Karma is not Punishment

Discussion in 'Reincarnation Questions' started by Deborah, May 19, 2006.

?

Karma is not Punishment

  1. Do you think you have to experience everything to grow?

    4 vote(s)
    36.4%
  2. Do you think your consciousness has a choice?

    7 vote(s)
    63.6%
  3. Do you think evil is a must in order to learn love?

    1 vote(s)
    9.1%
  4. Do you think you are suffering because you were once a bad person?

    2 vote(s)
    18.2%
  5. Do you think everything is pre-planned?

    2 vote(s)
    18.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Hammy

    Hammy Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    The world.
    ".........I believe the Universe is One -- and we are all part of it -- we are all connected."

    I could not agree more :thumbsup:
     
  2. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2001
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Hi Ailish,

    Granted. I agree entirely with everything you have said...:thumbsup: :cool WE are responsible for how we relate to others and the world and, consequently, how others and the world relate to us. Yes, we are ALL interconnected.

    However, in the Candomblé line these "Gods" are very active and tangible, and the mediums in these lines even "incorporate" them (myself included...:rolleyes: ). All I can say is that the energy present during such incorporations is very tangible and "real".

    Just for the sake of, let's say, an anthropological interest, I'll just quickly explain that, according to this line, there is one "Creator God" (Olorum), but then there are 16 "lesser gods", each associated to certain elements and with certain archetypical characteristics, who have been associated to Christian "Saints" in what is known as "religious synchretism".

    These are some of them:

    Oshalah (Jesus) - Air
    Yemanjah (Mary, mother of Jesus) - Sea
    Nanan (Saint Anne, mother of Mary) - Earth and water (mud)
    Ogum (St. George) - Iron, steel
    Yansan (Mary Magdalene and St. Barbara) - Rain
    Oshum (St. Mary of the Sacred Conception) - River
    Shango (Elijah, St. John the Baptist & St. Gerome) - Lightning
    Oxosse (St. Sebastian) - Forest
    Shapanan (St. Bartholomew (sp?)) - Earth

    As crazy as it may sound, the belief in Candomblé is that these "gods" do, indeed, determine, influence, affect and even control people's lives, with the aid of "Spiritual Guides", in what would constitute a whole hierarchy in the Spiritual Realms. The concept is that they work at guiding us towards bettering ourselves and yes, even "punishing" when one of the "children" sets off in the wrong track and direction.

    True or not, from personal experience I have seen enough to make me believe that this is at least possible.

    Lately, "scientists" have been managing to determine that the old "grandma's herbs and supersticions" often have a reason and an element of "truth" behind them.

    Yes, I agree entirely with what you said, and would not change a word regarding our participation in the process (after all, we ARE co-creators), but I would also not discard outright certain other possibilities. For after all, who are we to know for sure?:) ;) : angel
     
  3. Phoenix

    Phoenix Forgot to play nice

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    The Cereal City
    Ailish,

    Excellent stories. In addition, the Nordic myths had the good Odin and the bad Loki, the mischiefmaker who wreaked a lot of havoc.

    And in modern mythology we have the good Jesus and his evil counterpart Satan. As well as the Janus-faced duality of the loving God/vengeful God.

    In these common divine archetypes, we find the personification of human nature. We project the good side of ourselves onto the good divinity, and the bad side of ourselves onto the bad divinity.

    Phoenix
     
  4. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cheviot, Ohio
    I thought I'd help restart this discussion by a quote I think sums up my opinion perfectly.

    Karma really isn't punishment, nor is there a book with a tally of our good and bad deeds. As I see it, Karma refers to how we react to what others do to or for us, and how what we do to and for others impacts us. I like what Curious Girl says about living from the heart. It's that living from the heart that will help us make the right choices.

    We can't control how someone reacts to our actions, good or bad, toward them. We can only control what we do, and how we react to what others do toward us. It's our reactions that shape us, and help us experience the lessons needed for both spiritual and personal growth. That's at least how I view Karma. An opportunity for growth, not punishment


    John
     
  5. Phoenix

    Phoenix Forgot to play nice

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    The Cereal City
    What about the baggage of not reacting otherwise known as 'shoulda, woulda, coulda'? or not answering the door when opportunity bangs on it.

    That can not only drive your life, but other people's as well.

    When my mother was in college, she turned down a teaching fellowship at an ivy league university. Her mother told her to. She did a lot of kicking herself ever since.

    As a result, my mother accepted every education-related opportunity on my behalf that came along-some of which were useful to me, others were a complete waste of my time.

    So, I'd say that even doing nothing, can give you baggage. Her baggage from doing nothing, ended up affecting decisions she made on my behalf when I was too young to legally make my own decisions. And that left me with baggage-I can't stand having my time wasted by irrelevant training.

