Karma - is it all so bad?

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by awjm » 23 Mar 2008

Dear Sarah,

I feel I can sympathise with your feelings. Do you feel it's like a self-punishment? I sort of keep myself down like that, sometimes, in my own ways.

But counter to that, I have some feelings that I'll try and put into (somewhat sufficient) words:

There is a certain drive behind the fact that we get out of bed each morning, the fact that we keep taking breaths again and again, a certain drive behind the growth of plants and trees, and every action and movement made in this world. It's like the heart's desire of every being. And it's the desire for peace, liberty, love - God, Buddha-Nature, Rigpa, True Mind, The Great Spirit or whatever you want to call it.

I feel that behind everything, even hate, is love. Hate is just love twisted, when someone believes they must struggle and fight for that peace, love and liberty. Everything is for the love of peace, liberty and love itself - God. And my feelings go further - I feel that everything is love. Love is the cause behind every thing, every occurance. Everything is love. Or, in the words of Adi Shankara: "God is the only reality."

This is something I see, my experience. Every day I try to open up to that more and more. The idea that we're supposed to be doing something, being something - It's just an idea. But we cling to that idea and believe that it defines reality. And it can make us really suffer.

Having the idea that we lack something is, in effect, the very same as being seperate from that thing we think we lack. If you let go of the idea of lacking something, you let go of not having it, as both are just mutually dependent ideas. And ideas do not define reality. We can let go of the idea that we need something and that we don't have something, but it takes courage. All these ideas that we have, it takes a lot of courage to let them go and just face reality as it is, giving up control and attempts to try and make it into what our base desires want.

Well, that's the best I can explain myself today.

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by primal.logic » 24 Mar 2008

"ideas do not define reality" - this is a very good point, because we have made the mistake of allowing ideas to own us and force a reality upon us - ideas about the world and life and even ourselves that have been created in our minds by others - society, educators, culture and cults like the Brahma Kumaris etc.

Letting go of ideas is necessary if we are to grow because old ideas limit or prevent new ideas. Ideas, or ideology, are the basis of our thinking. We don't fall in love with God, we fall in love with the idea of God. In truth, we don't know who God is, we just have an idea - like the one taught by the BKs - ideas that are passed off as 'truth', or 'knowledge'.

One idea we have to let go of is that of karma. But you resist. Why? Are you attached to your existing ideas - the idea of karma? Who gave you the idea of karma? Did you create it yourself - or did other people? What prevents you you from accepting the idea that karma does not exist?

Just because it appears to make sense, or because a lot of other people 'believe' it, does not mean that it is any more than an idea.

There has been a lot of discussion on karma on this forum. It is worth reviewing it. Typically karma philosophy has been a major tool in the historical suppression of the masses by the ruling elite. Do you feel that a ruling elite has supressed you? Like the BK's?

Is my idea that the Law of Karma does not exist wrong? Why is your idea that it does exist right? Is it possible that it does not exist?

I do believe in consequences for actions. But I also have the idea that life is random. But that idea may evolve or change and I am open to that.

If the idea of karma is making you suffer, disown it. It was never your idea in the first place, right? This is why we have an intellect - to change our minds!

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by andrey » 24 Mar 2008

It is not matter of the ideas, but how we perceive them. To escape or change your mind to idea is only temporary solution and we will always get back to it for we will know we missed something there. We don't know definetely what is right and wrong and this is our problem with confusion in our mind. But in every idea we can also see some positive and nice aspect that brings us happiness.

The question is very well put. Is it all so bad? No, it is not. It is very good. I indeed have a problem in finding what bad it is there that one can see in karma. Also in the cycle. One may say it makes no sense to revolve like this, but from another point it is good that there will not be a single moment that you will lose. If there is no repeating then every moment passes and we lose it. We cannot do anything to bring it back. But if there is repetition then all the good moments will happen again (the bad also but we don't expect them), so we can hold for them.

