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 Karma, Have you really thought about it?
Dancing Coyote
post Feb 19 2010, 11:17 AM
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I personally don't believe in karma for varying reasons which will be pointed out in the duration of your stay. I hope to get a clearer picture of the generalized belief being Karma, hopefully you can enlighten me.

Karma is a strange thing, have you thought about it? Let us first address this: we get "bad karma" or 'punished' by thoughts or actions. Now I feel this is a reasonable response to a bad action, but I am one of those who have a vested interest in ethics: so let's pick this apart. Bad actions. Do we get punished for harming animals? Generalized occult studies, basic animism, and modern science, all agree we are no different than another species of animal on this planet; but we're harvesting them for food, we cause global suffering for the worldwide animal population and most of us don't even realize half the extent of it. Now if we do get punished for harming animals, if it is an ethical 'wrong' then how far does it go? Do we get bad karma for killing a cockroach? Technically speaking this cockroach has basically the same right to life as you do, so you're intrinsically killing a being equal to that of yourself. So how far do we go? Do we take it to the microbial level? Do we get bad karma for fighting off a disease, "Sir, our antibodies killed thousands today. I'd suggest you donate to that starving-children in africa foundation" Or does our bodily karma have a sort of just war theory behind it? Now if karma exists on a universal scale: I very much doubt bad karma comes out of fighting and/or killing: not all animals always kill for food, nor do the harvest/use all of their kill. So either karma exists for all animals or it exists for humans only. This is a weird concept, why would it exist for humans only?

Maybe humans have a sort of psychic law enforcement behind all actions and things. Wow that's a bit eerie to think about. If this is true then karma would largely function on the cultural influence around it, it might not be karmatically wrong to eat beef in texas but if you even think about it in India you're fucked royal. Maybe it's even intrinsically wrong to not be racist in the south; bad things will happen to you if you do not submit to the surrounding cultural beliefs/taboos. This makes karma sound a bit like a perpetuation of an anthropological word "ethnocentrism."

The only time I've heard the word "karma" used is when someone doesn't get what they want from someone else, and it's a term used in a cursing fashion. "that karma will get to em, you wait and see. What goes around comes around." So this is closer to calling the furies on someone than anything else.

How about cultural gaps, is it wrong for a man to take up several wives? Is it intrinsically wrong to practice polyamory? How about consent age, it's 16 in the Netherlands.

Do we get punished for spending money on a shirt from a big brand-name clothing superstore who obviously gets their products from Indonesian sweatshops?

I could go on with examples but I think you get my point, karma is closer to a curse than anything else. Something like evoking the furies, or using the evil eye only in the guise of justice, quite possibly closer to evoking the rune Tyr.


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scoobs
post Feb 19 2010, 09:16 PM
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I have thought about Karma. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/blablabla.gif)

Intent is a big part of it.
Did you intend to harm someone? OR did you accidentally harm them?
The difference is inside us, the way we vibrate with each action or thought.
Negative vibrations attract negative vibes back to you.
Positive vibes attract positive vibes.
Law of attraction is the way of the universe and KArma is a way of describing this.
Buddhists describe it as wheels that turn, which takes into account time.

Try it out, for an entire day or week think positive thoughts, do positive things and count how many positive things happen and how many negative things happen to you. Then try being negative........not too negative though, don't want to push the world over the edge. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/fie.gif)



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Dancing Coyote
post Feb 19 2010, 11:22 PM
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QUOTE(scoobs @ Feb 19 2010, 10:16 PM) *

I have thought about Karma. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/blablabla.gif)

Intent is a big part of it.
Did you intend to harm someone? OR did you accidentally harm them?
The difference is inside us, the way we vibrate with each action or thought.
Negative vibrations attract negative vibes back to you.
Positive vibes attract positive vibes.
Law of attraction is the way of the universe and KArma is a way of describing this.
Buddhists describe it as wheels that turn, which takes into account time.

