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View Diary: I sucked at Buddhism last night (257 comments)

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  •  My problem with the connection between karma (0+ / 0-)

    and reincarnation is the other direction. I asked a practicing Buddhist whether a child that was raped as a nine year old had that happen to her because of her own actions in a previous life. His answer was, "Yes, of course. But we wouldn't blame her for that."



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:42:08 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  The teacher I studied under would say... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama

      ... the ocean of karma is so vast, and so complicated, that simplistic cause-effect explanations are pointless. You inherit from prior lives but you are not your past lives.

      •  I feel like that affirms my loosey-goosey model! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama
      •  That helps some, but it still implies that people (0+ / 0-)

        who are born into bad situations or have bad stuff happen to them in some sense are reaping what they sow.



        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

        by Wee Mama on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:08:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think so (0+ / 0-)

          Buddhism explicitly rejects karmic determinism. (Along with the idea of a self or soul.) It's like saying that I was molested because my genes, personality, socio-economic status, and family norms put me in the path of my abuser with a "free chicken" sign on my face. Those factors are explanatory, not accusatory, and understanding all of them are beyond my comprehension.

          Buddhism, in my understanding of it, holds me responsible for the karma I create, not the incomprehensible effects of karma I experienced. (In Stoic terms, the past is fate or the infinite chain of existence. In theological terms, it's a mystery of god's will.) If I choose to be ruled by fear, anger, or longing, I create a hell for myself and quite possibly for others. Perhaps that hell will influence (but not determine) the "me" that follows me.

          And on the other hand, if I choose to practice the discernment that fear, anger, and longing can be experienced and acknowledged as ephemeral, I might make things easier for future "me" and avoid creating problems for others.

          And after having seen loved ones go into a hell of their own creation, it's an argument I find deeply compelling.

    •  That's pretty horrifying! (1+ / 0-)
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      Wee Mama

      I guess I don't have (or WANT) that much faith.

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