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    Thread: Does a mental disabled person accumulate karma ?

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      Does a mental disabled person accumulate karma ?

      Note: this question only makes sense if you are buddhist or believe it's principles.

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      Quote Originally Posted by VagalTone View Post
      Note: this question only makes sense if you are buddhist or believe it's principles.
      No it doesn't. Multiple religions have karma systems (in fact, you'll find that "Karma" is a Sanskrit word and the idea originates from Hinduism) but even aside from that, you don't have to view karma as a strictly religious principle in order to discuss its implications. The question behind your question (are those without knowledge and/or control behind their actions held accountable) isn't even a religious one.
      Last edited by Jesus of Suburbia; 01-26-2014 at 05:30 AM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Jesus of Suburbia View Post
      No it doesn't. Multiple religions have karma systems (in fact, you'll find that "Karma" is a Sanskrit word and the idea originates from Hinduism) but even aside from that, you don't have to view karma as a strictly religious principle in order to discuss its implications. The question behind your question (are those without knowledge and/or control behind their actions held accountable) isn't even a religious one.
      The question behind my question is not the question i'm asking . I am asking a religious based one.

      Karma is not strictly a buddhist concept, of course. But i'm more familiar with tibetan buddhism, and perhaps there are differences between schools and between religions ( otherwise there wouldnīt be different ones )

      Now, in tibetan buddhism, karma is said to leave imprints ( on substrate consciousness) for future lifes. So that is something about faith for most of us ( unless you have personal realization ). So, in tibetan buddhism, at least, karma is a faith based concept. No way a lay person can answer this question within a strictly scientific ground.

      In tibetan buddhism, karma implies a substrate consciousness ( a kind of life repositorium, or soul ). This question is a religious one, but feel free to speculate.
      Last edited by VagalTone; 01-26-2014 at 10:28 AM.

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      I once spoke to an old Hindu matriarch (in the 70s) and she told me that the West has made up a lot of nonsense about Karma.

      It has little to do with what you do after your born (in its original context) It refers to 3 things.

      1) - Where your born

      2) - What body your born into

      3) - The caste your are born into.

      These things are your fixed Karma.

      You can't fight it.

      You need to humbly accept your lot in life and follow the rules.

      (Hindu rules) Hindu sacrifices as well, to better your next Cast, (eg family you are born into)

      and the health of your next body

      and geographical location of your next body.

      She seemed to say that once a person is born there is very little they can do but keep the rules of their cast, and do the sacrifices and rituals of Hinduism.

      They will suffer and enjoy according to there families "status" Caste,

      They will suffer and enjoy according to the health of their body.

      And they will suffer and enjoy according to where, in the world they are born (dry desert, mozy and leech infested rainforest, freezing cold mountainous place, and so on).

      To this old Hindu matriarch the West had a cockeyed and romantic view of the ancient concept of karma.

      It was originally an acient Hindu belief. And to improve your future life prospects you needed to be a very good Hindu.

      Obey the guru that your father chose for you.

      Keep all the rules applicable to the Caste you were deservably born into.

      And be kind to that mozzy or leech as it might have been your beloved grandpa. (hehehe)
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      Quote Originally Posted by VagalTone View Post
      The question behind my question is not the question i'm asking . I am asking a religious based one.
      Except it is. Without that question, can people without the knowledge or proper rationale to commit a wrongful (or even positive) action be held accountable (be that lawful accountability, theoretical accountability, spiritual accountability, or any other kind of association) for that action, your question doesn't make sense. It doesn't even have to be about whether the action was wrongful or not, can any result due to an action, when the person had no capability to foresee that result, be properly attributed to that person? It's a huge philosophical question.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Jesus of Suburbia View Post
      Except it is. Without that question, can people without the knowledge or proper rationale to commit a wrongful (or even positive) action be held accountable (be that lawful accountability, theoretical accountability, spiritual accountability, or any other kind of association) for that action, your question doesn't make sense. It doesn't even have to be about whether the action was wrongful or not, can any result due to an action, when the person had no capability to foresee that result, be properly attributed to that person? It's a huge philosophical question.
      That's an implicit important question, but i am asking about karma . Thatīs a different field of knowledge. It has no other implications beyond religion, i hope.

