Karma

for ex-BKs to discuss matters related to experiences in BKWSU & after leaving.
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john morgan

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Re: Karma

Post21 Feb 2009

On the contrary ex-I,

I think we know a fair bit. First there is the touchstone that any action performed with a virtue in it is good karma. As thought is the basis of action, attention should be directed to thinking thoughts and creating attitudes which result in worthy actions.

Lots of people struggle with guilt, doubt etc, no matter where one is it is far better to create anew rather than beat oneself up. The notion that the mind is a tool of creation rather than a tool of commentary is useful. Say I look at my life now but only use my mind to try to change what I have already created then a mess will result. Whereas if I look hard at me now, decide what I want to change, and then newly create the necessary thoughts attitudes and actions then new influences will eventually replace the old influences that I consider unwanted. What is wanted by me may not be in alignment with what either the BK or Bap Dada say it is best for me to want, the fact is that I can go in any direction I choose.

When I get angry I lose a lot of energy. Revenge is a poison that turns the intender into a dried up shell of a man. Greed makes one feel poor and Envy turns one metaphorically green. But when I truly help myself or another to make better use of life energy then life seems to love me.

For me this is a workable alive and very practical paradigm, it is not like reading a book and knowing what is in it but not being able to apply what one has learnt. If there were no laws of the universe then conscious and deliberate progress would not be possible but if karma is the law of laws it is very good news for the constructive man. It has to begin as a question "is karma true?" else people would automatically think "yeah thats what happens" and they would not make the effort necessary in order to apply the law in ones own life. Of course the view "karma does not exist" can result in an anything goes grease slide to who knows where. Many who say this that karma does not exist have other methods of keeping themselves safe from what is better not experienced.

Does God punish one for bad karma? I am really not sure, I act on the basis that it is the impersonal no favourites Law of Karma that honestly and impartially does its work. This saves me from the trouble of having to placate someone else. If you hear me scream at the time of destruction please know that I got this bit wrong. Hopefully it'll be a just little scream and not one that deafens you. ;)
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ex-l

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Re: Karma

Post21 Feb 2009

That's just poetry, John, and I am looking for mechanics.

It only throws up all sorts of other dilemmas. What might look like "revenge" might be the seed of another soul's determination to overcome, what might be put down as "anger" might be the root of weeding out a great social justice. I have heard it all before and I am not (necessarily) suggesting that it does not "Karma" does not exist.

I am asking how it works, through what medium ... and what specific returns and what specific set of scales do we measure it by. No one knows, no one can answer ... and so I am afraid it is just all at the level of social control and superstition so far.

john morgan

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Re: Karma

Post22 Feb 2009

Even the planets follow their course. The thought world must have its laws as does the physical world. Many drive a car and leave the servicing to the mechanic.

To some extent I see what you are talking about. Internal control is superior to external control and if some use "karma" to control others it is not an ideal situation. The teacher marks students papers until they pass the exam. There the teacher has control and the student has to adjust, but you must be talking about something else.

It may be that Buddhism can throw more light on your inquiry. I have a book on Karma and Rebirth by Christmas Humphries that I could pass your way temporarily. If interested pm me. Jayanti's tape on Karma talks about being in the right consciousness before you act, in BK speak Yoga before Karma and not Karma Yoga. Theosophy is also interested in acting in harmony with the laws of nature, so there may be something in the Secret Doctrine, I'll have a gander. It may be that the last mentioned is the best place to go as Madame Blavatsky often went into great detail.

Terry

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Re: Karma

Post22 Feb 2009

Karma is misused, abused, confused because of one thing.

It is considered Quantitatively rather than Qualitatively.
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Mr Green

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Re: Karma

Post22 Feb 2009

It's hocus pocus, just try and do right is all you need.

bkti-pit

Independent, free thinking BK

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Re: Karma

Post23 Feb 2009

John Morgan wrote:No one is estranged from the ability to think and no one is estranged from the fruits of their thinking. We each have the marvellous gifts of thought and creative imagination. Thought shapes us and it shapes our world, for many thought just seems to happen but educated thought and concentrated yogic thought have to be attained.

This is from another thread but I thought it could apply here.

Yes, to a large extent our thoughts shape our world and, I believe, our thought patterns follow us into the next birth and keep shaping our world.

john morgan

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Re: Karma

Post23 Feb 2009

Hi Bkti-pit,

So would you say that our thought patterns have karma somehow attached to them or even that they are an expression of our karma?

It would be a hoot, if either were the case, as those who deny the existence of karma would be using what is their karma in order to deny its own existence.

