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Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:58 am
by Grigoris
Ogyen wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:53 am
:jawdrop:
uhm... Left Field called and is asking how you jumped all the way over there... where did the "sheer coincidence" idea come into play from?

I understood Grigoris to mean that we effect each other because of our conditions, and our actions impact their conditions and the choices they make... hence if he punches me in the nose, I can choose to react or not, but my choice is completely conditioned to the event that just took place, and how I choose/react is my own karma through my own 3 doors, just as his was in punching me in the nose... so there are consensual conceptualizations which address the whole benefit or lack thereof of punching each other in the nose... because it's not 100% subjective, as we do affect each other's karma even though we are individuals making choices.

Did I completely miss/misunderstand a piece of this conversation?

re-reading again...

:reading:

EDIT: ok... i definitely missed something somewhere ... but can't find what...
I do believe you understand it better than I do.

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:18 am
by Mantrik
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:40 pm

As St. Benedict observed, "Hell is full of good intentions."
I like the looser translation as: 'The Road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions'.

It is an interesting take on karma, with a belief that even with good intentions, our actions can still send us to hell if they cause harm.

This is closer to the Jain view than the Buddhist one, if I have it right, the Jains believing that unintentional killing still counts as completed karma.

In the context of 'shared karma' I would argue that whilst we can share an action, such as voting in a particular way, we can't share an intention.

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:08 am
by Astus
Ogyen wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:53 am
where did the "sheer coincidence" idea come into play from?
If an experience is not a result of one's own doing, that means one can suffer the consequences of external causes and conditions. Those personally unrelated events were what I called coincidence, because anything can happen to anyone without the individual being responsible for them. So, if a branch falls on somebody, that is just "bad luck".

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:52 am
by Astus
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:41 am
If things were the way you say, there'd be no intelligible conversation between anyone.
Not exactly. If it were the case that one could influence the other, then one could make the other understand. However, even the Buddha could not enlighten Ananda nor change the mind of Devadatta.
I think your idealism is a handicap.
What I say is that because experiences are defined by one's mental conditioning, no matter what occurs, it is not because others' make it happen, or because of some external force, but because of one's own delusion. If it were the case that independent factors controlled one's experience, there would be nothing to be done about those, and neither one's behaviour nor one's mental purity would matter.

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:48 pm
by Ogyen
Astus wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:08 am
Ogyen wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:53 am
where did the "sheer coincidence" idea come into play from?
If an experience is not a result of one's own doing, that means one can suffer the consequences of external causes and conditions.
This is basically no-self. What isn't you sucks and causes your attached self to suffer. Aging, dying, illness... These are not your "doing" in the way you express it.

If your stepfather rapes you... You didn't marry the guy, you didn't even ask for him to be in your home, you didn't rape yourself, and you didn't ask for it... Is it your doing that you were raped? No! So is it a coincidence because it isn't your doing?

I think there is a gross misunderstanding of what karma is and isn't in this statement.
Astus wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:08 am
Those unrelated events were what I called coincidence, because anything can happen to anyone without the individual being responsible for them. So, if a branch falls on somebody, that is just "bad luck".
Again. Regardless of what you personally call it, this is a gross misunderstanding of the principle of karma. There are no "unrelated events" just ignorance and the ability to see or not see them. Everything existing has a causality. Sometimes causalities meet. Like and intricate outlet systems of rivers. I may not be responsible for being raped by my stepfather (per previous example) and now my karma is to manage all the sequence of events that comes out of it. If my karma is reallllly bad I might rape back. If it is really good I might make it my mission to protect children in the world. My karma has as much to do with the conditions I've cultivated to handle inevitable pain. Regardless of "who seems at fault", the event placed my being in that time and space and according to previous aspirations and karmic conditions that led me there, and then the choices I have, at the point of needing to take actions, are all based on my awareness (cultivated qualities) that will permit me to decrease or increase suffering as a result of that karma. If I don't know how to manage rape and abuse I might fetishise it as a child and grow up repeating this scenario to others. If I realize there ARE tools like therapy and meditation and learn all about the cycle of violence, my capacity to learn this is also a karma from cultivated conditions. My own ignorance is my transparent cage. You think you have a choice... But much of your choice really is self determined by what qualities you habituate/cultivate.

This is why it is so important to cultivate the positive qualities. Not because of moral ground, because what you know is how you suffer. The more you integrate, the less any relative event sways you into suffering.

:meditate:

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:54 pm
by Queequeg
Astus wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:52 am
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:41 am
If things were the way you say, there'd be no intelligible conversation between anyone.
Not exactly. If it were the case that one could influence the other, then one could make the other understand. However, even the Buddha could not enlighten Ananda nor change the mind of Devadatta.
You're assuming something I am not.

