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Re: Questions on Karma

Dec 15, 1996 11:25 PM
by kymsmith

Tom wrote:

>3) Is there good and bad karma, or just karma?

I guess I think there is "just karma," which, I must say, BY ITSELF,
certainly seems pointless, almost bordering on cruelty.  We create karma by
actions, and it is impossible to live without action, so karma continues to
grind away.  We can't work off or escape karma even if we realize what we
have done; karma ain't got no heart, it cares not about repentence or
remorse.   Karma also doesn't have the gumption to even tell us the
specifics of why we are experiencing what we are experiencing.  So many
people, when something terrible happens, plummet into despair because they
do not know why - and in order to fully learn and cope with a problem one
must know the why.  For some, cynisism takes over.  Books like "Why Bad
Things Happen To Good People" sell like crazy, and in turn offer, in my
opinion, erroneous and dangerous answers such as "It is God's Will." That
"It is God's Will" phrase is the single most responsible reason God looks
like a despot who loves to play "teacher's pet."

Karma is as much a motivator to do good deeds for those who believe in
reincarnation as hell is to those who believe in only one life on earth.
Both hell and karma prompt us to do deeds only to keep our hineys out of the
"fire" or "samsara" - neither encourage actions of 'good' out of simple

And there's always that sticky karmic conclusion where you can only give to
another, or hurt another, as much as their own karmic cup will hold.

Various pathways to "liberation" offer to beat karma at it's own game, but
the pathways seem to emphasize a 'disassociation' that seems uncomfortable,
at least to me.  Mahayanna Buddhism has an opposite approach, the
Bodhisattvas, but that doctrine has some pretty severe punishments for
rather minor offenses.

I have to be careful not to let the karma thing trick me into believing I'm
in the fortunate state I am in simply because I was so well-mannered in
previous lifetimes (which it occasionally does). Is the reason I do not go
to bed hungry my karma? Is the reason two-thirds of the world does their
karma?  Maybe and maybe not.

Karma's a handy little tool, but it doesn't seem to work for all
construction jobs.


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