Try it out, for an entire day or week think positive thoughts, do positive things and count how many positive things happen and how many negative things happen to you. Then try being negative........not too negative though, don't want to push the world over the edge. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/fie.gif)


I've gotten positive results from anger-workings and negative results from happy workings, and vice versa. Positivity and negativity are simply frames of mind, what is 'negative' about anger or happiness? I could see potentially negativity in either one, and of course vise-versa. These simplistic dualities impede progress: good, holy, positive, bad, evil, negative, etc. The cat knows when it's harming it's prey, perhaps it simply enjoys the act of killing; who knows.

Did you even read my post or did you write after reading the headline?

This post has been edited by Dancing Coyote: Feb 19 2010, 11:27 PM


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SororZSD23
post Feb 20 2010, 10:49 AM
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I agree with you on some observations about Karma, Dancing. Because of my background, I also have a different understanding of what the doctrine of karma is than peeps who blithely bounce the term around and tack it onto pedestrian Judeo-Christian ethics or (how to) feel good "white" light stuff. I did study with a Buddhist teacher, though--a lama -- who did believe that the law of karma meant that if you killed a cockroach, you would be reborn as a cockroach and get squished in the exact same manner as you had squished a roach in your previous existence. I once got into a debate with this teacher during a lecture and finally was yelled at, with the lama bellowing that "only a Buddha knows what karma is." Two days later, I attended a retreat at a Vedantist center with a swami who I had also been studying with. The Swami surrendipitiously gave a lecture about karma and told everyone exactly what I had told the lama 2 days before. So it's all relative--and in the end all Disinformation. (Hail Eris!) (IMG:style_emoticons/default/banana.gif)

Karma is a Sanskrit term that means “activity” or “work.” It is derived from the word root kri: to do or to act. It originally referred to attending to religious observances (making ritual offerings to the gods in the appropriate way) and being diligent about one’s culturally defined responsibilities. It became conflated with ideas about destiny (that is, it was politicized). It also became applied to a somewhat scientific observation of cause and effect or action and reaction, and it also came to be used in relation to the idea of merit and demerit, sin and punishment, or punishment and vindication.

People just like to think that if they do something "good" (which is nevertheless defined by moral relativism, as you pointed out), something good and rewarding should happen to them and if someone else does something "bad" they will be punished even if it seems like they are gettting away with it. This idea is long engrained in Western religious thought, too, and predates the Judeo-Christian model. People are conditioned to respond to reward and punishment--the same as animals--and are deftly manipulated because of it. The old story about desiring pleasure and avoiding pain. To be fair, though, the common idea of karma is tied in with concepts about identification, empathy, and compassion, which for some extends to the idea of vegetarianism or "humane" treatment of animals (for example)--also concepts ingrained in Western (pre-Christian) religio-philosophical thought dating back at least to the 6th century BCE. (one wonders why Buddha is so popular in the West these days and not Pythagoras).

The truth is that life is full of ups and downs, gains and losses, and hurts and regrets. It is all driven by survival mechanisms, neurosis, and self-referencing. Furthermore, the very same people who brought you the "doctrine of Karma" --the Vedic seers--also used to refer to the World as "the eater and the eaten" and prayed in very ancient prayers that they be "the eater of food" and not the food.

The doctrine of karma isn't really about doing/reaping "good" or "bad" effects in relation to your actions or making judgements about the quality of someone else's life and actions. It is about getting rid of your programs, conditioning, and neuroses (instilled in you by nature and nurture and interdependantly arising constructs, the trajectory of which originates in beginningless time but has nothing to do with "reincarnation") that cause you to act reactively and unconsciously and unskillfully in relation to the nature of life. And in the Buddhist sense, "karma" really is only action and everything isn't a "thing" but a "happening"--an action that is interdependently arising. You don't "create" karma; you are karma. So where is the blame or the morality play?

The doctrine of karma, in the Hindu sense, posits three lines of force: sanchita karma, prarabdha karma, and agami karma. Sanchita karma is the momentum that originates in some mysterious and distant past. It presumably builds up over eons like a snowflake becomes an avalanche. Wherever the exponentially building mass is in the moment is the present. That is prarabdha karma—fate, destiny—where the past catches up with a person, dictates the present, and sets the trajectory for the future. The future is predicated on agami karma, which is where the avalanche might be headed and how its structure might change because of it. It was the potential future, which is determined both by what happened (sanchita karma) and what is happening (prarabdha karma). Even though the residual effects of past causes are inexorably barreling from the present to the future, the present still can modify the future’s course. A person either unconsciously rolls with it or else exerts "True Will" and thus does something effective and efficient rather than reactive, thereby redirecting and perhaps ameliorating so-called karmic momentum.




