Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by Fruitzilla »

Lazy_eye wrote:
Guru Rinpoche said " if you want to know your past life, look at your present circumstances, if you want to know what your future life will be, look at your present life."
Which directly contradicts what Shakyamuni Buddha said about the workings of kamma/karma being unconjecturable, and is not in accordance with the complex view of kamma presented in MN 136 ("The Great Exposition of Kamma").

Seems to me that any statement to the effect that "this disability was caused by non-virtuous conduct" (or other specific cause) clearly represents an attempt to delineate the precise workings of kamma, something only a Buddha would know.

It can also make Buddhists sound silly, the way fundamentalist Christians sound silly when they attribute birth defects to "sin":
Virginia Lt. Governor candidate E.W. Jackson wrote: Keep in mind that the whole cosmos has been made imperfect — wounded — by sin. It is the principle of sin, rebellion against God and His truth which has brought about birth defects and other destructive natural occurrences. Leaving aside that for a moment, recent discoveries about the genetic code of each human being are a fulfillment of scripture. Your genetic code is the handwriting of God, written before you or the world existed. Our genetic blueprint is proof of the existence of the Living God and His infinite intelligence, purpose and design. Sadly, many will ignore the deeper spiritual truth which underlies the advance of this scientific knowledge.
http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski ... .dqXnr7Ad7
Sherab Dorje wrote: All phenomena arise from causes;
True; however, many fallacies and absurdities arise from positing imaginary causal links, or failing to recognize the actual causal connections. See the history of cargo cults, for example ("if we manufacture an airstrip, the gods will send us televisions").
^^What Lazy Eye said, far more clear than I could have.
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by LastLegend »

I've been taught that Karma is something you deludedly do over and over again. Therefore, it will deludedly take you there [effect]. Cause and effect will always apply unless you live in a vacuum with no past, present, and future. Every deluded thought lasts for one kalpa [Bodhidharma Wakeup Sermon].

I will reject the the biological explanation. I understand that's all you can use if don't believe in seed and fruit/cause and effect. If you had an option, you would not choose to occupy a womb where you will be born with disabilities. Delusion in a dream like state is when we are not bright/clear, and that's what takes us to rebirth.
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by LastLegend »

Zhen Li wrote:Actually, the Buddha argued that it is well known by the world that there are simply biological causes for some things.

It is an incorrect view to hold everything to be the result of karma. Only in a round about metaphorical way can you say everything is a result of karma. Now we don't rely upon theories of bile, but the principle of a biological (non-intentional) cause for diseases is the same.
Sivaka Sutta wrote:There are cases where some feelings arise based on bile [i.e., diseases and pains that come from a malfunction of the gall bladder]. You yourself should know how some feelings arise based on bile. Even the world is agreed on how some feelings arise based on bile. So any brahmans & contemplatives who are of the doctrine & view that whatever an individual feels — pleasure, pain, neither-pleasure-nor-pain — is entirely caused by what was done before — slip past what they themselves know, slip past what is agreed on by the world. Therefore I say that those brahmans & contemplatives are wrong. ...

Bile, phlegm, wind, a combination,
Season, uneven, harsh treatment,
and through the result of kamma as the eighth.
Actually, to have this karmic physical body, one is subject to affliction.
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by Zhen Li »

LastLegend wrote:I will reject the the biological explanation. I understand that's all you can use if don't believe in seed and fruit/cause and effect. If you had an option, you would not choose to occupy a womb where you will be born with disabilities. Delusion in a dream like state is when we are not bright/clear, and that's what takes us to rebirth.
That is a misunderstanding. To confess ignorance of whether a disability is caused by karma is not the same as claiming there is no cause for having a disability. This is not the same as denying cause and effect.
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by LastLegend »

Zhen Li wrote: That is a misunderstanding. To confess ignorance of whether a disability is caused by karma is not the same as claiming there is no cause for having a disability. This is not the same as denying cause and effect.
It is caused by karma.
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Zhen Li wrote:
LastLegend wrote:I will reject the the biological explanation. I understand that's all you can use if don't believe in seed and fruit/cause and effect. If you had an option, you would not choose to occupy a womb where you will be born with disabilities. Delusion in a dream like state is when we are not bright/clear, and that's what takes us to rebirth.
That is a misunderstanding. To confess ignorance of whether a disability is caused by karma is not the same as claiming there is no cause for having a disability. This is not the same as denying cause and effect.
From a Buddhist perspective, states of body speech and mind are a result of Karma. If that's not true, what do you think they come from? Thinking this isn't the same as trying to "figure out" specific Karma vipaka, it's just stating that bodies are the result of Karma..something which is not really controversial to much Buddhism, is it?
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by TRC »

LastLegend wrote:... Cause and effect will always apply unless you live in a vacuum with no past, present, and future. ...