Influence does not amount to directly and immediately causing another to understand. The Buddha certainly influenced Ananda and Devadatta. To suggest otherwise is just obtuse.
I think your idealism is a handicap.
What I say is that because experiences are defined by one's mental conditioning, no matter what occurs, it is not because others' make it happen, or because of some external force, but because of one's own delusion. If it were the case that independent factors controlled one's experience, there would be nothing to be done about those, and neither one's behaviour nor one's mental purity would matter.
The atomistic bias does not hold up. The fact that you are participating in this exchange undermines your whole argument, unless of course as Greg has facetiously suggested you really believe all of this is nothing more than a figment of your imagination. Its not an either/or situation. Internal vectors do not preclude external factors. There is always mutuality.

I think we're at an impasse.

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:09 pm
by Malcolm
Ogyen wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:48 pm

Again. Regardless of what you personally call it, this is a gross misunderstanding of the principle of karma. There are no "unrelated events" just ignorance and the ability to see or not see them. Everything existing has a causality. Sometimes causalities meet. Like and intricate outlet systems of rivers. I may not be responsible for being raped by my stepfather (per previous example) and now my karma is to manage all the sequence of events that comes out of it.
Just to inject some definition into this discussion: the Buddha, Naḡārjuna, and Vasuabandhu in one voice proclaim, "Karma is volition (cetana) and what proceeds from volition."

Then there is karma vipaka, of which there are three kinds: 1) the ripened result, 2) the result that corresponds to the cause, and 3) the dominant result.

With respect to the first, the Ratnavali states:

One is born in hell through hatred;
one is born into the preta realm through desire;
and one is generally born as an animal through confusion.


As for the second:

Due to taking life, life is short.
Due to stealing, one is impoverished.
Due to sexual impropriety, one has enemies.
Due to lying, one is criticized.
Due to calumny, one is separated from friends.
Due to harsh words, one hears unpleasantness.
Due to gossip, one’s word has no value.
Due to greed, one’s hopes will be dashed.
Due to malice, one will have fear.
Due to wrong view, one’s view will be bad.


As for the third, the dominant result, Khenpo Ngalo states (and this is all very standard):

The dominant result is said to ripen as the container universe where one is born and lives. For instance, due to taking life, one must be born and live in a bleak region with ravines and so on that are harmful to life. Likewise, due to taking what has not been given, frost and hail will arise, fruit will not form on trees, and famines will arise. Due to improper desire, one must live in a place with thick dust and where there are many unpleasant things such as feces, urine, swamps and so on. Due to lying, one must live in a place that is polluted and foul-smelling, one’s wealth will not be stable, and the country will be frightening. Due to calumny, one is born in a region that is uneven, with ravines and gorges. Due to harsh words, one is born in an unhappy place that is salty and so on. Due to idle speech one is born in a place where rice does not grow; even if one farms, the seasons are not constant; and so on. Due to greed, one lives in a place where the harvest is damaged, the grain is small, and one is born during a bad time. Due to malice, one is always frightened, there are frequent injuries, and one is born in a place where the grains have a bitter taste. Due to wrong view, even though the grain is not small, [136/a] there is little wealth, and one is born without refuge and defenders.

The Ratnavali sums it up:

Though those engaged in nonvirtue desire happiness,
but where ever they go,
they are crushed by suffering
because of that nonvirtue then and there.


If my karma is reallllly bad I might rape back. If it is really good I might make it my mission to protect children in the world. My karma has as much to do with the conditions I've cultivated to handle inevitable pain. Regardless of "who seems at fault", the event placed my being in that time and space and according to previous aspirations and karmic conditions that led me there, and then the choices I have, at the point of needing to take actions, are all based on my awareness (cultivated qualities) that will permit me to decrease or increase suffering as a result of that karma. If I don't know how to manage rape and abuse I might fetishise it as a child and grow up repeating this scenario to others. If I realize there ARE tools like therapy and meditation and learn all about the cycle of violence, my capacity to learn this is also a karma from cultivated conditions. My own ignorance is my transparent cage. You think you have a choice... But much of your choice really is self determined by what qualities you habituate/cultivate.

This is why it is so important to cultivate the positive qualities. Not because of moral ground, because what you know is how you suffer. The more you integrate, the less any relative event sways you into suffering.

:meditate:
As the Ratnavali states:

This Dharma liberates one from
hell realms, preta realms, and animal realms.
and one attains an increase of happiness, wealth, and political power
among devas and humans.


The Buddha said:

The correct mundane view
exists in one who is great;
that prevents going to lower realms
for a thousand eons.