      Conversely, you can answer many questions with the best scientific evidence and still get another answer or perspective by religion, because they have different modes of inquiry and different biases.

      You can answer that implicit question but it wonīt change centuries of religious philosophy.

      So in short, i want an answer based on tibetan buddhism philosophy, not in science.
      Last edited by VagalTone; 01-26-2014 at 01:05 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by VagalTone View Post
      That's an implicit important question, but i am asking about karma . Thatīs a different field of knowledge. It has no other implications beyond religion, i hope.

      Conversely, you can answer many questions with the best scientific evidence and still get another answer or perspective by religion, because they have different modes of inquiry and different biases.

      You can answer that implicit question but it wonīt change centuries of religious philosophy.

      So in short, i want an answer based on tibetan buddhism philosophy, not in science.
      But the implications of the question aren't based solely in karma (or science or other religions or anything), and your question regarding karma is built on the question.

      At the fundamental level, you're asking if actions (whether their outcome be good or bad) done by someone who couldn't understand (inhibited by mental disability, in your case) their outcomes (be they positive, negative, or neutral, no matter who or what decides what they are [and no matter whether they're positive, negative, or neutral morally or in a different sense]) can be correctly (no matter who or what determines that correctness) attributed to that person. And it's a loaded question, with many schools of thought.

      If you're looking for how Tibetan Buddhism's primary texts answer that question for the purposes of, say, a paper on Buddhist principles and beliefs, then it's different. But you said the question only makes sense if you're a Buddhist, which is very untrue.

      And if you're asking for the purposes of constructing your own beliefs, you have bigger spiritual problems than the way the disabled accumulate karma.
      Last edited by Jesus of Suburbia; 01-26-2014 at 01:59 PM.
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      I am very much with you, Jesus of Suburbia!
      This is a simple looking question - and maybe somebody has a specific answer - but the underlying questions, like JoS brought them up are much more interesting and deeper, I would say - and they fit in this context more than well.
      I shy away a bit from trying to argue out the case against human free will - but I might come along later with some citations, to make it clear, where I am coming from in this.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Jesus of Suburbia View Post

      If you're looking for how Tibetan Buddhism's primary texts answer that question for the purposes of, say, a paper on Buddhist principles and beliefs, then it's different. But you said the question only makes sense if you're a Buddhist, which is very untrue.

      And if you're asking for the purposes of constructing your own beliefs, you have bigger spiritual problems than the way the disabled accumulate karma.
      I meant to restrict the topic to those interested in buddhism. I canīt imagine a lay person talking about karma and answering my main question. I am sorry i have generated confusion

      The implicit question makes sense in any context of course, but the idea of karma of tibetan buddhism requires some degree of faith ( at least for those who canīt recall past lifes, etc. )

      I donīt want to construct my own beliefs, very much the opposite. I just want to know what tibetan buddhism has to say about this. I suspect tibetan buddhism has some flaws regarding this topic, and i'm willing to investigate or at least satisfy my curiosity.


      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      I am very much with you, Jesus of Suburbia!
      This is a simple looking question - and maybe somebody has a specific answer - but the underlying questions, like JoS brought them up are much more interesting and deeper, I would say - and they fit in this context more than well.
      I shy away a bit from trying to argue out the case against human free will - but I might come along later with some citations, to make it clear, where I am coming from in this.
      I agree that underlying question is a much more important question, and i am also interested in, but my intention here is just to discover what this religious school thinks about this, not science or philosophy. Otherwise, i wouldnīt have used the word Ŧ karmaŧ.

