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Thinking about karma again

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  #1  
Old 16 February 2012, 10:13 PM
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Thinking about karma again

So I have been thinking yet again about karma and something occurred to me. It was so obvious and yet it had not reared its face until now. How can a necessary outcome rely on a contingent act? This does not require a great deal of illustration. Say someone murdered in a past life, and must bear the result of that, being murdered himself in the next. One’s fate in that instance is sealed. One has to be murdered by necessity of eternal law. But, in the following incarnation, that same person is murdered by a murderer – who we ourselves assume had the free will either to go through with the act or deny himself that criminal course of action! Had he not murdered, we would applaud his moral fortitude, and yet justice would not be fulfilled in terms of the guilty party. On the other hand, had he murdered, we would scorn him and heap condemnation on his head, justice however being, on the sly as it were, totally fulfilled.

Here is how I have thought of solving this conundrum. We are free, but only at the timeless “Moment” of death, and with the onset of time we choose a possible world, out of the infinitely many, in which our necessary karma phala will come to fruition according to the non-compulsory actions of certain individuals who, either directly or indirectly, by a causal relationship either harm or benefit us. Thus, the “life-script” and everything in it, is already written. We all chose this world together, in congruity with all our desires and the combined vasanas which form our current material body-mind complex. And, while we are indeed partially on a necessary track due to the impressions received through former experiences, creating the “grid” as it were on which this life is led, our own free choices will be responsible for the future karma of others as well as ourselves.

I’ve also thought of a perfect analogy for this. Say that our soul, in its capacity to be free, is like a growing shore wave arising from the indeterminate motions of the lake. Before it reaches a certain pitch all it amounts to is a set of quantum probabilities. But, once it picks up enough steam in the form of momentum, it rapidly ascends the sandy shore, and its balled foaminess becomes splayed across the sand in various definite shapes. First existed freedom, then it transformed itself into its opposite, necessity. Just so, death gives way to life. Pure spirit molds itself onto the features of matter and actuates it into creative frenzy.
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Old 17 February 2012, 01:05 PM
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Re: Thinking about karma again

What if the person being murdered did not suffer much (nor did the relatives) and the perpetrator will understand futurely being murdered as an absurd suffering?

Karma is more like a dynamic flux than an eye for an eye. Let's not literalize Karma and see it childishly as fate "written in stone". As other members put it here before (and in other threads), it's not the action that counts but the state of mind one is while taking it.
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Old 18 February 2012, 01:50 AM
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Re: Thinking about karma again

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Originally Posted by Pietro Impagliazzo View Post
the perpetrator will understand futurely being murdered as an absurd suffering?
it's not the action that counts but the state of mind one is while taking it.
Excellent post Pietro. Even in the form of dreadful dreams,many of our karmas spent without actually have to suffer physically.Even souls are dying in utero,infancy without knowing what has just happened to them,peoples taking birth with severe handicapped,genetic disease?? Its not like if one is a murderer has to be murdered to get justice.
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Old 18 February 2012, 04:16 AM
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Re: Thinking about karma again

The Jainas are karma literalists and to a certain extent the Buddhists as well, but in Hinduism more factors are considered like daiva (fate) and lila (divine play/ natural probability) besides karma.
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Old 18 February 2012, 08:08 AM
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Re: Thinking about karma again

Vannakkam: Sometimes I use money as an analogy for karma complicated.

I lend someone a dollar. That is the original action.

Possibilities of how it is returned:

1) a penny a day for 100 days
2) The borrower gives it to someone else, who gives it to someone else, who gives it back to me.
3) God, through His grace and a great soul gives me back $1.01 ... interest.
4) a dime a day for 10 days
5) The person does me an errand that I would have paid a dollar for.

In each scenario, the impact, or energy, of force, of the action in the same amount, is returned. Methodology of how it was returned varied.

Aum Namasivaya
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Old 18 February 2012, 10:57 AM
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Re: Thinking about karma again

