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Wiktor
Wednesday, January 17th, 2007, 05:56 PM
The basic concept of the laws of karma in oriental religions evolves around the concept that good actions bring good results and bad actions produces suffering to the one who performs them. It is important to perform good actions in order to get good results and obviously not perform bad actions, which will bring bad results. It is also well known that what is behind an
action- i.e. if an action is performed with desire, attachment and with
egoistic assumption of doership, is what's creating karma.
Ramana Maharshi said:

- One suffers because of the idea that the body, which is never oneself,
is 'I'; suffering is all due to this illusion.

Anyone can imagine what good and bad means, but is good necessarily good and is bad necessarily bad? A good deed could- if we are not careful- produce bad karma. If we think we are doing a "good" deed, which is really a bad deed, then we will not move upwards as we believe , but downwards. Rich or poor? The Soul chooses to reincarnate in the circumstances it needs in order to develop and the Divine One is not concerned with what humans consider to be good or bad. A person who is rich has not necessarily been performing good deeds in his previous life, just as being poor does not necessarily mean it is the fruits of bad karma and vice versa. Imagine how hard it could be to detach yourself from the inheritance from your multimillionaire parents. So much to lose! A poor person would not have anything to loose or to be tempted by in the material aspect, but of course,
a "poor" person can be attached to his "suffering", just as a "rich" person.
We get what we deserve - in a non-material aspect - , thats how it works.

Good and bad must be considered as a relative concept created by humans in order to suit our purposes and way of perceiving this physical world.
The laws of karma operates according to the Divine Law and not corrupt human- made laws. In my mind, good or bad karma, is still KARMA.
The highest goal for a man of Tradition is to produce NO karma at all.
As Ramana Maharshi said:

-A man might have performed many karmas in his previous births. A few of these alone will be chosen for this birth and he will have to enjoy their fruits in this birth. It is something like a slide show where the projectionist picks a few slides to be exhibited at a performance, the remaining slides being reserved for another performance. All this karma can be destroyed by acquiring knowledge of the self. (Sri Ramana Maharshi uses the word "Self," to signify what is more generally known as the "Soul", in contrast to the "I," which signifies the physical part of us, which is not the real us. However according to various traditions, the soul the soul cannot reach beyond the this physical phenomenon world, but the intellect, which is not to be confused with Reason or logic. The intellect is connected to what is called "the eye of the heart," which is the eternal essence in us. The eye of the heart is what enables us to see, reach and comprehend the metaphysical realm, which belongs to the next world.)


The different karmas are the slides, karmas being the result of past experiences, and the mind is the projector.
The projector must be destroyed so that there will be no further reflection and no further births and no deaths. - Find the root to karma and cut it off.
- The truth burns up all karmas and frees you from all births.

It is crucial that we understand what inside of us creates karma.
3 criteria must be fulfilled in order to avoid suffering from our actions:

1, Your motive must be pure i.e. it must be for the greatest good of All.
2. What you choose to say or act upon must be an absolute truth.
3. You must have no bonds to this physical/material world, which means that the ego must not be in control of you.

If I say an absolute truth to a person about himself, his first reaction may be negative and aggressive, but perhaps - if he chooses to - after a certain amount of reflection, he may see my point and admit that I was right and also learn something about himself, which will make him develop as a human being and thus increase the harmony in his life. Was my action good or bad? I would like to say that it was neutral. Ramana Maharshi said further:

- Whatever is done lovingly, with righteous purity and with peace of mind, is a good action. Everything which is done with the stain of desire and with agitation filling the mind is classified as a bad action. Do not perform any good action (karma) through a bad means, thinking 'it is sufficient if it bears good fruits.' Because if the means is bad, even a good action will turn out to
be a bad one. Therefore, even the means of doing actions should be pure.

I have to understand that a negative reaction happens because the person I
addressed is identifying himself with the body. It is his ego that is reacting to the truth. It is also his choice how he will respond to the situation and that has nothing to do with me. If I fulfill the 3 criteria, I will not suffer from my actions. If I would suffer, then there is something in me causing the suffering and that is an opportunity to see where work needs to be done. Fulfilling the 3 criteria also makes me act and talk in a different way. I will have a different frequency and this will make the other person respond differently, since higher vibrations are stronger than lower vibrations. I will also be aware of where a persons limit is for integrating the truth internally. To push this limit would serve no purpose. Sometimes it is just better to be silent.