      Perhaps i have choose the wrong place to post it

      An yes it is a simple question and requires a specific answer.
      Last edited by VagalTone; 01-26-2014 at 03:55 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by VagalTone View Post
      The implicit question makes sense in any context of course, but the idea of karma of tibetan buddhism requires some degree of faith ( at least for those who canīt recall past lifes, etc. ).
      That isn't true either. I don't have to believe the religion to quote the texts and state interpretations (mine or those of theologians) of what they mean. And I'm not sure an old religion like Buddhism would even get as in depth as to say whether the mentally disabled acquire karma, so you'd pretty much have to rely on other interpretations (which, reiterating, depend on how you view the question at hand in order to contextualize other parts of the writings). It really isn't a simple question.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Jesus of Suburbia View Post
      That isn't true either. I don't have to believe the religion to quote the texts and state interpretations (mine or those of theologians) of what they mean. And I'm not sure an old religion like Buddhism would even get as in depth as to say whether the mentally disabled acquire karma, so you'd pretty much have to rely on other interpretations (which, reiterating, depend on how you view the question at hand in order to contextualize other parts of the writings). It really isn't a simple question.
      Oh true, thatīs my case. You don't have to believe it.

      Tibetan Buddhism, despite old, is a very alive tradition, they claim to receive new teachings in their dreams, and so on. And they keep updating and revising their dogmas ( just like the Buddha asked to )

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      Quote Originally Posted by VagalTone View Post
      That's an implicit important question, but i am asking about karma . Thatīs a different field of knowledge. It has no other implications beyond religion, i hope.

      Conversely, you can answer many questions with the best scientific evidence and still get another answer or perspective by religion, because they have different modes of inquiry and different biases.

      You can answer that implicit question but it wonīt change centuries of religious philosophy.

      So in short, i want an answer based on tibetan buddhism philosophy, not in science.

      I think you've misunderstood Jesus of Suburbia.

      I think he just meant you can't ask the question "does a mentally disabled person accumulate karma?" without FIRST asking "well, are they accountable for their actions?"

      The reason why it matters is because there are a lot of different understandings of how karma works. Does a person get the same karma for accidentally running someone over, killing them, versus a malicious intent to kill? Is it t he same karma if a lion eats a human versus if a human eats a human?

      So for a lot of people, understanding the level of innocence does matter if you're talking about karma.

      But then again, not all understandings of karma is the same. In some circles innocence doesn't matter. All karma is the return of your actions. Its completely unbiased and doesn't care if you were naive. Its why people pray to gurus or gods, to hold the karmic balance because they were ignorant and didn't know what they were doing.

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      We're all held accountable for actions we commit out of ignorance anyways, it wouldn't be any different for a being slightly more mentally incapacitated than the rest of us retards.

      I was recently hurt very badly by people that thought they were in the right. I disagree, but they're still probably basking in self-satisfaction of a job well done, giving me what I deserved. You think because they're ignorant, karma will give them a pass? I certainly hope not. Indeed, karma is not a mechanism to make me feel better, it's a mechanism to teach them why what they did was wrong.

      I think for the most part mental handicap is the result of karma, meant to absolve accumulated karma, not create more.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      I think for the most part mental handicap is the result of karma, meant to absolve accumulated karma, not create more.
      I was kind of looking at this the same way and wondering myself about that possibility..

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      Quote Originally Posted by juroara View Post
      I think you've misunderstood Jesus of Suburbia.

      I think he just meant you can't ask the question "does a mentally disabled person accumulate karma?" without FIRST asking "well, are they accountable for their actions?"

      The reason why it matters is because there are a lot of different understandings of how karma works. Does a person get the same karma for accidentally running someone over, killing them, versus a malicious intent to kill? Is it t he same karma if a lion eats a human versus if a human eats a human?

      So for a lot of people, understanding the level of innocence does matter if you're talking about karma.

      But then again, not all understandings of karma is the same. In some circles innocence doesn't matter. All karma is the return of your actions. Its completely unbiased and doesn't care if you were naive. Its why people pray to gurus or gods, to hold the karmic balance because they were ignorant and didn't know what they were doing.
      No, i havenīt misunderstood him. He makes perfect sense. That would be the logical step. I just donīt think that any religion, as advanced and sofisticated as it may be, needs to answer that question first. They have the right to escape conventional thinking sometimes

      Religion doesnīt always follow a linear, intelligible reasoning. We should not impose our scientific logic to any mystical tradition

      Now, as a society, we need to answer that question as best as we can - it seems like modern neuroscience dismisses free will, so it doesnīt even seem to matter how much impaired one is. This question isnīt even solved for normal people.

      In tibetan buddhism, free will isnīt even an important issue. They might look at this issue from a different perspective, and surely their concept of substrate consciousness with imprints from previous lifes ( karma ) is already a far out perspective that doesnīt fit ( so far) modern science.

