How is karma individual if there is no self?

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How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby flowerbudh » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:09 am

Furthermore, why don't people have the same karma if we are all interconnected?

At 1:00:30 In this video, Ottama describes karma as "a disturbance of wholeness", and then goes on to say that it is "individual but not personal":

What do you think he is getting at? How is there a difference between an individualized experience and a personalized experience?
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Re: How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby smcj » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:27 am

I don't know that guy and couldn't get the video to play. It is a bit long anyway for people to invest that amount of time in order to respond to your question.

My take on it is that there is no unchanging self. So karma has the ability to change the mindstream without limit. Our present identity is simply the current karmic accounting of our ongoing metamorphosis, and not the real basis/essence for our being (contrary to how everybody initially experiences their lives).

But that's just my opinion. Not everybody here buys that kind of idea.

Furthermore, why don't people have the same karma if we are all interconnected?

That's more of a new-age idea than it is a buddhist idea.
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Re: How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby ClearblueSky » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:12 am

There actually is a differentiation made between individual and collective karma. Both from a Buddhist and scientific viewpoint you could say everything is interconnected, even if one particular event does not have a noticeable effect on another. A bit about that here: http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/sutra/level2_lamrim/initial_scope/karma/questions_collective_karma.html
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Re: How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby Shemmy » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:11 pm

I'll take a semi-insane, bathtub meditator stab at it. My guess would be that what he's talking about is something that would be something like there being areas or nodal points in which karma is activating,accumulating, doing it's thing, areas which we mistake for being an inherently, definable, existing real self.

While we might have the karma to be under the delusion of being an individual, the delusion is regarding the being part of that notion, ie, the delusion that there exists on an absolute level a being/person when at an absolute level it is closer to being an individual instance in its unfolding of karma. But even that sounds to me like we have still not gotten to the bottom of things. A Buddha is said to not experience karma, so if there is some sense of there being an individual karmic process, sounds like the delusion is still there if only less so.

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Re: How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:15 pm

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/top ... ya-vijnana

it's not really one or many though, for conventional purposes it's "individual".
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:32 pm

flowerbudh wrote:How is karma individual if there is no self? Furthermore, why don't people have the same karma if we are all interconnected?


That is a great question.
We are all interconnected, yet we are all different people.
When Buddhism says that there is no self,
it says that there is nothing final, no ultimately existing point
that can be called a self.
This means that there is no intrinsic self-arising being.
That everything one identifies as 'me' or 'mine' is the result of the coming together of many factors and conditions,
many causes.
All causes lead to results.
The kinds of results one gets depends totally on the kinds of causes there are.
That is essentially the meaning of karma, in this context.
So, for example, if a group of bank robbers in a getaway car all get caught, and they all go to jail,
one can say that they all experience the same karma
because as far as that goes, they all shared the same causes. so, they all get the same results.
Individually, there may be differences among them.
As prisoners, one may adjust easily to a jail term
while another may go 'stir-crazy' and commit suicide or something.
These individual actions are also the result of previous conditions.
If an intrinsic or permanent 'self' existed,
we would have to say that it never changes
because as soon as it changes, it would be a different 'self'.
Which would contradict any notion of 'permanent'.
Thus, we can say that it is precisely because
there is no permanent thing that can be identified as a 'self'
that karma occurs.
That is hard to grasp at first, but if you think about it, you will see it makes perfect sense.
If you compare yourself to a rock,
a rock doesn't change very much, even after millions of years.
there is not any karma for a rock.
But in a few years, you are not even the same person you were born as.
Every cell of that new born baby has died and has been replaced many times over.
Our situation is one of constant, continuous transformation.
My karma and your karma is different
not because we are individuals
or because we are interconnected
but because there is, ultimately, no self
only the attachment to the experience of a self.
karma is an expression of that attachment.
.
.
.
Last edited by PadmaVonSamba on Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:34 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
because there is, ultimately, no self
only the attachment to the experience of a self.
karma is an expression of that attachment.
.
.
.


:good:
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Re: How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby hop.pala » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:40 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/12413/alaya-vijnana

it's not really one or many though, for conventional purposes it's "individual".

alaja vijnana is good explanation.
Another approach:
No. 98.
"The reality is later ascertained
Of what was formerly imputed by ignorance.
When a thing is not found,
How can there be a non-thing?"
Nagarjuna
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Re: How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby Son of Buddha » Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:54 pm

Karmic rebirth is individual because there is a realitive person/consciousness which is why people have karmic imprint of pastlife memories. Without that connection of a realitive "self-doer" a person would not be able to remember their past life memories,NOR would Shakyamuni Buddha be able to remember his last individual 500 consecutive rebirths in the Jataka Tales KN.