I will reject the the biological explanation. I understand that's all you can use if don't believe in seed and fruit/cause and effect. If you had an option, you would not choose to occupy a womb where you will be born with disabilities. Delusion in a dream like state is when we are not bright/clear, and that's what takes us to rebirth.
This is an incorrect conclusion. Cause and effect is not the same as karma in Buddhism. There are different kinds of cause and effect; all of them are not karmically activated. Karma and its fruit specifically relates to intentions that have been solely ethically derived. To state categorically that someone born with a mental and or physical disability is the fruit of a given individual’s karma is a gross misunderstanding of karma in Buddhism.

It seems that there is a common misunderstanding that all human misfortune/fortune are the results of karma and its vipaka, or the “it’s all karma” view that seems to be forever perpetuated.
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by Fortyeightvows »

"Cause and effect is not the same as karma in Buddhism"

TRC please clarify the difference.
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by Fortyeightvows »

In the lam rim it states that if you create the cause, you will experience the result. Likewise one will not experience a result that one has not created the cause for.
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

This is an incorrect conclusion. Cause and effect is not the same as karma in Buddhism. There are different kinds of cause and effect; all of them are not karmically activated.
Actually it is my current understanding that's exactly what they are--"activated" by karma.
Karma and its fruit specifically relates to intentions that have been solely ethically derived. To state categorically that someone born with a mental and or physical disability is the fruit of a given individual’s karma is a gross misunderstanding of karma in Buddhism.
Is this your own objection to the teachings on karma? Or do you have a traditional source for it? If you don't have a source you might want to examine why it is that you object to it.
It seems that there is a common misunderstanding that all human misfortune/fortune are the results of karma and its vipaka, or the “it’s all karma” view that seems to be forever perpetuated.
That's not to say that karmas can't be mixed. A person can be born into a wealthy family but have a short life, or have health problems and be brilliant and famous--like Stephen Hawking. What weird karma he has!

Now what we can't do is determine what it was that Hawking did in his past life to end up that way. We can talk about general principles, but since we can't see previous lives we would be wasting our time speculating on what it was he did. Using general principles we can say that it was something negative, but until we have omniscience we can't trace specific karmic acts.
Last edited by Schrödinger’s Yidam on Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by LastLegend »

TRC wrote:
LastLegend wrote:... Cause and effect will always apply unless you live in a vacuum with no past, present, and future. ...

I will reject the the biological explanation. I understand that's all you can use if don't believe in seed and fruit/cause and effect. If you had an option, you would not choose to occupy a womb where you will be born with disabilities. Delusion in a dream like state is when we are not bright/clear, and that's what takes us to rebirth.
This is an incorrect conclusion. Cause and effect is not the same as karma in Buddhism. There are different kinds of cause and effect; all of them are not karmically activated. Karma and its fruit specifically relates to intentions that have been solely ethically derived. To state categorically that someone born with a mental and or physical disability is the fruit of a given individual’s karma is a gross misunderstanding of karma in Buddhism.

It seems that there is a common misunderstanding that all human misfortune/fortune are the results of karma and its vipaka, or the “it’s all karma” view that seems to be forever perpetuated.
I am going to correct myself about karma: it is something you do over and over again. It could be slaughtering animals everyday or releasing animals everyday. So it can be good or bad karma. If one is born with physical/mental disability, indeed that is a result of bad karma. How can you deny that? If you said it's a result of simple cause and effect that is unrelated to karma, then you are saying what happens at biological/genetic level is not related to the any karma/causes/seeds in the past (life, i.e.,) at all. That means you are ignoring the past, but we don't live in a vacuum where the past, present, future don't exist. Going from cause to effect/seed to fruit, in order to have effect there must be other conditions present with cause/seed. In order to have apple fruit, you need an apple tree, in order to have an apple tree, you need an apple seed with sunlight, water, soil, etc. When conditions are absent, the effect will not be seen. If you leave an apple seed in a jar, nothing will grow and no apple fruit. Cause and effect will always apply, but it depends on the karma (previous cause)/seed.
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by TRC »

