Karma.

  • the god of thunder.

    the god of thunder. (300)

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    Karma is a concept that appears in both Buddhist and Hindu religions as the idea that our conscious actions can inevitably lead to punishment or reward.

    Other beliefs are structured around the idea that reincarnation serves as a vessel for karma, thus why some people are born into tougher living situations or with disabilities. Do your religious beliefs account of the idea of karma, and what are your personal beliefs about it?

    Note: The Just-World Phenomenon is a psychology term explaining peoples' tendency to believe that a person deserves whatever happens in their life, because life itself is just.
    August 1st, 2013 at 05:39am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    I see karma happen sometimes, so it's hard not to believe in it. I do believe the energy you send out has the potential to effect the energy around you.
    August 1st, 2013 at 03:01pm
  • CallusedSilk

    CallusedSilk (100)

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    I once put way too much thought into karma and now I can't ever see karma as a healthy or good thing. And I do mean that completely. I currently just see karma as a highly negative belief system when you really look closely at it, especially the 'Just-World Phenomenon' level of intensity.
    June 3rd, 2014 at 07:11am
  • wxyz

    wxyz (240)

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    I just think there are far too many examples of situations in which "karma" demonstrably hasn't been there, and I struggle to believe that there is any kind of force, supernatural or otherwise, that is inextricably linked with one perception of universal morality.
    June 6th, 2014 at 02:28am
  • Isadora Pierce

    Isadora Pierce (125)

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    Firm believer in karma.
    June 15th, 2014 at 06:58am
  • The Real Mitt Romney

    The Real Mitt Romney (250)

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    xandermark.:
    I just think there are far too many examples of situations in which "karma" demonstrably hasn't been there...
    I do think there are instances when people aren't "punished" for their wrong actions in the near future. Eventually, though, I believe they will find themselves in a different and "less fortunate" (parenthesis because I don't think any life is greater than another) form, so karma does ultimately play out.
    March 24th, 2015 at 09:00pm
  • Angels and Roses

    Angels and Roses (150)

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    Karma has multiple definitions.

    As someone who has some Buddhist belief, I learned that karma is the cause and effect. An example of karma would be me opening a bottle of Lucozade and all the gases like the carbon dioxide going out and making a fizzy noise. That's karma, not the notion that when you do something good something good will happen to you.

    Of course, other Buddhist will tell you that karma means the Western definition of good things happening to you because you did a good deed in the past. I don't believe in reincarnation or that definition of karma, so that sort of teaching varies from Buddhist to Buddhist, just like the belief in gods differs from Buddhist to Buddhist. Buddha had thousands of teachings, but the Pali Cannon (the Buddhist holy book) only originally applied to Therevada Buddhism, but there are many other denominations within Buddhism. Buddhism is incredibly flexible due to the amount of teachings and how they vary, so there is no one Buddhist belief. You can be a monotheist, atheist, deist, polythiest, panthiest and whatever else and still be a Buddhist.
    March 28th, 2015 at 12:48am
  • Unown

    Unown (185)

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    @ Angels and Roses
    Thanks for the interesting info!

    My friend is a Buddhist and she is the main reason for my interest in the religion, in all honesty. She has this calm aura about her, even when we mutually talk about something which is stressing us out (like uni work, for example). It seems like it doesn't make sense; to be calm yet stressed - I can't quite explain it. But she could add humour to the situation instantly - when I complained about something, she would say "I know" in friendly agreement, but she would still smile and laugh. Like this, she seemed so positive and at peace with herself, so when I learned that she follows the Buddhist religion I became intrigued.
    I did a bit of reading up on various Buddhist beliefs myself, largely on suffering, and it really is interesting - made my mind spin round in a full circle and realise why suffering might be considered in another way. It seems like the general gist of the religion is to channel inner peace and acceptance of things as they are, and then only when you are at peace or content yourself can you truly begin to help and focus on others.

    With regards to karma, I felt awful upon learning that a "frenemy" had fallen under a terrible illness. It started just after her and I had a falling out - we never really got along at school, but I could see the beauty that she had hidden inside herself when we met outside of school. For this reason, I always had a bit of a soft spot for her and felt that I just couldn't be mean to her. On the other hand, I felt wronged and manipulated by her on several occasions - she almost seemed obsessed with me; wanting me to stick by her side as often as possible. If I mentioned that I wanted to hang out with my other set of friends instead one lunch time, she would get upset and use threats (ignoring me, not being friends any more - which I wouldn't mind because sometimes I wanted that, but I didn't have the guts to straight out be the one to cause an end to the weird friendship we had). I did suggest that she come and meet them, but she made it clear enough that she didn't want to mix with them. If I said no to things, she'd try literally dragging me along with her. Her personality was pushy, loud, drama-loving - the kind I feared.

