come close to "deserving" that death. But just because I think her life was too short and her passing too painful doesn't mean that her death was her karmic "reward." Maybe she had a pretty damn important role in some afterlife, maybe she was granted an eternal angelic watch over those she loved. Maybe she was saved from being raped and murdered and tortured for a year in a basement somewhere. If I knew everything about karma, I'd know the answer. But I don't, and I'm not going to pretend I do.

And I think it's perfectly possible that jail time is not the most appropriate karmic punishment for a murderer. Maybe something will happen to them, or something will happen as a result of them not being in jail, that is much more important, or a better representation of justice. I don't know.

I think part of believing in karma is resigning yourself to the fact that you aren't privvy to all of its methods. So without all the facts, who are we to judge?

maestrowork
12-01-2007, 03:06 AM
People will say things exist because they know they do.

I have nothing against that. However, I do have a problem with people believing something is true because someone else told them so. I believe there's karma because my mom said so. I believe in God because my clergy said so. Find your own truth, I'll say.

Devil Ledbetter
12-01-2007, 03:08 AM
I don't believe in Karma. It's seems to me a blame the victim device.

Last year, a friend of mine lost his teen son to a horrible wreck. The day of the funeral, he became deathly ill and was hospitalized, and therefore unable to attend his child's funeral. A week later, he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a deadly plasma cancer.

Karma says what? He deserves this? Would those who profess a belief in karma be willing to tell this guy's wife that his cancer proves he was a jerk (in this life or an earlier one) and he's simply getting his karmic comeuppance?

Like many other religious beliefs, karma acts as a conscience cleanser: if one has much, and believes in karma, one feels little pity for those who suffer, because they must "deserve" it. Humans are powerfully attracted to conscience cleansers, but that doesn't make them real or true.

eldragon
12-01-2007, 03:26 AM
I don't believe in Karma. It's seems to me a blame the victim device.

Last year, a friend of mine lost his teen son to a horrible wreck. The day of the funeral, he became deathly ill and was hospitalized, and therefore unable to attend his child's funeral. A week later, he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a deadly plasma cancer.

Karma says what? He deserves this? Would those who profess a belief in karma be willing to tell this guy's wife that his cancer proves he was a jerk (in this life or an earlier one) and he's simply getting his karmic comeuppance?

Like many other religious beliefs, karma acts as a conscience cleanser: if one has much, and believes in karma, one feels little pity for those who suffer, because they must "deserve" it. Humans are powerfully attracted to conscience cleansers, but that doesn't make them real or true.

That really stinks. Kind of like my brothers situation. He was a blues guitar player and the day before the biggest gig of his life, he was killed in a car accident.

Not only did his death end his life, but it kind of ended my mom, mine and my sisters, too, in ways too personal to really go into here.

Maybe death is the reward for being good, though, and not life. Sometimes it sure feels like it to me.

maestrowork
12-01-2007, 04:00 AM
Interesting point. A lot of people think death, pain, etc. are punishments. Maybe not. I don't know.

Magdalen
12-01-2007, 04:52 AM
The first instance:

In Buddhist teaching, the law of karma, says only this: `for every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful.' A skillful event is one that is not accompanied by craving, resistance or delusions; an unskillful event is one that is accompanied by any one of those things. (Events are not skillful in themselves, but are so called only in virtue of the mental events that occur with them.)

http://www.ncf.ca/freenet/rootdir/menus/sigs/religion/buddhism/introduction/truths/karma2.html

The second instance:

Newton's Third Law of Motion:
III. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

This law is exemplified by what happens if we step off a boat onto the bank of a lake: as we move in the direction of the shore, the boat tends to move in the opposite direction (leaving us facedown in the water, if we aren't careful!).

Aren't these more alike than different? Actually, I think they are saying the same thing. I think both instances are true, accurate statements. But I also "believe" that there is an exception to every rule. And/or there may be occurances when the length of time between the events is so vast (eons), that it appears to us as not happening.

Instant karmas gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon youre gonna be dead
What in the world you thinking of
Laughing in the face of love
What on earth you tryin to do
Its up to you, yeah you

Instant karmas gonna get you
Gonna look you right in the face
Better get yourself together darlin
Join the human race
How in the world you gonna see
Laughin at fools like me
Who in the hell dyou think you are
A super star
Well, right you are

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Evryone come on

Instant karmas gonna get you
Gonna knock you off your feet
Better recognize your brothers
Evryone you meet
Why in the world are we here
Surely not to live in pain and fear
Why on earth are you there
When youre evrywhere
Come and get your share

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on
Come on and on and on on on
Yeah yeah, alright, uh huh, ah

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on
On and on and on on and on

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun

-- John Lennon (RIP)

William Haskins
12-01-2007, 05:34 AM
the desperate desire of humans to find some pattern to existence outside of observable nature amuses (and, admittedly, intrigues) me.

Siddow
12-01-2007, 05:39 AM
Haskins, I'll pray for you.

William Haskins
12-01-2007, 05:59 AM
while doing so, if you could ask him to send a steak (medium rare) and baked potato (butter, sour cream and cheddar -- no chives or bacon bits), that'd be great.

oh, and a slice of key lime pie.

thanks much.

maestrowork
12-01-2007, 06:02 AM
Boy, George. Haskins is quite a karma comedian.

Don Allen
12-01-2007, 06:05 AM
To believe in Karma you must understand that all living things give off energy. Science proves that living things posess an enegry field. Science also acknowledges that there are both positive and neg. energy fields. Karma in it's simpliest interpretation is energy. The basis of Karma is that equal energy produces harmony in one's soul and therefore gives one peace of mind, it does not equate to tit for tat actions. From what you say your mom was a wonderful person who passed at ease with her self knowing that she left the world a better place, that is fantastic Karma. Karma dosen't kill you, nor does it make you wealthy and successful beyond your dreams. It either puts you at ease, or makes you reckless, the results of your actions is the outcome. All religions have Karma based traditions weather you recognize them as Karma or not. Christians are instructed to turn the other cheek, why? So the negative energy in your body dosen't upset the equalibriam in your soul... They just call it the devil.

Magdalen
12-01-2007, 06:22 AM
the desperate desire of humans to find some pattern to existence outside of observable nature amuses (and, admittedly, intrigues) me.


!!! And how!

benbradley
12-01-2007, 06:32 AM
I have a hard time with karma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma), and maybe I'm not understanding it right. I think it's the belief that what goes around comes around. This is why I have a hard time with it. My mom died from cancer at 50 years old. She was the nicest, most generous, loving person I have ever known. She didn't smoke or drink and ate healthy. What did she do to deserve that? I know no one can answer that. What about murderers or child molesters who haven't been caught or are let off on a technicality? Where's their karma?

I don't "believe" in karma. I've heard about it most of my life (probably starting with the John Lennon song "Instant Karma"), mostly in a new-age way. Karma and many other 'new-age' concepts actually come from traditional Eastern religions. But it's become quite a common and pervasive concept in Western culture, and I've even heard self-proclaimed Christians talk of it as if it were a fact of life.

I'm sorry about your mother, but it's common knowledge that "leading a healthy life" does NOT eliminate the chance of dying of cancer, it only reduces it. There are people who don't smoke, don't drink, eat healthy, are Good People and such, yet still get cancer and die at or before age 50.

I believe the "What did she do to cause this?" question is one asked out of a hope that it was not a random event, a desire to know what may have caused it, and ultimatley an effort to control it ("If only I knew what caused THIS good woman to die, perhaps I could avoid it in my own life and warn others against it"). I think belief in karma is at least partly an effort to make sense out of random events.

I've asked the same thing about Lottery winners that are in their eighties, or already loaded, or retired and already happy financially, then they win millions. Why?
The short answer to why someone won the lottery is because he or she BOUGHT A LOTTERY TICKET. Yeah, it looks like 'really old' people and well-off people buy lottery tickets too (how ELSE do you think they could have won?). Like the ads say, "you can't win if you don't play." It's impeccable logic, yet I don't like the odds. You pay a dollar for near-infinitesimal odds of a large payback. I haven't bought a ticket in probably ten years.

"Fate" would only allow poor young people to win lotteries if poor young people were the only ones who bought lottery tickets.

benbradley
12-01-2007, 06:52 AM
the desperate desire of humans to find some pattern to existence outside of observable nature amuses (and, admittedly, intrigues) me.
I'm reminded of something I read long ago on some science forum on an old-style dial-up BBS - perhaps this was even "the science echo" on Fidonet, but anyway, someone said (likely not an exact quote, but this is the gist):

There are two basic mistakes that humans make: not seeing a pattern that exists, and seeing a pattern that does not exist.

I've always thought this was such a brilliant observation that the poster surely must have been quoting someone else who said it, perhaps even hundreds of years earlier. Has anyone heard this before?

joyce
12-01-2007, 07:29 AM
There are two basic mistakes that humans make: not seeing a pattern that exists, and seeing a pattern that does not exist.

Very interesting quote. I've never heard it before, but it's great! It's sooooo true.

Anand2002
12-01-2007, 01:05 PM
Death is temporary. Death is sweet. Death is pleasant. Death is a relief. When we get old, we canít enjoy the pleasures of life as young people. So our soul discards the body (death) and gets a new life according to the deeds (Karma) it committed in itís previous lives. Good people get a good life and the bad ones get a lowly life. Your mother would have got another life. If youíre married and if you have a daughter, well, in case, your daughter might be the reincarnation of your mother. Nature made us to forget our past lives to avoid chaos. But the basic qualities persist. If your mother is a musician, your daughter will also show interest in music. Sometimes souls do not have the urge or wish to get another life, might be in a waiting period. In that case, your motherís soul might be guarding you. To prove this, after the death of your mother, some good things would have happened in your life, you might have got a new job, or a house or a good friend. You can test this theory with your close relatives, friends and famous people.

Bartholomew
12-01-2007, 01:20 PM
I have a hard time with karma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma), and maybe I'm not understanding it right. I think it's the belief that what goes around comes around. This is why I have a hard time with it. My mom died from cancer at 50 years old. She was the nicest, most generous, loving person I have ever known. She didn't smoke or drink and ate healthy. What did she do to deserve that? I know no one can answer that. What about murderers or child molesters who haven't been caught or are let off on a technicality? Where's their karma?

Consider a circle. It has no start and no finish - its line can be traced around and around into infinity.

Now consider the phrase, "For each action, there is an equal but opposite reaction."

The [Buddhist] belief in karma is heavily steeped into the idea that life is an eternal thing, that we have been committing good and bad actions for an infinitely long period of time. Thus, we all have an infinite amount of karma, both good and bad. You have a system of belief, then, that allows for spiritual punishment for past actions, and still allows for a world in which wonderful, truely awesome people meet the most horrific of ends.


More than an explanation for why things happen as they do, Karma is a way of thinking. If the cosmos, if you pardon the expression, will eventually bring all things back to the status quo, then there is no need, ever, for base revenge. Nor is there need to be payed back a favor in exchange for past kindness.

It would be impossible to quantify the existence of such a force. The resulting behavior from a belief in karma is more important than the belief itself.

I do independent studies of Buddhism, incidentally, so there may be a great, vast number of Buddhists who disagree with me. These are only things as I see them.

Angelinity
12-01-2007, 04:02 PM
not clear what i believe anymore except that i am typing this--even this very act/action/moment could be merely a dream or a memory. does it have any meaning in itself, will it impact any events or bring consequences? most actions and thoughts seem to in some way, though individual events link into complex mazes interacting with events initiated or caused by others who may be known or unknown and somehow significant to the topic at hand.

mostly, what i still believe with a fair degree of certainty is that the reality of the physical world is a lot less stable and consistent than it appears. i believe that the power of what we call the mind and thought is greater and more real that what we perceive as material reality. in a way, this line of thinking does confirm some basics of karma.

Melisande
12-01-2007, 05:08 PM
no.
!

Melisande
12-01-2007, 05:09 PM
I don't believe in Karma. It's seems to me a blame the victim device.

Last year, a friend of mine lost his teen son to a horrible wreck. The day of the funeral, he became deathly ill and was hospitalized, and therefore unable to attend his child's funeral. A week later, he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a deadly plasma cancer.

Karma says what? He deserves this? Would those who profess a belief in karma be willing to tell this guy's wife that his cancer proves he was a jerk (in this life or an earlier one) and he's simply getting his karmic comeuppance?

Like many other religious beliefs, karma acts as a conscience cleanser: if one has much, and believes in karma, one feels little pity for those who suffer, because they must "deserve" it. Humans are powerfully attracted to conscience cleansers, but that doesn't make them real or true.

I SO agree with this.

Devil Ledbetter
12-01-2007, 06:09 PM
So our soul discards the body (death) and gets a new life according to the deeds (Karma) it committed in it’s previous lives. Good people get a good life and the bad ones get a lowly life. The notion of karma developed in societies with caste systems. Where there is (unlike in the US) very little social mobility, those born of a higher caste needed to clear their conscience about the suffering of the lower caste. Therefore, they decided to believe "those low-caste people were were bad in a previous life and have been reincarnated into a lowly life as a result. I need not pity them. Their souls need to learn these hard lessons!"

Likewise, those of lowly castes were discouraged from envying those of higher caste (or revolting against them) with the belief that those people must "deserve" a more comfortable life as a reward for good behavior in a past life.

