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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 5:49 pm 
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saraswati wrote:
Indeed, I know my view of karma is not very clear, as I am learning in this thread. But at least the notion of no-self can counteract the karma bullies of the title?

An absence of an inherent self does not contradict karma. Karma is actually the reason why there is no inherent entity, the so-called 'self' is simply afflictive patterns of grasping i.e. karmic proliferation, which creates the illusion of an individual.


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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 6:04 pm 
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My take on no-self in this context is to say that, without an unchanging self, there no hinderance or limit to the workings of karma. This aspect of emptiness, usually called "unimpeded", is actually what effectively becomes experientially "freedom" once the obscuring factors are removed.

But that's just a guess.


People are welcome to believe what they want. The Dharma Police aren't going to come to your home and enforce orthodoxy. In fact what I just speculated is not orthodox at all. It's just my take on it, and subject to change without notice.
:tongue:

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Last edited by smcj on Wed May 14, 2014 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 6:12 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
Buddha clearly explained that one's karma follows one through lifetime after lifetime like a shadow that follows a bird.


But... what is the "one" that is followed? What is the bird? Or is the shadow itself the bird?

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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 6:18 pm 
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The other thing we have to take into account is that Sivaka was a mendicant, possibly a Nigantha, so it is quite plausible that the Buddhas teaching was a skillful means in order to break attachment to the Nigantha (and other Brahmin) theory that:
Quote:
The Blessed One said, "Monks, there are some brahmans & contemplatives who teach in this way, who have this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — pleasure, pain, or neither pleasure nor pain — all is caused by what was done in the past. Thus, with the destruction of old actions through asceticism, and with the non-doing of new actions, there will be no flow into the future. With no flow into the future, there is the ending of action. With the ending of action, the ending of stress. With the ending of stress, the ending of feeling. With the ending of feeling, all suffering & stress will be exhausted.' Such is the teaching of the Niganthas.
ie It is not a "stand alone" teaching, but rather context specific.

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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 6:29 pm 
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saraswati wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Buddha clearly explained that one's karma follows one through lifetime after lifetime like a shadow that follows a bird.


But... what is the "one" that is followed? What is the bird? Or is the shadow itself the bird?


The one that is followed is the kleshas which are responsible for assembling the skandhas over and over again in every lifetime, what follows are the actions motivated by those kleshas, which ripens as afflicted body, speech and mind.

Buddha taught it is permissible to refer to the five aggregates as "a self" or "a person", with the understanding that the five aggregates do not constitute a real self which endures over lifetimes.

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Last edited by Malcolm on Wed May 14, 2014 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 6:30 pm 
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Holding a deterministic view of Kamma isn't helpful in my view. In fact, as I mentioned before, I see it as akin to a crime against humanity. If you follow this deterministic interpretation then you can't help but be in a position of indifference and then worse, a moral certitude that blames the victim.

Just to brighten the discussion a bit, I have noticed how effective Buddhist contemplation is in clearing away negative conditioning. I can see the brilliant relevance of Buddhist practice. The experience of karma for me is very specific, direct and obvious.

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The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.


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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 6:38 pm 
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Andrew108 wrote:
Holding a deterministic view of Kamma isn't helpful in my view.


For as long as one has not overcome one's afflictions, for that long one will be subject to the rounds of rebirth. When one overcomes one's afflictions, one will no longer be subject to the rounds of rebirth and the ripening of karma, both positive and negative.

The Buddhist teaching of karma is not deterministic in any ultimate sense; but as long as one has not freed oneself from the three poisonous afflictions, one will still be subject to the effects of the fruit of actions committed while under their influence. For example, a bad king may not have an inherent position, but he and his evil ministers still dominate the subjects. But when the bad king is overthrown, his evil ministers lose their power too, and the subjects are free from their rule. Likewise, we are not inherently afflicted, but we are still dominated by afflictions. When we throw off our afflictions, the king, also we are free from his evil ministers, the result of afflicted actions.

But this is not deterministic. In order for the Buddha's teaching to be deterministic, one would have imagine that afflictions were inherent, but there is nothing in Dharma that states this is so, and quite a lot that rejects it.