The idea that karma is created for repression is also just an idea. Rather it can liberate the soul from suffering because it can realise its own self. If some things happen to us and we say "why this and why that" then we look outside, but if we know whatever happens is not just like that, for example when we conciously know, when we remember we did something wrong and suffer some punishment, we know why we suffer, we don't accuse someone else and we tend to tolerate. So it can bring us tolerance.

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by john morgan » 24 Mar 2008

Words were not my invention, other people invented them long before I was born. I do not have to accept them even though many people do. I can think in pictures and in words, often words will introduce me to a new picture. Take for example words about karma.

Karma, being the effect of previous action on my part is hampering my effort or blighting my experience in some way. Understanding this without having a method of diffusing karma could be very painful. It seems that most people in the world today have a bad or chronic karma situation irregardless of whether they accept the existence of karma or not. Some people have health problems, others relationship difficulties, others painful thoughts, money shortages etc etc.

The common mans challenge is "How do I improve my life." Karma can help here. First I take responsibility (it is my karma, I made it). Then I seek ways of improving my karma.

It is true that what many accept as karma is merely an attention deficit. Their thinking is slovenly and they are half asleep, unable to concentrate on anything for very long. They disburse their energy through thoughts and actions of hatred anger blame jealousy - in fact any lower emotion and are unaware that states of being higher than that which they currently experience exist. This may be a blessing in disguise as it would be very hard for them to see others experiencing much much more.

But say a person is awake and that they have realised thought and action as a creative process, is the understanding of karma still useful? Of course! Ways of diffusing and negating old karma and ways of making new karma are of interest to many in creating a better life. The quality of a persons life includes the quality of life of those with whom they come in contact as we are all part of each others world.

If knowledge of karma is creating pain there is incomplete understanding. The whole point is that it is within everyones power to improve ones karma. Faith and hope, incredible strengths in themselves are an early outcome of a good grasp of karma theory and practice.

It is for each person to find or invent ways of understanding and improving karma and to practice them, if one does not challenge karma it will remain the same, mediocrity is not an achievement, it is an abdication of responsibility.

I had not seen Andrey's post before writing this.

Kind regards to all, especially to Sarah who created this thread.

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Post by alladin » 24 Mar 2008

Primal.logic wrote:Typically karma philosophy has been a major tool in the historical suppression of the masses by the ruling elite.
I totally agree with this plain statement. Along with this, innumerable concepts and ideas have been spread and imposed by those elites to preserve their superiority and power. Not just in darker ages, but even now, in different ways and by more sophisticated means. How does this apply to the BK system and its elite? How do they take advantage of the dogmas they pass on to members of the organization? This would make a huge list with many ramifications. Let me try and walk down this labyrinth for a while: we come in Gyan and we are told that being souls, we are all equal and children of God.

Being BKs we are the "preferred" children of God, his valiant helpers in the task of re-creation of the New World. If we are less serviceable, we are told every day in the Murli itself, that we deserve less love and will get a lower status. Some despotic sic or SS will tell us what our fixed-role should be. We are actors and we must accept our part and the instructions coming from someone from a higher rank. In fact, sometimes we have predispositions, potentials, skills and desires , but they "persuade" us to set them aside and sacrifice them for the Yagya plans, which are God's ( supposedely!). It's an army and our ego of belonging to it, being Shiv shaktis, Maharatis, etc ..., is pumped all the time, to make sure we remain loyal, patriotic and proud of belonging (to what?) To the holy community of angels transforming into deities, and since there's no proof of this, we are again talking about an "idea", or a reminiscence the Higher Self has of itself!

Questions are forbidden. They know how to discourage a newcomer from asking!!

Anyway, we are buddhus and stone intellect and typically fail to see the larger picture. Many BKs go through a lot of unhappiness and frustration, living in a place or with people they don't like, in a job that doesn't satisfy them but is convenient for service reasons. We are also instructed not to follow our minds (manmat), that is our gut feelings. This is totally disempowering, because even if something doesn't feel right or suitable for us, we silent that voice and become helpless. Basically, whatever a BK does, has to get the SS's approval, and we may initially think that saying NO would attract lots of problems. Better to avoid that!!