    Phoenix
     
  6. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cheviot, Ohio
    I guess I didn't make myself clear enough Phoenix. The option of not reacting I meant was not reacting to something someone else might try to do to you. If you insult me and I shrug it or laugh it off, it has no impact on me. The same would be true if I insulted you, not that I would, since I like you. Obviously every decision we make personally has an impact on our lives.

    John
     
  7. Val

    Val Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Belfair Washington
    Karma and Mercy

    I believe that karma can be tempered by the law of mercy. If we come to understand our mistakes, and grow in compassion, than there may be no need to suffer the conquences of our actions.

    This said, I feel that many of us do need to suffer the conquences of our actions so that we may gain that understanding. It isn't so much a punishment as a learning process.
     
  8. tanguerra

    tanguerra Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    253
    Location:
    Australia
    I agree with you Val. I don't believe in a vengeful God or in a punitive system of 'karma' with strict hierarchies of 'goodness' and people going 'up' and 'down' on levels as though on an escalator.

    I think it is a lot more complicated than that. Even though people mostly enjoy a nice simple dichotomy and easy-to-understand cause and effect I just think it is all a lot 'messier' and more chaotic than that - a bit like life in fact.

    I am sure that suffering teaches us compassion and that suffering would not occur if we were all 'perfect' and behaved beautifully towards each other all the time - so in that regard suffering is a necessary part of life if we are going to grow in compassion and wisdom and understanding. This might be a rationalisation and there may be no meaning and no point, but I prefer to believe it because it makes me feel better.
     
  9. Phoenix

    Phoenix Forgot to play nice

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    The Cereal City
    Add my vote in there. That version of karma, which just doesn't work when it's lifted out of the belief system that it is part and parcel of, reminds me of Jacob's ladder.

    As part of Hinduism, karma has an important task-it regulates the caste system. On it's own, karma becomes totally mystifying as it has no purpose. It becomes a buzzword.

    I find that causality is a very chaotic, confusing and messy thing, as the effects from one single cause can vary widely. It makes more sense to me than the following common definition of how karma works:

    Karma: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    Which matches up exactly with how another law of nature is commonly (but incorrectly) paraphrased:

    Isaac Newton's Third Law of Motion-the law of reciprocal actions: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    How the two concepts "karma" and "motion" ended up with the same definition just boggles the mind...during one of our discussions, I asked Rabbi Gershom about it and he gave me permission to quote from his FAQ:

    If you look at the correct translation (Newton's laws were originally written in Latin) it makes a bit more sense:

    Looked at in light of the correct and complete translation, you can clearly see how it is that karma and the Third Law of Motion were correlated-it can easily be spun to appear to be talking about good and evil-two houses alike in dignity...I mean two forces equal in magnitude and opposite in direction.

    Part of the incorrect paraphrasing of the Law of Motion is that it alters the time reference, making it appear that the equal and opposite reaction force happens after the action-when in fact both are happening at the same time.

    And that's why the "action/reaction" definition of karma confuses the heck out of me. It's based on an incorrect, but very common, paraphrasing of Newton's Third Law of Motion. If you apply the actual text of the law to karma, it becomes far more mystical-it becomes the Force.

    Hey, if it makes the people doing the suffering feel better-nothing wrong with that. It also takes all of the burden of blame, karma, etc., off the shoulders of the people making them suffer. :thumbsup:

    Phoenix
     
  10. tanguerra

    tanguerra Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    253
    Location:
    Australia
    Yes Phoenix,

    Indeed the workings of the multiverse are a great deal more complex than we bi-pedal carbon based life forms might sometimes like to believe. There is no reason why the spirit should obey the laws of matter, such as thermo-dynamics or gravity or anything else, as you say. They may well be some correlations and similarites, but I bet it is a great deal more complex, subtle and multi-dimensional than the behaviour of asteroids and such.

    I think people who cause others to suffer also suffer themselves by the way. I believe causing others to suffer comes from our own original unhappiness (terrible, violent childhoods, etc) but also diminishes us in our own eyes, if not sooner, then later. Most people derive more joy from pleasant interactions with others rather than in harming them, apart from the aberrant minority of course, but you will always get them.

    I don't think that believing that suffering causes compassion is in any way a useful 'cop out' for the naughty of this world, but anything that helps one to bear suffering, hey, why not?
     
  11. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cheviot, Ohio
    I agree with you. I think their eventual suffering comes from their own negative attitude and energy rather than any "outside" karma influence which some "unknown" entity keeps track of. Rather than a record being kept somewhere, the negativity is self contained.

    Again, I agree with you, oh wise woman. But I do feel that suffering can help us understand and adopt a more compassionate attitude. But only if we can overcome the bitterness often arising from our suffering.