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Leaving aside those principles of magic that play on the superstitious and that, whatever they be, are unworthy of the general public, we will direct our thoughts only to those things that contribute to wisdom and that can satisfy better minds . . . -from De Magia by Giordano Bruno (born 1548; burned at the stake February 16, 1600).
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scoobs
post Feb 20 2010, 11:45 AM
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QUOTE(Dancing Coyote @ Feb 20 2010, 12:22 AM) *

I've gotten positive results from anger-workings and negative results from happy workings, and vice versa. Positivity and negativity are simply frames of mind, what is 'negative' about anger or happiness? I could see potentially negativity in either one, and of course vise-versa. These simplistic dualities impede progress: good, holy, positive, bad, evil, negative, etc. The cat knows when it's harming it's prey, perhaps it simply enjoys the act of killing; who knows.

Did you even read my post or did you write after reading the headline?


It is the Frames of mind that is important, it is what sends out the ripples on the pond. It is part of our communication with the universe. It is the emotional state you are in that matters because it is how you are vibrating, it is linked to how we are thinking, which is linked to the physical world. Say you are focused on the negative parts of your life, you will attract exactly what you are focused on. This is what is sometimes called Karma.

The whole point of my first point was this: Karma is actually the universal law of attraction.





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SororZSD23
post Feb 21 2010, 12:49 PM
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Found this in the booklet Khaos Magick and Urban Shamanism by Frater Sheosyrath. I think it sums up what karma and what one's orientation should be to in in both mysticism and magick:

"When you are born you are created by your perception of the people around you.An infant has no sense of self, no awareness of being. Others create you. The environment, the people around you, what people think of you, these things wire your brain since the moment you come out. Don't you think it would be in your benefit to destroy all of that and rebuild?"


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Leaving aside those principles of magic that play on the superstitious and that, whatever they be, are unworthy of the general public, we will direct our thoughts only to those things that contribute to wisdom and that can satisfy better minds . . . -from De Magia by Giordano Bruno (born 1548; burned at the stake February 16, 1600).
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scoobs
post Feb 21 2010, 11:10 PM
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QUOTE(SororZSD23 @ Feb 21 2010, 01:49 PM) *

Don't you think it would be in your benefit to destroy all of that and rebuild?"


Creation and Destruction is the nature of the universe, even in our own minds.

Destruction creates and Creation destroys.

The Dark Goddess and the Light Goddess symbolize this cycle.

But it doesn't have to be complete destruction, that would be tragic, and would ensure a repeat of creations. We have to know where we've been to know where we can go, to know some direction. Otherwise we will just create the same things over and over, maybe different names, different symbols but the same basic things.....same thoughts.



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Moonchilde
post Feb 22 2010, 09:05 PM
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I have thought about Karma.

It's a simple action reaction force equation. Nothing more.

The vector of you force (the intent, target, magnitude, etc.) is your consciousness pushing upon the "cloud/Universal/Divine" and the "other" consciousness of your target.

At that higher lever you are pushing on youreself as well as that which you attack. If any of your attack is mis-aligned, that is you are not seeing Clearly and are not in total concordance with your will, the leftover results are forces which affect *you*. Karma.

You get bad karma for not acting in line with your True Will, and the resultant 'nudges' are just you, reminding yourself where you want to go (if you are lucky) or random releases of energy (if you are not).

Humans kill. Deal with it, folks. That's Nature. That's not what Karma boils down to.

namaste,

moonchilde


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Bb3
post Feb 25 2010, 07:31 PM
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I was at the gym the other day and I heard something I thought was funny. A person had lost their wallet at a restaurant, the next day they called in and were told that the restaurant had found the wallet. The person went and picked up the wallet, everything was there except for a couple of hundred dollar bills the person had stashed behind her id. The person reciting the story says in so many words, "Karma will get them (the person who took the money)." Now I ask: why would should the person who found the wallet and took the money be punished for another person's foolery, first of all it's your own fault you lost your wallet, second of all it's your own fault you lost your wallet knowing there was a couple hundred in cash in there. Why should some esoteric power punish the person who found the cash and returned the wallet? There is perhaps a reward and purity to those who wouldn't take the money and return everything as is but I certainly don't hold it against any person who takes what they find lying around left behind. To sum it up, in America Karma has evolved into a inflated notion of divine retribution that becomes a rationale or fall back for those who feel they were somehow wronged.