hari o
~~~~~~

namast

To think we understand the implications of karma IMHO is folly.
Unfathomable is the course of action, says kṛṣṇa-jī ( bhāgavad gītā 4.17).

We see one thing happening, yet muliple things occur. Take a ball. We bounce the ball and the ball returns to our hand. We think of cause and effect, a 1X interaction. Yet there is more occuring then meets the eye. Let me explain by another example.

Take a pebble and throw it into a calm pond. One action and it looks like one event , no ? The pebble entering the water, one event. But from that one interaction, how many ripples occur ? These ripples go out and extend to the shore line where they interact with objects that cause another action to occur. The pebble too sinks to the bottom of the pond; this is another action - perhaps bumping a shrimp on its head that lies at the bottom of the pond . All this occurs from one action , and we think one re-action occurs from it. This would be mis-taken.

Our actions go out from us in all directions, just like the pebble and the pond. Our thoughts, albiet subtle , are energy and they too go out in all directions and alight upon all different things. Our physical actions are just a stronger energy result of our thoughts . Actions are thoughts that take a more defined shape.

So , when we consider all the thought-actions we perform in just one day let alone one life it becomes 'unfathomable' as to their response, result and impact, for us to comprehend.

praṇām
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Old 18 February 2012, 11:55 AM
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Re: Thinking about karma again

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Originally Posted by Pietro Impagliazzo View Post
What if the person being murdered did not suffer much (nor did the relatives) and the perpetrator will understand futurely being murdered as an absurd suffering?

Karma is more like a dynamic flux than an eye for an eye. Let's not literalize Karma and see it childishly as fate "written in stone". As other members put it here before (and in other threads), it's not the action that counts but the state of mind one is while taking it.
I do agree karma is most likely far more complex than an "eye for an eye" as you put it. In a sense the only reason I mentioned getting murdered for murdering was to figure in the proportionality of actions and effects.

For whether the reaction comes in the form of one action, or many actions, as a sort of amalgam, there is still a necessitating chain of causality which brings the effect to fruition. In order to coordinate this complex wave of activity, free will seems to be curtailed. That was the entire point of my post.

However, if one figures in the idea of possible worlds, then I think an easier case may be made for reconciling free will with what is popularly termed 'fate.' On the other hand, if one can reincarnate only in a different world commensurate with his karmic load, what to think of all those accounts of reincarnated souls who come more than once to this world?
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Old 18 February 2012, 11:59 AM
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Re: Thinking about karma again

Namsate All,

Some very nice postings already on this subject, such a tricky concept. If I might be so bold as to add a few thoughts...

I like to relate my thoughts on karma to the nature to electro magnetism. Within a field, just as in the most beautiful analogy of the pond or lake. The implications are the same; ripples. And it can be transformed in to action thoughts and words by means of all kinds of cleaver devices.

We are using computers which consist of exactly that that, electric signals (the same as sound) stored on magnets or just electrons. If a musician records music it is stored energeticly in what ever medium is chosen, When we listen to that music played back, our spirits are touched by that which we hear.

This is a transfer of karma, if our spirits are raised by that which we hear then we may behave in a different fashion than if we had not listened.

To my mind the same is true of every word we speak or action made, say at work, these words are stored in the minds of our friends, spreading like ripples as reputation as the way we are, well it resonates.

Now the tricky part is to see this nature expanded to beyond the world we see and touch, imagine if the either about you could record your every move as the wheels of time turn, these effects are recorded and replayed, the thing is that they are never the same and are coloured by that which has been.

Please excuse my visual excursion but it is the only way I know to describe these thoughts, so don't take these word as being anything other than my fancy full imagination but this is how I look to understand the repercussions and reflections of karma.

Unfathomable indeed! I should venture that there are 1000's upon 1000's of possible ways in which the colour of the past and future; can affect the present. Our mood being one of the largest influencing factors!

The quantum slit experiment demonstrates most eloquently the ripple effect of photons in Either, photons being part of the electromagnetic spectrum.


praNAma

mana
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Old 18 February 2012, 12:03 PM
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Re: Thinking about karma again

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In order to coordinate this complex wave of activity, free will seems to be curtailed. That was the entire point of my post.
Namaste Kismet,

If karma effects only mood and with that; percentage chance (like electrons when you try to pin them down to one place); how does that grab you?

praNAma

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Old 20 February 2012, 02:07 PM
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Re: Thinking about karma again

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Namaste Kismet,

If karma effects only mood and with that; percentage chance (like electrons when you try to pin them down to one place); how does that grab you?

praNAma

mana
I am not entirely sure what you're getting at. Are you talking about observer effect in relation to our moods, and from that arriving at a karmic result?

Well, from my pov, that still does not resolve the difficulty. Because, even if your own mind is responsible for various effects, those effects are still "out there" and touch on the field of activity of others. So again, if you end up getting run over by a truck, or if you become irritable due to some computer malfunction another party is responsible for, you cannot pin the blame solely on your former 'moods.' Your moods, actions, vasanas and so forth may have been the necessitating causes bringing these effects about, but they (the effects) also depend by and large on the free will decisions of other beings. So the drunk trucker, or the absentminded assembly line worker, are as equally at fault as your mind for bringing those events to fruition.

It just isn't enough to say "oh, well, karma is such a complex system of transaction that we can't say anything about it." Even if it is complicated, the question does arise: "How do you settle with those agents involved in the 'knitting' of karma, and where do their choices come from?" I say they come from a field of raw possibility, which then allocates itself into a given possible world to be actualized.
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