In this way, the belief in karma created social stability where there probably should have been unrest due to the uneven distribution of wealth. How can you resent your low caste when your religion insists you deserve it? Or that you actually "need" it to learn some soul-lesson. And wouldn't you behave well "in this life" if you held the belief you'd be rewarded with a higher caste in the next? Or if you were of high caste, perhaps you'd behave well in this life for fear of being thrown down to a lower caste in the next.

It's all about control. And it's not very different from heaven/hell beliefs. It just puts the torture and reward into the soul's subsequent life, rather than an afterlife.

ETA: Just thinking about this makes me wonder if karmic beliefs are growing popular in the US as our social structure becomes more solidly stratified, and the gap between rich and poor grows wider.


To prove this, after the death of your mother, some good things would have happened in your life, you might have got a new job, or a house or a good friend. You can test this theory with your close relatives, friends and famous people.No, you can't prove it. You can only attribute various events and coincidences to karma. It doesn't mean karma caused them and karma rectified the balance sheet of your life. It just means you chose to attribute something good to karma. Or bad.

"Some good things" happen to pretty much everybody eventually. "Good" and "bad" are subjective terms too, as Maestrowork beautifully demonstrated by questioning whether suffering and death should even be considered punishments.

For the record, I don't consider them punishments, but that's only because I don't believe in any deities or soul systems. Suffering and death are just the unavoidable reality of human existence.

southernwriter
12-01-2007, 06:42 PM
the desperate desire of humans to find some pattern to existence outside of observable nature amuses (and, admittedly, intrigues) me.


In this case, William, there's no desperate desire involved. It's a fact. You may have heard of it: Newton's Third Law of Motion?





I'm reminded of something I read long ago on some science forum on an old-style dial-up BBS - perhaps this was even "the science echo" on Fidonet, but anyway, someone said (likely not an exact quote, but this is the gist):

There are two basic mistakes that humans make: not seeing a pattern that exists, and seeing a pattern that does not exist.

I've always thought this was such a brilliant observation that the poster surely must have been quoting someone else who said it, perhaps even hundreds of years earlier. Has anyone heard this before?


Ben, in astrology, this is one of the things attributed to the planet Neptune, which is said to influence the collective subconscious and all things that are intangible: illusion, delusion, deception, confusion; seeing things that aren't there, not seeing things that are; ghosts, shades, spirits; glamor; music; religion is attributed to Jupiter, but spirituality is attributed to Neptune; compassion, charity, sacrifice; secrets and secret enemies; things that go on behind the scenes (backstage); things that are hidden, or out of the public eye, such as certain medical institutions (asylums, rehab, laboratories, operating rooms, etc.) and places of confinement (concentration camps, jails, hospitals, etc.); radio stations ("generally" heard, but not seen); places of retreat: sanctuaries, ashrams, abbeys, and convents; enormous, wide-open spaces such as oceans, prairies, and space; all liquids: alcohol (and alcoholics), perfume, oil, gas, and of course, water (and all oceans, rivers, lakes, etc.). I'm probably missing about a dozen things here, but the point is that the part you mention is part of something larger that has been around forever.

And finally, DustySterling, I'm sorry for your loss. What you're asking is one of my general areas of expertise. I have a few blog entries that might help answer your questions, and I will put up some links for you. I'm not going to get into a debate with anyone about it, as I see that as a total waste of time. Those who are looking for answers will find them; those who are looking for an argument, won't. Best wishes to you. I hope you find some peace of mind. Oh, and before I go, I highly recommend a great book called The Heart of Grief (http://www.us.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Psychology/Clinical/?view=usa&ci=9780195156256) by Thomas Attig. There's nothing "woo woo" about it; just insightful and practical advice on how to deal with grief.

Old Souls and the Evolutionary Ladder (http://blography-of-southern-writer.blogspot.com/2007/02/old-souls-and-evolutionary-ladder.html)

Why is Life so Unfair? (http://blography-of-southern-writer.blogspot.com/2007/02/why-is-life-so-unfair.html)

Why Karma is Only Half the Answer and All We Need is Love (http://blography-of-southern-writer.blogspot.com/2007/02/why-karma-is-only-half-answer-and-all.html)

By Request: The Other Side (http://blography-of-southern-writer.blogspot.com/2006/11/by-request-other-side.html)

Are You Listening? (http://blography-of-southern-writer.blogspot.com/2006/12/are-you-listening.html)

nerds
12-01-2007, 06:44 PM
I have no proof that karma exists but I think choosing good actions over bad in the belief that it means something to the universe isn't the worst idea that ever was.


I love this line so much.

:)

William Haskins
12-01-2007, 06:56 PM
the desperate desire of humans to find some pattern to existence outside of observable nature amuses (and, admittedly, intrigues) me.


In this case, William, there's no desperate desire involved. It's a fact. You may have heard of it: Newton's Third Law of Motion?

i have indeed. it's observable phenomena in a natural, physical setting. and that's where the "fact" ends.

it has no metaphysical application.

aruna
12-01-2007, 07:29 PM
I have a hard time with karma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma), and maybe I'm not understanding it right. I think it's the belief that what goes around comes around. This is why I have a hard time with it. My mom died from cancer at 50 years old. She was the nicest, most generous, loving person I have ever known. She didn't smoke or drink and ate healthy. What did she do to deserve that? I know no one can answer that. What about murderers or child molesters who haven't been caught or are let off on a technicality? Where's their karma?

The trouble is you are taking an Eastern concept and trying to shoehorn it into a Western frame. If you want to understand what Karma is... whether or not you "believe" in it -- you have to try and understand without superimposing your own concepts of what is bad and what is good onto it.

Karma is not just "you reap what you sow". It's actually a Sanskrit word meaning Action... nothing else. According to the law of Karma within Hindu philosophy, the soul or spirit is eternal and returns again and again to earth, collecting reactions to every action. In that sense we create our own reality, and every moment create a new pattern for the future; nothing is coincidence. The mind is nothing but abundle of accumulated vasanas (latent tendencies) and samskaras (impressions from action). The point is to cleanse it.

A Hindu does not judge what happens to him/her in terms of bad or good. He/she considers that we can only see one tiny slice of the whole. We do not see what went before or what comes after, but we can influence what comes after by our reaction to the now. So more important than the actual fact of the cancer is the way we deal with it. Cancer would not be seen as bad, or a punishment; it is seen as a chance to wipe away samskaras, or imprints on the mind whose source we cannot see.

My best friend died of cancer a few years ago. Like your mother, she was the sweetest, kindest person you could ever meet. She accepted her cancer in that spirit, not as a punishment but as a chance.

As for me, I don't really set much store in believing or not believing. I observe. I started observing my life, standing aside as it were and simply witnessing it as neutrally as I can, and there is without doubt a pattern to the way it is all playing out. It's sometimes quite amazing; my life is certainly stranger than fiction.

aruna
12-01-2007, 10:12 PM
The notion of karma developed in societies with caste systems. Where there is (unlike in the US) very little social mobility, those born of a higher caste needed to clear their conscience about the suffering of the lower caste. Therefore, they decided to believe "those low-caste people were were bad in a previous life and have been reincarnated into a lowly life as a result. I need not pity them. Their souls need to learn these hard lessons!"

.


Human nature is selfish and easily corrupted, and the situation you describe is certainly true and widespread in INdia today and in the past... but it is not the whole story.

First of, all, Hinduism is not just one belief system but many. It's a complex religion full of contradictions and abstract concepts, hard to understand for a Westerner. What you describe os only one of its manyfaces, an ugly one, and more man-made than anything. You will not find such a teaching in any Hindu scrtipture.

Two aspects I'd like to draw attention to.

The higher caste Hindu is also creating karma in the way he deals with those who cross his path. To be arrogant, cruel and ignore a low caste person's plight would mean that in a later birth that very high caste Hindu would have to experience that very same cruelty. So there you have the central contradiction: someone who really believes literally in karma would have to be very careful not to create bad karma for himself. If only for selfish reasons, he would HAVE to be kind and compassionate to continue his own "good" karma.


Hindus of a more advanced, abstact mentality, so-called Vedantists or Advaitists, deny even that there is such a thing as caste; there is only a bodily role that we play, and whether the body we live in is of a higher or lower status is irrelevant; we should treat it with respect but not identify with it. It is the spirit within the body which is real, and that at its core is exactly the same in every single one of us, whatever our outer form of status in life. HIgh or low caste is only an illusion in this point of view.


My own attitude is ot judge every religion not by the worst examples of its adherents, but by the best. Thus, Islam not by the Sudanese "Muslims" howling for a schoolteacher's blood, but by the sublime Sufi poems of Attar and Rumi. Christianity not by the fallen priests who abuse children, but by those who try to follow in the footsteps of Christ. Hinduism not by the fanatic Brahmins who consider themselves sullied by the shadow of a sudra, but for instance by the lives of Mohandas Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda (http://www.vivekananda.org/). They show us what their religion is truly about.


(In that spirit, today's Quote of the Day for Vivekananda (see website above) is most apt!

Vivekananda's Quote of the Day

The more we grow in love and virtue and holiness, the more we see love and virtue and holiness outside. All condemnation of others really condemns ourselves. Adjust the microcosm (which is in your power to do) and the macrocosm will adjust itself for you. It is like the hydrostatic paradox, one drop of water can balance the universe.
)

Susie
12-02-2007, 01:40 AM
I definitely believe in karma. Sometimes we don't always know the reasons for the good or for the bad, but like Jen, I must have done something good in my past life to have you guys be so kind to me. Many thanks.

billythrilly7th
12-02-2007, 01:43 AM
I do.

But its apparent appearance here on earth might just be the law of averages.

Did Bill Clinton get caught with Lewinsky because of Karma or because it was the law of averages?

Did Paris get thrown in the slammer because of Karma or because of the law of averages?

:Shrug:

But either way worked for me. :) Holla!

Thank you.

Simple Living
12-02-2007, 02:14 AM
I'm in the camp of not believing in karma. Since the OP asked why we do or don't believe, here's my reason.

It's part of the Buddhist and Hindu religions and it's based on reincarnation. Depending on how well, or badly, someone lives their life, it will will determine if they come back to earth, bodily, to a more pleasant -- or less pleasant -- life to reap the benefits or punishments for their actions.

Being that it's based in the belief of reincarnation, and the Bible doesn't support reincarnation, it also doesn't support karma.

Hebrews 9:27 says, "And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment..." (Emphasis mine.)

You get one shot on this earth. You're only going to die once. Notice it also says that after that comes judgment. No second chance. In God's plan you get one shot at this life, living it according to His plan.

True, the Bible talks a lot about sowing and reaping, but that's not karma. The Bible says that you will reap what you sow in this lifetime. Part of that "one shot" deal. It also says that you will sow what you reap in eternity, whether it's rewards or punishments. That's not bodily on this earth, so, again, the Bible doesn't support karma.

Galatians 6:8-9 says, "Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So letís not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we donít give up."

Again, that's not coming back to this earth bodily, as reincarnation and karma talk about.

In the Christian belief, what's important to remember is that it was Jesus's death on the cross, as the sacrifice, that paid the price for us that results in the reaping that we have available to us for now and into eternity.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you canít take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."

Simple Living
12-02-2007, 02:20 AM
Don't believe in it. Just look around you.

I agree with you that it doesn't exist, but not for the reason you give. The concept of karma doesn't mean that you reap what you sow in this lifetime. It's based in the Buddhist and Hindu religion concept of reincarnation. It's coming back to live on this earth again, bodily, in a better, or worse, existence than you're living now, based on how you live.

A lot of people accept karma without really knowing what it really is.

melaniehoo
12-02-2007, 04:22 AM
I feel like I need to clarify my position after reading all the posts here. I do believe in karma, but in the what goes around comes around idea. And I came to this belief by observing things around me. Sure, I'd heard of karma growing up but it wasn't until I was in college that I started paying attention. I like what Ray said about death - it in itself isn't always a punishment. It's horrible for everyone involved, but long painful suffering vs. dying at peace could be attributed to karma.

I'm not an expert, haven't studied this, etc, this is just based on my personal experience. I'm not one to push my ideas on anyone, I'm just sharing. I respect those with differing opinions.

Elodie-Caroline
12-02-2007, 05:12 AM
My sister died of leukemia at only 7 years old, funnily enough, she didn't drink or smoke either. Cancer is something you either have in your system or you haven't and something starts it off. Just because people drink and smoke and don't eat healthily, doesn't mean to say that they deserve to die of cancer either, no one does, it's just a cold hard fact of life.

As for murderers and child molesters, if they don't get caught or get off on a technicality, that's not exactly their fault, is it, it's the law's.

Karma, yep, I believe in karma, or in a different way of looking at it, God moves in mysterious ways/God pays back without money. The above murderers and child molesters may not have anything go wrong with them in their life, but they could get paid back by someone they love and care about being taken away from them with cancer etc. It's not fair on the person that was taken from them, but it does serve a purpose to the murderer/molester's psyche... Do you see where I'm coming from?

Also, depending on what you believe in; if karma doesn't get you in this life, it will certainly catch up with you in the next.
I must have been pretty bloody wicked in my last life then! :D

I'm very sorry that your poor mum died btw.