This post has been edited by Bb3: Feb 25 2010, 07:32 PM


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Dancing Coyote
post Feb 25 2010, 07:55 PM
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QUOTE(SororZSD23 @ Feb 21 2010, 01:49 PM) *

Found this in the booklet Khaos Magick and Urban Shamanism by Frater Sheosyrath. I think it sums up what karma and what one's orientation should be to in in both mysticism and magick:

"When you are born you are created by your perception of the people around you.An infant has no sense of self, no awareness of being. Others create you. The environment, the people around you, what people think of you, these things wire your brain since the moment you come out. Don't you think it would be in your benefit to destroy all of that and rebuild?"


I've been reading the posts and thinking about what to say. I think I would have certainly gotten into quite the debate with such a Buddhist, hitchhiker's guide series is a good example of such reincarnation theories; haha. The tides of karma is certainly interesting to think about, I don't like the idea of being held responsible for unknown spiritual taboo I'm committing on a day to day basis. But as Moonchilde said about the true will I think I can swallow this iteration with a bit more ease.

If karma is based on true will then such actions are basically intrinsic to the self rather than any cultural underpinning. Again though if one is to attack another it could be one's true will to be a serial killer, as an example: Rats start breeding serial killers when their populous is too high. If one could master their thoughts/feelings then karma would effect them in any way the practitioner would see fit: an interesting yet dangerous school of thought. So I guess in effect this would be back to "being karma" as Soror pointed out; or "The Eater". I am not hugely researched into any specific culture so I like that you bring that out because I have yet to do the footwork. I'm just going off of what our culture says and does.

Scoobs I think you're just perpetuating the superstitious bullshit I call karma, stop and think about it will you? I do not see in black and white, there is no intrinsic good or evil. Is it wrong for a man to steal bread for his starving family? Are you stealing from a man if you own something he needs (that something you do not need) and you do not give it to him? I could bring up such subjects like the death penalty, or abortion. What about people who work for massive corporations that steal, cheat, and lie, do these people get bad karma? How about soldiers who fight in wars that have no intrinsically "good" nature to them aside from getting resources for their country, (give an example if the soldier was drafted and one when the soldier wasn't.)? There is no way to be successful in this world without harming another be it jobs, finances, food, traffic; if you do not harm another you are not progressing in the world of the monetary system. Life is suffering, this is obvious but I do not care to worry about some great cosmic force watching my every move: that's christianity, I've had enough of christianity.

At Bb3.
Exactly what I mean, this was more akin to calling the furies than anything else.



This post has been edited by Dancing Coyote: Feb 25 2010, 09:15 PM


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scoobs
post Feb 26 2010, 11:49 AM
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Light and Dark, Sun and Moon, Creation and Destruction. It is a cycle of transformation, of change.

Karma is change. The destruction of old beliefs and the creation of new ones, the turning of the wheel.

IT is an evolutionary force, it is the lessons in life we are here to learn.

The mechanics of it involve the law of attraction.

Say a man desires all the food of his village and takes it. He gets what he desires the food. But there is consequence to this desire. For now the other villagers all desire punishment for this man because of his selfish act. The man that took the food will now be feeling the negative karma. The stronger the passion the stronger the effect.

Now if the man did it in secret and is the only one who knows about it, there still will be Karma for this action. IT will be generated from within, his own desires will create the negative KArma. What is above is below, the sun and moon are inside us all, consciously or unconsciously. The thoughts of the man will be what attracts the consequences or no consequences, if he thinks he has done wrong or if he thinks he did right, depends on the man, he ultimately is his own judge when others are not involved.


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Dancing Coyote
post Feb 26 2010, 12:46 PM
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QUOTE(scoobs @ Feb 26 2010, 12:49 PM) *

Light and Dark, Sun and Moon, Creation and Destruction. It is a cycle of transformation, of change.

