Karma

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Sky Dancer, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Sky Dancer
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    Sky Dancer BANNED

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    I'm starting this thread because a poster indicated that she was interested in discussing the meaning of karma.

    To a Buddhist. karma means, "cause and effect". It has nothing to do with pre-determination, destiny, or punishment and reward.
     
  2. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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  3. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    What goes around comes around, in this life or the next. Doesn't that about sum it up?
     
  4. FactFinder
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    That is a very limited view of Buddhism. Buddhism does deal with destiny, pre determination, punishment & reward. Cause & effect is all about punishment and reward. As for predetermination I would predict you are in danger of coming back as a mole.
     
  5. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    I'm coming back as a left leaning wingnut. I've been bad, very, very bad.
     
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  6. FactFinder
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    Well deserved :razz:
     
  7. Amelia
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    :lol:
     
  8. alan1
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    alan1 USMB Mod Staff Member Supporting Member

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  9. BDBoop
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    It does.
     
  10. Dragon
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    Dragon Senior Member

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    That's a reward, a promotion to a higher state of enlightenment. :tongue:

    In saying "Buddhism," one must distinguish between the teachings of the Buddha and the practice of Buddhism as a living religion. What the OP said was true about the Buddha's teachings, but not about Buddhism as it is commonly practiced.

    The Buddha was an atheist. He did not believe in transmigration of souls or reincarnation. His concept of karma was impersonal and had nothing to do with justice; an act had reverberations down through time, but did not necessarily come back upon the person performing it. To him, the individual self was an illusion, and enlightenment consisted of overcoming that illusion by overcoming desire. He achieved through his meditations (or somehow anyway) a state of enlightenment in which he knew himself to be one with all the universe -- a poor way of putting it, but language is not designed for this purpose. His system of spiritual knowledge and awareness was completely psychological and not theistic at all. He was bitterly opposed by the Indian priests (who followed a Vedic religion but probably shouldn't at this point be called Hindu) because he rejected the gods, religious rituals, sacrifices, and the whole portfolio of belief and practice that gave the priests their power in society.

    However, as Buddhism spread after the Buddha's death, it gained many followers who were neither as enlightened as he was nor as intelligent nor as well educated. (There are advantages to being a prince.) Gods, souls, and personal karma were accepted back into various forms of Buddhism, always with the explanation that these were lesser realities that helped the aspirant along the path until he/she could achieve true desireless enlightenment, whereupon they were all to be abandoned. In practice, Buddhism has become a religion, something the Buddha himself would not have wanted most likely.
     
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