    I felt like the illness was a form of karma for the way she had manipulated and bullied me at school, but I wouldn't wish illness or death upon anyone. Due to this, I've always believed that karma is very powerful and sometimes not so considerate or fair - I fear it, and try to be as considerate to others as I can. This play of events left me confused, wondering if I should feel guilty or in the wrong for feeling that she was in the wrong for treating me like a doormat or leashed companion.
    May 2nd, 2015 at 12:51am
  • dally winston.

    dally winston. (100)

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    i've seen karma happen in its full glory.
    my nephew's father's girlfriend kicked my 2-year-old nephew in the leg and has done it for a long time and now she's in a coma.
    May 4th, 2015 at 12:53am
  • CallusedSilk

    CallusedSilk (100)

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    CallusedSilk:
    I once put way too much thought into karma and now I can't ever see karma as a healthy or good thing. And I do mean that completely. I currently just see karma as a highly negative belief system when you really look closely at it, especially the 'Just-World Phenomenon' level of intensity.
    Someone asked me recently if I still stand by this, and I do. I had too many horrible things happen to me as a kid and I've seen too many horrible things happen in the world to ever think karma is a good thing. After all, if karma is the reason for the actions/reactions that happen to people, where does it end? If a child is brutalized or an unarmed teen is killed, then what part of karma is explaining that?
    May 4th, 2015 at 04:00am
  • The Real Mitt Romney

    The Real Mitt Romney (250)

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    @ CallusedSilk
    Karma doesn't end. I'm going to say that loosely because it all depends on your religious stance/what happens after physical death stance. I believe in rebirth, so in my view, karma isn't just based upon this state of life. It's based upon all other states of existence including the present one. In this state they may be essentially good/innocent, but that doesn't mean they were even remotely moral in their past states.
    May 7th, 2015 at 02:51am
  • CallusedSilk

    CallusedSilk (100)

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    @ The Real Mitt Romney
    Even with the added in idea of rebirth, I find the entire concept unsettling. If anything, adding in rebirth/reincarnation into the mix just makes it even worse for me, because that means that somehow karma looks at a four year old and goes 'yes, this person screwed up in the past and only now in a new life when they have zero idea about their previous life are we going to punish them by having you be raped/abused/abandoned/murdered/whatever'. I just, I can't see any of that as something good.
    May 7th, 2015 at 03:37am
  • The Real Mitt Romney

    The Real Mitt Romney (250)

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    @ CallusedSilk
    It is unsettling, unfortunately. At the end of the day karma is only your actions and the reactions you create, so it's not really karma doing these things, but the people themselves. This isn't based off of Buddhist teachings but I'd like to assume those who are raped/abused/abandoned/murdered/etc did something on that level of violence in a past state. But karma's not really on an eye for an eye level, so. Karma's not necessarily good or evil. It's kind of like when people say "life is what you make of it" except, you know, your karma is based off of your entire existence and multiple states. I found something from buddhanet.net that adds to this:
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    PROXIMATE (ASANNA) KARMA OR DEATH-PROXIMATE KARMA
    This is that which one does or remembers immediately before the moment of dying. Owing to the great part it plays in determining the future birth, much importance is attained to this deathbed (asanna) Karma in almost all Buddhist countries. The customs of reminding the dying man of good deeds and making him do good acts on his deathbed still prevails in Buddhist countries.

    Sometimes a bad person may die happily and receive a good birth if he remembers or does a good act at the last moment. A story runs that a certain executioner who casually happened to give some alms to the Venerable Sariputta remembered this good act at the dying moment and was born in a state of bliss. This does not mean that although he enjoys a good birth he will be exempt from the effects of the evil deeds which he accumulated during his lifetime. They will have there due effect as occasions arise.

    At times a good person may die unhappy by suddenly remembering an evil act of his or by harbouring some unpleasant thought, perchance compelled by unfavourable circumstances. In the scriptures, Queen Mallika, the consort of King Kosala, remembering a lie she had uttered, suffered for about seven days in a state of misery when she lied to her husband to cover some misbehaviour.

    These are exceptional cases. Such reverse changes of birth account for the birth of virtuous children to vicious parents and of vicious children to virtuous parents. As a result of the last thought moment being conditioned by the general conduct of the person.
    That sums up and better explains what I was going to say.

