Originally Posted by aydee
Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga
That's not my interpretation of karma. In particular societies that practice it, the powerful use karma to reinforce unjust social orders, which I suppose is nothing new for people and religion. This probably sounds very startling to someone who only knows the Disneyfied concept of karma, but the powerful have long used fatalistic concepts like karma to justify their place over others.
Everyone believes they live a virtuous life and will look for ways to support that contention - even as they might ruthlessly exploit those under them - and religion will usually provide a basis for their justification.
I'm not sure you've mixed up karma with the caste system. The caste system in India was divised to segregate people on the basis of their role to play in society. You had the brahmins (priests), kshatriyas (warriors), etc. There were also dalits (untouchables). Why they were untouchable was because they worked with animal carcasses, tanning leather and those kinds of activities, which the religious bigots of the day considered below them and believed that contact with them would pollute their souls. Why they had so much bias against meat, I have no idea, considering that one of the oldest Hindu texts, the Vedas, indicate that the priests of the time ate meat. I believe it was perversion of the original intent of the system for undeserved gains, eg. usurping land, rape and murder, etc.
If you'd like to draw a parallel with England, you could look at the feudal system of serfs and lords and barons and kings. And we all know how eff'ed up that was until the people took the power back.
Back on the subject of karma, if you understand what it means to be punished for your sins and rewarded for the good you do, you would trend toward the latter instead of the former. But only in an ideal world. Shades of grey to some, black and white to the other. Heck, look at Hollywood movies focused on gangsters, but portraying them as heroes. Sometimes being bad can look so good to yourself, you don't realise that everyone around you is screaming about the monster in their midst.
Originally Posted by con struct
How about if we construe karma as being something that's nothing more than a human invention?
Think about Fred Anderson, a construction worker from some part of the world that immigrated to America in the 1800s. He was involved in various railway projects and died at 43 while walking back to his shack after collecting his pay cheque. His body was never found, there are no documents proving that he even existed, no one cares two hoots about him anyway and he's not coming back. Maybe he existed, maybe he didn't.
Yet here we are discussing Fred Anderson, haha ^^
Originally Posted by Anon La Ply
It would be nice (or scary) to think of karma as real but my feeling is that the rights and wrongs in our little lives are of no consequence to the universe / God / whatever. It would be like talking about praiseworthy or blameworthy bacteria. Sure, the local bacteria affected by kind or egregious microbes might have an opinion but no one else cares :)
Still, there's obvious balancing going on in the universe - a pendulum swings back, the dry part of a sponge will absorb water from nearby saturated areas etc. I suppose it could apply to values too, given that values obviously exist and Yin/Yang seems to be a universal truth.
If karma exists then we'd better get our $#!% together, given that middle class humans are amongst the 0.0000000000001% of the most fortunate living things that have ever lived. Many creatures live in constant fear of predators, fear of not catching prey and generally die through being eaten alive or mangled. Here we are, calmly chatting on the net with almost zero threat to our lives.
So if you - one of the blessed ones - screw this life up you wouldn't want to think about the comeuppance. But don't let that worry you ... carry on ... no pressure lol
According to one of my peak experiences, the universe doesn't care a jot whether you're Adolph Hitler or Mahatma Gandhi - you have your little time in existence and then - floop! - back to the fold when you die (whatever "the fold" is). No harm, no foul. In cosmic terms we are like microbes that exist for less than the blink of an eye.
Whether that peak experience had any truth to it or was an illusion, I don't know, although it seems similar in nature to peak experiences others have described. Of course it's possible that we are wired to have particular types of illusions so that's not proof either, maybe just a little comforting :)
I agree, we're so infinitesimally small in the eyes of the Universe to be almost insignificant. I say almost because every one of us has the chance to change history, to have a great impact on the lives of those around us, to fulfill the purpose of our existence.
I think, therefore I am. That kind of positive thinking can shape your destiny, I honestly believe. If you think about Islam and how they're always writing everything backwards, maybe it should be "Allah, insh?" (God, will?") instead of Inshallah (by the will of God).
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