Collective karma

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Collective karma

Postby Monlam Tharchin » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:28 pm

How does collective karma impact entire societies, like the United States? On the one hand, I feel responsible somehow for the fact that the country I live in uses 25% of the world's resources for 5% of the population, uses military strength to enforce unfair trade agreements that hurt others, and any huge litany of complaints with the military industrial machine that is the US.

On the other, I feel like a tiny cog in a huge machine. I'm doing my best, but will contributing even indirectly to the suffering the US inflicts on the world make it harder to try to liberate other beings and myself?
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Re: Collective karma

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:44 pm

If one lives in America, but for instance does not believe, or act from a viewpoint of American Exceptionalism, and is is no position of power, do they share the same Karma as someone who believes America's position in the world is justified, should be reinforced and acts accordingly, and is closer to the power required to more effectively perpetuate the status quo?

In other words, does the negative Karma, or potential for it increase as one goes "upwards" in society, or do we all share an equal chunk culpability, and the karmic effects?
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Re: Collective karma

Postby jikai » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:06 am

"There are no seperate dharma's in the Three Realms. There is only the operation of the one mind."
"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"

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Re: Collective karma

Postby Jesse » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:23 am

“Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one's desires, but by the removal of desire” – Epictetus

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Grigoris
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Re: Collective karma

Postby Grigoris » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:55 am

NO, there is no sutric evidence for collective karma. Even the Vasubhandu quote by Huseng shows that it is the common intention shared by each individual in the group that gives the personal outcome. If you do not have the intention, then you will not have the outcome (or the same outcome). Karma is personal.
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Aemilius
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Re: Collective karma

Postby Aemilius » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:44 pm

The article Kamma: The creative life-force of human beings by Nalin Swaris argues that there is collective karma in buddhism:

Action occurs in a society, acts are done in the context of other beings, karma itself is social by nature.
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Re: Collective karma

Postby floating_abu » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:34 pm


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Re: Collective karma

Postby Grigoris » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:10 pm

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Collective karma

Postby Monlam Tharchin » Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:56 pm

TNH has written about collective karma before. I guess how I would understand it now is that it's more like collective influence. If you're in a society that values wholesale consumerism, you'll take part in that to some extent despite your best intentions. Wouldn't that entail some kind of weak karmic continuation? Or another example that I can think of, in France where it's almost cultural to be racist against English and Belgian people. A child learns that from their parents and becomes a racist adult through osmosis instead of negative intention to irrationally hate a nationality. Of course, no one's stopping them from going "wait a minute!" if they get a twist on their perspective. But maybe collective societal influence can look a lot like karma in those instances?
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Aemilius
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Re: Collective karma

Postby Aemilius » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:36 am

svaha

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Re: Collective karma

Postby Grigoris » Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:14 am

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Aemilius
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Re: Collective karma

Postby Aemilius » Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:10 pm

Here is a teaching on the confession for the 35 Buddhas, see page 9.

According to Sravasti Dhammika Buddha says that "one should not kill, encourage others to kill, approve of killing, or speak in praise of killing", (Ang. Nik. V 306). Sravasti Dhammika has recently written about vegetarianism and Buddhism in his blog Dhamma Musings, and this question of causing others to kill or abstaining from it, quite naturally belongs to the topic of vegetarianism, don't You think so?

Sources:

The six realms arise because there is collective Pratitya Samutpada, and there further arise 100 000 realms within those six realms. They arise gradually, as a manifestation of collective and individual actions of beings. Because there is collective Depedent Arising there are different realms, realms that are products of collective habitual tendencies. There is action and karma that is shared in common, and action and its result that is individual. Because of this there are the different realms, and beings in these realms that experience the same realm. Because they share in common a similar karmic result, they experience a manifest result that is a particular realm. That realm is not experienced by other beings who share in common another type of karmic result and who are thus said to be living in another realm.
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Re: Collective karma

Postby Grigoris » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:36 pm

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Collective karma

Postby tattoogunman » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:03 pm

For what it's worth, my visit to the local Mahayana temple this past weekend for their English language class actually covered killing/murder. They (monk/teacher) stated that the person who aids, abets, or orders a violent act (such as killing) was just as guilty of the murder as the person who actually did the killing and their karma would be affected accordingly. They didn't quote any specific source for that, it's just what they told our class. That's not to say that there aren't different schools of thought on that subject, I'm just relaying what they told the class.

For what it's worth........ :smile:

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Grigoris
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Re: Collective karma

Postby Grigoris » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:48 pm

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

tattoogunman
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Re: Collective karma

Postby tattoogunman » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:57 pm


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Grigoris
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Re: Collective karma

Postby Grigoris » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:15 pm

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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KathyLauren
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Re: Collective karma

Postby KathyLauren » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:12 pm


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Grigoris
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Re: Collective karma

Postby Grigoris » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:17 am

Agreed, so we need to have the same intention to have similar outcomes.

But when we talk about karma vipaka, intention is only one of the three factors involved.

The second factor is the action itself and its extent. This is where the differentiation exists between the act of the general that ordered the killing and the act of killing itself. So just having a common intention is not enough. The act itself also plays a role in the outcome as does: How many were killed, how they were killed, who exactly was killed, etc...
:namaste:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Grigoris
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Re: Collective karma

Postby Grigoris » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:29 am

PS I believe that the major problem in this discussion is that people consider karma in terms of guilt/innocence, justice, retribution, reward/punishment, deservable outcome, providence, etc... ie that they consider karma through the prism of ethical/moral/legal values instead of what it actually is: a natural law.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde


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