Elodie




I have a hard time with karma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma), and maybe I'm not understanding it right. I think it's the belief that what goes around comes around. This is why I have a hard time with it. My mom died from cancer at 50 years old. She was the nicest, most generous, loving person I have ever known. She didn't smoke or drink and ate healthy. What did she do to deserve that? I know no one can answer that. What about murderers or child molesters who haven't been caught or are let off on a technicality? Where's their karma?

William Haskins
12-02-2007, 05:18 AM
I like what Ray said about death - it in itself isn't always a punishment.

it's not punishment at all; it's the natural cycle of things and no one escapes it.

Elodie-Caroline
12-02-2007, 05:23 AM
Re: The Bible, Buddhism/Hinduism; who's to say which beliefs are the right ones anyway? Each person believes what they want to believe. I was brought up as C of E, read the Bible, thought the same about it as I did with Greek, Egyptian, Norse and Chinese mythologies, which I was reading at the same age 10 to 11 yrs old. At 15, the time of my sister's death, I had a very vivid dream and turned to Hinduism and Buddhist philosophies and they are what have stayed with me ever since.



Elodie

wood pixie
12-02-2007, 08:09 AM
Karma or 'what goes around comes around' or 'you reap what you sow' ... I think for the most part, if one does bad they get their comeuppance. I also think that those who are good get rewarded in one way or another.

However, for who knows what reason, I also think that life can be unfair ... and the good suffer and the bad get away with things.

Who knows .....

Anand2002
12-02-2007, 09:19 AM
The notion of karma developed in societies with caste systems. Where there is (unlike in the US) very little social mobility, those born of a higher caste needed to clear their conscience about the suffering of the lower caste. Therefore, they decided to believe "those low-caste people were were bad in a previous life and have been reincarnated into a lowly life as a result. I need not pity them. Their souls need to learn these hard lessons!"

I didnít mean the life of lower caste as lowly life. I meant the life of a beggar, thief and prostitute. And Iím not a Brahmin.

Sages who have settled the scores of all their previous lives will never have another life. They usually sit in trance, disintegrate the body molecules and release them to the universe. Their bodies do not undergo natural decomposition. They liberate the soul and keep it in a confined space, a live tomb. Temples are built around this tomb and the sageís soul blesses the devotees visiting the temple. You can experience the presence of the sageís soul if you visit centuries old Indian temples. You can get a happy, comfortable and soothing feeling.

Soul is composed of energy particles. When it is released from the body after death, it vibrates based on its desires and wishes. Good souls have good vibrations and distorted souls have bad vibrations. Good souls gets attracted to the souls with the same vibration, that is, it gets its next life in a wealthy, decent family. Likewise bad souls get bad life.

aruna
12-02-2007, 11:43 AM
it's not punishment at all; it's the natural cycle of things and no one escapes it.

That is true.
Whatever is born, must die. Sooner or later.

Anand2002
12-02-2007, 12:11 PM
That is true.
Whatever is born, must die. Sooner or later.
But why some have to die early and painfully?

Angelinity
12-02-2007, 12:55 PM
along the way i made close friends of nearly every (major) faith, atheists, and spiritual people who rejected any organized religion. many are sadly gone and i miss them. but in the process i've learned to respect them equally and love them for what they were. i can't say with certainty whether i've observed karma at work, although towards the end of their lives, some gave signs of questioning their choices and fearing retribution of some sort.

death is hardly ever late, and who can say if any dieing process is indeed painless -- the only events we can observe are those preceeding death itself, whether a long illness or the moments before a sudden demise.

overall, none of my friends' deaths seemed either timely or just. some had lead 'good' lives in their last years, trying to make up for mistakes. some went on and on, begging for death's mercy. others simply died in the midst of day-to-day business.

maybe i will figure it out before my time comes, but most likely i will not.

meanwhile, every moment could be the last. if everyone uses this moment to preach to others, they may miss the opportunity to see to their own doubts and fears. one thing is certain: physical death is 'real' and unavoidable. what happens or doesn't happen after crossing that thin line, we will each learn in our own time.

hopefully there is some form of continuace, some option to evolve further, an opportunity to learn and grow. in that sense, guess i hope that 'karma' is part of the design. one lifetime simply does not seem sufficient, if you know what i mean.

William Haskins
12-02-2007, 07:49 PM
But why some have to die early and painfully?

for the same reason that you roll a die one time and it is a six and another time it is a three.

Don Allen
12-02-2007, 08:08 PM
Hey Haskins, I hope I'm not reading anything ito this, but I kinda think this Karma thing has got you thinking. You rarely post this much on one thread, let alone one subject.. Come on now, you're a closet Karma believer, aren't you. It's Okay, we won't tell. there's really nothing wrong with it... It's ok to smile....

William Haskins
12-02-2007, 09:16 PM
a smile derived from the comfort of superstition is illusory.

Jean Marie
12-02-2007, 11:11 PM
I believe you reap what you sew. I think the concept of karma is kind of a mystic extension of that, that there are other forces working to ensure you reap what you sew. To a small extent, I do believe that, but I don't believe in Karma as a reliable force. I do believe if you give love, you'll receive it, and if you give hate you'll receive it. The rest is life happening.
For the most part, yes. What you put out there, is what happens, cause and effect. If you're an ass, that's a lot of what your life will amount to...angry and hateful.

If you pay it forward, w/ kindness, your life will have a tendency to go more in that direction. That doesn't mean things won't continue to happen. Like Lennon's song, "Life happens while I'm making other plans." I love that line and it's so true.


She died over 8 years ago, and it still immediately brings tears to my eyes to think of her. Your last sentence is probably the most touching thing I've heard since she died. Thanks.:Hug2:
Sorry you lost your mom at such a young age. My mom's in the dying process, now, but she's 80. It's still tough, but I've had her a lifetime, more or less. My dad died a bit over 4 years ago. He was not a nice guy, though. I'm working through that. He died from pancreatic cancer and at the end, was terrified. He wasn't at peace w/ God...can't imagine why not. Yes, I'm being sarcastic.

Fortunately, I'm very close to his brother, a very healthy role model for me. And a very spiritual guy, as well.

My mom's last chemo didn't work and she's contemplating another chemo.


To believe is to suggest that it is a faith-based idea. Karma exists. Nobody has to believe in it.


Haskins, I'll pray for you.
It could work :)




I'm sorry about your mother, but it's common knowledge that "leading a healthy life" does NOT eliminate the chance of dying of cancer, it only reduces it. There are people who don't smoke, don't drink, eat healthy, are Good People and such, yet still get cancer and die at or before age 50.

Ain't that the truth. Cancer hits regardless of age, race, creed, or eating habits.




There are two basic mistakes that humans make: not seeing a pattern that exists, and seeing a pattern that does not exist.

I don't know who said that, either, but I agree it's brilliant, Ben. It speaks to change and the ability to take personal responsibility.


it's not punishment at all; it's the natural cycle of things and no one escapes it.
Absolutely. All of us, animals and plants have a certain life expectancy.


That is true.
Whatever is born, must die. Sooner or later.
The alpha and omega...beginning and end.


But why some have to die early and painfully?
No one has the answer to that, unfortunately.

Magdalen
12-02-2007, 11:30 PM
My real goal in life is to prove the existence of the soul. Wouldn't that just frost Haskins' whiskers???

Jean Marie
12-03-2007, 12:03 AM
My real goal in life is to prove the existence of the soul. Wouldn't that just frost Haskins' whiskers???
Haskins = Heart & Soul

I don't know if he's ready for both, but it's a worthy endeavor. I shall join you in your quest.

nerds
12-03-2007, 12:52 AM
Haskins has whiskers? Frosty ones? ooh baby. (I bet he's actually St. Nick.)


:)

scarletpeaches
12-03-2007, 12:55 AM
I make my own karma.

You fuck me over, I'm not going to wait for the universe to sort you out.

akiwiguy
12-03-2007, 01:54 AM
Like many other religious beliefs, karma acts as a conscience cleanser: if one has much, and believes in karma, one feels little pity for those who suffer, because they must "deserve" it. .

Really sad.

Unfortunately this kind of thing takes a lot of shapes and forms within religious faiths. At certain times exposures to bizarre judgements from others, concerning things over which you have no control, can make one bitter to say the least. I've experienced such times myself, and I think many of us have.

Yet, equally evident to me are the people upon whom I stumble whose lives have been transformed remarkably for the better by their faith and beliefs. There was a given point in my life where it was only the influence of such people that made me not self-destruct in seething bitterness and antagonism towards those who I perceived to have "wronged me"..

The view I've come to is that there is always a characteristic to those kinds of people that I can identify, a paradox... the balls and humility to accept that they do not perhaps understand nearly as much as others might profess to, yet an earth-moving strength of faith in spite of that.

Similarly, I think there is a world of difference between disagreeing with the validity of another's beliefs and being disrespectful (speaking in generalisations here, not with any thought to posts on here). If I did believe in karma, then it would be the opinion that that kind of disrespect is asking for it in bad doses. For example, one of the most moving things to me is when I know that someone has been praying for me. It has nothing to do with how I perceive the validity o fthat person's beliefs. It has largely to do with the realisation that someone is giving to me something that, to them, is their greatest treasure. That demands respect.

To me it gets back to the great "love" passage of the Bible, that loosely translated says, "You can think you know everything, but if you ain't got love you don't know crap."

ErylRavenwell
12-03-2007, 03:23 AM
I have a hard time with karma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma), and maybe I'm not understanding it right. I think it's the belief that what goes around comes around. This is why I have a hard time with it. My mom died from cancer at 50 years old. She was the nicest, most generous, loving person I have ever known. She didn't smoke or drink and ate healthy. What did she do to deserve that? I know no one can answer that. What about murderers or child molesters who haven't been caught or are let off on a technicality? Where's their karma?

This is how I understand the concept, as from a Tibetan buddhist's perspective (note I'm not a buddhist, although I'm well versed in Buddhism): negative kharma is not necessarily a bad thing. If your mother was a sweet woman who died painfully of cancer in this life, then in the next life she'll reap the benefits, perhaps, by being reincarnated as a goddess.

Gods in Buddhism are creatures much like Angels in Christianity. But it's not necessarily a great reincarnation since gods live a blissful life free from suffering. After thousands of years or so (that's their lifespan) they may exhaust their positive kharma and are reincarnated in the lower realms (man, animals or sometimes even the hellish realm). Hence the cycle of life and death continues until you destroy the concept of self and pass away to become omniscient, omnipotent etc like the Buddha. basically you can connect with every being of all realms (bad, good, neutral etc) since you no longer have an ego.

It's a very advance doctrine that requires at least some of Freud's Theory of Instincts and Jung to comprehend.

Pat~
12-03-2007, 04:03 AM
I'm in the camp of not believing in karma--though I do believe that in general principle, we reap what we sow (if not this life, then the next). I guess you could more correctly say I believe in Providence. I believe that everything that happens has a reason, though it may be unknowable at times in this life.

I don't embrace the 'pay it forward' idea, only because in my case that translates to doing good so that good will happen back to me. "Self" is still the center of my universe. Now I'm a fairly selfish person, by nature, and that initially appeals to those instincts in me, but feeding that in myself would leave me ultimately dissatisfied and depressed. Been there, done that.

What I actually believe in is doing good for the sake of something outside of myself--a higher reason. For me personally, the ultimate thing would be to do good solely for the pleasure of God. I'm not sure in this life if my motives can be that pure, but the closer they approach this, the happier I am.

Jean Marie
12-03-2007, 04:17 AM
The paying it forward idea, Pat, is not for yourself, imo. It's doing good for others, for the sake of doing it, to pass on what you've learned, unselfishly. For the greater good. Or, the same as you, a Higher reason.

ETA: Ulterior motives, don't make it quite the same in my book.

Pat~
12-03-2007, 04:38 AM
The paying it forward idea, Pat, is not for yourself, imo. It's doing good for others, for the sake of doing it, to pass on what you've learned, unselfishly. For the greater good. Or, the same as you, a Higher reason.

ETA: Ulterior motives, don't make it quite the same in my book.

It's interesting; I looked up the Pay it Forward movie, and here's the tagline:

Like some other kids, 12-year-old Trevor McKinney believed in the goodness of human nature. Like many other kids, he was determined to change the world for the better. Unlike most other kids, he succeeded.

I think the basic difference I have with this philosophy, while it sounds wonderful, is that I don't believe in the innate 'goodness' of human nature--(apart from regeneration of that nature through Christ.) I believe there is some good in people, reflecting their Creator, but that many times even their 'good' actions are often tainted with Self...and that often we can't even see/understand all of our motives.

Magdalen
12-03-2007, 05:45 AM
Pat, sounds like "Original Sin" has not left the building. Self/Ego, imo, are not inherently bad, but are probably inherently "human", but from our limited perspective, much needed in order to attain and distribute LOVE. I thought that the supreme sacrifice of Christ erased that little burden (OS) from mankind, and we are (if we try, if we believe) no more predisposed toward good than we are toward evil. If one commits murder on Monday, repents on Tuesday and saves a life on Wednesday, what is the "true nature" of that individual? Wouldn't it depend on the day?

scarletpeaches
12-03-2007, 05:47 AM
What's wrong with being selfish?

You can't love others before you've learned to love yourself. A cliche, but true. Self-love isn't bad (and no, I don't mean that in a sticky-fingered way). I do things for my own benefit all the time. It doesn't make me a bad person. It means I have self-respect.