Mischievously yours,

John

Terry

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Re: Karma

Post28 Feb 2009

cypress wrote: From another thread : 'So what extent does the belief in Karma lead to turning away from compassion and meaningful action to relieve suffering? (After all, someone must have done something in a past life to deserve this). To what extent does being “detached” lead to turning away from or ignoring human suffering, rather than seeking to understand its causes or offer help? ...

Many of the world’s religions have a similar disconnect between what they say and what their representative or believers do (the history of Western Christian nations and their actions in relation to non-white people’s and cultures, for example)'.

In both paragraphs above, it can be seen that there is two levels co-existing - the underlying impulse or cause of an Institution (yes, karma philosophy is an institution too), and what becomes of it once established.

Karma philosophy is an attempt to make sense of why things are the way they are. Referring to an abstract value like Justice it takes a reality - action - and turns it into a "value" - "good" or "bad". But there are other impulses in humans too. So, if one is seeking to excuse one's privilege and forego opportunity to help others you'd say, "must have done something in a past life to deserve it" - is to use karma philosophy to a particular end; whereas another might, to serve their motives, say, "If I do something to alleviate suffering then I am creating good karma for myself".

My godfather (not Shiva, but the one that baptised me as a kid, initials C.A.) died recently. At his funeral the Archbishop of Sydney gave the eulogy, as he knew him well. He asked CA one day why he was donating so much to the church and other charities (CA was a successful businessman from humble beginnings) and CA's answer was, "I consider that if I have a chance to help someone, and I don't, that is just as much a sin as intentionally doing them harm". So, there's another take on karma for you (inaction is a kind of action)

The point I am trying to make is - there's an impulse, or a human emotion or "heart" behind things, a motive. The rational mind can develop all kinds of interesting and valuable ideas and philosophies, but it can also twist them to justify and serve its own ends. But as Christian karma philosophy says "by their actions you shall know them". Beware those who talk karma rather than do karma.
The Chamber of 32 Doors - from the Genesis album "The Lamb lies down on Broadway
"I 'd rather trust a countryman than a townman, You can judge by his eyes, take a look if you can,
He'll smile through his guard, Survival trains hard.

I'd rather trust a man who works with his hands, He looks at you once, you know he understands,
Don't need any shield, When you're out in the field.

I'd rather trust a man who doesn't shout what he's found. There's no need to sell when you're homeward bound.

Moral of this story? Never trust a Brahmin/aristocrat/ anyone who lives off the labour of others, pretends to know what you should be thinking and so on.

Another quick anecdote. A famous psychologist/author (not so famous that I can recall his name right now!) met the Dalai Lama. They were discussing therapy and Buddhist psychology. The Dalai Lama said in a mix of Tibetan and Pali, that much depended on the karma between therapist and patient. You'll note that what I wrote was in English except the word "karma". Such also was the translation for the author from the Dalai Lama's interpreter.

As stated somewhere else, we imbue all kinds of meanings into "exotic" words, and this author when writing of this said how profound that was, and made him think of all the issues of possible past lives etc. And on and on he wrote. But all the Dalai Lama actually meant by karma was "the action that takes place between" - a straightforward idea that the "interaction' or relationship between therapist and patient is important.

john morgan

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Re: Karma

Post03 Mar 2009

Today karma tells me that each action does matter. If someone is suffering and I can help I do. Don't and it may be that a wonderful opportunity has been lost. The parable of the Good Samaritan in Christianity says that helping others is a good thing.

Osho, who I have not studied, said that if you help someone sooner or later they will stab you in the back. Before studying Gyan I read somewhere about a person frantically eating oranges and taking on the karma of the person(s) they wished to help. I have heard that if one considers that God is working through you when he helps another it is a protection against karma transference. The BK seem to constrain their helping to those following or making effort to inculcate attitudes and values based on Gyan. Buddhists are very concerned about helping those who suffer. Active compasssion is paramount. As they are non-theist they cannot consider that God is working through them.

Two quotes from "The Wheel of Sharp Weapons" to illustrate :
Uncontrollable wandering through rounds of existence
Is caused by our grasping at egos as real
The ignorant attitude heralds the demon
Of selfish concern for our welfare alone:
We seek some security for our own egos;
We want only pleasure and shun any pain
But now we must banish all selfish compulsion
And gladly take hardship for all others' sake.

When Supreme holy Gurus find us displeasing
This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning
Full circle upon us from the wrongs we have done.
Till now we have turned from the Guru's and teachings,
preferring the counsel of misleading friends;
Hereafter let us end our depenent relations
With those who would turn us from the path.