    John
     
  12. tanguerra

    tanguerra Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    253
    Location:
    Australia
    Yes John (oh wise one),

    I don't think Karma operates like some cosmic Santa Claus keeping track of who has been naughty and who has been nice in a giant ledger putting black marks against people's names.

    Everyone suffers. This is life. Things go wrong. Some people suffer greatly over every little thing and others can bear a great deal of suffering without becoming apparently downhearted. This is an individual thing - perhaps varying with experience or wisdom or outlook or upbringing or whatever.

    When one day we realise that everyone suffers (some more, some less - even movie stars and celebrities have their trials and tribulations) we begin to be able to walk a mile or two in their moccasins, as Phoenix is fond of saying, and begin to understand that we are not alone and hopefully begin to realise that everything is not always about 'me' and what I want and what I don't have and so on.

    This understanding builds compassion for the suffering of others and, hopefully, a desire to ease the suffering of others as well as acceptance that (sometimes) life sucks so may as well just get over it and get on with it. From there it is onwards towards serenity and love (much nicer).

    This is all really just basic Buddhism 1.01 - not an original idea of mine! I can't take credit for it, but I do try to remind myself of it when having a bad hair day.
     
  13. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2001
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Hello everyone,

    I agree with just about all that has been said above. Just wanted to comment on what John said:

    "Free will also gives us the option of not reacting, which creates no karma."

    Because, in my view, omission can also be a cause for negative karma. In fact, nuns and priests who isolate themelves in convents, or even yogis sitting in meditation at the top of a mountain, are not involved in the necessary practices of charity and helping others, which to me are a fundamental aspect of our evolution and growth.

    The rules to prevent negative karma are similar, if not the same, to the rules of the 10 commandments, which basically imply in not causing pain to others.
     
  14. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cheviot, Ohio
    But I'm not talking about omission Charles, but about either ignoring, not reacting, or reacting in a way not expected by the person acting toward us. Let me give some examples of what I see karma as being, which is reactionary rather than causative for the most part.

    If I sent you a PM with what I thought was a terrible insult, that is going to cause negative energy and feelings in me. Now if when you get my PM, you feel my comments are funny, and laugh them off, they will have either a neutral or a mildly positive effect or energy on you.

    The way you reacted doesn't change the negative energy the PM caused me. And my unkind intention doesn't change the neutral or positive energy your reaction caused upon you. So I see karma being more an issue of one's reaction than one of cause and effect. And as for rules and laws, from what I understand karma to be, there are none.

    John
     
  15. tanguerra

    tanguerra Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    253
    Location:
    Australia
    Personally I dislike too many 'rules' regarding how people choose to conduct themselves. I doubt that there is any one-size-fits-all system of karma which is quite so rigid as some people would like to think.

    There is nothing wrong with choosing to spend one life or many in contemplation in my view. Helping others is an excellent thing, so is training the mind. Different strokes...

    Obviously it is not ideal (simply from a practical point of view apart from anything else) to go around hurting people deliberately or cruelly, but then again, I don't pretend to see all ends or know all answers.
     
  16. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2001
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Hi John,

    Yes, certainly negative actions bring about negative reactions. Simple human relations seems to tend to take care of that. Someone we hurt might wish to hurt us back, and so the process rolls until one of the two decided to end it. By forgiving seems to be the best way. It is a pity this doesn't always happen two ways.

    Hi Tanguerra,

    I believe we certainly always have the opportunity for choice. I was just emphasizing that "soul evolution" (according to my beliefs, of course) comes hand-in-hand with helping others evolve also.
    :thumbsup:
     
  17. Crissy2

    Crissy2 Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I made a statement at one time that went something like this.

    "Maybe in order to reach those spiritual calm lifetimes, one must learn and encounter the darker side of things as ways to learn and grow. Maybe we all originally start out on our soals path here on earth as cold and hard, and eventually grow to be enlightened."

    My thoughts on this changed a small bit. I don't think we chose to be hardened, cruel or mean. I don't think we chose to be unemotional or distant. There is obviously a huge change in our society today in comparison to what it was in the beginning. Darkness has always been present from the time our earthy pressence made it's grand entrance. I think Earth is a school. It's a grand way to teach ourselves lessons. With each life, we learn something new and continue to grow. I can't imagine pre-planning what my children and I went through however I had precognitive dreams for nearly a year before everything happened so what happened somehow was written in some book somewhere. This could get very twisted and twirled but the big picture is that I grew as an individual and became stronger. What lessons are out there for my children; only they know and one day it may become apparent.