Karma is change. The destruction of old beliefs and the creation of new ones, the turning of the wheel.

IT is an evolutionary force, it is the lessons in life we are here to learn.

The mechanics of it involve the law of attraction.

Say a man desires all the food of his village and takes it. He gets what he desires the food. But there is consequence to this desire. For now the other villagers all desire punishment for this man because of his selfish act. The man that took the food will now be feeling the negative karma. The stronger the passion the stronger the effect.

Now if the man did it in secret and is the only one who knows about it, there still will be Karma for this action. IT will be generated from within, his own desires will create the negative KArma. What is above is below, the sun and moon are inside us all, consciously or unconsciously. The thoughts of the man will be what attracts the consequences or no consequences, if he thinks he has done wrong or if he thinks he did right, depends on the man, he ultimately is his own judge when others are not involved.


So... you're saying we get punished by those around us and ourselves? so if we commit an act of generalized taboo then we're in trouble and if we feel guilty about something we get punished. Basically if I don't feel guilty or get caught committing any acts of taboo I'm in the good. Sun, moon, whaledick etc.


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SororZSD23
post Feb 27 2010, 09:15 AM
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Bb3's anecdote perfectly describes what is all wrong with simple-minded ideas about what "karma" is. Because one could say that it is someone's "karma" that they lost a couple hundred dollars because they were careless or stupid (or because they screwed someone over 2 weeks ago or in a past life 200 years ago) and that it is someone's "karma" that they "found" a wallet chock o' 100 dollar bills so they could buy food, pay the rent, pay the ransom to the person who kidnapped their ped poodle, feed their drug habit, pay the loanshark before their knees caps got busted, or any number of scenarios.

The doctrine of karma is NOT about the "law of attraction" or moral relativism. But this is the dummied-down,sweetened porridge version of it that is fed to people across cultures. In the barest, most simplified terms, the doctrine of karma says: "Shit happens. Shit happens because we don't know who or what we really are or wtf we're doing here and then we make things worse by making up stories about why shit happens and acting on those stories. The way to deal with shit happening is to stop playing in it and to see it for what it is: shit happening."

As for True Will-- Crowley was not referring to the ego-personality or neurotic- or desire-driven or socioopathic aspects of the psyche,which are all considered to be non-"conscious" robot-like constructs and which are the "embodiment" of "karma" or the "shit-happening" that a person haplessly happens to be. Crowley, instead, was referring to what a person is when all this is deconstructed and purged: True Nature or Original Self--concepts found in and (for Crowley) derived from Eastern spirituality and Western Hermetic mysticism. One could argue whether Crowley achieved realization of True Will for all his channelling and eloquency on the matter (apologies to Thelemites for the blasphemy) --or he could perhaps be seen as a "crazy wisdom" teacher in the annals of magick and mysticism, but, at least intellectually speaking, he had a grasp on how to cultivate True Nature and be extricated from the wheel of karma.

"He sees the totality of objects appearing and disappearing in the ether of his consciousness like the series of reflections in a mirror. Instantly, all of his thought constructs are cut asunder by the recognition, after a thousand lives, of his true essential nature, surpassing common experience and full of unprecedented bliss. He is struck with amazement, with mouth agape. As he obtains the experience of vast expansion, his true essential nature emerges."

--from the Spanda Karikas on the 11th verse of the Spanda Nirnaya: "How can this accursed way of life and death be his any longer who stands in amazement as he observes that nature that presides over all the activities of life?"


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Leaving aside those principles of magic that play on the superstitious and that, whatever they be, are unworthy of the general public, we will direct our thoughts only to those things that contribute to wisdom and that can satisfy better minds . . . -from De Magia by Giordano Bruno (born 1548; burned at the stake February 16, 1600).
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scoobs
post Mar 1 2010, 12:30 AM
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Morals were used in my examples because it was the source of the desires. Desires come from thoughts and most people think with passion from strong morals. Passionate thoughts = strong emotions = strong vibrations = stronger power of attraction = stronger magick

The problem with doctrine, or dogma is that the farther you get from the light, the more distorted the picture becomes.

randomness (shit happens) is not Karma. They are two different things. Karma has direction, it is describes as a wheel because of it's direction. IT starts with us and over some time it returns to us. The law of attraction is the same.