It may be that the stronger one is the more significant each action becomes. If karma is a pattern and one wishes to challenge it (improve ones life) a means of storing and focusing energy could be most useful. Somewhere in the versions there is mention that no one knows what karma and actions make possible the transition from beggar to double crowned emperor - until Baba comes.

Buddhism is also interested in cause and effect. Namely how new causes can eradicate unwanted effects, but Gyan states that the fallen continue to fall by following pre-gyan guidance and performing pre-gyan actions. It is easy to see that cause and effect exists on the physical plane. We as human beings often make effort to change ourselves but if karma does not exist on planes more subtle than the physical then effort makers who seek to improve themselves are very foolish indeed.

Terry

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Re: Karma

Post03 Mar 2009

john morgan wrote: ... but if karma does not exist on planes more subtle than the physical then effort makers who seek to improve themselves are very foolish indeed.

One does not follow the other.

Karma is a not a series of notches on an akashic fence post.

There is no "account" kept anywhere - no cosmic mechanism. What you think, do and experience changes you, not a balance sheet somewhere. It is the quality of a person that changes, i.e. they are different to what they were. The number of good actions or bad actions rarely matters (unless we are developing a new "skill").

If that kind of karma philosophy was right, we'd merely needed to earn enough brownie points and then we would all end up the same shade of beige, quite characterless.

It is a big mistake to turn a metaphor into a "truth". Metaphor: that which transfers, brings across. You don't carry the boat with you once you are on the other side. The idea of "account" is a metaphor that actually lands you on the wrong shoreline. (There you go, a metaphor about metaphor!)

The total being is not made up by the sum of the actions. It is more than that

At any moment I act - based on what I am now. After that action, I am now qualitatively different in some way.
Even with inaction I am aging, so I am now a different quality of me.Being IS becoming. Becoming IS being.

There is no "recording" of good or bad, just what I am. (Good or bad are subjective). So JM, it is your being that is reflecting your "account". There's nothing else beyond. Looking "out there" or thinking in terms of a karmic account balance only distracts from being fully present in the action.

john morgan

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Re: Karma

Post03 Mar 2009

Hi Terry,

What you say is interesting. I wonder though if thinking in terms of karma actually distracts one from being fully present. On the contrary my experience is that I am even more present. It seems that each thought we think and each action that we perform matters because it does change what we are. Checking our thoughts and actions to root out unworthy stuff and to introduce that which is worthy is for me what karma is all about. The notion of original sanskaras is very useful. In putting the two things together one makes effort to think and act in accordance with original sanskaras, thus giving them the greatest opportunity of emerging. The one thing we have control over is our own activity and the philosophy of karma empowers us when used from within. Some see it (karma) as a tool of control but to reject karma because one has experienced some form of manipulation in its name is to overlook a most useful understanding. Anything can be used or abused.

Regards,

John

Terry

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Re: Karma

Post03 Mar 2009

john morgan wrote:Some see it (karma) as a tool of control but to reject karma because one has experienced some form of manipulation is to overlook a most useful understanding

Personally, I find that using the language of the BK Gyan inevitably brings in associations which disconnects me from reality. BK Gyan is built on the faulty premise of corrupted Hindu thought, and one leads further from reality than the other!

There are other words that carry similar meaning, they do not carry the same associations so i prefer to use them. Although the word "Karma" means merely "action, there's a huge edifice been built around it. I prefer to think in terms of "action", rather than "karma".

"Action" feels solid. Simple. "Karma" spins off into the ether because of all the rubbish that's been linked to it. Whenever I hear it, I have to deconstruct and reconstruct mentally what it means so I don't get sucked back into that way of thinking (spent too long amongst it).

Same with saying "original sanskaras". I prefer "innate nature" or "human nature". I disagree that "original sanskaras" only include "virtues" and exclude "vices". The human being has both. But these polarities exist only until we learn to integrate the shadow (pardon the jargon).

john morgan

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Re: Karma

Post03 Mar 2009

Terry,

All I am doing is challenging my current reality, I find or create useful tools in order to do this. Whilst the jargon of Gyan is known to many the clarity and depth with which I understand is mine. Its great to hear different perspectives, later I'll think about what you have said - must shop for a car.

Take care,

John

Terry

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Re: Karma

Post03 Mar 2009

john morgan wrote: - must shop for a car.

That's your carma. Watch out for the dogma.

couldn't resist. sorry
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paulkershaw

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Re: Karma

Post03 Mar 2009

All I am doing is challenging my current reality

Apologies for barging into this conversation but is not that the essence of teachings about the Law of Karma? When one's reality changes because of past experiences new processes will open up and allow new experiences in.
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