      Letīs hear what they have to say - just that..

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      Even if there's no free will, karma exists for growth and learning. It does not exist to punish, but to put us in circumstances that would give us a proper understanding so that we change the way we act next time. It exists to reduce ignorance. We are inevitably going to make choices out of ignorance that must be corrected.

      That being said, Modern Science has not eliminated freewill. We have a mechanism called consciousness which can see the body and brain react to its environment and then reflect on those reactions and choose to follow them or try something different. Animals without this same consciousness are slaves to their reactions, but we are not.

      I'll admit I used to argue against freewill a lot. My arguments are plastered all over older philosophy threads. I think one example I used was addiction. There's a choice to, for example, smoke a cigarette, and the result of that choice is determined by my conditioning. So if my mental conditioning that I should not smoke is higher than my the impulse caused by the addiction, then I won't smoke and can still blame my conditioned neurological patterns for the choice. In other words the theory assumes will power is also a compulsion to follow, an escape from guilt and shame caused by knowing what smoking will do to me. The desire not to smoke is more powerful than the impulse to smoke and the choice is made.

      I no longer see it that way. My own experience quitting smoking could not have been more different. I reclaimed control over my actions by staring at the choice and with-holding myself from reacting to it. I took time, and choices were not made instantly. All neurological conditioning ran its course, and still I stared at the impulse without judgment. Still I did not react, and perhaps this choice not to react was, itself, a reaction, but what happened after that choice was not.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      Even if there's no free will, karma exists for growth and learning. It does not exist to punish, but to put us in circumstances that would give us a proper understanding so that we change the way we act next time. It exists to reduce ignorance. We are inevitably going to make choices out of ignorance that must be corrected.

      That being said, Modern Science has not eliminated freewill. We have a mechanism called consciousness which can see the body and brain react to its environment and then reflect on those reactions and choose to follow them or try something different. Animals without this same consciousness are slaves to their reactions, but we are not.

      I'll admit I used to argue against freewill a lot. My arguments are plastered all over older philosophy threads. I think one example I used was addiction. There's a choice to, for example, smoke a cigarette, and the result of that choice is determined by my conditioning. So if my mental conditioning that I should not smoke is higher than my the impulse caused by the addiction, then I won't smoke and can still blame my conditioned neurological patterns for the choice. In other words the theory assumes will power is also a compulsion to follow, an escape from guilt and shame caused by knowing what smoking will do to me. The desire not to smoke is more powerful than the impulse to smoke and the choice is made.

      I no longer see it that way. My own experience quitting smoking could not have been more different. I reclaimed control over my actions by staring at the choice and with-holding myself from reacting to it. I took time, and choices were not made instantly. All neurological conditioning ran its course, and still I stared at the impulse without judgment. Still I did not react, and perhaps this choice not to react was, itself, a reaction, but what happened after that choice was not.
      I believe free will is not a problem. I donīt doubt i have free will. But if i believe my free will - and my whole mental process- can be traced to a purely physical source ( materialism ) then it seems that science hasnīt shown so far any source of free will. Science shouldnīt atribute every mental process to just physical mechanisms we can measure.

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      I'd just like to sneak in and point that a unified theory of consciousness is still being actively being considered by science, even recently with publications of this kind. Besides, there's a growing trend of action that clearly demonstrates that Science is still debating free will and mental illness - certainly not settling for "purely physical sources". Not like I'm trying to push into the thread, but shouldn't the question be a bit more open? If we blame Science for making the case of materialism (which is only one of the many theories), then religion is just as at fault by making it under the dualism perspective. No one said we can't incorporate both of them (but I do see your point).

      They might look at this issue from a different perspective, and surely their concept of substrate consciousness with imprints from previous lifes ( karma ) is already a far out perspective that doesnīt fit ( so far) modern science.
      You never know ^^

      Sorry for interrupting once again!
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      Hello VagalTone and all

      Hello VagalTone

      There seems to be some misunderstanding about Karma and the concept of Karma as used in Buddhism (sorry, do not know anything about Hinduism).