QUOTE(SororZSD23 @ Feb 27 2010, 10:15 AM) *

"He sees the totality of objects appearing and disappearing in the ether of his consciousness like the series of reflections in a mirror.


This quote describes the law of attraction.

Who is the fool? The one who questions doctrine or the one who quotes it?



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SororZSD23
post Mar 1 2010, 07:15 PM
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K (IMG:style_emoticons/default/black eye.gif) .

After you've spent 25+ years studying and being mentored in the Advaita Vedanta, Kashmir Shaivism, Classical Yoga, and Tibetan Buddhism (as I have), then put me in my place about what "karma" is and what "Bhairava Mukha"--"The face of Shiva" or the experience of "enlightenment" (which is what the passage describes) has to do with The Law of Attraction. As Dancing Coyote has already noted, you do not seem to be really reading or fully comprehending the posts that you are replying to.

But I'm done on this thread. Next.


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Leaving aside those principles of magic that play on the superstitious and that, whatever they be, are unworthy of the general public, we will direct our thoughts only to those things that contribute to wisdom and that can satisfy better minds . . . -from De Magia by Giordano Bruno (born 1548; burned at the stake February 16, 1600).
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Dancing Coyote
post Mar 1 2010, 09:37 PM
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QUOTE(SororZSD23 @ Mar 1 2010, 08:15 PM) *

K (IMG:style_emoticons/default/black eye.gif) .

After you've spent 25+ years studying and being mentored in the Advaita Vedanta, Kashmir Shaivism, Classical Yoga, and Tibetan Buddhism (as I have), then put me in my place about what "karma" is and what "Bhairava Mukha"--"The face of Shiva" or the experience of "enlightenment" (which is what the passage describes) has to do with The Law of Attraction. As Dancing Coyote has already noted, you do not seem to be really reading or fully comprehending the posts that you are replying to.

But I'm done on this thread. Next.
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Puppies, cats; green, orange, the universe is two. We attract opposites, the colors we see are simply the target object's least favorite because it absorbs the rest. Karma is a purple people eater.

This post has been edited by Dancing Coyote: Mar 1 2010, 09:38 PM


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plainsight
post Apr 13 2010, 07:34 PM
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People tend to slap a price and quantity to the idea. I would be open to the idea, that this world is not the most spiritually advanced. And rebirth would be a means of going elsewhere.

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Lacresh
post Aug 24 2010, 02:27 AM
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I do not believe in karma as a supernatural force that judges every person's every action and metes out appropriate retribution. However, I do believe in cause and effect, and many actions that are generally considered "evil" will often cause a chain of events that eventually or immediately causes harm to the "evildoer."

Of course this isn't absolute, as evidenced by the many thieves, murderers, and sociopaths who live long and successful lives without their actions coming back to haunt them, as well as all the selfless, peaceful, and heroic people who die early and/or painful deaths, and often suffer in life.


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☞Tomber☜
post Aug 24 2010, 06:03 AM
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QUOTE(Lacresh @ Aug 24 2010, 03:27 AM) *

Of course this isn't absolute, as evidenced by the many thieves, murderers, and sociopaths who live long and successful lives without their actions coming back to haunt them, as well as all the selfless, peaceful, and heroic people who die early and/or painful deaths, and often suffer in life.

So you believe in the 'every action causes a reaction and that's what karma comes down to'? That's fine. I personally believe there is a God that judges everyone after they die but that's not karma, that's punishment. Karma for me means the universe evening out everything over a period of lives or after death. Just because a Psycho doesn't live uncomfortable now does not exclude the possibility of him being reborn into a bad situation. I don't know if I believe that but it seems like a possibility and there are a lot of people that seem to just be born into a bad situation. Also being a psychopath might be a means of evening out the score. Being born without emotions seems about as bad as it comes to me. And some people think that there are children that have psychopathic tendencies and cold or negative parenting pushes them over the cliff they were already hanging on. I actually saw a show the other day where a cop told people not to feel bad for these people (psychopaths) because they don't have feelings and may be capable of commuting brutal murders. That seems about as good advice as telling people not to feel bad for people poorer than themselves because God decided to give them the money, not the poor people. It seems like people do take this view and even call people "psychos" when they do something wild or crazy. I think that's about as nice as throwing around the word"retard".

