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Karma brought into question. I struggle to accept karma. Please help?

AjivikaAjivika England New

Moral intentions have little or no effect and are often detrimental to survival. We exist in an amoral and opportunistic universe. Buddhism is the most perfect intricate religion which addresses the fundamental and most trenchant facts of sentient existence but karma I can no longer accept. Could it be that karma was a later accretion to Buddhism or does it all fall part without karma? Can craving and ignorance by themselves not explain rebirth? Oh please say they can?

To use an aching personal example, my actions have always been predisposed toward gentleness (despite occasional reactionary thoughts) and yet I am condemned and others who denigrated and maligned me enjoy fulfillment in this existence and have been granted that which is most precious but denied from me. How can this be?

Is nihilist amoralism, of the kind espoused by Purana Kassapa my only option now? He, much like myself was true loner and terminated his own existence.

Comments

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    There are those who hold that Karma is inherent in the result of actions. By being gentle the result of the actions will also be gentle, and so gentleness will return to you. But it has to be said that it will not make you stand out, and sometimes passion will serve you better.

  • ShanJieshi2ShanJieshi2 bahia blanca Veteran

    The essence of the natural mind is a mind free from duality
    and the presence of the identities; that’s something you can find in meditation
    and contemplation, and which can be maintained through correct intentions
    and actions with equanimity. Build positive karma.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    An essential part of survival is being able to work together with others towards common aims. Morality and positive intentions towards the others in that group are essential to trust, efficiency and belonging. They aren't superfluous, unless you intend to live in a hut on your own somewhere.

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran

    @Ajivika said:
    How can this be?

    I don't think you'll like this answer, but "karma" is how it can be. We do not only reckon with the karma we build in this life. We also reckon with the burden of past karma, past actions made in previous lives.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited March 6

    Is nihilist amoralism, of the kind espoused by Purana Kassapa my only option now? He, much like myself was a true loner and terminated his own existence.

    No.

    Nihilism and suicide is NOT part of gentleness. Suicide is a violent act against a precious opportunity. Nihilism is a hopeless mistake.

    So you could gently move countless beings into omniscient suicide Purana Kassapa style. Which perhaps seems a little arrogantly aggressive …

    … or … you could find bliss, nirvana or something hopeful … which is the more useful/pragmatic?

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I don’t think you can accept karma without also accepting rebirth.

    You may lean towards gentleness in this life but perhaps the results you’re currently experiencing are coming from behaviour from previous lifetimes.

    Patience is an integral part of this path.

    Also, If you’re contemplating suicide, I’d suggest therapy. This, hand in hand with Buddhist practice, can be affective.

    Good luck to you. Take care of yourself 🙏🏻

    Shoshin1
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited March 7

    Actions condition results. Sometimes those results are immediate. Sometimes they take time to bear fruit. Actions are like seeds that ripe when the conditions are right. Some seeds sprout fast. Some take more time. Some require certain conditions to grow, like the seeds of a sequoia that require the presence of fire. Some seeds are superseded by others. Some are never able to germinate. And some may not flower until after our passing. And some things that grow are pleasant, while other less so. That is what kamma is like.

    If you strive only for the experience of power and pleasure, then those are the seeds you will water and likely grow. That doesn't mean they'll always lead to unpleasantness, but that also doesn't mean they won't lead to harm as well. You own both the pleasure and pain, and are responsible for the pleasure and pain you cause to others. The morality you construct around that is up to you. The Buddha recommends reflecting on that and choosing what will be for your long-term welfare and happiness. So try to choose well given the circumstances.

    Bunkslobster
  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran

    @Ajivika said:
    Moral intentions have little or no effect and are often detrimental to survival. We exist in an amoral and opportunistic universe. Buddhism is the most perfect intricate religion which addresses the fundamental and most trenchant facts of sentient existence but karma I can no longer accept. Could it be that karma was a later accretion to Buddhism or does it all fall part without karma? Can craving and ignorance by themselves not explain rebirth? Oh please say they can?

    To use an aching personal example, my actions have always been predisposed toward gentleness (despite occasional reactionary thoughts) and yet I am condemned and others who denigrated and maligned me enjoy fulfillment in this existence and have been granted that which is most precious but denied from me. How can this be?

    Is nihilist amoralism, of the kind espoused by Purana Kassapa my only option now? He, much like myself was true loner and terminated his own existence.

    This too shall pass @Ajivika <3

    The interesting thing about 'Karma' is, Karma does not care if one 'believes' in it existence or not, it will just carry on doing its thing, by fulfilling one's intentional actions...

    And from what I gather, there's no good or bad karma, (good and bad are relative)...It's just actions (energy in motion AKA emotion) and the results of these actions...One's intention which leads to actions can be skilful or unskilful and the results can be satisfactory/wholesome or unsatisfactory/unwholesome...

    Quote from The Twin Verses (The Dhammapada)

    All that we are is the result of what we have thought: we are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfish thoughts cause misery when they speak or act. Sorrows roll over them as the wheels of a cart roll over the tracks of the bullock that draws it.

    All that we are is the result of what we have thought: we are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy whenever they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them.

    “He insulted me, he struck me, he cheated me, he robbed me”: those caught in resentful thoughts never find peace.

    “He insulted me, he struck me, he cheated me, he robbed me”: those who give up resentful thoughts surely find peace.

    For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love. This is an unalterable law.

    May your 'wholesome' karma ripen soon... <3

    Bunks
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited March 7

    Kamma cannot be a refuge. Being good and expecting only good things to happen to you is a sure way to experience pain.

    Asking why me is not the way of the Buddha.

