Karma, to me, seems a rather out-dated way of explaining why bad things happen to good people.
From Wikipedia, explaining Karma:
When Jesus came upon the Adulteress who was about to be stoned, he stopped the stoning by saying, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." (John 8:2-11). The whole scene was supposed to be a trap for Jesus set up by the Pharisees- let us move past that and focus just upon Jesus' act of forgiveness for the Adulteress. Once she repented, and assuming she never sinned again, the matter was done with and forgiven- it did not go into some Heavenly Book of Sins, nor was it to be remembered later by God and counted against her. This is the meaning of forgiveness- that once you have forgiven someone, you do not count their past acts against them forevermore.
I assume that when I sin, and then repent, and prove repentance by my future behavior (in other words, I change, and do better), I assume that God will not punish me for what I did in the past. What matters is that I changed. I learned. With Karma, it seems, changing your behavior may not matter at all. What is done is done; the die is cast; perhaps you will escape retribution; perhaps not.
Karma seems to be like superstition. For example, it is said that if you break a mirror, you will have seven years bad luck. If this were true, then we'd be saying that no matter what you did, the dice would always roll against you, which is impossible. So, too, is Karma. Once you change, your Karma must also change. If this is true, then Karma really does not exist at all.
Karma is totally illogical; I believe it is a tool to keep people down and out, and to keep them from trying to do better. This fits in with the old "caste" system of India. You could never change your caste, only do well, and hope to be born into a better caste.
An All-Forgiving God would not condone such a system. Once forgiven, the matter is done. Perhaps this is why Jesus remains a controversial figure: He believed in forgiveness, and He died for His beliefs. WE can find the roots of real Democracy in Jesus' teachings. Perhaps the All-Forgiving God is too scary an idea for those who would like to subjugate their people. Better to make them believe that nothing they do really matters.
Just because one believes in an All-Forgiving God does not mean there is not justice. When I do wrong, I must expect to be sanctioned by society for my wrong. God has forgiven me, yes, but I am still responsible for any damage I have done to the people around me when I act. Again, what matters is a change of Heart Within Me.
Watch the movie, "Flight" with Denzel Washington. This movie looks at this issue of responsibility for one's actions, even despite heroic behavior along the way.
What do you think? How do you weigh in on this issue? I am looking forward to a world--wide discussion on this issue.
One Heart for each Year of Staying Sober....since December 6, 1980!
asked 06 Dec '13, 12:22
I'm personally not a religious person, but I do not believe in karma.
Karma implies that in some way the universe is keeping a scoreboard of everything we do. It implies that every action is labeled either good or bad. It implies that there is a force out there that gives punishment to those who it deems punishable.
This simply cannot be. The universe is and will always be neutral. The only one that assigns themselves "karma" is the person themselves. If someone believes that they have bad karma, then it is true; not because they have it naturally, but because that is what they believe.
If the universe really worked in the way where karma exists, then LOA would be completely spit upon. LOA states that everything around you is because of your belief systems, how you feel, etc. If some imaginary force were making decisions for you, punishing you when it thinks you should be punished, labeling things either good or bad on some scale of morality, well.. I wouldn't think of this life as a very free one. Not only that, but what is deemed good or bad is completely subjective and decided by the person themselves.
answered 06 Dec '13, 17:15
you have wrong understanding of Karma. Karma does not mean you are helpless. But of course its the same as if you have negative thoughts then you would have negative outcome and then you can't blame God is not forgiving or being loving etc. God gave us free will to choose him. Just observe your lack thoughts and change those thoughts to have better life. Karma just explains why you got here.
Paramahansa Yogananda told you can get out of karma by aligning to cosmic laws.. that is to have positive thoughts, selflessness, being grateful, not beating about the negative stuff, doing your best to sincerely remove bad habits, being loving and compassionate, being creative and passionate in life, being non-judegental, always striving to be happy in life etc.