Magdalen
12-03-2007, 05:53 AM
What's wrong with being selfish?

You can't love others before you've learned to love yourself. A cliche, but true. Self-love isn't bad (and no, I don't mean that in a sticky-fingered way). I do things for my own benefit all the time. It doesn't make me a bad person. It means I have self-respect.

Selfish -- Concerned chiefly or only with oneself, without regard for the well-being of others.

Something tells me you don't take it that far.

scarletpeaches
12-03-2007, 05:54 AM
There's definitely an achievable middle-ground somewhere between 'selfish arsehole' and 'spineless doormat'.

Pat~
12-03-2007, 06:13 AM
Pat, sounds like "Original Sin" has not left the building. Self/Ego, imo, are not inherently bad, but are probably inherently "human", but from our limited perspective, much needed in order to attain and distribute LOVE. I thought that the supreme sacrifice of Christ erased that little burden (OS) from mankind, and we are (if we try, if we believe) no more predisposed toward good than we are toward evil. If one commits murder on Monday, repents on Tuesday and saves a life on Wednesday, what is the "true nature" of that individual? Wouldn't it depend on the day?

Magdalen, you've raised a theological question that could probably merit pages of posting for an adequate response. But I guess the short answer would be, (as I believe the Bible says), the original, sin nature is never obliterated fully until we get to heaven. Even as believing Christians, we are in the process of being sanctified (becoming more like Christ), each day. The new nature is born within, which enables one to do good, but it's going to be at war with the original sin nature until we die. Some, even many, battles won; some lost. That's why the Christian life is so much like the life of the Israelites in the Promised Land. Yes, they got the land, but they still had to do battle with the Canaanites. We receive new life, but we still contend with the old nature--though we do it with the grace He supplies. (Romans 7:14-25)

Magdalen
12-03-2007, 06:52 AM
Thanks Pat! So it's the ole Battle of Good vs Evil, waged daily. Yep, I get that. But that doesn't address the "people are basically good/evil question" I suggested that we are on the cusp. And while I was reading your response, it triggered what I really wanted to say to Mr. Haskins about the "sacredness" of humanity. I posted something earlier about "Respect" being a key element to my belief in such. But your post reminded me: Perhaps the distinction between animals and humans is in their abilities to experience Love. Sure, a mother bear will give her life to protect her cubs, but is that love? Or instinct? And many tales have been told of the love between a dog and his "master". But, since we humans have the highest intellect, I think that has a direct impact on our ability to experience the highest form of love as well.

Pat~
12-03-2007, 07:07 AM
Thanks Pat! So it's the ole Battle of Good vs Evil, waged daily. Yep, I get that. But that doesn't address the "people are basically good/evil question" I suggested that we are on the cusp. And while I was reading your response, it triggered what I really wanted to say to Mr. Haskins about the "sacredness" of humanity. I posted something earlier about "Respect" being a key element to my belief in such. But your post reminded me: Perhaps the distinction between animals and humans is in their abilities to experience Love. Sure, a mother bear will give her life to protect her cubs, but is that love? Or instinct? And many tales have been told of the love between a dog and his "master". But, since we humans have the highest intellect, I think that has a direct impact on our ability to experience the highest form of love as well.

You may have something there, Magdalen. Of course, many people feel that the basic difference is that humans have souls--and that would directly impact their ability to love Deity (as opposed to animals not having that ability).

ETA: Re people being basically good/evil; JMO, but I'd say people were inherently sinful (the sin nature thing)--but that even with that, they do reflect varying degrees of their Creator's goodness. This is because they were created in His image, though sin taints that perfection, now.

Magdalen
12-03-2007, 07:13 AM
But, but, don't all dogs go to heaven???

William Haskins
12-03-2007, 07:16 AM
animals protect their young, provide for them, mourn their dead...

it could well be argued that all human love really is is instinct, given a new name and a new dimension by silly self-important creatures who developed consciousness through purely physical evolution.

Pat~
12-03-2007, 07:16 AM
No, just mine. ;)


(Okay, kidding. I honestly wonder about dogs in heaven. Personally, I'm just guessing there might be--though whether they are specific dogs we have known, I don't know. But surely, they're too wonderful of a creation not to have up there!)

Magdalen
12-03-2007, 07:30 AM
animals protect their young, provide for them, mourn their dead...

it could well be argued that all human love really is is instinct, given a new name and a new dimension by silly self-important creatures who developed consciousness through purely physical evolution.


So, maybe, karma is the "balance sheet" that keeps track of it all?

Do you place any stock whatsoever in our (apparent) intellectual superiority? The dual-edgeness of it -- greater rewards, greater trials and tribulations?

William Haskins
12-03-2007, 07:49 AM
all of our pain, all of our tribulations, we have brought on ourselves.

Magdalen
12-03-2007, 07:58 AM
all of our pain, all of our tribulations, we have brought on ourselves.


No doubt about that! We are a self-determining bunch of a yahoos, to be sure. Free will? If we are brave. But that ability to create our own misery (and bliss) is what sets us apart, ie the sanctity of human life. I don't think that animals have this.

writerterri
12-03-2007, 08:05 AM
No. Carma is a theory and wishful thinking. Reality says different. If one always did good and good always came their way then it would prove correct. But you get the good and the bad. There's no scale in which it is measured out for you. You either get more of one or the other or a balance of both. It's just the way it is. I haven't done anything to have all the "hard times" stuff flow freely my way and I surly have done my share of good to help balance it out.

Carma is only a way of positive thinking.

We all want this world to be a wonderful, safe place to live but realty is, is that we live in a fallen world. No one is subject to just the "good" things in life no matter what label is put on it.

Magdalen
12-03-2007, 08:09 AM
I don't think Karma is meant to be measured within the constrains of our human conception of time. Specifically, it extends beyond a single, perceived lifetime.

William Haskins
12-03-2007, 08:11 AM
We all want this world to be a wonderful, safe place to live but realty is, is that we live in a fallen world.

the world is not fallen. we are, and have been from the moment we saw ourselves as something other than one thread among billions in the fabric of nature.

Magdalen
12-03-2007, 08:20 AM
No. Carma is a theory and wishful thinking. Reality says different.

snip

Perhaps I hear Reality play a different tune. I shall step to the music I hear, however measured or far away. (With deep respect as I paraphrase Thoreau)

ErylRavenwell
12-03-2007, 08:36 AM
Pat, sounds like "Original Sin" has not left the building. Self/Ego, imo, are not inherently bad, but are probably inherently "human", but from our limited perspective, much needed in order to attain and distribute LOVE. I thought that the supreme sacrifice of Christ erased that little burden (OS) from mankind, and we are (if we try, if we believe) no more predisposed toward good than we are toward evil. If one commits murder on Monday, repents on Tuesday and saves a life on Wednesday, what is the "true nature" of that individual? Wouldn't it depend on the day?

About the Concept of Ego:

I conjecture that on this one particular matter, Christianity resembles Buddhism more than it does Islam or Judaism. Basically, as Pat wrote (I'm not sure I interpret her intentions correctly though) we are all flawed creatures. The self is something innately wrong because anything sinful reinforces it. "Sins", here, refers to hatred, fear, greed etc, as it is the concensus among Christians and Buddhists.

On the other hand, compassion, love (I'm not talking of love of self, which is vanity), charity etc destroy the ego, because your focus is on someone else other than yourself, and you're no longer the centre of attention. This is pillar of Christianity, and the reason why Jesus said: "Love your neighbour as you love yourself."

Pat~
12-03-2007, 09:34 AM
About the Concept of Ego:

I conjecture that on this one particular matter, Christianity resembles Buddhism more than it does Islam or Judaism. Basically, as Pat wrote (I'm not sure I interpret her intentions correctly though) we are all flawed creatures. The self is something innately wrong because anything sinful reinforces it. "Sins", here, refers to hatred, fear, greed etc, as it is the concensus among Christians and Buddhists.


Yes, that's just about what I said--with a slight distinction. We are all flawed creatures. But "the self is something innately wrong because anything sinful reinforces it" I think I'd rephrase to say, "the self is innately sinful"--not because sin 'reinforces self,' but because self is tainted with sin. In other words, there's nothing innately wrong with self except for the sin attached to it. Self in its original state was beautiful and perfect.

aruna
12-03-2007, 11:49 AM
Well, sInce this is a "karmic" thread, I'll expound on the Vedantic theory of good and evil!

According to that, we are all, everyone one of us, innately pure spirit, without a flaw, and deathless. Like pure water. The moment we are born, however, that pure spirit, the foundation of our being, gets a seperate "I", or ego, and our lives are spent building up that ego and identifying with it. The more we feed it, the stronger it gets and the more the innate, pure being which is its foundation is concealed. We think we "are" our personalities, but a personality is merely an additive, built up of self-centered thoughts, like dye added to pure water. It has no substance of its own. Its substratum is that pure being, on to which it is superimposed.

The metaphor most often used in Vedanta is that of "the snake, which is in fact a rope". With unclear vision, you see a snake. When you look more closely, you see the snake is, in fact, a rope.

The more selfish/evil attitudes we develop, the more that pure self is obscured. The snake gets stronger, the rope obscured.

According to that theory, religious practice of EVERY kind--be it Christian prayer, meditation, or whatever - has the aim of drawing back the veil of "snake" which is the "I" or ego, to reveal the original state of pure consciousness-- the "rope"-- which is overwhelming bliss.

That is why we are happiest when we love, because love is a lack of "I"ness or selfishness. Or we are happy when we get something we wanted badly, because for a moment desire had left us and we again see the ground of our being. And that is why there is extreme happiness in extreme selflessness. It's a pure and desireless happiness, happiness for its own sake.

The teaching being that no matter what our circumstances, happiness is right here, right now, our birthright. And that all religions have the aim of bringing us back to that state.

In some people, Vedantists say, it can happen quite spontanously, for a few moments or much longer, even permanently. Mostly, it entails long years of practice to dis-cover the "rope" from the illusion of "snake".

According to Vedanta, God is a metaphor for supreme and ultimate love, happiness and wisdom--not a person. Religions are metaphors for returning to ourselves, the way we ought to be. Most religions go wrong along the way becuase people misunderstand and corrupt the original teaching to suit their own selfish ends, or try to force others into it.

As for me, since I was a child I was fascinated by the workings of my own mind. I used to sit and observe it for hours on end, even as an eight year old. SO I was very well prepared for this kind of enquiry.

PS ANd I see from Pat's last post she said something similar, though froma Christian perspective:

Yes, that's just about what I said--with a slight distinction. We are all flawed creatures. But "the self is something innately wrong because anything sinful reinforces it" I think I'd rephrase to say, "the self is innately sinful"--not because sin 'reinforces self,' but because self is tainted with sin. In other words, there's nothing innately wrong with self except for the sin attached to it. Self in its original state was beautiful and perfect.

ErylRavenwell
12-03-2007, 12:26 PM
Yes, that's just about what I said--with a slight distinction. We are all flawed creatures. But "the self is something innately wrong because anything sinful reinforces it" I think I'd rephrase to say, "the self is innately sinful"--not because sin 'reinforces self,' but because self is tainted with sin. In other words, there's nothing innately wrong with self except for the sin attached to it. Self in its original state was beautiful and perfect.

I wouldn't call that a slight distinction, Pat; it's a rift. :D But I'm not disagreeing with you, neither am I agreeing. I'm open to all ideological possibilities, yours included...but I embrace none. I'm pretty much neutral, you see.

Back to the argument. Of course I can still argue that any notion of self involves an element of clinging, and hence sins. As long as there is the self there can be no perfection. And since you're a Christian (I, myself, am a cultural, nominal Catholic), I'll use the fallen angels as a paradigm to reinforce my argument. If you're perfect you don't go astray.

Pat~
12-03-2007, 05:57 PM
I wouldn't call that a slight distinction, Pat; it's a rift. :D But I'm not disagreeing with you, neither am I agreeing. I'm open to all ideological possibilities, yours included...but I embrace none. I'm pretty much neutral, you see.

Back to the argument. Of course I can still argue that any notion of self involves an element of clinging, and hence sins. As long as there is the self there can be no perfection. And since you're a Christian (I, myself, am a cultural, nominal Catholic), I'll use the fallen angels as a paradigm to reinforce my argument. If you're perfect you don't go astray.

I'm glad you caught the distinction; I was wondering if I'd lose you in all that verbiage! True, if you're perfect you don't go astray. But the only Man who was that was also God, for only God is perfect. In the Bible, the Greek word used for "perfect" as applied to humans is a word that actually means 'mature' and refers to growing in the faith. As Christians, we are "being perfected" (that's the verb tense used in scripture), so that we are gradually becoming more like Christ IF we are yielding our first nature to Him on a moment by moment basis. And that gets back to that daily battle idea mentioned earlier.

There is another sense in which we are 'made perfect' in the Bible that needs mentioning, though. It's in the positional sense...that when we accept what Christ has done for us on the cross, our sins (past, present, future) are atoned for, covered over by His blood--so that we now stand before God clothed in Christ's righteousness, despite our continuing human struggle with sin. At that point in time we have become "positionally" perfect--justified by grace through faith in Christ. It doesn't mean we cease to sin, but that when God sees us, He sees the blood of His Son that cleanses us in His eyes. We still attempt to fight sin, though, and to confess it, as this is what keeps us in close walk and communion with God.