What is stated is that karma is unerring, and will always ripen as long as conditions for its ripening are present.

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How can you not practice the highest Dharma
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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 6:40 pm 
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Andrew108 wrote:
Holding a deterministic view of Kamma isn't helpful in my view. In fact, as I mentioned before, I see it as akin to a crime against humanity. If you follow this deterministic interpretation then you can't help but be in a position of indifference and then worse, a moral certitude that blames the victim.

I don't see that anyone has suggested determinism in this thread. Determinism would require inherent causes giving rise to inherent effects, however if you understand karma it is understood that this isn't the case. Ironically, you are the one who is advocating for inherent natural laws, which is just about as close to determinism as you're going to get.


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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 6:41 pm 
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Andrew108 wrote:
The experience of karma for me is very specific, direct and obvious.



Since you don't believe in rebirth, being a physicalist, you hold an essentialist view of the mind, i.e. that it is in the brain somehow. For you, karma is irrelevant, as is Buddhadharma.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 6:42 pm 
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asunthatneversets wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:
Holding a deterministic view of Kamma isn't helpful in my view. In fact, as I mentioned before, I see it as akin to a crime against humanity. If you follow this deterministic interpretation then you can't help but be in a position of indifference and then worse, a moral certitude that blames the victim.

I don't see that anyone has suggested determinism in this thread. Determinism would require inherent causes giving rise to inherent effects, however if you understand karma it is understood that this isn't the case. Ironically, you are the one who is advocating for inherent natural laws, which is just about as close to determinism as you're going to get.


I honestly do not know why we have to again and again remove people's misconceptions about this. I wish people would take the time to study these things properly.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 6:49 pm 
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Quote:
If you follow this deterministic interpretation then you can't help but be in a position of indifference and then worse, a moral certitude that blames the victim.

If by deterministic you mean precluding free will, then yes.

However if by deterministic you mean efficient, then no.

The idea is here is not to blame the victim per se. The idea is to to be able to look at suffering without coming to the conclusion that the world we live in is a cold, cruel, chaotic mess without rhyme or reason. In other words, to counter our modern cultural assumption.

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Last edited by smcj on Wed May 14, 2014 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 6:50 pm 
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asunthatneversets wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:
Holding a deterministic view of Kamma isn't helpful in my view. In fact, as I mentioned before, I see it as akin to a crime against humanity. If you follow this deterministic interpretation then you can't help but be in a position of indifference and then worse, a moral certitude that blames the victim.

I don't see that anyone has suggested determinism in this thread. Determinism would require inherent causes giving rise to inherent effects, however if you understand karma it is understood that this isn't the case. Ironically, you are the one who is advocating for inherent natural laws, which is just about as close to determinism as you're going to get.


Sherab Dorje did. So that is who I've been discussing this with.

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The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.


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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 6:58 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:
The experience of karma for me is very specific, direct and obvious.



Since you don't believe in rebirth, being a physicalist, you hold an essentialist view of the mind, i.e. that it is in the brain somehow. For you, karma is irrelevant, as is Buddhadharma.


Well you are painting quite a picture. I have said that I don't see how the usual logic that is advanced for rebirth is a definitive answer. I simply don't know about rebirth except that I won't be around to experience it - although there my be some depersonalised 'I' that continues and experiences but it won't be 'me'. I don't see mind or consciousness as somehow floating free of the body or being beyond the ALL. For what the ALL means then see my signature.

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The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.


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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 7:07 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:
The experience of karma for me is very specific, direct and obvious.

Since you don't believe in rebirth, being a physicalist, you hold an essentialist view of the mind, i.e. that it is in the brain somehow. For you, karma is irrelevant, as is Buddhadharma.

I don't think that is fair to say. The teachings on karma do include habits and such, which is readily experiential. If someone does not feel comfortable extrapolating out beyond that, it's ok. Perhaps in another lifetime they will. But for now their view isn't mistaken, just limited.

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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 7:13 pm 
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smcj wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:
The experience of karma for me is very specific, direct and obvious.

