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 Post subject: Karma and Love
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2007, 10:01 
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I believe in Karma and in the eastern paths that are found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. But I also believe in the western traditions and teachings, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and most importantly Jesus.

I have heard it said that the eastern traditions have no compassion for the disadvantaged or challenged positions in life, they say, “after all, it is their Karmic debt that is being paid so why help them?”. I am not sure that eastern traditions actually are so cold, especially not Buddhism, but some point out the injustice of the cast system of Hinduism as an example. Christians are especially keen on pointing this out…

I’ve been thinking about this and I think that this is a case where my desire to mix west and east in my personal philosophy can provide some answers.

Do we help those who are born disadvantaged if it may be a karmic debt?

I say yes!

Here is why:
Jesus and Buddha taught love and compassion. I believe that Love, shown toward the disadvantaged in the form of help does not interfere with their Karma in a negative way, by keeping them entangled Samsara and taking their opportunity to evolve away from them. Rather, love removes the effects of bad Karma.

If I show loving kindness to the person undergoing the effects of Karma and if my act of loving kindness lessens their burden, not only have I helped them remove Karmic debt from their own life, but I have also affected my own Karma.

“Love covers a multitude of sins…”

I think that, while Karma is a law of the universe, Love is the higher law.

What do any of you think about this line of reasoning?


Last edited by Jedi Mind Trick on 26 Nov 2007, 10:02, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Karma and Love
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2007, 11:49 
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Jedi Mind Trick wrote:
I think that, while Karma is a law of the universe, Love is the higher law.

What do any of you think about this line of reasoning?


I like it. Another way to say it and maybe help understand it further would be that Karma is the law under which we are trapped in Samsara, while Love is the path to Moksha.


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 Post subject: Re: Karma and Love
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2007, 15:17 
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Jedi Mind Trick wrote:
I think that, while Karma is a law of the universe, Love is the higher law.

I like this reasoning as well. I understand it to imply that karma has no effect across incarnations if they are separated by existence outside of the universe. :)

Jedi Mind Trick wrote:
I believe that Love, shown toward the disadvantaged in the form of help does not interfere with their Karma in a negative way, by keeping them entangled Samsara and taking their opportunity to evolve away from them. Rather, love removes the effects of bad Karma.

Another way of looking at this is to rephrase the question “Should I help this disadvantaged person?” to “Who am I in relation to this person’s hardship?”, which I find very difficult to answer with “Someone who is indifferent to their suffering”. The response is typically more compassionate, but in a way that empowers them to deal with their problems rather than taking care of their problems for them. All I have to work on now is putting the theory into practice!


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 Post subject: Re: Karma and Love
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2007, 15:19 
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Location: San Fernando Valley, California
Jedi Mind Trick wrote:
“after all, it is their Karmic debt that is being paid so why help them?”.


That, to me, is an is/ought fallacy. That something has happened in no way means that it is what should happen, or that we shouldn't change it if that's what we prefer.

Besides, if someone's misfortune is in fact Karmic retribution rather than, say, bad luck, presumably the Universe is powerful enough to circumvent our clumsy mortal attempts to thwart the cosmic punishment.

Additionally--what of our own Karma? Is it not a transgression to fail to help someone when you are able to do so?

Any way you slice it, the balance is in favor of helping those less fortunate.

_________________
"Any experience which teaches you something new has not been a complete waste of time."

--Me


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 Post subject: Re: Karma and Love
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2007, 12:23 
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Karalora wrote:
Jedi Mind Trick wrote:
“after all, it is their Karmic debt that is being paid so why help them?”.


That, to me, is an is/ought fallacy. That something has happened in no way means that it is what should happen, or that we shouldn't change it if that's what we prefer.

Besides, if someone's misfortune is in fact Karmic retribution rather than, say, bad luck, presumably the Universe is powerful enough to circumvent our clumsy mortal attempts to thwart the cosmic punishment.

Additionally--what of our own Karma? Is it not a transgression to fail to help someone when you are able to do so?

Any way you slice it, the balance is in favor of helping those less fortunate.


I've read anecdotes about Brahmans who refuse to help a lower cast person who is in need... I don't know how prevalent such incidents are but I think that compassion should overrule such things. I believe there is much beauty and wisdom to be found in Hinduism; it is one of oldest religions in the world, if not the oldest. So to me it seems a shame that it can have such callousness, but many Yogis condemn such things as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2007, 12:56 
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Grand Poobah
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Which is entirely what the Parable of the Good Samaritanwas all about.


Quote:
Besides, if someone's misfortune is in fact Karmic retribution rather than, say, bad luck, presumably the Universe is powerful enough to circumvent our clumsy mortal attempts to thwart the cosmic punishment.