Elodie-Caroline
12-03-2007, 07:15 PM
I can't think of anyone on this earth whom is perfect, even if they, themselves, think they are. But there is always repentance, and I mean true repentance; anyone can utter the words sorry... the real stuff comes straight from the heart.
Heaven would be a pretty empty place if it was only meant for perfect people ;)



If you're perfect you don't go astray.

Jean Marie
12-03-2007, 07:38 PM
It's interesting; I looked up the Pay it Forward movie, and here's the tagline:

Like some other kids, 12-year-old Trevor McKinney believed in the goodness of human nature. Like many other kids, he was determined to change the world for the better. Unlike most other kids, he succeeded.

I think the basic difference I have with this philosophy, while it sounds wonderful, is that I don't believe in the innate 'goodness' of human nature--(apart from regeneration of that nature through Christ.) I believe there is some good in people, reflecting their Creator, but that many times even their 'good' actions are often tainted with Self...and that often we can't even see/understand all of our motives.
Pat, I reposted my original since that's my interpretation, rather it's how I do things. More to the point, it's what my beliefs are, not to be confused w/ the tag line of the movie :)

The paying it forward idea, Pat, is not for yourself, imo. It's doing good for others, for the sake of doing it, to pass on what you've learned, unselfishly. For the greater good. Or, the same as you, a Higher reason.

ETA: Ulterior motives, don't make it quite the same in my book.


What's wrong with being selfish?

You can't love others before you've learned to love yourself. A cliche, but true. Self-love isn't bad (and no, I don't mean that in a sticky-fingered way). I do things for my own benefit all the time. It doesn't make me a bad person. It means I have self-respect.
You're correct in this, you can't give it away if you don't have it. What I was talking about, was sharing experiences that you've been through w/ others, in order to help them. Doing so unselfishly, not expecting anything in return. Or, just helping someone because. Again, no strings attached. No ulterior motives. Just doing so, because you want to. I do believe in that.


But, but, don't all dogs go to heaven???
I sure hope so. I'm expecting to see a few of mine, when I get there.


animals protect their young, provide for them, mourn their dead...

it could well be argued that all human love really is is instinct, given a new name and a new dimension by silly self-important creatures who developed consciousness through purely physical evolution.
Human love is instinctual, I agree, but somewhere it does get skewed. Usually by our arrogance and greed.

scarletpeaches
12-03-2007, 07:40 PM
...You're correct in this, you can't give it away if you don't have it. What I was talking about, was sharing experiences that you've been through w/ others, in order to help them. Doing so unselfishly, not expecting anything in return. Or, just helping someone because. Again, no strings attached. No ulterior motives. Just doing so, because you want to. I do believe in that...

I sure hope so, because I haven't lost my faith in human nature yet.

Jean Marie
12-03-2007, 07:44 PM
I sure hope so, because I haven't lost my faith in human nature yet.
If we do, we're doomed. Since it's all we have, really.

Pat~
12-03-2007, 08:31 PM
Originally Posted by scarletpeaches
I sure hope so, because I haven't lost my faith in human nature yet.


If we do, we're doomed. Since it's all we have, really.
Now if that were true, we would be doomed. ;)

aruna
12-04-2007, 10:49 AM
animals protect their young, provide for them, mourn their dead...

it could well be argued that all human love really is is instinct, given a new name and a new dimension by silly self-important creatures who developed consciousness through purely physical evolution.

And some animals respond to human love. Dogs, for instance. And horses.

Plants respond to love too... ask any gardener.

It could therefor be argued that love is the very substance of consciousness and life itself, something universal and intelligent that binds us all together, even between species, and connects us one with the other.

And the lack of which destroys us.

William Haskins
12-05-2007, 06:49 AM
i'd like to believe that.

brokenfingers
12-05-2007, 07:04 AM
And some animals respond to human love. Dogs, for instance. And horses.

Plants respond to love too... ask any gardener.

It could therefor be argued that love is the very substance of consciousness and life itself, something universal and intelligent that binds us all together, even between species, and connects us one with the other.

And the lack of which destroys us.Love is a force; one of many not yet understood or fully studied (there are many other forces not even known yet by man - the universe is large indeed.)

I propose that love, as hate, is merely one form of manipulation of energy.

TrainofThought
12-05-2007, 07:17 AM
Love is a force; one of many not yet understood or fully studied (there are many other forces not even known yet by man - the universe is large indeed.)

I propose that love, as hate, is merely one form of manipulation of energy.There is no factual evidence to prove love.

As for hate, I'd have to say that's a man-made word meaning the absence of love like dark is the absence of light.

brokenfingers
12-05-2007, 07:22 AM
There is no factual evidence to prove love.

As for hate, I'd have to say that's a man-made word meaning the absence of love like dark is the absence of light.While maybe never scientifically studied or verified, the evidence of the power of love is long and storied throughout the history of humankind and their relations with the world around them.

As for hate - it has not only changed people and their lives but has changed history, geography, toppled nations and obliterated whole peoples. Is that not a force to be reckoned with?

TrainofThought
12-05-2007, 07:31 AM
While maybe never scientifically studied or verified, the evidence of the power of love is long and storied throughout the history of humankind and their relations with the world around them.

As for hate - it has not only changed people and their lives but has changed history, geography, toppled nations and obliterated whole peoples. Is that not a force to be reckoned with?But, there is absolutely no evidence to show someone loves. Humans give words power, but that doesnít mean itís factual. Iím not arguing that we donít or canít love, Iím arguing the fact that not everything in this world can be proven and we all have our own ways to define things. So to me, Love is blind faith.

Yes, hate is Ďnot a force to be reckoned with,í because it is the absence of love.

William Haskins
12-05-2007, 07:47 AM
But, there is absolutely no evidence to show someone loves.

there absolutely is evidence that people love.

TrainofThought
12-05-2007, 07:57 AM
there absolutely is evidence that people love.Not scientific evidence, and if there is please post the links. I'd like to read about how love was scientifically proven.

And doing and showing good isn't evidence of love, it's merely humans way of tagging and defining these beautiful acts.

William Haskins
12-05-2007, 08:06 AM
But, there is absolutely no evidence to show someone loves.


Not scientific evidence


we're a little goal-post mover, aren't we?

Don Allen
12-05-2007, 08:22 AM
Geeze I hate it when someone makes me agree with Haskins, Thanks alot TOT, even if we're Chi town neighbors I would say that scientific evidence in the form of behavorial studies cross linking different species proves love as a force does exsist, "Gorrillas in the mist" case in point....

TrainofThought
12-05-2007, 08:36 AM
we're a little goal-post mover, aren't we?What can I say, Haskins, you're a genius, but some of us tend to leave out words to avoid repetition, which in turn apparently confused you. First post:
There is no factual evidence to prove love.
Geeze I hate it when someone makes me agree with Haskins, Thanks alot TOT, even if we're Chi town neighbors I would say that scientific evidence in the form of behavorial studies cross linking different species proves love as a force does exsist, "Gorrillas in the mist" case in point....Behavorial studies in different species DOES NOT prove love. I never said anything about 'existing.' I said love isn't scientifically proven. You're a Cubs fan, aren't you? ;)

Don Allen
12-05-2007, 09:01 AM
What can I say, Haskins, you're a genius, but some of us tend to leave out words to avoid repetition, which in turn apparently confused you. First post: Behavorial studies in different species DOES NOT prove love. I never said anything about 'existing.' I said love isn't scientifically proven. You're a Cubs fan, aren't you? ;)

Actually I gave up on the Cubs when they traded Bruce Sutter, but in the "Mist studies" I can't remember the chicks name, (sig weavor did the movie) anyway she observed that the affection garnered her by the primates as a part of their society showed a finite correlation defined by humans as love. Her studies prove that animals of differing species can have affection for one another without the possibilty of reproduction. Those who claim love cannot be proven, do so under the tennant that sex for reproduction is the motivating factor behind whatever feelings an animal or human might have for one another. Her studies conclusively provide scientific evidence that sex is not a mitigating factor behind affection, therefore - love does exsist as a scientific conclusion to her studies, there was no other logical conclusion that could be deduced from her experiments. Basically the same reason humans own cats and dogs, most of us don't try to reproduce with them, (notice I covered myself) therfore we must love them....

brokenfingers
12-05-2007, 09:06 AM
What can I say, Haskins, you're a genius, but some of us tend to leave out words to avoid repetition, which in turn apparently confused you. First post: Behavorial studies in different species DOES NOT prove love. I never said anything about 'existing.' I said love isn't scientifically proven. You're a Cubs fan, aren't you? ;)I'm curious: Are you saying you don't believe in love?

TrainofThought
12-05-2007, 09:21 AM
Actually I gave up on the Cubs when they traded Bruce Sutter, but in the "Mist studies" I can't remember the chicks name, (sig weavor did the movie) anyway she observed that the affection garnered her by the primates as a part of their society showed a finite correlation defined by humans as love. Her studies prove that animals of differing species can have affection for one another without the possibilty of reproduction. Those who claim love cannot be proven, do so under the tennant that sex for reproduction is the motivating factor behind whatever feelings an animal or human might have for one another. Her studies conclusively provide scientific evidence that sex is not a mitigating factor behind affection, therefore - love does exsist as a scientific conclusion to her studies, there was no other logical conclusion that could be deduced from her experiments. Basically the same reason humans own cats and dogs, most of us don't try to reproduce with them, (notice I covered myself) therfore we must love them....I'd have to read her conclusions before commenting on it further. I have never seen scientific evidence, and I googled "factual evidence concerning love" and the only things that come up are religious comments and people's opinion. I bolded that area to show that humans define it.


I'm curious: Are you saying you don't believe in love?No, I believe in love. I was pointing out that there is no scientific evidence and that we all have our own expressions and definitions of love. Mine is different than yours.
So to me, Love is blind faith.

John Paton
12-05-2007, 10:33 AM
ToT

My theory

Falling in love releases certain chemicals into the bloodstream that make you feel happy and smiley. And a little dopey.

This wears off after 6 months or so. The chemical part of love has gone. Left behind is the comfortable feeling of having someone around you can relax with.

Therefore love is scientifically proven !!

This theory is all mine and you can borrow it on the weekends if you wish. ;)

brokenfingers
12-05-2007, 10:34 AM
I'd have to read her conclusions before commenting on it further. I have never seen scientific evidence, and I googled "factual evidence concerning love" and the only things that come up are religious comments and people's opinion. I bolded that area to show that humans define it.

No, I believe in love. I was pointing out that there is no scientific evidence and that we all have our own expressions and definitions of love. Mine is different than yours.
If you have felt love – what further proof do you need?

I don’t need a scientist to tell me that I breathe or that I hunger or that I lust. I don’t need them to tell me that I sometimes need to sleep or eat or dream. Nor do I need them to tell me that I like women and that I have an unhealthy love for speed.

I don’t need them to verify that I have bad habits nor that I am basically a good man.

I don’t need them to tell me why a flower smells good to me or why a woman I like makes me smile.

I don’t need a scientific thesis to tell me that I’m alive or that love is real.

I need nothing but the proof that my own eyes, hands, body, heart, soul and mind provide me.

Love is a force. It is real.

Love will make you risk it all. Not because you think you can do it - but because you know you must.

It’ll make you wrap your arms around a strap tied to a helicopter descending in flames even though you know it’s crazy and impossible and it might mean your own demise. Love leaves no choices.

Love can both bind and it can free. It can make the strongest man weak and the weakest man strong. It can make a king a fool and a fool a king. It can pull a person outside themselves and cause them to achieve the impossible.

Love is both the best thing and the worst thing that can happen to a person.

Love is a paradox.

I have felt its effects firsthand and have seen its effect upon the world around me. I have no need for a group of men in labcoats or college students and chimps doing a survey to verify it for me.

It is real.

Love is a force to be reckoned with. And let any person argue otherwise to their own peril.

Angelinity
12-05-2007, 10:59 AM
oo-ho... i sure missed something here: scientific study of love?? how exactly would one go about researching, testing and proving the existence of Love?

TrainofThought
12-05-2007, 06:58 PM
ToT

My theory

Falling in love releases certain chemicals into the bloodstream that make you feel happy and smiley. And a little dopey.

This wears off after 6 months or so. The chemical part of love has gone. Left behind is the comfortable feeling of having someone around you can relax with.

Therefore love is scientifically proven !!

This theory is all mine and you can borrow it on the weekends if you wish. ;)I like your theory, John.. I might use it when Iím luring in one of my victims. ;)

Angelinity
12-05-2007, 07:13 PM
Originally Posted by John Paton


My theory

Falling in love releases certain chemicals into the bloodstream that make you feel happy and smiley. And a little dopey.

This wears off after 6 months or so. The chemical part of love has gone. Left behind is the comfortable feeling of having someone around you can relax with.

Therefore love is scientifically proven !!

mmno -- that's a little like lust / sexual attraction. love is... not lust.

davids
12-05-2007, 08:56 PM
Originally Posted by John Paton


mmno -- that's a little like lust / sexual attraction. love is... not lust.


but it is oh so nice when they go together like a horse and carriage!

The truly humble man never considers humility!

benbradley
12-05-2007, 09:56 PM
There is no factual evidence to prove love.