If I see a beggar in the street and give him money out of compassion in order to reduce his suffering, is that really a good deed? If I would do such a thing it would actually mean that I am trying to remove the fruits of his actions, his chance to learn something in life and at the same time I would be rebelling against the Divine Law, which will have consequences for me. This is a truly egoistic action. This is a corrupt version of love. Real love would be to try to make the beggar understand why he suffers, the divine purpose of suffering and point the way to the path to the Eternal Source, which we all are a part of. We do not expect a child to know what we know from years and years of life-experience. Our responsibility would be to guide the child, but the mistakes the child may do, must be respected. Why can we not allow this child to grow as a human being in its own pace?
That would in my mind be considered real love.

We all operate on different levels of awareness, since we are on different levels in our development. That is why the structure of this world works.

So, again, good is not necessarily good and bad is not necessarily bad.
It is easy to fall in such a trap, if we are not careful. Humans are not perfect beings though, but it is our duty to realize what we are and what this place - this planet - really is. If we think we are fighting for something good, we have better be careful and ask ourselves what our motive really is, if it is for the greatest good of All, if our action is based on an absolute truth and if we are being led by our ego or our Soul - the real Self.


There is another very interesting aspect of the laws of karma, that has always fascinated me. When a bad cause produces a bad consequence,
I suffer. You could say that I was doing something that was not allowed.
If we try to see the divine meaning behind everything that occurs in life, everything we do could be considered a ritual. A sacred ritual.
During this ritual, we will be guided.

I am sure that everybody at one point in their lives have had the sensation that nothing is going your way. You want to do a project and there is a lot
of trouble, friction and struggle. There is huge adversity and we perceive it as if it is not meant to be. On the other hand we all have experienced moments in life when everything seemed to go our way. I have often felt a sensation of a flow and everything just fell into place. I hear stories like; "if that person would have walked in the door just one minute later, I would not be where and who I am today!"

There is something very important to learn from situations like these.
If we are conscious about these events and understand the divine meaning behind them, we will understand - not just intellectually, (I use the term intellect, because it is what people are used to, but the intellect should not be confused with reason or logic. In various traditions, the intellect is connected to "the eye of the heart," which is the eternal essence in us, that makes us see, reach and comprehend the metaphysical realm, which belongs to the next world.)

but internally - that we can be guided to our task here on Earth. It is being provided to us by the Good One. So, the laws of karma is a powerful tool, which is given to us and it is important that we reveal this tool to ourselves, in order to use it the way we choose to.

Reiver
Wednesday, March 14th, 2007, 06:50 PM
From a Zen standpoint there is no good or bad karma there is just karma. We talk about good or bad we are talking about the way people will interpret the experiences they get as a result of karma. Two people can experience the exact same thing one will suffer and one will not according to their mental state and wisdom. Let's say two people break their legs that's karma, they were both planning a skiing trip one will wallow in misery and anger and frustration at home. The other person chooses to go on the trip with his friends enjoy the scenery, sit in the lodge and sip hot cocoa, flirt with pretty girls and have them sign his cast. Two people have suffered the same thing, but one person allows it to affect them negatively and the other accepts it.
Remember from a Buddhist standpoint individual mind is an illusion so ultimately so is individual karma.

It can be explained in regard to the Buddhist doctrine of interdependent origination and the philosophy of the Avatamsaka Sutra, which describes consciousness in terms of actual jeweld net, with every part reflecting every other part. Just as if you dissect a part of a hologram you'll get a perfect small representation of that hologram,the the individual parts of the Buddhacitta or Buddha Mind remains eternal, it is only epistemological factors that make it seem to appear and disappear, thus the old old Zen saying "unborn and undying mind"

One might also say there are destructive and constructive actions but all actions that are taken are in conjunction with the joint actions of others that creates our reality. Hell for instance is only hell because it's populated by hell beings. If they become enlightened that same hell turns into paradise. From the individual standpoint any action that doen truly from a narcissistic motive is going to lead to despair and disillusionment. Why, the universe doesn't give a good you know what about us as individuals, only cares about us as part of the whole. To the extent we have at turning around of consciousness from sheer individualism towards the ground of our being, is the extent to which we transcend any individual karma. Each individual is a unique and perfect reflection of the whole, and therefore our unique qualities do not disappear with a more grounded spiritual perspective. You might say our personhood is an event we are the whole show center ring, sideshow, audience and clowns, it's the show that's the thing not the concept of the circus.

http://www.newciv.org/CyberSangha/lamarsp96.htm

I am also known as Zenshin Roshi

http://www.skepticfiles.org/mys1/8fold.htm

Bet you didnt think you find a "Zen M;) aster" on the Sakdi forum

Wiktor
Saturday, March 17th, 2007, 12:15 PM
Dear Reiver.

I did certainly not expect a "zen master" to be present at this forum and I'm glad that you are here, because then you could share your knowledge and experience with us all.

Welcome!