Since you don't believe in rebirth, being a physicalist, you hold an essentialist view of the mind, i.e. that it is in the brain somehow. For you, karma is irrelevant, as is Buddhadharma.

I don't think that is fair to say. The teachings on karma do include habits and such, which is readily experiential. If someone does not feel comfortable extrapolating out beyond that, it's ok. Perhaps in another lifetime they will. But for now their view isn't mistaken, just limited.


Karma has to do with the moral repercussions of actions motivated by affliction on the person themselves in terms of how it affects the circumstances of their own life. The essentialist, physicalist model of reality precludes karma automatically.

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How can you not practice the highest Dharma
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-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 7:25 pm 
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Quote:
Karma has to do with the moral repercussions of actions motivated by affliction on the person themselves in terms of how it affects the circumstances of their own life. The essentialist, physicalist model of reality precludes karma automatically.

Do you say that habit & such are not included in the teachings of karma? I believe it is under the heading of "consequences that reflects the germ of the act". If so, then what A108 is taking as his (current) interpretation could be seen as a correct, albeit partial, understanding of the whole theory. These days Newtonian physics is still seen as legitimate, but just not the whole story.

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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 7:55 pm 
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smcj wrote:
Quote:
Karma has to do with the moral repercussions of actions motivated by affliction on the person themselves in terms of how it affects the circumstances of their own life. The essentialist, physicalist model of reality precludes karma automatically.

Do you say that habit & such are not included in the teachings of karma? I believe it is under the heading of "consequences that reflects the germ of the act". If so, then what A108 is taking as his (current) interpretation could be seen as a correct, albeit partial, understanding of the whole theory. These days Newtonian physics is still seen as legitimate, but just not the whole story.


Habits are actions, SMCJ, that is the point. There is nothing within the materialist paradigm to suggest that a wealthy person will become impoverished through his stinginess, and so on as a direct and infallible moral consequence of that act.

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How can you not practice the highest Dharma
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-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 8:40 pm 
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Quote:
Habits are actions, SMCJ, that is the point. There is nothing within the materialist paradigm to suggest that a wealthy person will become impoverished through his stinginess, and so on as a direct and infallible moral consequence of that act.

No, the materialist paradigm does not allow for such.

However Dharma paradigm allows for the action to effect the actor. Repeated action even more powerfully so. This same facet of karma explains both how repeated actions can create a drug addict or a virtuoso violinist. If someone can relate to those teachings they should be allowed to use them as a basis for further consideration.

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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 8:45 pm 
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Andrew108 wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:
The experience of karma for me is very specific, direct and obvious.



Since you don't believe in rebirth, being a physicalist, you hold an essentialist view of the mind, i.e. that it is in the brain somehow. For you, karma is irrelevant, as is Buddhadharma.


Well you are painting quite a picture. I have said that I don't see how the usual logic that is advanced for rebirth is a definitive answer. I simply don't know about rebirth except that I won't be around to experience it - although there my be some depersonalised 'I' that continues and experiences but it won't be 'me'. I don't see mind or consciousness as somehow floating free of the body or being beyond the ALL. For what the ALL means then see my signature.


In the first part of the bardo you will have a subtle body that looks exactly like the one you have now, you will at first wonder why no one hears you or sees you, and so on, and this continues for the first couple of weeks. Eventually, you figure out that you died. Then, you take on the form of the kind of body you will have in your next rebirth, etc. This is all very clearly described by our teacher, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, in Birth, Life and Death.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


Last edited by Malcolm on Wed May 14, 2014 8:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: karma bully
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 8:47 pm 
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smcj wrote:
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Habits are actions, SMCJ, that is the point. There is nothing within the materialist paradigm to suggest that a wealthy person will become impoverished through his stinginess, and so on as a direct and infallible moral consequence of that act.

No, the materialist paradigm does not allow for such.

However Dharma paradigm allows for the action to effect the actor. Repeated action even more powerfully so. This same facet of karma explains both how repeated actions can create a drug addict or a virtuoso violinist. If someone can relate to those teachings they should be allowed to use them as a basis for further consideration.


I never preclude someone from considering the Dharma more deeply, in fact I encourage it.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


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