      Quote Originally Posted by VagalTone View Post

      Now, in tibetan buddhism, karma is said to leave imprints ( on substrate consciousness) for future lifes. So that is something about faith for most of us ( unless you have personal realization ). So, in tibetan buddhism, at least, karma is a faith based concept. No way a lay person can answer this question within a strictly scientific ground.
      Karma is not faith based, since the concept of karma in buddhism basically means some action(s) will lead to some result(s). Without the force of Karma, the world and its beings would not exist.
      Therefore the goal of all buddhist traditions is to cut the root of all suffering, meaning cutting the root of that which produces karma and afflictive emotions (which in itself produces more karma), which is a active misconception of how things really are (called Ignorance in buddhist terms).

      All actions based on a dualist frame of mind (basically meaning that you are not enlightened), will produce seeds in the consciousness of that being. Depending on what tradition of buddhism, there are different explanations on where and how these seeds are stored.
      Your use of the term substrate consciousness, is a term used in Mahamudra and Dzogchen, meaning the alaya-vijnana or the 8:th consciousness.
      From the point of view of these traditions, all sentient beings are mentally disturbed some more, some less, but still mentally disturbed in that sense that we believe our self and the outer world to exist in a way that is mistaken with how it really is.

      So if a mentally disturbed person would not accumulate karma for his or her action, neither would a "sane" person do.

      The only different between the so called sane and mentally disturbed person is the force of this Karma.

      The force of the accumulated karma depends on the strength of the intention behind the act (and some other factors, but let us leave that aside), so if you are very clear on what your intentions are when performing the act, the force of karma will be stronger, then if you perform the act not know it.

      Lets take the example of killing someone:
      If you are very clear in your intention and know what you are doing, this will leave a very powerful imprint on your mind, what buddhism would call Karma. The logic behind this is that if you perform an act over and over, with a clear knowing of what you are doing, it will more easily create a habitual behavior pattern likely to be repeated in the future (the seed of karma stored subconscious), meaning that the force of karma is stronger then if you happened to be driving down the road an by accident kill someone.
      You would still accumulate the karma of killing someone if you just by accident happened to kill them while driving down the road, but the force of this seed will not be as strong, since there were no intention behind it, hence the karma accumulated would not be as strong as with the person above.

      Once again, the logic behind it is that ALL acts, performed by someone knowing what they do or not, will generate karma since all actions, thoughts, feelings and so on, will leave an imprint on the mind. These imprints will effect (not decide) how you interprets the world around you, leading to emotions (this I want, this I do not want), which leads to actions (lets get the hell out of here!), which once again leads to accumulation of karma, which then solidifies how you interprets and relate to the world.
      This is why all beings not enlightened are said to be trapped in Samsara, Samsara meaning an ever revolving wheel with no end driven on by the power of Karma.


      Also, the question of free will is of utmost importance in Buddhism.
      Karma is not seen as some "Law" that is inescapable and imposed by a moral just or unjust "Universe", but the natural consequence of the more you perform an act, good or bad, the easier it is to form a habitual pattern about this behavior, something we try to use at our advantage when practicing Lucid Dreaming.
      This means that Karma is something that you can clear away or increase depending on your behavior. Preferable you like to increase your positive Karma (called merit in Buddhism) like compassion, generosity and so on, and decrease your negative Karma like pride, aggressiveness and so on. many practices in Mahamudra and Dzogchen are meant to clear the substrate consciousness from all seeds (habitual patterns) and therefore clearing away all automatic responses when an emotion comes.
      This is free will! You do not react any longer like a trained monkey. When an emotion comes, there are no pre-set karmic behavioral patterns to trigger and instead you chose how to react in this situation.
      In other words, you are no longer on autopilot, and therefore chose what karma to accumulate (good or bad) or at the highest level, accumulate no karma what so ever (but this is a bother discussion and can break free from Samsara.

      Sorry about my long replay……

      Carl Wallmark

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      You are not interrupting Zoth ! This thread is running its course ( even if my question remains to be explored by some buddhist scholar )

      Btw, what do you mean by dualism perspective of religion ? Is it unecessary to consider non physical sources ? Well, by that you can simply say it is non measurable stuff, something left out of the equation - and that's not necessarily non existent

      Oh, and thanks for linking us to those articles!