Is there any chance for "free will" for a BK, ancestors souls with such responsibilities on their shoulders that they cannot even breath? Like those donkeys with their pack-saddles charged with stones carrying them up some mountain track? Are they happy? Mostly not, but unlike beasts of burden, they have to fake smiles until they collapse. Often the internal crack up happens soon, whilst the façade is maintained for a while longer.

Once, trekking in the Himalayas, I came across an old woodcarved blackened shrine. Inside was kept the gilded idol of the deity (name??) that enables human souls to write their destiny. That sort of magical apparition from the darkness of the temple, made me feel blessed with the opportunity of choice. I don't know if some ideas describe universal laws that really exist or they are just made up by humans to manipulate others better or to explain the unexplainable. I think that we can always experiment them and see if our lives improve by aligning ourselves with them. This is using information through our intelligence. Allowing other people to use laws and concepts to punish, scare us or use us, is just the opposite. I think that human beings have become so accustomed to be slaves, that often obedience and non critical postures, become part of a "comfort zone".

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by john morgan » 25 Mar 2008

Hello Primal Logic,

Aha! I am beginning to understand, what you are saying is that ultimately the BK experience was negative for you. I can relate very much to what you are saying. Why this happens I am not exactly sure.

It was many years after leaving the BKs that I began to think very deeply about God and Mercy. Somehow, I had to disentangle myself from thinking I was a bad person. If God comes once a Kalpa and I get screwed up each time, it paints a very bleak picture of the cycle for me. The BKs knew I was using the knowledge against myself but were either powerless to stop me, or thought I was not worth the trouble. Generally, the people who teach the knowledge are those who are very good at it. Often these people have not experienced the difficulties that many students encounter, its a great pity.

I recall many sessions where the word "yukti" was mentioned though there was no yukti to save me from thinking badly of myself and experiencing years of anguish. Back to the mercy thing. If you are like me, and have found that the most important thing in your life has kicked you in the teeth and cares not one jot about you, it is very important to distance yourself from the source of pain. The BKs have given a method for this. Whenever you notice that you are mentally running through a painful situation then change the topic. Have a range of constructive topics that you can think about. Whenever you think of the BKs change the topic. If you cannot change the topic then practice forgiveness. You have to be very kind to yourself, one way of doing this is to be very kind to others.

Forget, forget and forget anything that gives you pain and start again. If something does not work for you then try something else. Attacking the BKs will do you no good and it will not make you happy. Don't let anyone define your method of creating. Look at all the influences in your life and root out the ones that hurt. For quite a long time I would think, "I am kind, I am intelligent, I care about people" over and over again. It is important to believe this, somewhere somehow we all have a very useful part to play. Your fortune is not lost, you just have to create it in another much more constructive and beneficial way.

The BKs would love it if this site closed as there would be much less public criticism of them. There is no doubt in my mind that the knowledge is very, very good. But and its a very big but, so much negativity and hurt and damage is experienced by some that their teaching methods need revising. I, personally, have been banned. Could God ban me from attending all but public talks? Perhaps, but if such is the case it is a God that expresses little mercy, so I do my best to create it for myself.

Perhaps this is the lesson, to learn to create in a most constructive fashion. To create a good life for myself, with special attention given to forgiving the master almighty authorites who messed me up. After all, if I can be kind to them I can be kind to everyone else in this world and that must be exactly what God wants. If I can be merciful to myself, and let all the hurt go, so much so that I become a healing presence who is very kind gentle understanding and merciful to others; then where the BKs failed, I will have succeeded. There is nothing wrong with being dedicated and disciplined, so long as it does not manifest in giving pain to others. There are many situations that I recall where love and understanding were necessary, sometimes buckets of stress came my way instead.

Heaven is going to be a lonely place, not many will be there compared to all the people on earth at the present time, though it will be worth a drop in. Any so called spiritual surgeons who wear rubber gloves, and create hell in the minds of some at this time, will to my mind need lobotomy's before they are allowed to enter.