    This pole was quite a brain jogger. It had me thinking intensly on each option. : angel

    Ok... Hmmm, I'm back to edit. I answered "One must encounter evil in order to learn love" but I think I took it differently. Something hit me as I exited. Maybe I should have answered, "Everything is pre-planned" but I have a twist on that. I just went through something that I knew from the beginning was never written in on my chart. I knew it without a shadow of a doubt. This experience was a total blip on my chart in this lifetime. It did not belong. It had no real benefits or ways to learn from it. It was absolutely not to be part of my journey here this time. I kept fighting that knowledge for an entire year but when God and your guide yell at you enough; you finally say, "Ok!"

    This knowledge that i had makes my mind wonder. It would make since that we come down with an outline for our lives. A list of lessons we intend to be tought. A school completely pre-planned with our prior knowledge even though we forget most of that when we come here would seem not to be a true school.. BUT if we had an outline as to what our intentions in this life are to be; what lessons we want to learn, naturally the list would be given to the teacher, (Our devine, God/Goddess, Whomever you feel to be the 1 and almighty) and the teacher would devise the true path. I don't feel that our paths are written to put us through horrible experiences however maybe we are placed within certain opportunities that would allow for the possibility of such hardships. It is then up to us to learn how to handle the situation and come to God if we need assistance.

    (Sigh) Holy cow. This issue could be discussed for hours on end. I have thoughts coming to my mind like you wouldn't believe and they all counterdict eachother. LMAO.
     
  18. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    California Girl By Heart
    Hi Crissy,

    Some interesting thoughts!

    I personally don’t believe that. If everything was pre-set, then that would completely negate free-will choice. That in turn, would not allow us to learn or to grow from our mistakes or from our choices. Sometimes a parent needs to let a child makes their own mistakes, experience the consequences – and learn from it. I think we are all like children while we are here. We are constantly learning and evolving.

    I’m curious -- how does free-will fit into your ideas about pre-planning?



    Ailish :)
     
  19. Crissy2

    Crissy2 Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Well, thats why I said the thoughts coming to mind kept contradicting themselves. :laugh: I only posted 2 thoughts and kept silent on the remaining 10 or more, who knows, they were coming so fast, I couldn't keep up.

    I don't think it is set in stone planned as in I don't believe that God or the Almighty has this predestined step plan that allows for no error or free-will. However at the same time, I think we have pin points on our chart. There are certain places we are supposed to be, certain things we are supposed to encounter as to teach us the lessons we need to learn. Depending on how "in-tune" we are to the direction we are given will depend on whether or not we experience what we are supposed to. There has been times in my life where I knew I was exactly where I should have been at exactly the right time. For instance, a premonition that comes in a dream of somewhere you will be in 10+ years and low and behold, 10 years later, you are reliving the dream would somewhat point to the fact that this place was exactly where I was supposed to be. Now how I got there may have taken many different paths off of what may have originally been planned. See?

    Or how about when you know that where you stand is exactly where you are supposed to be; You see and hear what is planned and is supposed to come, however you face a choice at that very moment? (See, this happened to me.) Right before my eyes, I knew I had 2 choices. 1 choice was never written into my chart but could be written into my chart however I would have ended my "planned" journey. My purpose and the additional things I had intended myself to learn (not physically here and now but subcontiously) will have been lost. I will however not have negated myself from learning other lessons but my chart would have made a significant change. Let me bold that, underline and mark it in red. Significant. It was a very serene moment, 1 I had never experienced before but I cannot explain the experience enough for someone to understand that obviously we have pre-planned destiny's and lessons, however our journey through them and to them can take many different highways. I think there are reasons and things placed in our path to re-direct us when we begin to stear to far off path however most of us never recognize them. In this past personal experience, I'd say many things were thrown my way that I ignored and finally I was simply grabbed, sat down and spiritually yelled at, shaken, about faced and thumped right back where I needed to be. :thumbsup: So as some things may vear you off of your pre-destined path, you may take a large scenic route but eventually be pushed back to where you needed to be; I on the other hand was about to jump ship and take a totally alternate route that simply was not in my charts for this life.

    Hope you could read between the lines on that. I didn't want to get into things that are not supposed to be discussed within this forum as I respect the wishes of this lovely site.
     
  20. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    California Girl By Heart
    Hiya Crissy,

    I understand what you’re saying ;) I just see it differently. In my opinion – the dream would be representative of where you want to be in ten years. Consciously, or subconsciously through your thoughts and actions – you create the change and manifest the desired result.

    Good for YOU! :D :thumbsup:


    Physicist David Bohm proposed that the implicate order contains within it all possibilities. The implicate order contains every subatomic particle that has ever been or ever will be as well as every possible configuration of matter and energy. The fact that every possibility is already contained within the whole – does not limit or interfere at all with our free will choices.

    The way I see it – that would mean every possible option for our lives already exists, and it is through our thoughts, choices and actions that we bring about the “consequences.”

    Just a few more random thoughts to add to your pocketful ;)

    Ailish
     

Share This Page