IN india for some time people accepted things as karma and accepted fate w/o fighting it. and paramahansa said this is very very wrong to think like that. You need to always put all your effort to think right thoughts and do right actions. And thats the way to neutralize karma. to get in touch with the superconscious Infinite Divine field on everyday basis with tools like meditation or use other similar tools to make this happen. When you do that you dissolve karma right away.
answered 06 Dec '13, 18:00
There are four things should be noted, as it's the core of how laws should be prioritized one to another to force us. You can categorize these within LOA or any other law or you may consider these outside specific laws. I just want to focus it, so we can relate it easily to any other laws (whether putting inside or outside of law):
But from all of those, there is one LAW for sure that is placed above all laws. I call it PREROGATIVE RIGHTS of God (ABSOLUTE RIGHTS). This prerogative doesn't have to be considered unfairness, but it's rather give us a hope that somehow God will help our weakness and God knows what is the best treatment for us.
Question: "I cannot believe in an All-Forgiving God and Karma at the same time. Can you?
I believe Jesus taught us of Karma but he as well taught us a greater rule of Grace.
The interesting thing is that we come to retribution. As our pastor used to say, even though I'm forgiven I still have to get a spanking.
So we come to the rather difficult part of karma coming upon us anyway which can make us feel what is the point of grace if we are going to be punished anyway?
I believe repentance is the key, so we turn away from that bad as we receive grace of forgiveness. This means we go through our karma but as a new person that understands but is not a victim of circumstances. So from this we grow as God intends.
If we have reincarnation and karma then we pay in the next lifetime for our past and how could we be repentant for a lifetime we can't remember? If we can't remember then we feel like a victim of life act accordingly to how we are treated that would pull us down more the next life. This seems to throw a monkey wrench into karma.
It does seem to get to be conflicting.
it is the manifested universe
it is inchoate mankind who pines
imagination of what shoud be but isn't
answered 07 Dec '13, 07:29
I agree that an All-Forgiving God and Karma are irreconcilable, yet feel there are a few things missing from understanding this squarely.
Creator God (let's call that Father) and Child God (let's call that Us) are 'currently' approaching Creation from different perspectives. The Father has at no point changed His Mind about Creation. For Him, forgiveness is entirely unnecessary. In my personal spiritual journey and opinion, this is actually scarier than idea that God is ready to punish us for (so called) wrong deeds. I acknowledge that intellectually, it seems punishment would be scarier than non-punishment. Enter idea of Karma.
We who are God, but not Father, hold to perspective that something is fundamentally wrong with Creation, and we project this onto Father. We are convinced that he must be onto this view and thus has some hand in the workings of this universe/world and reason, if He is anything like us, He's gotta be a little miffed by our apparent disobedience and not living in a, so called, righteous way. So, in our continued projection of 'what is fundamentally wrong' we see Father as one that plausibly will punish us or 'set things right' via an elaborate plan of Karma. In my understanding, all that is mistaken and lacks ultimate self responsibility due to lack of Self awareness, fueled by the notion that "lack" can plausibly exist in Creation.
In my understanding, Karma will exist as long as the physical universe exists. Yet, Father is not creator of that universe, and thus it is, in Reality, an illusion. It is the 'visible' projection of the fundamental error playing out (via projection). And forgiveness is also an illusion, but is the sort of illusion to escape all illusions.
So, when the Child becomes an all-forgiving God (and thus is at One), Karma will cease, as will entire notion / existence of physical existence. If there is theoretically just one aspect of the Child that is withholding forgiveness, then the Child is still not an all-forgiving God and Karma is still in effect, physical universe still existing. Yet, within this theory is an item that I find very challenging to understand and explain intellectually. That is that it takes but one of us to experience full forgiveness for all of us to experience full forgiveness. The challenging part of that understanding, I think, deals with awareness. I (often) think it is entirely plausible that everyone that I perceive as 'not me' is already at that state of 'full forgiveness' and it is 'just me' that is left playing out own karma, and perceiving physical universe. And yet, I live as if it isn't just me, and will certainly think that I'm 'further along' than some others and thus it could plausibly be another 10 trillion years before this awareness thing kicks in at level whereby karma is entirely undone, no longer necessary.