As for hate, I'd have to say that's a man-made word meaning the absence of love like dark is the absence of light.
I've heard of apathy being the opposite of love, and that seems more accurate to me. Both love and hate involve a strong emotional entanglement with the object of the emotion.

And are you implying that love is NOT a man-made word?

Love is a force; one of many not yet understood or fully studied (there are many other forces not even known yet by man - the universe is large indeed.)

I propose that love, as hate, is merely one form of manipulation of energy.
Love has a large number of entries in any dictionary, but an all-encompassing definition for me is love is an emotion. Whether the existence of emotions is "scientifically provable" is an intereting question, but not something I want to get into in this post (though someone else is welcome to run with that question!). Practically, I'll admit that emotions exist in the minds of humans.

If you have felt love Ė what further proof do you need?
I'm not arguing whether love (outside of it being an emotion) exists or not, but I don't consider "feeling" to be evidence. I've felt the presence of God, yet I am an atheist (yes, there's a long story between these two things). Read George Orwell's "1984." It's possible to "feel" things to be true that are not true, including basic "truths" such as 2+2=5.

I donít need a scientist to tell me that I breathe or that I hunger or that I lust. I donít need them to tell me that I sometimes need to sleep or eat or dream. Nor do I need them to tell me that I like women and that I have an unhealthy love for speed.
(wondering if that last word means a high rate of locomotion, or a variety of drug...)

Love is a paradox.
Quantum physics is a paradox. Thus (by too many people's understanding of logic), quantum physics is love.:)

DL Hegel
12-06-2007, 01:05 AM
i agree with Siddow. i think if you pay close attention--you see evidence of karma all the time. i think death is fated and when we learn all we can from this life we go onto the next. we can not always know the karma of others but we get glimpses. it is not always immediate but it comes--sooner or later. unfortunately we all must leave life--but more important and lasting than how and why --is--what mark have we left--what good have we done--how better are the lives of our loved for having us to share the journey. because life is a journey--and how wonderful, terrifying and strange it can be. i have lost many loved ones from a very young age and would never give up the sorrow of losing them --because that would mean that i didn't have them in my heart and my life. and karma says i will see them again. (because friends and loved ones are always as close as your heart) hold on to the good.

I believe in karma, but I think the big things (like when you die, and how) are left to fate.

I see karma in action all the time--I tell my kids to do something, they sass, then wham! Someone's walking into a wall or stubbing a toe on a table leg.

I called a woman a 'rock muncher' cause she had knarly teeth (not to her face) and wham! My daughter bites into a rock (!!!! she was 18 months old) and breaks her front teeth.

Karma is in the little things. I see it as life's little zingers. :D

William Haskins
12-06-2007, 04:51 AM
What can I say, Haskins, you're a genius, but some of us tend to leave out words to avoid repetition, which in turn apparently confused you.

i am not responsible for what words you use, ma'am. you are.

it takes neither a genius nor a confused person to know there's a difference between "there is absolutely no evidence" and no "scientific evidence", ma'am.

so, instead of fretting over whether or not you confused me with your brilliance, start by perusing this site for five minutes.

http://www.msu.edu/~marianaj/Evidence.htm

and, hey, as always... have a wonderful evening.

Death Wizard
12-06-2007, 07:51 AM
the desperate desire of humans to find some pattern to existence outside of observable nature amuses (and, admittedly, intrigues) me.

Through meditation, karma is very much an observable nature. And there is nothing desperate about it.

William Haskins
12-06-2007, 08:01 AM
Through meditation, karma is very much an observable nature.

a ridiculous statement.

even if one sets aside the aspect of karma that transcends lifetimes via reincarnation (which has not and cannot be proven), one is left only with karmic law in the realm of human existence, which relies expressly on action.

therefore meditation can, at best, only serve as a condition in which one can mentally dwell on karmic issues, but it can neither alter nor advance them.

Death Wizard
12-06-2007, 08:05 AM
I'm in the camp of not believing in karma. Since the OP asked why we do or don't believe, here's my reason.

It's part of the Buddhist and Hindu religions and it's based on reincarnation. Depending on how well, or badly, someone lives their life, it will will determine if they come back to earth, bodily, to a more pleasant -- or less pleasant -- life to reap the benefits or punishments for their actions.

Being that it's based in the belief of reincarnation, and the Bible doesn't support reincarnation, it also doesn't support karma.

Hebrews 9:27 says, "And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment..." (Emphasis mine.)

You get one shot on this earth. You're only going to die once. Notice it also says that after that comes judgment. No second chance. In God's plan you get one shot at this life, living it according to His plan.

True, the Bible talks a lot about sowing and reaping, but that's not karma. The Bible says that you will reap what you sow in this lifetime. Part of that "one shot" deal. It also says that you will sow what you reap in eternity, whether it's rewards or punishments. That's not bodily on this earth, so, again, the Bible doesn't support karma.

Galatians 6:8-9 says, "Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So letís not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we donít give up."

Again, that's not coming back to this earth bodily, as reincarnation and karma talk about.

In the Christian belief, what's important to remember is that it was Jesus's death on the cross, as the sacrifice, that paid the price for us that results in the reaping that we have available to us for now and into eternity.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you canít take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."

It's not reincarnation, it's rebirth. They're entirely different concepts. Karma or kamma is as densely defined by Buddhist text as anything Christians could quote from their endless scriptures. You're making judgements about things that you don't understand -- or care to understand. Am I the only person on Earth who finds this level of narrow-mindedness annoying?

Death Wizard
12-06-2007, 08:10 AM
a ridiculous statement.

even if one sets aside the aspect of karma that transcends lifetimes via reincarnation (which has not and cannot be proven), one is left only with karmic law in the realm of human existence, which relies expressly on action.

therefore meditation can, at best, only serve as a condition in which one can mentally dwell on karmic issues, but it can neither alter nor advance them.

If it's a ridiculous statement, then the billion-plus people on Earth who believe this to be true are also ridiculous. You could not be more wrong.

William Haskins
12-06-2007, 08:15 AM
If it's a ridiculous statement, then the billion-plus people on Earth who believe this to be true are also ridiculous.

i don't know that i buy your connection there.

besides, 3.2 billion people believe the olympics are interesting tv viewing, so i don't put much stock in mass delusion.



You could not be more wrong.

stick around. you'll be surprised...

ErylRavenwell
12-06-2007, 08:43 AM
a ridiculous statement.

even if one sets aside the aspect of karma that transcends lifetimes via reincarnation (which has not and cannot be proven), one is left only with karmic law in the realm of human existence, which relies expressly on action.

therefore meditation can, at best, only serve as a condition in which one can mentally dwell on karmic issues, but it can neither alter nor advance them.

The meditative state (at a very high level) is an altered state of awareness.

ErylRavenwell
12-06-2007, 08:48 AM
Through meditation, karma is very much an observable nature. And there is nothing desperate about it.

I understand what you're talking about. But I wouldn't tell that to someone who has never meditated in his life. This is an "esoteric" argument.

Death Wizard
12-06-2007, 06:14 PM
a ridiculous statement.

even if one sets aside the aspect of karma that transcends lifetimes via reincarnation (which has not and cannot be proven), one is left only with karmic law in the realm of human existence, which relies expressly on action.

therefore meditation can, at best, only serve as a condition in which one can mentally dwell on karmic issues, but it can neither alter nor advance them.

You underestimate the power of the human mind and its inter-relationship with the universe as a whole if you think it cannot alter or advance virtually anything within our experience. The ironic thing is, my guess is that you're the type of person who would be blown away by meditation, if you were to give it a try under the tutelage of an English-speaking monk or experienced Western teacher. You'd be surprised by how much science and common sense go into the process. Observing karma in action would be only one of many things that you would be able to accomplish.

Death Wizard
12-06-2007, 06:26 PM
I understand what you're talking about. But I wouldn't tell that to someone who has never meditated in his life. This is an "esoteric" argument.

I hear you.

William Haskins
12-06-2007, 06:59 PM
The ironic thing is, my guess is that you're the type of person who would be blown away by meditation, if you were to give it a try under the tutelage of an English-speaking monk or experienced Western teacher.

what makes you think i haven't?

Devil Ledbetter
12-06-2007, 07:01 PM
what makes you think i haven't?Because you don't talk like you drank the purple Kool-aid.

Death Wizard
12-06-2007, 07:02 PM
what makes you think i haven't?

There are certain arguments you wouldn't be making if you had.

William Haskins
12-06-2007, 07:05 PM
i dispute that.

meditation, for all its benefits in deep relaxation, self-awareness and mental stillness, contains no self-evident metaphysical experience.

we'll just have to agree to disagree on this.

Death Wizard
12-06-2007, 07:11 PM
Okay. I agree to disagree.

Angelinity
12-06-2007, 07:15 PM
meditation, for all its benefits in deep relaxation, self-awareness and mental stillness, contains no self-evident metaphysical experience.



i think it depends what it is the meditator aims to achieve. meditation is a mere tool -- it can be used as you say. but the difference is in the intent.

achieving Oneness is not a trivial pursuit. though not likely, it is possible to achieve (scientifuically proven? no.). meditation can be a method.

AceTachyon
12-07-2007, 03:20 AM
Karma is. Karma isn't.

It's there. It's not there.

Do we argue over the composition of an asteroid ("It's a C-type!" "No! S-type!" "No! It's both!") or just be part of the Universe as it does its Universe thing?

Just a thought...

William Haskins
12-07-2007, 03:27 AM
an asteroid is a quantifiable object in physical space. karma, in my view, is an attempt to impose a cause and effect relationship where one doesn't exist.

scarletpeaches
12-07-2007, 03:54 AM
I think what Haskins is trying to say is, "Shit happens. Get over it."

AceTachyon
12-07-2007, 04:12 AM
an asteroid is a quantifiable object in physical space. karma, in my view, is an attempt to impose a cause and effect relationship where one doesn't exist.

I believe that in getting caught up with quantifying, we forget the "big picture."

We can dissect a poem, a song, a story into its component words, meter, notes, melody, verbs, nouns, etc., find out what makes it tick, find out how it works.

Good for us.

But in the end, it's the complete poem, song, or story that we enjoy.

Just one view.


I think what Haskins is trying to say is, "Shit happens. Get over it."

I prefer to see it as "The Universe happens. Be."

Probably the same thing. Just different words.

Again, just one view.

As to the OP: Do I believe in karma?

Answer: Is it necessary to believe or not believe in karma?

Akuma
12-07-2007, 04:16 AM
Karma is having bad shit happen to you after you do something you knew was wrong.

However, if you're walking down the sidewalk and you see one of those big cracks staring at you, and you kind of shuffle to avoid it, but then you still end up tripping over it--that's just being human.

aruna
12-07-2007, 10:57 AM
You underestimate the power of the human mind and its inter-relationship with the universe as a whole if you think it cannot alter or advance virtually anything within our experience. The ironic thing is, my guess is that you're the type of person who would be blown away by meditation, if you were to give it a try under the tutelage of an English-speaking monk or experienced Western teacher. You'd be surprised by how much science and common sense go into the process. Observing karma in action would be only one of many things that you would be able to accomplish.


Yes, I agree with you.
The trouble is that the word "meditation" has so many interpretations.
Therein lies the difficulty in communicating.
For most people "out there" who have never seriosuly tried to understand, meditation is just some kind of dreamy, pleasant dabbling in visualisations. To others it is floating on clouds among heavenly daisies. To others, it is imagininig ytouself in a field with fluffy bunnies. To others yet, it is Kool Aid.

I myself almost never use the word unless I know that the people I am tlaking to know exactly what I mean-- and that is certainly not just relaxation, deep or otherwise, as Haskins implies.

I agree totally with you that he would be blown away if he were to lend himself, without the pre-conceptions he mentioned in his post above, to something with more depth than the above. He has a certain clarity and discernment of mind that many who attempt it lack.

Meditation in its purest form is absolute science. Just that it is science turned inwards, towards consciousness itself, rather than outwards, towards the world as observed in consciousness.

Bartholomew
12-07-2007, 01:41 PM
animals protect their young, provide for them, mourn their dead...

it could well be argued that all human love really is is instinct, given a new name and a new dimension by silly self-important creatures who developed consciousness through purely physical evolution.

The fundamental flaw behind such a nihilistic view, as I see it, is that it fails to account for life. You count the blood and the bone, but you discount the mind as a mere side effect. Our consciousness does things, whether we want them to or not, that have no roots in finding the next meal, or in protecting the herd. Why write a poem? To what end does it serve our survival? Are there really hard wired instincts to tell us to be artistic? Sure, all that stuff has to be represented in "the code," somehow -- there is a physical reason for everything. But if you peek just beyond that, there is something there besides a void.

Where, in science, do we find void? Even in the farthest fathom of space, there can be found no true void - no spot where there is simply nothing. Why then should we assume that void to exist anywhere? Because it is an easy explanation? God is an easy explanation, too.

I'll do anything to avoid studying for my finals, won't I?

Bartholomew
12-07-2007, 01:47 PM
meditation, for all its benefits in deep relaxation, self-awareness and mental stillness, contains no self-evident metaphysical experience.


Haskins is right. There is nothing mystic about meditation. It relaxes the body, and if done correctly, trains the mind to focus on the immediate present. This produces a mind-set that is more conducive to critical thinking. It's exercise for the brain.