Let me get to my point right away.
You said: [...] "From a Buddhist standpoint individual mind is an illusion so ultimately so is individual karma".
I would like to add the following: "From a Buddhist standpoint individual mind is an illusion so ultimately so is individual karma, but there is an important and divine purpose with this illusion and we need to understand it in order to overcome it.
What I am implying is that there is a reason why we are in physical bodies in a physical world and it needs to be contemplated upon. It seems to me that Buddhism as a whole do not want to penetrate this issue as much as I think it should be and most of the material I have been reading are full of contradictions to say the least.
If a person breaks a leg, as you suggested, then obviously he is still producing karma and this person needs to contemplate upon this. From a low perspective, it may look as if it is the person who reacts in a "positive" or "healthy" way towards the circumstances of his situation that has the upper hand, dealing with the fruits of karma in a "constructive" fashion without being attached to his "fate," but is it really? From a higher perspective I would say it is the other way around. I would always bet my money, so to speak, on the person who reacts in a "negative" or "unhealthy" manner when faced with the fruits of karma, because it is during a crisis that we are closest to the chance of developing a more deeper understanding of the fruits of karma; it is when we are in our most vulnerable state that we find ourselves in the most proper state to be able receive insight, which will lead to real knowledge i.e. wisdom. In having a "positive" or "healthy" attitude towards ones "fate," one may run the risk of not grasping the deeper, divine meaning and purpose behind what is happening to oneself. This attitude of avoiding "negative" feelings or thoughts is in reality a missed opportunity to learn, grow and taking a major step in ones progress towards the liberation, which is the whole point with our stay here on this planet.
In my mind the law of karma is a powerful tool that is given to us to use as we wish. The whole point with the law of karma is to lead us towards the liberation.

From your point of view, what do you think about this?
I'm willing to learn!

Reiver
Monday, March 19th, 2007, 03:58 AM
Dear Reiver.

I did certainly not expect a "zen master" to be present at this forum and I'm glad that you are here, because then you could share your knowledge and experience with us all.

Welcome!

Let me get to my point right away.
You said: [...] "From a Buddhist standpoint individual mind is an illusion so ultimately so is individual karma".
I would like to add the following: "From a Buddhist standpoint individual mind is an illusion so ultimately so is individual karma, but there is an important and divine purpose with this illusion and we need to understand it in order to overcome it.
What I am implying is that there is a reason why we are in physical bodies in a physical world and it needs to be contemplated upon. It seems to me that Buddhism as a whole do not want to penetrate this issue as much as I think it should be and most of the material I have been reading are full of contradictions to say the least.
If a person breaks a leg, as you suggested, then obviously he is still producing karma and this person needs to contemplate upon this. From a low perspective, it may look as if it is the person who reacts in a "positive" or "healthy" way towards the circumstances of his situation that has the upper hand, dealing with the fruits of karma in a "constructive" fashion without being attached to his "fate," but is it really? From a higher perspective I would say it is the other way around. I would always bet my money, so to speak, on the person who reacts in a "negative" or "unhealthy" manner when faced with the fruits of karma, because it is during a crisis that we are closest to the chance of developing a more deeper understanding of the fruits of karma; it is when we are in our most vulnerable state that we find ourselves in the most proper state to be able receive insight, which will lead to real knowledge i.e. wisdom. In having a "positive" or "healthy" attitude towards ones "fate," one may run the risk of not grasping the deeper, divine meaning and purpose behind what is happening to oneself. This attitude of avoiding "negative" feelings or thoughts is in reality a missed opportunity to learn, grow and taking a major step in ones progress towards the liberation, which is the whole point with our stay here on this planet.
In my mind the law of karma is a powerful tool that is given to us to use as we wish. The whole point with the law of karma is to lead us towards the liberation.

From your point of view, what do you think about this?
I'm willing to learn!

One should never avoid negative feelings just do not submit to them. When negativity arises it is a chance for growth. In meditation,ie zazen we learn to see thoughts free of the emotive states that come concurrent with them. Notice I did not say free from emotions. Emotions are real and natural.if we see a poisonus snake in our path we should be frightend for a moment.
However it should not trigger an entire complex of emotions that carry's us out of the moment. I used to live in the desert many mornings I would find a Rattler sunning himself on my concrete door step. The first time it gave me a start the second time I had a long push broom to gently move him(they are sluggish in the morning). My poor neighbor was terrifed of them and would jump at a coiled garden hose. He could not separate the danger from the snake.

When one practices we slowly free ourselves from the emotive power of thoughts, and see them clearly as just thoughts.When they come up and disturb us we say just thought nothing else.The more we free ourselves from this cluster the more thoughts become our tools instead of us becomening thier victim.