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Karma, Causality and Morality - 2nd try

Feb 15, 1995 05:27 PM
by Murray Stentiford, Scientific Software and Systems Ltd

Replying to Alan Bain but not to Annie Besant:

> I have often though that Jung was on tricky ground with this one,
> for what may be described as "acausual" may be nothing more (!)
> than events for which causality synchronous with them is not
> immediately obvious - like the powder and the bullet from the gun
> - which, BTW, is *exactly* how I have come to perceive the idea
> of Karma in general - there is not necessarily a moral dimension
> to it at all.  Karma is TANSTAAFL!

(!) noted. My reductionism detectors slept through that one

Whether you feel a moral dimension is involved depends, of
course, on how you define it.

There was a lot of discussion on ethics and morality a couple of
months back which I kept out of for lack of time rather than lack
of interest.

As I see it, morality has much to do with what is harmful to the
life processes and evolution of all those affected by an action,
including the person doing it, across the full range of
principles/planes/levels of consciousness that theosophy might
conceive of.  Because of the connectedness and unity of things,
that means we're considering whether we're aiding or hindering
the life wave on the planet, or wider still, the whole cosmic
life process.

The more conventional view of morality (you know: naughty, bad,
shocking, reprimanding, big stick, ...  etc) is a bit off the
mark, though still related to it.

Just how harmful something is, is sometimes very difficult to
assess, though, for example when it's mildly negative or
destructive in the short term but more positive and constructive
in the longer term, or is simultaneously constructive and
destructive.  Then we're into value judgements and relative costs
of the alternatives - multi-level economics, here!

So for actions that involve this kind of consideration, I feel
there is definitely a moral dimension to karma.  On the other
hand, processes of nature would generally not have a moral
dimension, but even there, there are some interesting issues to
think about, like the difference that intentionality makes, in
the web of karma.


Here are some more questions for your on-screen exam paper:

1    an acronym
2    an ancient Tibetan term
3    a new South African ice-cream.

<g> or <G> means
1    grins
2    gulps
3    gargles
4    all of the above simultaneously

Seriously, I _would_ like to know what these mean!

Murray Stentiford

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