...is so true.

I know I'm a Buffy fan, and I know getting insight from a TV show is foolish, but I really like this interchange:

Quote:
Angel: Well, I guess I kinda worked it out. If there's no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do. 'Cause that's all there is. What we do. Now. Today. I fought for so long, for redemption, for a reward, and finally just to beat the other guy, but I never got it.
Kate Lockley: And now you do?
Angel: Not all of it. All I wanna do is help. I wanna help because, I don't think people should suffer as they do. Because, if there's no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness is the greatest thing in the world.


Religion can be so evil and so cruel, this almost seems like a test--- do we follow religion and save ourselves, or do we break from the great sky daddy's (not religion specific this time) rule and help those in need?

Those who follow the Law will fail, because the real 'law' is Love.

Again, a Christian concept...

Matthew 25
Quote:
31
14 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,
32
and all the nations 15 will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34
Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,
36
naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'
37
Then the righteous 16 will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
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When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
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When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'
40
And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
41
17 Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
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For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
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a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'
44
18 Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?'
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He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.'
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And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."


There must be such obscure teachings in other religions...

<back to lurking>


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2007, 13:28 
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Such things are what I "get" from Jesus' teachings. I think he was anti-religion and so was Buddha. Buddha and Jesus I hold in the same regard. Jesus and Buddha were about compassion and love, pure and simple, not all of this heavy theology none of this original sin, total depravity, substitutionary atonement stuff. It was about love and compassion. All of that other stuff came later and muddied the pure water…

Just my opinion, of course...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2007, 22:59 
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Well, in all fairness to the original thought behind this which isn't getting any defense here, what is kinder: to see a man who has suffered, paying his karmic debt for 40 years, hand him $1,000,000 and heal his wounds only to have his karmic debt go unfulfilled and doom him to relive what he has been going through; or to let him pay his karmic debt and move on to his next life in peace and health?

As far as I'm concerned, all organized religion is corrupt and most likely the people in power in Hindu society are behaving selfishly, but that does not necessarily demonize the original mystic direct experience of what might possibly be a very valid spiritual truth.

There's a difference between a rich man of high caste in Hindu society hording wealth as his karmic due and watching people starve, and an ascetic who is spending his life (or what remains of it, as my understanding is that the majority of Sadhus in India are actually older people who have lived a life of responsibility for their families and choose to spend their waning years in spiritual devotion) in spiritual devotion rather than in philanthropic endeavors.

Jesus taught that wealth corrupts the rich man; that is more the reason to give to the poor than out of pity for them or self pity for you. This is why the two teachings correspond. Love transcends pity.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 28 Nov 2007, 06:38 
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Yes, not pity, but a sincere desire to see all life free from suffering. It is rooted in empathy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 28 Nov 2007, 21:46 
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Joined: 03 Nov 2007, 09:17
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So the whole idea of eastern tradition having no pity for the underprivileged did not sit well with my memory for some reason. Therefore, I went to one of my local experts, in this case a practicing and devout Hindu that I work with. It seems, according to her, that the basic tenants of her version of Hinduism (I am not so Naive to think that she speaks for all those teeming millions), the idea of charity is very prevalent. She felt that the idea of no pity probably derives from individuals that use the religion to justify their own selfish actions, as opposed to living according to its teachings.

All religions seem to suffer from such stupidity...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 29 Nov 2007, 00:03 
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Can you ask her if there are any parts to the religion that do say to take care of people, regaredless of caste?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 29 Nov 2007, 09:57 
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Neighbor of the Beast

Joined: 03 Nov 2007, 09:17
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Karma. Doing good things for other people improves your own Karma. It is the accumulative "reward points" program of the metaphysical world...eventually you can trade them all it to get a room at Hotel Nirvana :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2007, 03:08 
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Or..... the arch devil's advocate

[edit] yay for late night drunken posting on threads of the deepest spiritual importance.


Last edited by Apsu on 30 Nov 2007, 03:10, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2007, 11:13 
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hmmm... why do I lose the ability to edit the next morning? Anyway, I wanted to explain what the silly post above is about -- it's a clip of Stephen Colbert debating himself about whether or not to give to charity. It made me think of this thread, but it's generally silly and unrelated.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2007, 21:05 
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Apsu wrote:
hmmm... why do I lose the ability to edit the next morning? Anyway, I wanted to explain what the silly post above is about -- it's a clip of Stephen Colbert debating himself about whether or not to give to charity. It made me think of this thread, but it's generally silly and unrelated.


:director: Well, in the interests of trying to stay serious (for the discussion aspect), our editing window is now at 4 hours. So, if you mess up, fix it within 4 hours, or ask a mod!


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