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View Diary: All I want for Christmas is for karma to be real (182 comments)

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  •  Unlike that (0+ / 0-)

    Karma doesn't involve anything supernatural.  It is merely an observation of the nature of human consciousness

    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

    by Mindful Nature on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:40:46 AM PST

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    •  sorry (0+ / 0-)

      but karma says that everyone gets what they deserve. You got raped? Your parents beat you daily? It was because you deserved it because of what you've done, in either this life or a past one.

      http://www.buddhanet.net/....

      One is not bound to behave as your karma has placed you, allowing you to improve your karma for your next life. Hopefully enough, enough times, to leave the Wheel.

      http://www.buddhanet.net/... is a fairly exhaustive description of mainstream Buddhist understanding of karma.

      47 is the new 51!

      by nickrud on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 11:29:51 AM PST

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      •  You misapprehend, I think (0+ / 0-)

        I would point out that the divine retribution theory bears no resemblance to what you link to.   Take a look at the rather pithy summary here

        Karma Niyama - order of act and result, e.g., desirable and undesirable acts produce corresponding good and bad results. As surely as water seeks its own level so does Karma, given opportunity, produce its inevitable result, not in the form of a reward or punishment but as an innate sequence. This sequence of deed and effect is as natural and necessary as the way of the sun and the moon.
        It is purely the observation that actions produce outcomes.  It is a fairly subtle mechanistic understanding.  
         The intersection with the then widespread belief in reincarnation would carry that across lifetimes, but that is not necessarily part of any more than scientific precepts of first century Rome is inherent to Chrstianity.

        However this notion of retribution visited for past sins is largely the result of interpretations given by nineteenth century Christian interpreters who brought judeochristian views of judgment into their interpretations.  

        Karma is a fairly subtle concept to wrap your head around, but it is very helpful to recognize that a lot of Theravada traditions are fairly much descriptive, rather than prescriptive.  A lot is about how the world works, such that right behavior is about what leads to good results, rather than a statement tht right behavior is what is required by some supernatural being who is going to judge you.  
        I think you statement of "you get raped because you deserve it goes fairly wide of the mark of many teachings.  

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 12:41:08 PM PST

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      •  I should also say (0+ / 0-)

        There are significant disagreements among Buddhists on the meanings of many doctrines

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 01:01:39 PM PST

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        •  of course there is (0+ / 0-)

          theology and mystical beliefs are always constructed to suit the interpreter.

          47 is the new 51!

          by nickrud on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 02:48:56 PM PST

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          •  Except that (0+ / 0-)

            There is nothing theological or mystical about it, anymore than there is about psychology.  That's the element that's missing here.  Buddhism both is an is not a religion

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 09:53:19 PM PST

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            •  buddhism (0+ / 0-)

              is not a religion in the western sense, absolutely. There are no gods, etc.

              Yet, it has pantheons of buddhas in the Mahayana branch http://www.japanese-buddhism.com/.... We have a living example in the Dali Lama of this thread of Buddhism. Zen is another example of this branch.

              Even the most early Buddhist teachings (Theraveda) state explicitly that rebirth is real, that there is a chain of being (samsara) until one reaches liberation (nirvana) and the chain breaks.

              If that's not mystical, I'm not sure what is. What Buddhism most certainly not is a branch of applied psychology.

              47 is the new 51!

              by nickrud on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 08:29:04 AM PST

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              •  Well (0+ / 0-)

                It takes a little nerve to tell Buddhists what they think.  Yes, rebirth is constant, but it doesn't mean that the constant origination means the "soul" born into cocktoaches or something the way you seem to be interpreting it.  For instance, I think you'll find rather a difficulty reconciling that with the notion of no-self and the idea that there is no soul.  However, if you want to go along with your misconceptions, feel free

                Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

                by Mindful Nature on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 12:14:31 PM PST

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                •  Of course there's no continuity (0+ / 0-)

                  of self via reincarnation - that's why I used the phrase chain of being. I should have used the term nidanas, but got lazy.

                  I agree that far too many presume that the soul or self is what is reincarnated but please, don't presume that I'm one of them. Nothing I've said has even implied that.

                  By the way, I'm not telling Buddhists what they think, I'm simply repeating what Buddhists say. The Dali Lama says he's the reincarnation of the previous one; Mahayana Buddhists explicitly discuss bodhisattvas and their relationship to the living. Theraveda Buddhists explicitly say that becoming a monk is the only real option if one truly wishes for liberation.

                  You may be in a school I'm unaware of that is rejecting all or some of the above.

                  47 is the new 51!

                  by nickrud on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 01:30:14 PM PST

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                  •  Very good (0+ / 0-)

                    You are right about me presumption.  I would say that there is a significant trend among some western Theravadan schools that do not embrace the literal (for want of a better term) reincarnation of some chain of being that caries over between lifetimes in a "you deserve rape for past sins kind of way".  The teachings I have had have focused on liberation more as a freeing from the constant cycle of desire and suffering, and so one is constantly reborn, each moment free or dependent on the last.  That's the meaning of Karma I've encountered.  Now Tibetan Buddhism has elements I don't understand so I can't comment by what the Dalai Lama means by that.  I am trying to remember some of the names and authors of Theravadan interpreters I've read but I am drawing a blank.  There is a book about being an atheist Buddhist (that may be the title in fact) that focuses in large measure on whether the core of Buddhist teaching (eg the noble truths themselves) require anything metaphysical and supernatural.  In many of the readings I've done there hasn't been any need for such.  (And yes, being a monk is probably necessary for real liberation, given the intense effort required.)

                    I do have to thank you deeply for your discussion with me.  It helps to keep me from being too lazy!  You are a good teacher

                    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

                    by Mindful Nature on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 03:19:54 PM PST

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                    •  I was very hesitant (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Mindful Nature

                      to use the term 'western' schools and am grateful that you broke the ice there :) I do agree that Buddhist practices useful and should become more widespread - mindfulness has been extremely helpful to this atheist!

                      I'm reminded of Pascal's wager - Buddhist practices and the noble truths are useful in their own right, and if they're right about other things ....

                      47 is the new 51!

                      by nickrud on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 04:09:13 PM PST

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