    "This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

    "As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I have no self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will stay just as it is for eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

    "The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — who has regard for noble ones, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma; who has regard for men of integrity, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma — discerns what ideas are fit for attention and what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas unfit for attention and attends [instead] to ideas fit for attention.

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.002.than.html

    "He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: identity-view, doubt, and grasping at precepts & practices. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by seeing.

    "There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

    "The Buddha-range of the Buddhas[1] is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

    "The jhana-range of a person in jhana...[2]

    "The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.077.than.html

    Bunkslobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Simply cease from evil, do only good, and purify the heart/mind, whenever you can.

    The rest will take care of itself.

    Who wants to be selfish, aggressive, very naughty? Not many.
    Some great insights everyone.

    Do what is right, good, decent. Oh we may fail but we can do our best for our present being. Very straightforward post from @how

    Bunks
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Jason said:
    I took the liberty of banning the member for an extraordinarily racist post. Feel free to comment and continue the discussion here, but be aware that the member is no longer able to participate.

    Sadly that outrageously ridiculous post has been deleted.

    This was our 'best' troll ever. I wanted to keep it … but as usual, request denied. :anguished: How am I ever gonna start being a Mahayana Bodhisattva if I can not have trolls to experiment on … [lobster grumbles off into the Purelands … ] o:)

    Trolls, racists and communists are all sentient beings and potential Buddhas.

    BunksFosdick
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    Sorry, @lobster. But you know how us commies are really into purging. 🤷‍♀️

    BunksJeroenlobstermarcitko
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited March 8

    One moment, he is seemingly sane and talking about karma. The next, he goes off the deep end with a manifesto about caucasoids and congoids and the intermingling of races… extremely bizarre.

    "There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them.

    We did warn him… apparently he conjectured…

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Damn! I wish I'd seen it.....

    Jeroen
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Bunks said:
    Damn! I wish I'd seen it.....

    If it's any consolation, I too missed all the fun. Here I am, your dedicated and constant Guardian, Dutifully eliminating all spam applicants on a daily - sometimes hourly - basis, but otherwise bored out of her skull with nothing else to find to do - and the one day I take leave of absence, @Jason comes galloping in, like a knight in shining armour, brandishing his Sword of Righteousness (also known as 'Take that, you Fucktard!') and heroically banishes the mouthy mysoginistic racist miscreant, with one fell swoop! There's your hero!
    I shall just keep sweeping the floor and evicting dust bunnies...

    BunksJeroenlobster
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited March 8

    I guess we do have a "flag" option for a reason.
    1st time I've used it.

    Kotishka
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran

    Karma is not fixed.
    Karma is the ongoing causality - the sum of your past causes and the creation or changing of karma by current actions (words, deeds, actions..)
    It is the reality of life and it is fluid.
    If you don't like your "Karma", make the causes to change it. Karma is not a trap but rather an opertunity.

    Peaqce to all

    BunksShoshin1lobster
  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran

    What I experience in this life comes from what I think say and do
    I'm just a vibrating bundle of energy flux held together by cosmic karmic glue...

    marcitkolobster
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited March 8

    @federica said:

    @Bunks said:
    Damn! I wish I'd seen it.....

    If it's any consolation, I too missed all the fun. Here I am, your dedicated and constant Guardian, Dutifully eliminating all spam applicants on a daily - sometimes hourly - basis, but otherwise bored out of her skull with nothing else to find to do - and the one day I take leave of absence, @Jason comes galloping in, like a knight in shining armour, brandishing his Sword of Righteousness (also known as 'Take that, you Fucktard!') and heroically banishes the mouthy mysoginistic racist miscreant, with one fell swoop!

    If you want, I can leave an unhinged rant here and you can delete it and ban me. I hate to see someone left out of the fun. We'll have to agree on a time and date however, lest Jason swoop in and ruin your chance!

    Rather than run-of-the-mill racism, I'm thinking something spectacular would be a treat for a change. Maybe it'll start with "I'm thinking of converting to the Westborough Baptist Church!" Or maybe a thread called "Are the Spanish even worth it?" These are all just ideas. Nothing's yet put down in stone.

    I'm thinking it's been a while since a "Sovereign Citizen" has darkened the door. I could pretend to be one of those.

    lobsterShoshin1BunksJeroen
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited March 8

    If you want, I can leave an unhinged rant here and you can delete it and ban me. I hate to see someone left out of the fun.

    @Vimalajāti such kindness [lobster wipes away fake salty tear]. <3

    Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s fiends.
    John 15:13

    We haz plan! … and now back to the common dharma karma …

    VimalajātiBunksJeroen
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited March 8

    Lobster, this plan was between me and Federica. I understand you want to be included, but don't be so desparate.

    (I'm kidding! I love you!)

    lobsterBunksJeroenShoshin1
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Vimalajāti said:
    Lobster, this plan was between me and Federica.

    It should be 'Federica and me'. I could cheerfully ban you just for that....!

    Lobster, put - the - smoking - gun - down! Step - away - from - the - spat.....!

    Vimalajāti
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I've just noticed my heavy-handed Mod note rhymes. What genius.

    lobsterVimalajātihow
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Some of us, mentioning no names are realising or fulfilling our Calmer Karma.
    Think of it like this:
    Dukkha is the price of Sukha BUT also Samsara is Nirvana.

    or in other terms:

    BunksFleaMarket
  • _f wel ook upon Karma as fixed, as in "You suffer now because 49 lives ago, you stepped upon an ant", Not so good.
    However, if we view Karma as mutable, all changes. _You are suffering now? Great, you have the opportunity to change it. When we see karma as mutable, we do not face obstacles, we do not face problems, we face challenges. Snow shoes and skis arose from someone having to slog through snow - on foot. Without life's challenges, how can we advance? How can we grow?

    Peace to all.

    lobster
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