Apologies for such a negative post. On the one hand, I know that the more real Baba becomes for me the more my real self emerges though, on the other hand, I am sure the BKs could be much more concerned about the effect they have on others. It is, after all, the penniless beggars of today who will be the future masters of the world.

Let no one damage your self esteem. The only person entitled to put you through the mill is yourself, if you take the perilous course of giving that right to others and find that it is not working reclaim that right and try something else.

I saw a most amusing video today, there was a back garden deep in snow and a dog would leap in and burrow its way round the garden popping up for air here and there. Movements of the surface snow indicated the dog's progress. This dog is now popping up for air.

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by mr green » 27 Mar 2008

I believe karma should be no more intellectually explored other than, try and be a nice person.

It is Westerners obsession with intellectual masturbation that makes everything so complicated, serious and confusing.

Why try and understand things like this? It won't benefit you as there is no written in stone definition, it's just a bit of fun.

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by john morgan » 27 Mar 2008

Noted, Mr Green.

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by joel » 28 Mar 2008

As I understand human inner dynamics, when we fail to accept aspects of ourselves, the rejection of sends those aspects of oneself underground, where they express unconsciously. We don't see that we are acting out. We think we have a good reason for everything we do.

Having a reason is not the same thing as accepting yourself.

A goal of many of those who have left cult-like organizations, is to develop independence by learning to learn to give that vitamin of self acceptance to oneself, feeling my value firsthand, in my own bones.

While agreeing that actions have consequences, to be adult is to make choices and take responsibility for the decision and accept the consequences.

Our habits and patterns of personality do not reduce into simple positives and negatives of karma. To be reassured by adding another layer of evaluation and judgment ... I think it works exactly the other way: trying to be more vigilant of one's karma has a cost of fixing one's attention, which constrains and inhibits. Being vigilant in this way, hypersensitively expecting and thereby creating negative outcomes ... this has a way of working against the grain of the work of seeing, accepting, embracing and integrating the various parts of the self.

Karma philosophy may be useful. If it comes to choosing a living loving responding versus the iron judgments of engraved codices of truth, if it comes to choosing between the task of accepting myself fully and keeping awareness of my cosmic accounts, I choose the former.

Though the two poles need not have an either/or relationship, karmic guilt and obsession often do mitigate against truly encountering oneself, with all ones primitive drives, hurts, fears and creative genius, since no one wants to hold up such stuff to an idealized external model of success, even tho the potential of a living person with all their relationships and conflicts and limitations is far closer to the divine than any non-living idealized forms.

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by primal.logic » 28 Mar 2008

Thanks Joel. Your post reflects real world spiritual wisdom. This is a worthwhile counter to the superstitious view of karma that seems to be the norm.
While agreeing that actions have consequences, to be adult is to make choices and take responsibility for the decision and accept the consequences.
When we talk about the Law of Karma we refer to past and future lives and only extend the bad habit of living in the past and in fear of the future into infinity, and lose even more of the present.

My last post was not a reflection of a bad experience or me trying to shake the karma philosophy out of my thinking so that I can feel better about myself.

Having a degree in evolutionary psychology is a sufficient juxtaposition to karma philosophy for me to have other ideas.

I was simply challenging the notion of ideas and how we construct reality out of them. Or more specifically, challenging the attachment we have to certain ideas and the resultant reality. For example, one may have bought into the idea of reincarnation and karma. Why can they not buy out of it? What is the attachment?

If I declare that there is no such thing as karma and that life is random I may well be booed off the stage. Why? Why are some people so dependent on an idea that is, ironically, making them miserable?

It is human nature for someone to seek an explanation for their world. That explanation becomes the basis of the order upon which they base their lives. But faulty ideas or ideas that are misunderstood lead to a state of order that is fragile and vulnerable.