Also if rebirth was not based on individual karma,you would essentially be being karmically punished for what "another person" did in the past. Since there is no chain of individual karma of a "person/realitive self".

Karmic rebirth centers around the 12 links of dependent origination.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Nid%C4%81nas

And rebirth is essentially like a yo-yo
The yo-yo starts at the first link of dependent origination(D.O.)
Then it goes down to the 12th link of D.O. This constitutes a living being.
From here you "walk the dog" and it rolls around in the dirt.
then a person dies and the 12 links of D.O is reversed(6 senses cease,form ceases...ect), and the
yo-yo starts its way back up.....now the dirt that was picked up when walking the dog is either virtous dirt/karma or bad dirt/karma.

Soooooo when the yo-yo hits the hand(Ignornce 1st link of D.O) it then proceeds to yo-yo back down upon going back down the 12 links of D.O. It carries the dirt it picked up from the "last time" and as it goes back down to the ground it passes through all the 12 links in turn creating an existing being along with the "Dirt/Karma" it picked up from its last journey....... And this cycle continues until Enlightenment...it is refered to as Samsara.


Also the Commanding Self/True Self is not reborn.
nor is the person in possesion of the True Self, essentially True Self/Buddha Nature is like a bowl of milk and sentient beings are like sugar cubes floating in it,when the sugar cubes dessolve the samsaric sentient being ceases and the only thing left is that sweet bowl of milk.....(thats probably a bad analogy)

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Re: How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby anjali » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:47 am

flowerbudh wrote:Furthermore, why don't people have the same karma if we are all interconnected?


Greetings flowerbudh,

Think of you as a whirlpool. Karma is exactly those habitual patterns (fixations) in the flow of experience that sustains the appearance of individuality.

Wishing you all the best...
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  • All activities are like the games children play. If started, they can never be finished. They are only completed once you let them be, like castles made of sand. --Khenpo Nyoshul Rinpoche
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Re: How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:10 am

According to Buddhism there is no essential self, there is a relatively existing self. Cause and effect, or action, manifests at this relative level.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby SunRay » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:15 am

flowerbudh wrote:Furthermore, why don't people have the same karma if we are all interconnected?


The wise talk about two truths; the conventional and the ultimate truth. Karma is the conventional and the no-self or the emptiness is the ultimate truth. The conventional truth acts as a vehicle that transports one from samsara to nirvana by leading to the realization of the ultimate or true truth. Or, as Avalokitesvara explains it to us in the Heart sutra: "...there [in emptiness] is no suffering, origination, cessation, and path; there is no exalted wisdom, no attainment, and also no non-attainment." So, as soon as one realizes that neither they nor us never were, one can see that in reality they had no karma nor no-karma and neither we nor they never were interconnected nor separated. :alien:
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Re: How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby LastLegend » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:25 pm

Self is a concept, an imagination. Karma means habitual thoughts and actions that will have effects. So cause and effect is the mind.
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Re: How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby oushi » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:39 pm

flowerbudh wrote:Furthermore, why don't people have the same karma if we are all interconnected?

Those are just different ways to establish practice, there is no ultimate truth in then. We are not interconnected. Even "we are" is already to much said. You will not receive an ultimate answer to conventional question.
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Re: How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby ClearblueSky » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:17 pm

oushi wrote:
flowerbudh wrote:Furthermore, why don't people have the same karma if we are all interconnected?

Those are just different ways to establish practice, there is no ultimate truth in then. We are not interconnected. Even "we are" is already to much said. You will not receive an ultimate answer to conventional question.
:juggling:

Yes, on an ultimate level. But on the level we are existing and practicing and experiencing karma, we are very much interconnected.
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Re: How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby Matt J » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:44 pm

Space is one, but the contents of houses are different. My house and my neighbors house share the same space, and the houses do not divide space itself. However, the furniture inside the houses is different. Likewise, the sea is one, but the waves are different. The earth is one, but the stones are different. The body is one, but one should not confuse the hand with the foot.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

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Re: How is karma individual if there is no self?

Postby smcj » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:14 pm

I saw a YouTube video on physics recently. The guy said that calling a proton a "particle" was really misleading. It doesn't have a an edge, or an exact location, etc. A friend of mine that actually studied Quantum Mechanics said it was better to call it a "series of events".

So if a proton, which is just an inanimate object, can be called "a series of events" I don't see why we can't be described in the same way!
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