    Most of the time "bad" karma seems to be larger than "good" karma, but yeah. Karma's objective and I think we pay most of our attention to unfavorable karma, so it gets lots of negative connotations. Also I'm speaking through a Buddhist POV, I have no idea if Hinduism is on the same level XD
    May 7th, 2015 at 04:44am
  • CallusedSilk

    CallusedSilk (100)

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    @ The Real Mitt Romney
    I just find it unhealthy to look at someone who has horrific things happen to them and assume that part of them, whether in this lifetime or another, was bad/evil/whatever. Like, it makes me physically ill to think that people are out there that think that I was raped as a child because I was an awful person in some past life and therefore brought it on myself.
    May 7th, 2015 at 05:21am
  • The Real Mitt Romney

    The Real Mitt Romney (250)

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    @ CallusedSilk
    Well no one is inherently perfectly good, so it's assumed that everyone will face unfavorable karma. Unless they're enlightened, but that's a whole different topic. Also, I didn't mean to insinuate you were an awful person in a different state. I qualified my assumption with the whole karma's not really on an eye for an eye level. That's also not a Buddhist teaching. But anyway, your past wrong doings could have been the smallest thing. In terms of karma you essentially brought it upon yourself, but that's only in the terms karma. Everything good and bad that's happened to you is based off of past actions. Not all states are favorable, and not all effects are equal to their causes.
    May 7th, 2015 at 05:52am
  • CallusedSilk

    CallusedSilk (100)

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    @ The Real Mitt Romney
    Which this whole kind of view of that kind of proverb where a butterfly flapping its wings somewhere can cause a natural disaster somewhere else in terms of people's decisions just makes me cringe. For me karma is someone's attempt to look at the world and find a reason for why everything is going on and why things happen so that that there's some sort of responsibility for everything and a reason to look at. I think for some people it's easier to think that there's an action ---> reaction type of set way in life when it doesn't really take into account the fact that sometimes shit just happens and sometimes there is no reason.
    May 7th, 2015 at 05:59am
  • The Real Mitt Romney

    The Real Mitt Romney (250)

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    @ CallusedSilk
    Believing that there is a cause and effect isn't necessarily the easy way. Karma implies there is a reason for every favorable or unfavorable thing that's happened to a person. I get it though, it can seem like there's no reason behind something bad that's happened to you, but you don't know your moral groundings from past states. So you're left without a concrete cause of an effect. EDIT: I'm saying that from a Buddhist view. Before I was Buddhist I thought the same thing, that karma never added up.
    May 7th, 2015 at 06:09am
  • CallusedSilk

    CallusedSilk (100)

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    @ The Real Mitt Romney
    Yeah, but I also just find it offensive to assume that not only that there was a past life at all, but that I did something, small or big, that warranted my getting catastrophically hurt in this lifetime. Regardless, using moral standings from a previous life to dictate how this one goes seems violently unfair and it feels like it achieves nothing. I say this, because if I'm hoping for someone to learn their lesson from how they treated me in this lifetime, what good is it to wait until the next lifetime for them to be taught anything? Even in the example you gave, if a bad person dies happily then they can receive a 'good birth'. So by that logic, someone could get 'punished' in another life, learn their lesson, but be so catastrophically damaged from that life that they die miserably and then go through it all over again in another life.
    May 7th, 2015 at 06:16am
  • The Real Mitt Romney

    The Real Mitt Romney (250)

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    @ CallusedSilk
    Overall the goal of Buddhists is to end suffering, that's why we have moral guidelines, to simply end suffering. We can't end our own suffering if we cause others to suffer because of karma. Also, in this view, you can't "hope" for someone to learn their lesson. That's not up to you. Buddhism isn't about getting revenge or living your life in hope someone learns a lesson. You're essentially wanting them to suffer, which then returns as unfavorable karma to you. Yes, a generally bad person may be given a good birth, but that doesn't mean that throughout their entire state of that life they'll receive favorable karma. Vice versa. The whole point of karma in a Buddhist point of view is to end suffering and to help Buddhists spread loving kindness. Also, you can't assume someone will suffer in all of their states of existence. If they're punished and they continue to make poor actions, sure, they may be punished in a new life. But if they're punished and they offer loving kindness, they may be born into a more favorable state.
    May 7th, 2015 at 06:33am
  • CallusedSilk

    CallusedSilk (100)

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    @ The Real Mitt Romney
    I never said I wanted anyone to suffer. Karma, on the other hand, seems to take no care in ensuring that anyone is without suffering. And sometimes good people are punished. Wanting someone to learn their lesson and wanting them to suffer are completely different things. You can learn a lesson without suffering and people can become good people without having to be brutalized in this lifetime or the next (if reincarnation is even a thing, which I don't think it is).
    May 7th, 2015 at 07:33am