The Brahma Kumaris instill a unique, institutionalised version of karma in their members and thereby take ownership of the members' state or sense of order - and thereby ownership of the member. Thus when the member leaves, things that seemed to be clear are now confusing. There is a struggle to maintain BK ideas because they belong to the institution. The now ex-BK is in turmoil because their sense of order is now disordered and they don't know where to go - ie: what new ideas they need to have to reorder themselves. So they cling to old ideas but try to modify them to fit their new life as an ex-BK. This includes the ideas they have about themselves - and karma. This just does not work. This is the dilemma for all those who leave the BKs. It is really a journey from old ideas to new ideas, from an institutionalised construct to a new personal construct, from an institutionalised sense of order to a personal and substantive sense of order that is owned by the individual. This is the journey that Sarah is undertaking at the moment.

So I state my challenge again: can you relinquish the idea of Karma as taught by the BKs? If not, why not?

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by joel » 28 Mar 2008

Primal, Sarah and others,

The experience of engaging with a person who is substantially self-realized, vigorous, fulfilled through their actions and relationships without philosophical, religious or karmic calculations ... witnessing that such people exist seems sufficient evidence--counterexamples--indicating that focusing on karma philosophy et al is not the highest, exclusive, or most effective means of improving onself.

The standard BKWSU line is to discount such individuals as being "new souls" and therefore not a suitable example. We see similarly questionable thinking in the medical advice field.

A diet high in saturated fats is said to be harmful, causes heart disease, hardening of the arteries, stroke, etc., unless you happen to be French, in which case your cultural wine-drinking saves you, according to conventional wisdom. It doesn't matter that Americans drink wine too. Our drinking habits lack that cultural zest.

So "A" is categorically true, except for special cases that we dismiss because of "B". This pattern of thinking raises a red flag (suspect reasoning!) or should raise a flag for those who seek to live with their eyes open.

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by bansy » 28 Mar 2008

The facets of Karma are understood is a nutshell after watching movies like The Air I Breathe, Amores Perros and Magnolia.
Everything is so well connected, and it is so well balanced there is no need to think about it at all. As karma is about the present but, because of thoughts and speed of thoughts, we can only connect with the past and wish for a future, thus there is no such thing as present since it is already your future gone past.

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by tete » 29 May 2008

Dropped like a stone: Dior axes Sharon ads as she says sorry over 'quake karma' comment
Daily Mail wrote:Sharon Stone has been dropped from Christian Dior’s Chinese advertisements after the actress claimed the country’s devastating earthquake may have been the result of bad karma over its treatment of Tibet. The French fashion house acted even though Stone issued a grovelling apology for the comments. The 50-year-old actress said she was "deeply sorry" for causing anguish and anger among Chinese people with her remarks in an interview last week.
and four hours ago ... Actress Stone apologises for China quake 'karma' remark
AFP wrote:"My erroneous words and deeds angered and saddened the Chinese people, and I sincerely apologise for this," she said in the statement, issued in Chinese and sent to AFP Thursday. "I am willing to participate in any earthquake relief activity and to do my utmost to help Chinese people affected by the disaster," she added.

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by john morgan » 29 May 2008

Well, Sharon Stone!

For what its worth the same or similar thought did occur to me, i.e. "The recent earthquakes in China could be a karmic effect of the Chinese treatment of Tibet." I decided that this was not the case, so did not voice it. Obviously Sharon Stone sympathises with the plight of Tibetans and those "outraged" must be very happy that they have distracted at least one sympathiser for a short time. Someone could of course have said, "we think you may be mistaken" but "outrage" makes news. Good on you Sharon.

It has also been said that wars between countries occur because the negative karma of the inhabitants of those countries has reached such a level that it needs to be settled. I cannot accept this fully.

What is useful for me is the understanding that I have karma to settle and consciously employing different methods of reducing it does seem to contain benefit. I leave the wider speculations to others as they cannot be proved in the same way personal karma. That everyone on this planet has karma that can be improved seems to me to be accurate. God help Sharon if she gets hold of this notion and voices it, she would then have much more than Chinese outrage to contend with. Being a personality can be tough.

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Re: Karma - is it all so bad?

Post by john morgan » 29 May 2008

There are Nine million bicycles in Beijing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9Jfb_iuy4k

And only Sharon Stone backpedalling today!

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