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      Quote Originally Posted by callewallmark View Post
      Hello VagalTone

      There seems to be some misunderstanding about Karma and the concept of Karma as used in Buddhism (sorry, do not know anything about Hinduism).



      Karma is not faith based, since the concept of karma in buddhism basically means some action(s) will lead to some result(s). Without the force of Karma, the world and its beings would not exist.
      Therefore the goal of all buddhist traditions is to cut the root of all suffering, meaning cutting the root of that which produces karma and afflictive emotions (which in itself produces more karma), which is a active misconception of how things really are (called Ignorance in buddhist terms).

      All actions based on a dualist frame of mind (basically meaning that you are not enlightened), will produce seeds in the consciousness of that being. Depending on what tradition of buddhism, there are different explanations on where and how these seeds are stored.
      Your use of the term substrate consciousness, is a term used in Mahamudra and Dzogchen, meaning the alaya-vijnana or the 8:th consciousness.
      From the point of view of these traditions, all sentient beings are mentally disturbed some more, some less, but still mentally disturbed in that sense that we believe our self and the outer world to exist in a way that is mistaken with how it really is.

      So if a mentally disturbed person would not accumulate karma for his or her action, neither would a "sane" person do.

      The only different between the so called sane and mentally disturbed person is the force of this Karma.

      The force of the accumulated karma depends on the strength of the intention behind the act (and some other factors, but let us leave that aside), so if you are very clear on what your intentions are when performing the act, the force of karma will be stronger, then if you perform the act not know it.

      Lets take the example of killing someone:
      If you are very clear in your intention and know what you are doing, this will leave a very powerful imprint on your mind, what buddhism would call Karma. The logic behind this is that if you perform an act over and over, with a clear knowing of what you are doing, it will more easily create a habitual behavior pattern likely to be repeated in the future (the seed of karma stored subconscious), meaning that the force of karma is stronger then if you happened to be driving down the road an by accident kill someone.
      You would still accumulate the karma of killing someone if you just by accident happened to kill them while driving down the road, but the force of this seed will not be as strong, since there were no intention behind it, hence the karma accumulated would not be as strong as with the person above.

      Once again, the logic behind it is that ALL acts, performed by someone knowing what they do or not, will generate karma since all actions, thoughts, feelings and so on, will leave an imprint on the mind. These imprints will effect (not decide) how you interprets the world around you, leading to emotions (this I want, this I do not want), which leads to actions (lets get the hell out of here!), which once again leads to accumulation of karma, which then solidifies how you interprets and relate to the world.
      This is why all beings not enlightened are said to be trapped in Samsara, Samsara meaning an ever revolving wheel with no end driven on by the power of Karma.


      Also, the question of free will is of utmost importance in Buddhism.
      Karma is not seen as some "Law" that is inescapable and imposed by a moral just or unjust "Universe", but the natural consequence of the more you perform an act, good or bad, the easier it is to form a habitual pattern about this behavior, something we try to use at our advantage when practicing Lucid Dreaming.
      This means that Karma is something that you can clear away or increase depending on your behavior. Preferable you like to increase your positive Karma (called merit in Buddhism) like compassion, generosity and so on, and decrease your negative Karma like pride, aggressiveness and so on. many practices in Mahamudra and Dzogchen are meant to clear the substrate consciousness from all seeds (habitual patterns) and therefore clearing away all automatic responses when an emotion comes.
      This is free will! You do not react any longer like a trained monkey. When an emotion comes, there are no pre-set karmic behavioral patterns to trigger and instead you chose how to react in this situation.
      In other words, you are no longer on autopilot, and therefore chose what karma to accumulate (good or bad) or at the highest level, accumulate no karma what so ever (but this is a bother discussion and can break free from Samsara.

      Sorry about my long replay……

      Carl Wallmark
      Oh thank you Carl, i have something to read but must be for tomorrow unfortunately..

      I will just ask another thing: can i believe in karma and not in previous lifes, in this buddist context ? That's why i say it is faith based..

