Re: Some Responses-Rick
Dec 14, 1999 12:48 PM
In a message dated 12/14/99 11:51:37 AM Central Standard Time,
> Moral feedback is in the eyes of the recipient. I see it everywhere, but
> some folks don't see it at all. That's because I want to, and they don't.
> This is all part of our having free will.
But free will is not being free of Dharma. The dharma (moral feedback)
is there whether people see it or not. The freewill of it is the seeing or
not seeing it.
> The problem with reincarnation and karma is that we have, so it is said,
> been reincarnating for a very long time.
I don't see what the problem is. Karma is the consequences of our own
actions acting back upon us. There is no connection between it and
making progress (if that is what you infer -which I am guessing at based
on your comment that we have been reincarnating a long time). There
is no automatic progress in Buddhism like there is in Theosophy. In
Buddhism, one does not evolve into a Buddha over a span of lives.
One WORKS at becoming a Buddha, perhaps over a span of lives.
Samsara (cycle of rebirth driven by karma) is cross between a mental
hospital and a holding pattern over an airport. Unless one deliberately
gets out of the holding pattern in order to land, one will not land. It is
useless milling around until one has had enough and wakes up.
There are no lessons in it unless one takes an active interest in learning.
There is no progress in it unless one is actively interested in progressing.
There is no evolution in it until I wish resolutely to wake up.
I sometimes think a serious moral and metaphysical flaw in
theosophy is it provides solace to the spiritual couch-potato. In essence,
saying that there is the cycles of evolution (without exactly specifying the
conditions of evolution, does it happen automatically or does it happen
only to those who pursue it?) through which people progress is like
saying you don't have to DO anything because it will happen to you
automatically. So, people making no progress at all claim progress
nevertheless ("no progress is a kind of progress in this life" goes the
refrain). Thus, the combination of social darwinian ideas of a natural
trend of progress with reincarnation leads to the utmost worse form
of passivity and not taking responsibility.
By contrast, Buddhism does not combine a social darwinian
idea of a natural trend of progress with the idea of reincarnation.
There is no progress in one life or many unless I will to become
better. Reincarnation is useless milling around without resolute
effort. Without effort, reincarnation is a compulsive disorder.
So, I don't think the problem is with the concept of karma unless
it has be tacitly tied to an idea of automatic moral progress. That
perhaps deadly combination puts EVERYONE ON THE PATH
(by contrast, in Buddhism, only those who put themselves on the
path are on the path and that leaves out most everybody) so Hitler
or Stalin sending millions to death camps was their "path" in that
life from which they would learn progressive lessons. Its like a
fat beer guzzler claiming as an old football injury a trick knee he
got from falling over the coffee table while going to get another beer
because he was watching the game and pseudo-theosophically,
EVERYONE IS ON THE FIELD (in spirit).
Buddhism says many lives, in and of itself, is of no help.
Theosophy does. On this score, I claim theosophy is wrong.
That is point I tried raising with Dallas back in October in the posts
on Is Reincarnation Progress? or something like that. The
combination of the idea of reincarnation with the social darwinian
idea of progress (thus, despite what we do in this life, we are
still progressing) may be the worse cop out of three millenium.
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