But in Reality, what is 10 trillion years when compared to eternity? Likewise, what is 'most elevated awareness' within physical universe, when compared to awareness our Father has of Creation? IOW, it could be 10 trillion years or 10 more minutes and from Father perspective there is no difference, but from my/our perspective it is enormous, and monumentally significant. How dare I be made to suffer, relive past mistakes for even 1 more minute. Or so the personal story of unawareness goes.
I believe we want this universe, this idea (and existence) of Karma at fundamental level that remains obscure to us even while intellectually we entertain idea of what it would be like without it. Yet, when we are actually without it and looking through what we keep hidden from our own Sight, we realize Creation hasn't changed, remains perfect, and that we are that Perfection. But then another aspect of fundamental error presents itself and unless we are, or I am, diligent to maintain actual awareness of Who I Am, I may resort to comforts of what this vast physical universe seems to provide. Forgiveness passed up under guise that some things just can't be forgiven and that guilt is a wholly justified experience. Karma lives on. For another minute, or millennia.
As I understand things, theologically, our Father has sent a Guide into this universe so that we would never lose our way Home entirely. That Guide has many names, and I call it Holy Spirit. And our Father placed that Guide in the most obvious place where we would for sure be able to find It, if we but (truly) look. That Guide is within Us. When on a spiritual journey, or path of remembrance, we may project the Guide onto (or into) physical universe and see it in others, or as others. Precisely speaking, Holy Spirit is not us, nor is Holy Spirit precisely the Father. Yet, in a place where the fundamental belief (error) is that Father is separate from Child, It serves as Guide to remember that the error is ultimately an illusion. And until it is consistently seen as illusion, the Guide offers reminder that all things are forgivable and that guilt, fear and hatred are without a Cause.
answered 07 Dec '13, 11:32
Forgiveness is an illusion. (Mathew 12:36; 23:12; Luke 6:38) Interestingly, Jesus is not even aware of such a thing as FORGIVENESS--see what he says in black and white: "whoever disowns me before others I will disown before my Father in heaven." (Mathew 10:33)
Teaching of forgiveness will not motivate people to do good. On the contrary, Teaching of Karma that says "what you sow you reap" (Galatians 6:7) makes us responsible, self-motivated to do good. Because it tells us: if you want good things to happen to you, do good! So SIMPLE!!!
Pure REASON suggests that God will opt for Principle of Causation (or Karma) which He has kept in place as IMMUTABLE AND IMPECCABLE. God will not impinge it at any circumstance!
Karma is most reasonable, because it's most optimistic. Its all about changing your FUTURE (not past, which you cannot change). Your present is the result of choices you made in the past. This well-attested truth about your own life convinces you about your next step: My present choices will determine my future!
"I cannot believe in an All-Forgiving God and Karma at the same time. Can you?"
Yes, I can.. why can't you?
"Karma seems to be like superstition. For example, it is said that if you break a mirror, you will have seven years bad luck. If this were true, then we'd be saying that no matter what you did, the dice would always roll against you, which is impossible. So, too, is Karma. Once you change, your Karma must also change. If this is true, then Karma really does not exist at all."
Karma is unfortunately a belief system for some.. it is "tainted" from it's original intent.. the knowledge is basically just not understood..
I will provide the same definition of karma as I did for the other thread.. karma is a option in this game we call reality.. it was all about experiencing what you dished out.. even in energy.. it didn't have to be physical or a eye for a eye..
So I would add that if your saying the definition of "karma" is skewed.. I would agree with you.. many people have those outdated definitions..
answered 07 Dec '13, 18:15
All of your actions have consequences in THIS life.
If you say something, people will respond, whether positive or negative. Without Karma actions would have no effect.
Karma is Justice, and Justice exists to protect Free-Will. That is a loving way of doing things.
answered 07 Dec '13, 19:40
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