      More words for tomorrow..good night folks

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      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      We're all held accountable for actions we commit out of ignorance anyways, it wouldn't be any different for a being slightly more mentally incapacitated than the rest of us retards.
      Having ignorance is far different from being absolutely incapable of knowing the right thing to do. Does an earthquake accumulate karma? Does a gun go to Hell? They can't comprehend their actions because they don't even have brains. You could argue that they don't have souls, but that just begs the question of whether the mentally disabled have souls which is pretty much the same question in this case, since the souls are used to acquire karma. If they do, there are comparisons to be made. Surely a virus doesn't have a soul. Why does a retard have one but not a virus? Where's the line drawn?

      All this is assuming that the karma system is just and applies proper morality, of course.

      Quote Originally Posted by VagalTone View Post
      I will just ask another thing: can i believe in karma and not in previous lifes
      Yes, of course. Plenty of people do in one way or another. You might even say that Christianity, for example, does, with their karma system taking the form of Heaven and Hell.

      Quote Originally Posted by VagalTone View Post
      in this buddhist context
      Who cares? They're your beliefs.

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      You're still seeing karma as a means of restoring fairness to the universe, it's not. It's a means of teaching, it is the great guess and check table of existence. When a mind accumulates karma, it is because the mind acted the best they could given their understanding of the situation, and good or bad they are still forced to reap what they sow. This is more basic than people understand it as, mistakes are possible and righteousness is dubious. What you "deserve" can often still feel totally unfair.

      Let me draw an example. Do you think karma would simply turn off when you're blacked out drunk? Are you no longer responsible for your actions? Does your karma turn off because your emotions get too intense to think rationally and you, for example, act violently and go red and come back and realize you've hurt someone? In a court room, there's such thing as not guilty for reason of insanity. In life, all actions come back around.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      You're still seeing karma as a means of restoring fairness to the universe, it's not. It's a means of teaching, it is the great guess and check table of existence. When a mind accumulates karma, it is because the mind acted the best they could given their understanding of the situation, and good or bad they are still forced to reap what they sow. This is more basic than people understand it as, mistakes are possible and righteousness is dubious. What you "deserve" can often still feel totally unfair.

      Let me draw an example. Do you think karma would simply turn off when you're blacked out drunk? Are you no longer responsible for your actions? Does your karma turn off because your emotions get too intense to think rationally and you, for example, act violently and go red and come back and realize you've hurt someone? In a court room, there's such thing as not guilty for reason of insanity. In life, all actions come back around.
      I'm not viewing karma in any terms other than "the associations of actions to people" (or souls or minds or whatever else you want). The only thing I'm trying to discuss is which people, in a just system (important), can rightfully have any of their actions associated to them. It doesn't even matter if that association is through karma or not.

      The intoxication analogy is flawed and I'm surprised you'd even bring it up. The disabled don't choose their state of rational incapability, those who get drunk do. The promotion of cool-headedness and control of your own emotions says enough for the other, I think (though maybe you disagree).

      Personally speaking, I'd like to think that there's a set "cost" associated with going beyond your means in intoxication (getting so drunk you're no longer "you"). What you've actually done isn't your fault, but it was entirely your decision to put yourself into the situation that made you do it. You could also do nothing wrong at all while intoxicated, but gain negative karma simply for putting yourself into that risky situation in the first place. Just my interpretations of things, though, only putting it out there. I don't really want to discuss it.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Jesus of Suburbia View Post
      Having ignorance is far different from being absolutely incapable of knowing the right thing to do. Does an earthquake accumulate karma? Does a gun go to Hell? They can't comprehend their actions because they don't even have brains. You could argue that they don't have souls, but that just begs the question of whether the mentally disabled have souls which is pretty much the same question in this case, since the souls are used to acquire karma. If they do, there are comparisons to be made. Surely a virus doesn't have a soul. Why does a retard have one but not a virus? Where's the line drawn?

      All this is assuming that the karma system is just and applies proper morality, of course.



      Yes, of course. Plenty of people do in one way or another. You might even say that Christianity, for example, does, with their karma system taking the form of Heaven and Hell.



      Who cares? They're your beliefs
      .
      I did already said i don't have beliefs. I simply wanna know what guys like the Dalai Lama think. You know there is a field of study called religious studies ? That's my purpose

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