There are other routes along which meditation can take you-- and you can certainly see a lot of pretty lights and interesting images if you follow some of them. But these are as valuable as a good firework show, and probably as metaphysical as a tab of LSD.

aruna
12-07-2007, 01:54 PM
I think what Haskins is trying to say is, "Shit happens. Get over it."


Which is exactly what meditation is about: getting over shit.

Mac H.
12-07-2007, 02:18 PM
(Double post - removed)

Mac H.
12-07-2007, 02:19 PM
Of course Karma exists.

If you park in a parking space that is actually someone else's, you've done something bad. Then you come back to your car after shopping and find the tires have been slashed, the windscreen smashed in and 'DON'T PARK IN MY SPACE' spray painted down the side.

That is Karma at work. A humble agent of the universe has acted to ensure that a 'bad' act is repaid with suffering. And can you blame the person who smashed your car, when they are just acting to follow the laws of Karma?

But Karma will ensure that the agent who caused you suffering (by damaging your car) will, in turn, suffer. And the agent that caused that suffering will, in turn suffer again.

So Karma will cause pain to spiral endlessly.

Karma may be a human invention, but perhaps our world would still be a better place without it.

Mac

Bartholomew
12-07-2007, 02:21 PM
Meditation in its purest form is absolute science.

I'd love to see this statement clarified. I meditate every day, and I do not see the relation between it and scientific method. The benefits are (to me) obvious, but at the same time, immeasurable and quantifiable only in terms of emotion.

aruna
12-07-2007, 02:53 PM
I'd love to see this statement clarified. I meditate every day, and I do not see the relation between it and scientific method. The benefits are (to me) obvious, but at the same time, immeasurable and quantifiable only in terms of emotion.


It depends on the method you are using - as I mentioned earlier.,I don't know how you meditate. So, I con't cpomment on this in any way that would be helpful to you.

But, there is a method that cultivates so called "witness consciousness". In this, the observer "I" separates itself from the observed; the mind has to be gradually drawn back to the very source of thought
and from that position of non-duality it can observe the CONTENTS of mind from a place of complete stillness. There is no judgement in the sense of "this is a bad/good thought", neither is one caught up in thought and/or emotion. That is why I call it scientific.
ONe separates oneslf from all that is going on within the mind. It results in a gardual clearing out of all the mental rubbish that has accumulated there over the years, so that even that can be observed, understood, and eventially discarded.

But I donlt feel confortable discussing this on an open board. If yould like to discuss it privately please pm me.

Inky
12-07-2007, 03:35 PM
My sister is mentally disabled--my mother had Rubella Measles when pregnant with her.
She's severely handicapped. She kept suffering from things like water on the brain before she was even one. They predicted she wouldn't survive her second year. This was back in the 60's, when medical anything was still in the dark ages.
My grandmother took over her care--another dark story we'll leave out--before she was nine months.
When my sister was seven, my grandmother's neighbor was appalled that my grandmother wasn't embarrassed to be seen in public with 'this child'. Horrible things were said about 'those people' being God's mistake.
Hmmm...wonder if this is when I began turning from Christians?
She proceeded to spend about 20 minutes attempting to convince my grandmother that kids 'like that' should be put away, and never allowed in public, society's dirty little secrets.

2 weeks later, this woman's four year old grandson was involved in a car accident. His mother (her daughter) didn't survive.
The toddler?
He would be severely mentally disabled the rest of his life.

That neighbor came to my grandmother, and humbly apologized.
There was no way she would EVER commit her grandson to a state institution; there was no way she would be embarrassed to be seen in public with him, no matter the outrageous behavior he conducted.

Karma?
Hand of God?
Call it what you want. I wonder, if she'd kept her mouth shut, her cruel opinions to herself, would she have been slapped with karma? With a valuable lesson about judging others?
Are the mentally disabled our true tests of self?

She and my grandmother became the best of friends.

scarletpeaches
12-07-2007, 03:41 PM
No, I don't believe for one minute that disabilities are God's mistake. Neither does he punish people by disabling their relatives. If he really wanted to punish people, he'd punish them, not their children or other relations.

Neither do I think one bad apple is reason enough to turn from all Christians. There are good and bad people in all religions, and atheists too.

scarletpeaches
12-07-2007, 03:44 PM
If karma existed, all bad acts would be punished, and they're not.

Anyone who believes in karma has to admit it's temperamental at best, so I'd rather deal with things on my own, thanks. The universe's system of retribution is too slow for my liking.

Inky
12-07-2007, 03:44 PM
Darlin', had it been one bad apple, I'd have covered it with carmel and eaten the bloody thing.

scarletpeaches
12-07-2007, 03:48 PM
I've known plenty of bastards who happen to not believe in God. Does that mean I should avoid all atheists?

aruna
12-07-2007, 03:53 PM
If karma existed, all bad acts would be punished, and they're not.

.

Even words like "punish" and "bad" do not belong in any discussion of karma. It just is; there is no moral judgement, no concept of punishment. Those are Christian concepts; you should not confuse the two.. And since according to karmic law the results of actions can take place in the next life, not necessarily in this one, you can't say they're not.

Bart, another thing:
I don't know much, or anything, about Buddhist methods of meditation. I do know that Vedanta is often disussed in relation to science, and most especially to Quantum Physics. The issue being that there is no physical reality apart from the oberver; ie, the physical reality we are aware of takes place within our own consciousness, not outside of it. Thousands of ywars ago Vedantic seers said that there nothing except a vast field of energy, or consciousness; that there is only one substance.

Here';s an article I found that desribes this a bit better than I can:
http://transontology.org/articles/vedic_quantum.htm


While Westerners usually categorize Vedanta as a religious work, its tone is actually closer to a terse mathematical or scientific analysis. Vedanta examines evidence, asserts hypotheses, quotes established authorities both pro and con its thesis, and closely reasons its way to a well-substantiated conclusion. That Vedanta is available in the West primarily through religious interpreters has perhaps prejudiced our evaluation of its relevance to scientific concerns.

Bartholomew
12-08-2007, 01:30 AM
If karma existed, all bad acts would be punished, and they're not.


The higher you throw something, the longer it takes to come back. All reactions are not instant, though they're born the minute the action that causes them comes into play.

DL Hegel
12-08-2007, 02:17 AM
believe in karma or don't-- it is a choice. you can call it bad luck--good luck--a higher beings crapshoot or an accident. i believe we believe what we need to make it thru our lives--- let your conscious be your guide. besides if the our next existance as human beings had only one path---a lot of people would get left behind. more important and lasting than how and why --is--what mark have we left--what good have we done--how better are the lives of our loved for having us to share the journey. because life is a journey--and how wonderful, terrifying and strange it can be.
The higher you throw something, the longer it takes to come back. All reactions are not instant, though they're born the minute the action that causes them comes into play.

Death Wizard
12-08-2007, 07:00 AM
The higher you throw something, the longer it takes to come back. All reactions are not instant, though they're born the minute the action that causes them comes into play.

You made my day with this quote! But I disagree with you in the regard that meditation is not scientific, at least in some regards.

Death Wizard
12-08-2007, 07:21 AM
Haskins is right. There is nothing mystic about meditation. It relaxes the body, and if done correctly, trains the mind to focus on the immediate present. This produces a mind-set that is more conducive to critical thinking. It's exercise for the brain.

There are other routes along which meditation can take you-- and you can certainly see a lot of pretty lights and interesting images if you follow some of them. But these are as valuable as a good firework show, and probably as metaphysical as a tab of LSD.

I'm sure that in most regards, you and I would agree. But the problem with what you're saying here is that you are underestimating what happens to the mind when it is trained to focus on the present moment. This releases a flood of awareness hitherto unavailable. And it is life-altering to all who experience it in a nonjudgmental context.

Magdalen
12-08-2007, 07:30 AM
When You Wish Upon A Star
Lyrics by Ned Washington

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dreams
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
As sweet fullfillment of their secret drowns
Like a boat out of the blue
Fate steps in and see's you through

when you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

jannawrites
12-08-2007, 07:36 AM
Yes, I do believe in "karma" but I believe it's a greater force at work [read: God]. If one does wrong - particularly to another human being - justice and/or the truth will eventually prevail and they will get their come uppance... whether here or in the afterlife.

Death Wizard
12-08-2007, 08:18 AM
Do not scorn even the tiniest sin,
Thinking that it will do no harm;
It is through the accumulation of drops of water
That a great vessel gradually fills.

And also...

Do not think that the cultivation
Of even a tiny virtue will not pursue you.
Just as a large pot is filled
By falling drops of water,
So too are the steadfast filled up
By virtues accumulated a little at a time.

Even in one hundred eons
Karma does not perish.
When the circumstances and the time arrive
Beings surely will feel its effects.

--Je Tsong-Kha-Pa in Lam Rim Chen Mo: The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment

Anand2002
12-08-2007, 12:32 PM
http://www.reluctant-messenger.com/reincarnation-proof.htm

Don Allen
12-08-2007, 07:07 PM
The old comic Buddy Hackett put the idea of Karma in perfect perspective: He observed that in this one world in which we inhabited there were only 10 known birds left belonging to the Yellow bellied, red billed, sap sucker spieces of bird.. 10 -that's it... Only 10, can you imagine that only 10 of one speices of animal remains... He then remarked casually that if one of those birds shits on his car, there would be 9..... KARMA........ Need we say more....

scarletpeaches
12-08-2007, 07:48 PM
The higher you throw something, the longer it takes to come back. All reactions are not instant, though they're born the minute the action that causes them comes into play.

Got any proof of that?

You believe it if you want to; I'd rather take control of my own life and make my own 'karma'.

Robert Toy
12-08-2007, 08:00 PM
Add "Sutra" and I am a true beliver. :D

Angelinity
12-08-2007, 10:39 PM
Originally Posted by scarletpeaches
If karma existed, all bad acts would be punished, and they're not.

the problem with that is deciding unequivocally what is bad -- killing, for instance.

killing is bad, right?

killing for food -- is this bad? what about killing your enemy? killing the one who has killed your loved one? killing for your country?

what is a good deed and what is a bad deed? a deed is hardly ever entirely good or entirely bad, the perception will depend on the observer's perspective and on the benefits he/she is likely to gain from it.

Inky
12-08-2007, 11:23 PM
Ah. Fabulous points.
My perception is my reality; hence, karma is in everything we do, the very fabric of our lives. 'Tis nothing about religion, but rather, what we put in this world, we get out of it.

Translate how you will; everyone will taste a different flavor.

scarletpeaches
12-08-2007, 11:52 PM
You might think they're fabulous points, but I don't.

People get away with killing all the time. Sometimes they put a 'noble' reason to it, sometimes they do it for fun.

People get away with all sorts. Where's the 'karma' in that? Are they really reaping what they sow? I certainly don't see it.

Inky
12-09-2007, 12:20 AM
Fabulous 'points', Scarlet, NOT Fabulously 'agree'.

Blazes, but you love to argue down to the last niggle.
Opinions aren't arguable; they are the essence of humanity. If we sat back and simply listened to one another, how educated we would become of culture, reason, religion, customs...the list is vast.

Instead, we nit pick, determined to sway any and all to our personal way of thinking.
Me?
I close my eyes, tilt my head back, and enjoy the nuances of the world around me.
Sometimes it's a nightmare...and sometimes, Scarlet, it's the most amazing, incredible, journey.

scarletpeaches
12-09-2007, 12:22 AM
I did say 'you might think' and 'I don't' which kinda proves we're talking about opinions, doesn't it?

The fact that people get away with doing bad things all the time, however, is a matter of fact.

Inky
12-09-2007, 12:30 AM
Peace, Scarlet.


'night all...

Death Wizard
12-09-2007, 12:33 AM
You might think they're fabulous points, but I don't.

People get away with killing all the time. Sometimes they put a 'noble' reason to it, sometimes they do it for fun.

People get away with all sorts. Where's the 'karma' in that? Are they really reaping what they sow? I certainly don't see it.

You might get away with it legally, but by no means do you get away with it psychologically or emotionally. And that's far worse punishment than anything our court systems might devise.

scarletpeaches
12-09-2007, 12:42 AM
Unless, of course, you don't care, and don't have a conscience.

Death Wizard
12-09-2007, 02:47 AM
Unless, of course, you don't care, and don't have a conscience.

Which would be, for that person, yet another form of psychological torture.

scarletpeaches
12-09-2007, 02:50 AM
Uh...no it wouldn't. If you don't care, you don't experience 'psychological torture'.

Bartholomew
12-09-2007, 03:59 AM
You might think they're fabulous points, but I don't.

People get away with killing all the time. Sometimes they put a 'noble' reason to it, sometimes they do it for fun.

People get away with all sorts. Where's the 'karma' in that? Are they really reaping what they sow? I certainly don't see it.

If you do not need the idea of Karma to make you behave like a human being, than embracing it would be silly. :)

Death Wizard
12-09-2007, 05:31 AM
Uh...no it wouldn't. If you don't care, you don't experience 'psychological torture'.

Yeah, but why don't you care? You'd have to be a beaten-up, beaten-down person to not care. It's not like you're born not caring. That's like saying that a serial killer doesn't suffer because he doesn't feel guilt for his murders.