Fortyeightvows wrote:"Cause and effect is not the same as karma in Buddhism"

TRC please clarify the difference.
Sorry, I thought this was clear in my post above:
TRC wrote:There are different kinds of cause and effect; all of them are not karmically activated. Karma and its fruit specifically relates to intentions that have been solely ethically derived.
So ethically motivated intentions (causes) have a corresponding and commensurate ethical result (effect). For example certain patterns that are habitual and motivated from the roots of greed, hatred and delusion. There are other causes and corresponding effects that do not have an ethical dimension and so are not karma and its vipaka. For example, certain extremes of the environment and the elements that may effect someone detrimentally.
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by TRC »

LastLegend wrote:
TRC wrote:
LastLegend wrote:... Cause and effect will always apply unless you live in a vacuum with no past, present, and future. ...

I will reject the the biological explanation. I understand that's all you can use if don't believe in seed and fruit/cause and effect. If you had an option, you would not choose to occupy a womb where you will be born with disabilities. Delusion in a dream like state is when we are not bright/clear, and that's what takes us to rebirth.
This is an incorrect conclusion. Cause and effect is not the same as karma in Buddhism. There are different kinds of cause and effect; all of them are not karmically activated. Karma and its fruit specifically relates to intentions that have been solely ethically derived. To state categorically that someone born with a mental and or physical disability is the fruit of a given individual’s karma is a gross misunderstanding of karma in Buddhism.

It seems that there is a common misunderstanding that all human misfortune/fortune are the results of karma and its vipaka, or the “it’s all karma” view that seems to be forever perpetuated.
I am going to correct myself about karma: it is something you do over and over again. It could be slaughtering animals everyday or releasing animals everyday. So it can be good or bad karma. If one is born with physical/mental disability, indeed that is a result of bad karma. How can you deny that? If you said it's a result of simple cause and effect that is unrelated to karma, then you are saying what happens at biological/genetic level is not related to the any karma/causes/seeds in the past (life, i.e.,) at all. That means you are ignoring the past, but we don't live in a vacuum where the past, present, future don't exist. Going from cause to effect/seed to fruit, in order to have effect there must be other conditions present with cause/seed. In order to have apple fruit, you need an apple tree, in order to have an apple tree, you need an apple seed with sunlight, water, soil, etc. When conditions are absent, the effect will not be seen. If you leave an apple seed in a jar, nothing will grow and no apple fruit. Cause and effect will always apply, but it depends on the karma (previous cause)/seed.
So by that line of thinking you would believe that 100,000's of deaths of beings from say a tidal wave (environmental) over a widespread area would be a karmic result (vipaka)?
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

I think I should first start by apologizing to everyone for my pathological Kagyu-ness. Having said that I'd like to reference "The Writings of Kalu Rinpoche", a text nobody but me takes seriously. But since he was one of my teachers I've read it a few times.
For example, certain extremes of the environment and the elements that may effect someone detrimentally.
Kalu says that the consequences of an act can be categorized in four ways: as fully developed consequence, the consequence that reflects the germ of the act*, the consequence which reflects the experience of the act, and the environmental consequence.

In the case of stealing the 4 consequences are listed as:
1. to be born in the preta realm
2. when born as a human to be poor and unhappy
3. to like to steal
4. to be born in a country with much snow and hail

*That means being prone to commit the act again and again. As such it is the basis for habits, both positive and negative. It is also the basis for developing skills such as playing the piano, or learning a language, etc.
So by that line of thinking you would believe that 100,000's of deaths of beings from say a tidal wave (environmental) over a widespread area would be a karmic result (vipaka)?
Yes.

Repeatedly the Dharma tells us it is pointless to speculate about such things, but my own suspicion is that a lot of those people were wearing Nazi uniforms in the not too distant past.
Last edited by Schrödinger’s Yidam on Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:18 am, edited 6 times in total.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

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TRC wrote: So by that line of thinking you would believe that 100,000's of deaths of beings from say a tidal wave (environmental) over a widespread area would be a karmic result (vipaka)?
Of course, if you did not bear this karmic physical body and did not happen to be in an area near the tidal wave, you would be alive. The question is why did you happen to be there and not someone else? You can give many explanations, i.e., you happen to be there by accident, you happen to live in the area, etc. Well that's fine and you can explain anything with that line of thinking. There is no need to believe in causes ripening from the past or many pasts.
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by TRC »