The same goes for sociopaths

This post has been edited by ☞Tomber☜: Aug 24 2010, 06:06 AM


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QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Jan 30 2013, 02:19 AM) *
Expect nothing, or you will get caught up in the future and not pay attention to the present. Just do the practice diligently, do it because you enjoy it, do it because you believe in it. Don't wait for results, don't wait for it to happen.

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Draw
post Aug 24 2010, 10:58 AM
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I like to think of karma as simplistic magic for everyday people.
lots of bad and good things happen to people all the time that cannot be acted upon.
solution.. believe retribution will come their way anyway, of course most people who believe in karma believe this will happen weather they believe it or not, which isn't necessarily true.
believing is often the first step in making something happen.

I kind of believe that myself

I've got another theory though. I'd say a lot of whats in peoples minds is trans-personal, as in our imaginations/subconsciousness isn't all that worried about the difference between you an them, kind of..
So when you perform an action.. say you hit a stranger round the head with a chair, because its funny, your subconscious thinks 'Yay that was funny' so then actively lets the same thing happen again,
only its not that bothered if it happens to you, in fact it's preferred because it can then experience it from the other angle,
after all most peoples imaginations are just as likely to give them dreams of being eaten by a shark then given dreams of having sex with 4 women living in a shoe, it's the experience that seems to count.
actions seen an done are like suggestions as to what will happen next.

On a plus side, my belief in karma has 'generaly' stopped me cursing people. which can be quite anti-social.

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MrJohm
post Mar 27 2011, 12:46 PM
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For any one who does not believe in Karma, I advise them to go play in traffic.

Believing one is immune from something doesn't mean that person is immune from that one thing.

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Imperial Arts
post Mar 30 2011, 01:32 AM
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I am not a scholar of Eastern religions, but from what I do understand of "karma," the effect includes much more than retribution for crimes or rewards for good behavior.

Take a step or two back from this discussion for the sake of perspective on this. The Eastern religions, including hundreds of "Hindu" sects and most forms of Buddhism, insist upon a spiritual existence that surpasses bodily existence in importance. Those religions treat bodily existence the way we might treat a video game: it absorbs our attention, and we participate under conscious control, but the game has little bearing on our real lives which possess vastly greater degrees of endurance and complexity.

Perhaps you have played an interactive game wherein a player purposely caused trouble for the others who played the game. The game experience diminishes for everyone, but beyond that the perpetrator might live a decent and respectful life. On the flipside, one who gains within the game might have nothing in his real life, and I know a few obese, jobless, 30-year old men who live in Warcraft land in their parents' basements who could testify to this.

Without recourse to a clumsy analogy, it should suffice to recognize that the concept of karma involves a bigger picture than simple rewards and punishments.

It should not surprise you to recognize that our experience of this world reflects only those parts which our sensory organs and their equivalent processing mechanisms in the brain can support. We cannot see germs, for example, but they exist all the same, as well as the better portion of light wavelengths and innumerable other things. We live in a world of fictional scenery in which we must trust that our brains represent everything accurately. The Eastern religions expand on this idea, with the entire physical world considered as a vast illusion with the true or spiritual reality entirely apart from it.

The karma of a person results from interaction with this false world, and confines the consciousness to it and obscuring the true reality of existence. Reason and activities that mingle the consciousness in causative processes bind the spiritual awareness to a set of material conditions, and the yogis call this karma. They also generally agree that karma passes from one incarnation to another, and that one should not seek rewards or punishments but rather freedom from karma altogether and a participation in the absolute reality.

With that said, I do agree that the concept has received the wrong sort of attention, tending to function as a polite way of saying "go to hell" when annoyed with other people, or as justification for noble but materially fruitless actions. I also think that the majority of Western students of karma, despite earnest intentions, have not succeeded in getting beyond the foreign terms involved and thus have no applicable knowledge of the subject. I believe you had unwittingly argued against a straw-man erected by a lazy and superficial majority opinion, and perhaps this will give you something more substantial to debate.


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