Death Wizard
12-09-2007, 05:37 AM
If you do not need the idea of Karma to make you behave like a human being, than embracing it would be silly. :)

It doesn't matter whether you need karma, want karma, or believe in karma. Karma exists, and you're along for the ride, like it or not.

I once heard someone ask a Western-convert Buddhist teacher: "What is the meaning of karma?"

And her light-hearted (she purposely used improper grammar) but still profound answer was, "Karma means you don't get away with nutthin'."

benbradley
12-09-2007, 06:08 AM
Yeah, but why don't you care? You'd have to be a beaten-up, beaten-down person to not care. It's not like you're born not caring. That's like saying that a serial killer doesn't suffer because he doesn't feel guilt for his murders.
But that's precisely the point. Such killers are often psychopathic, meaning they DO NOT feel guilt or regret for murders they commit.

Death Wizard
12-09-2007, 06:16 AM
But that's precisely the point. Such killers are often psychopathic, meaning they DO NOT feel guilt or regret for murders they commit.


Not feeling guilt or regret is by no means the same thing as not suffering. A psychopath is in a horrible state of suffering -- worse than anything any of us can imagine. And it is his or her karmic circumstances that led to that suffering.

benbradley
12-09-2007, 07:00 AM
Not feeling guilt or regret is by no means the same thing as not suffering.
Oh, now I see. I misread your earlier statement as saying they DID feel guilt.

Anand2002
12-09-2007, 08:04 AM
The fact that people get away with doing bad things all the time, however, is a matter of fact.

They suffer in their next life.

Here is a proof.

Probably the best known, if not most respected, collection of scientific data that appears to provide scientific proof that reincarnation is real, is the life's work of Dr. Ian Stevenson. Instead of relying on hypnosis to verify that an individual has had a previous life, he instead chose to collect thousands of cases of children who spontaneously (without hypnosis) remember a past life.

Dr. Ian Stevenson, Director of the Division of Personality Studies at the University of Virginia, says

ďMy idea of God is that He is evolving. I don't believe in the watchmaker God, the original creator who built the watch and then lets it tick. I believe in a "Self-maker God" who is evolving and experimenting; so are we as parts of Him. Bodies wear out; souls may need periods for rest and reflection. Afterward one may start again with a new body.Ē

ďIt's easy to see environmental influences, say, with such composers as Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, all of whose fathers were fine musicians. But what about George Frederic Handel? His family had no discernible interest in music; his father even sternly discouraged it. Or take the cases of Elizabeth Fry, the prison reformer, and Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. Both had to fight for their chosen callings from childhood onward. One can find endless examples that are difficult to explain given our current theories. But if one accepts the possibility of reincarnation, one can entertain the idea that these children are demonstrating strong likes, dislikes, skills, and even genius that are the logical results of previous experiences. I have found some children with skills that seem to be carried over from a previous life.Ē

ďSome birthmarks are common. But it depends on what you call a birthmark. The average American has about fifteen. I'm talking about a raised, darkened mole, or what we call an elevated nevus. Some marks are simply areas of increased pigmentation; in other cases, the birthmark is three-dimensional, the area being partly or wholly elevated, depressed, or puckered. I have examined at least two hundred of this kind, and many of them cannot be distinguished, at least by me, from the scars of healed wounds.
In many cases I've had to rely on memories of surviving relatives and friends for information about the exact location of wounds or other marks on the previous personality in question. This has led to the sensible objection that relatives might have tailored their memories to fit the circumstances for a variety of reasons. I have been able to overcome this objection in about thirty cases by obtaining autopsy or other medical records. Such records provide the strongest evidence we have so far in favor of reincarnationĒ

Read his full interview in the following link .
http://www.reluctant-messenger.com/reincarnation-proof.htm

Bartholomew
12-09-2007, 08:17 AM
It doesn't matter whether you need karma, want karma, or believe in karma. Karma exists, and you're along for the ride, like it or not.

I once heard someone ask a Western-convert Buddhist teacher: "What is the meaning of karma?"

And her light-hearted (she purposely used improper grammar) but still profound answer was, "Karma means you don't get away with nutthin'."

If the domain of karma is (-∞, ∞), then what difference does it make if you're paid back a deed, or if you're merely subject to the random chaos of suffering?

And yet, how could karma otherwise work without the concept of infinite time backing it?

It does not matter one iota where you believe your problems come from; the important thing is how you deal with them.

Magdalen
12-09-2007, 08:44 AM
Recap: I think Karma exists, so I "believe" in it. And I think it is, like Newton's 3rd Law, based on the observable phenomenon of action triggering reaction. And I think that TIME is circular, although we observe it as linear here on Earth. So many of our (not all of us) puny perceptions of what is going on in a cosmic sense appear (to me IMHO) akin to the perceptions of Queen Isabella's subjects who fervently believed the world to be flat. That said, I would like to add that I disagree with Dr. Stevenson's findings regarding reincarnation. I've bolded a portion of an excerpted quote from the link:

Orthodox theory conceives human personality as the product of a person's genetic material inherited from his ancestors through his parents, and the modifying influences of his prenatal and postnatal environment. But I found that some cases cannot be satisfactorily explained by genetics, environmental influences, or a combination of these.

Scientists have only just begun to understand the Human Genome Sequence. I think that within the genetic material that we inheirit, there may be such a thing as a genetic memory. To be absolutely honest with you all, I got this idea from the Jean Auel series that began with Clan of the Cave Bear. I personally (not a generally accepted source of data, I know) have experienced a "memory" that was not mine. I think it was somehow so important to an ancestor of mine as to be imprinted into the very DNA of my physical being. So I kind of think of Karma as something that helps keep track of any one individual's identity. Because the Universe is immense, and although I try very hard to imagine what it must be like, I have only the most fleeting, ethereal and illusive apprehension of it.
Feel free to shoot my theory all to . . .

Sincerely,
Mag

aruna
12-09-2007, 04:21 PM
Add "Sutra" and I am a true beliver. :D

I think you've misunderstood the word: I assume you re speaking of the Kama Sutra. It's Kama, not Karma, in that case, Kama meaning desire.
And, contrary to what many Westerners believe, the Kama Sutra is not just about mad, wild sex.




People get away with all sorts. Where's the 'karma' in that? Are they really reaping what they sow? I certainly don't see it.

SP, the problem is that you are assuming we humans can know everything, see everything that happens in our, and another's, life, but we don't. According to the law of karma what we see and know is just the tiniest sliver of what actually "is", just one link in a long chain, internal and external, whose beginning and end we cannot see.


Uh...no it wouldn't. If you don't care, you don't experience 'psychological torture'.

Well, again, according to Karma it doesn't matter if you care or not. Psychological torture exists whether or not the person has a conscience or not.
Look, I really am not into convincing anyone who thinks everything Eastern is mumbojumbo, but these are just assumptions you are making having snapped up one two "facts" about karma, which really are quite wrong.

Karma is not just "tit for tat" in the world of action. It also means that everything we do clings to us in the form of a mental impressions. These are called "vasanas" in Sanskrit, or latent tendencies; it's like a thick mental shroud of our own making we are wearing. A person can either add to his or her "shroud" through hateful and selfish deeds, or lighten it through loving and unselfish deeds. As our shroud of mental darkness decreases, so too are we naturally happy. And the other way around: that shroud is so so horrible to wear that a selfish person can not possibly be happy, even if to an outsider's eyes his or her "karma" might seem "good". And someone who has done evil carries a mental burden so terrible his life is a living torture, no matter what it may appear. See, in this view of the world the outer circumstances are not as important as the inner.



You believe it if you want to; I'd rather take control of my own life and make my own 'karma'.

Actually, according to the law of Karma that is exactly what you are doing at every moment of your life! It teaches that we are all exactly where we need to be at any given; we have created our lives in the widest possible sense. There is no "bad" or "good" life situations, only what we do what the cards we are dealt, which then creates our future lives. Making lemonade out of lemons is what we call it in this part of the world.

Bu nobody needs to believe this, and I really don;t care who doesn't. All I can say is, just take a step back and observe: Observe how much mental attitude to what is happening now, influences what happens in the future. How much the outer life is a direct reflection of the inner.

My first glimpse of this was when I went traveling in South America in 1969/1970/1971. If you make absolutely NO plans for your life, don't try to control ANYTHING, but simply throw yourself at life and let it take you where it will - if even for a short while - it is simply amazing what can take place. Those years taught me perhaps the most in my whole life.

The climax being when I ended up in a catastrophe, with no solution, in the depths of despair, no hope of help whatsoever. At first I ranted and railed against my situation. And then I was still, took a step back, and tried to understand. In that moment I saw that I NEEDED this situation. It was a wake-up call. It was there to teach me something, and I had created it myself. It was absolutely necessary for me to change my life around, and I made that resolve one morning.

In less than an hour a miracle occurred, something I could never ever have hoped for or expected, and the catastrophe was over in a wink. And yes, I did turn my life around after that.

I watch my life all the time and am most aware of the relationship between my thoughts and attitudes, and my actual physical situation. It makes life so much more conscious, so much more alive, and so much more interesting; I experience the most amazing miracles all the time, co-incidences, great and small, that in reality aren't! You seem to think that karma means that everything is already fixed and unalterable but the very opposite is the case.

scarletpeaches
12-09-2007, 06:17 PM
I definitely don't think that everything is already fixed; Calvinism is popular in this country but I'm not a follower of "What's in front of you won't go past you." As I've said before, I make my own karma. Therefore, I make my own fate. (Another thing I don't believe in when it comes to the popular definition of the word).

To assume that a selfish person cannot truly be happy is to presume to know them better than they know themselves. Perhaps a person can commit a selfish act by...say, stealing. They know other people would take against this act but still they do it, and they don't care. Not every thief adds this to their mental shroud. Some thieves steal something, use what they've stolen and then forget about it. Not everyone has a conscience or the willingness to think about the consequences of their actions as they affect other people - o r even themselves.

Then again, some people are self aware but have decided to concentrate on themselves rather than wondering how their actions impact on other people. Selfish? Maybe. But there's no law that says you can't put yourself first.

Don Allen
12-09-2007, 06:22 PM
Did somebody mention wild crazy sex??????

aruna
12-09-2007, 07:18 PM
I definitely don't think that everything is already fixed; Calvinism is popular in this country but I'm not a follower of "What's in front of you won't go past you." As I've said before, I make my own karma. Therefore, I make my own fate.


That is exactly what I and others have been saying! Karma simply means action. You are creating karma with every action you take.

To assume that a selfish person cannot truly be happy is to presume to know them better than they know themselves. Perhaps a person can commit a selfish act by...say, stealing. They know other people would take against this act but still they do it, and they don't care. Not every thief adds this to their mental shroud. Some thieves steal something, use what they've stolen and then forget about it. Not everyone has a conscience or the willingness to think about the consequences of their actions as they affect other people - o r even themselves.


See... we are talking at cross purposes.
There is a degree of happiness -- which is the one I was referring to-- which is absolutely incompatible with selfishness.

Mac H.
12-11-2007, 03:25 PM
Here is a proof.

Probably the best known, if not most respected, collection of scientific data that appears to provide scientific proof that reincarnation is real, is the life's work of Dr. Ian Stevenson. Instead of relying on hypnosis to verify that an individual has had a previous life, he instead chose to collect thousands of cases of children who spontaneously (without hypnosis) remember a past life.Another point of view on this is here: http://www.skepticreport.com/newage/stevensonbook.htm

Not exactly convincing - let alone proof. Why does it follow cultural norms so much? Why do families who don't believe you can change gender during reincarnation have no occurrances of it, yet others who believe it is possible have examples of it? If the phenomonon was real, it shouldn't matter what beliefs the family had ... the experiences would follow an independant reality.

Mac

Mac H.
12-11-2007, 03:34 PM
As I've said before, I make my own karma. Therefore, I make my own fate
To quote one of the great lights of modern literature:


JOHN
"No fate." No fate but what we make. My father
told her this... I mean I made him memorize it,
up in the future, as a message to her --
Never mind. Okay, the whole thing goes "The
future is not set. There is no fate but what
we make for ourselves."

TERMINATOR
She intends to change the future somehow.

JOHN
I guess, yeah --
(snaps his fingers as it hit him)
Oh shit!!

TERMINATOR
Dyson.

JOHN
Yeah, gotta be! Miles Dyson! She's gonna blow
him away!

akiwiguy
12-11-2007, 03:38 PM
Did somebody mention wild crazy sex??????

Good karma!

Bartholomew
01-14-2008, 02:34 AM
I'm bringing this thread back from the dead because I wrote an article on Karma, which you can find here. (http://hubpages.com/_bartwashere/hub/The-Buddhist-Idea-of-Karma)


In the western world, Karma is tied deeply into two very large misconceptions. "For each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction" is a phrase often associated with Karma, and like most generalizations, it is only partially correct. Another way Karma is often misinterpreted is by the thinking that "If I kill someone, I will be killed." This is a very trivial way to look at Karma. Karma is not "cosmic revenge," or a big tally board in the sky. While thinking of Karma in these terms is not harmful, it is also not correct. What matters most is how being careful of your karma affects your behavior. If you understand karma, and you think about your actions, you behave better. It is simultaneously exactly that simple, but a hundred times more complicated. (We're humans-we can make anything more complicated.)

[Continued (http://hubpages.com/_bartwashere/hub/The-Buddhist-Idea-of-Karma)]