LastLegend wrote:
TRC wrote: So by that line of thinking you would believe that 100,000's of deaths of beings from say a tidal wave (environmental) over a widespread area would be a karmic result (vipaka)?
Of course, if you did not bear this karmic physical body and did not happen to be in an area near the tidal wave, you would be alive. The question is why did you happen to be there and not someone else? You can give many explanations, i.e., you happen to be there by accident, you happen to live in the area, etc. Well that's fine and you can explain anything with that line of thinking. There is no need to believe in causes ripening from the past or many pasts.
I agree that ultimately the cause of death is birth, and that this will be the result for all beings. This is well illustrated by dependent arising, and taking rebirth is the result of craving existence. But to believe that every individual that is negatively affected by a random and chaotic environmental event is their individual vipaka, is moving into the realm of fantasy and unfortunately misses the important point of how our ethically derived intentions impact and influence ourselves and others.

All you’ve illustrated is how birth is the cause of death (which is inevitable), and assigned an environmental agent a karmic effect where there isn’t one.
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

...to believe that every individual that is negatively affected by a random and chaotic environmental event is their individual vipaka, is moving into the realm of fantasy and unfortunately misses the important point of how our ethically derived intentions impact and influence ourselves and others.
In other words that's not how you see things.

That's fine, it's not how I see things either. The way I see the world is that might makes right, the victor gets to write history, nice guys finish last, and no good deed goes unpunished. Supposedly the Buddha saw things beyond the scope of just this life and over multiple lifetimes good acts yield good experience, and bad acts yield bad experiences. Either he had his head up his ass or he didn't. I am now working off the assumption that the way I see things is in error, and the way the Buddha saw things is correct. Trying to take what the Buddha saw and taught and then trying to fit it into how we see things doesn't work, hence the ChNN quote in my signature below.
Last edited by Schrödinger’s Yidam on Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by TRC »

smcj wrote:
...to believe that every individual that is negatively affected by a random and chaotic environmental event is their individual vipaka, is moving into the realm of fantasy and unfortunately misses the important point of how our ethically derived intentions impact and influence ourselves and others.
In other words you don't like the idea. That's ok, you don't have to.
No I'm completely fine with the idea of karma, just not the assigning of karma to outcomes when there is none. As Ive said not everything that happens to us is a karmic result.
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

No I'm completely fine with the idea of karma, just not the assigning of karma to outcomes when there is none. As Ive said not everything that happens to us is a karmic result.
Do you base that on having your own perspective and opinion that allows you to feel comfortable? Or do you have a source for it?
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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Re: Buddhisms view on developmental disabilities

Post by Grigoris »

Zhen Li wrote:Overall, one must remember that saying something isn't caused by Karma is not the same as saying it doesn't have causes and conditions. There are causes and conditions in the world other than karma.
Such as bile? Fine. But that doesn't answer my question: why does one person suffer a bile condition while another does not if not karma? What is it due to? Chance? Fate? God?

And what is this crap about the Buddha never saying that X leads to Y? He says it in a number of Sutta.

The very first statement in the Culakammavibhangha Sutta:
Here, student, some woman or man is a killer of living beings, murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings. Due to having performed and completed such kammas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell. If, on the dissolution of the body, after death, instead of his reappearing in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell, he comes to the human state, he is short-lived wherever he is reborn. This is the way that leads to short life, that is to say, to be a killer of living beings, murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings.
The very first statement in the Maha Kammavibhanga Sutta:
"Ananda, there are four kinds of persons existing in the world. What four?

(i) "Here some person kills living beings, takes what is not given, misconducts himself in sexual desires, speaks falsehood, speaks maliciously, speaks harshly, gossips, is covetous, is ill-willed, and has wrong view. On the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in the states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell.

(ii) "But here some person kills living beings... and has wrong view. On the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a happy destination, in the heavenly world.

(iii) "Here some person abstains from killing living beings, from taking what is not given, from misconduct in sexual desires, from false speech, from malicious speech, from harsh speech, from gossip, he is not covetous, is not ill-willed, and has right view. On the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a happy destination, in the heavenly world.

(iv) "But here some person abstains from killing living beings... and has right view. On the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in the states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell.
Etc...

So Dharmarakshita's teaching is not just some vague exercise in mind training, it is based directly on the teachings of the Buddha on actions and their outcomes.
"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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