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:50 pm
by Queequeg
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:09 pm
The dominant result is said to ripen as the container universe where one is born and lives. For instance, due to taking life, one must be born and live in a bleak region with ravines and so on that are harmful to life. Likewise, due to taking what has not been given, frost and hail will arise, fruit will not form on trees, and famines will arise. Due to improper desire, one must live in a place with thick dust and where there are many unpleasant things such as feces, urine, swamps and so on. Due to lying, one must live in a place that is polluted and foul-smelling, one’s wealth will not be stable, and the country will be frightening. Due to calumny, one is born in a region that is uneven, with ravines and gorges. Due to harsh words, one is born in an unhappy place that is salty and so on. Due to idle speech one is born in a place where rice does not grow; even if one farms, the seasons are not constant; and so on. Due to greed, one lives in a place where the harvest is damaged, the grain is small, and one is born during a bad time. Due to malice, one is always frightened, there are frequent injuries, and one is born in a place where the grains have a bitter taste. Due to wrong view, even though the grain is not small, [136/a] there is little wealth, and one is born without refuge and defenders.

The Ratnavali sums it up:

Though those engaged in nonvirtue desire happiness,
but where ever they go,
they are crushed by suffering
because of that nonvirtue then and there.
Is the "container universe" collectively conjured or not?

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:56 pm
by Malcolm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:50 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:09 pm
The dominant result is said to ripen as the container universe where one is born and lives. For instance, due to taking life, one must be born and live in a bleak region with ravines and so on that are harmful to life. Likewise, due to taking what has not been given, frost and hail will arise, fruit will not form on trees, and famines will arise. Due to improper desire, one must live in a place with thick dust and where there are many unpleasant things such as feces, urine, swamps and so on. Due to lying, one must live in a place that is polluted and foul-smelling, one’s wealth will not be stable, and the country will be frightening. Due to calumny, one is born in a region that is uneven, with ravines and gorges. Due to harsh words, one is born in an unhappy place that is salty and so on. Due to idle speech one is born in a place where rice does not grow; even if one farms, the seasons are not constant; and so on. Due to greed, one lives in a place where the harvest is damaged, the grain is small, and one is born during a bad time. Due to malice, one is always frightened, there are frequent injuries, and one is born in a place where the grains have a bitter taste. Due to wrong view, even though the grain is not small, [136/a] there is little wealth, and one is born without refuge and defenders.

The Ratnavali sums it up:

Though those engaged in nonvirtue desire happiness,
but where ever they go,
they are crushed by suffering
because of that nonvirtue then and there.
Is the "container universe" collectively conjured or not?
Conjured? No. Does it arise from the total aggregate of all sentient beings actions, yes.

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:02 pm
by Queequeg
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:56 pm
Is the "container universe" collectively conjured or not?
Conjured? No. Does it arise from the total aggregate of all sentient beings actions, yes.
Is it incorrect to then say that it is collective karma? Do you see a problem with characterizing it that way? If so, can you elaborate on those pitfalls?

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:17 pm
by Malcolm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:02 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:56 pm
Is the "container universe" collectively conjured or not?
Conjured? No. Does it arise from the total aggregate of all sentient beings actions, yes.
Is it incorrect to then say that it is collective karma? Do you see a problem with characterizing it that way? If so, can you elaborate on those pitfalls?
You cannot gather karma for me, I cannot gather it for you. "Collective karma" assumes that groups share karma. This is true only insofar as similar actions bear similar results. But for example, claiming that Jews in the holocaust suffered from collective karma is wrongheaded.
Sometimes around here, we see some people throwing around irresponsible claims such as black people being angry and wishing to harm white people is the result of the karma of white oppression, which is absurd. It is just as absurd as the claim that black people suffering from oppression is from racial karma.

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:20 pm
by Queequeg
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:17 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:02 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:56 pm

Conjured? No. Does it arise from the total aggregate of all sentient beings actions, yes.
Is it incorrect to then say that it is collective karma? Do you see a problem with characterizing it that way? If so, can you elaborate on those pitfalls?
You cannot gather karma for me, I cannot gather it for you. "Collective karma" assumes that groups share karma. This is true only insofar as similar actions bear similar results. But for example, claiming that Jews in the holocaust suffered from collective karma is wrongheaded.
Gotcha.

So my road trip analogy above is roughly right.

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:38 pm
by Ogyen
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:17 pm

You cannot gather karma for me, I cannot gather it for you. "Collective karma" assumes that groups share karma. This is true only insofar as similar actions bear similar results. But for example, claiming that Jews in the holocaust suffered from collective karma is wrongheaded.
Thank you for such clarity... This is crystal clear. We're all alone in this, together. So is this why teachers like Thich That Hanh stress the importance of interbeing?

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:01 pm
by Malcolm
Ogyen wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:38 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:17 pm

You cannot gather karma for me, I cannot gather it for you. "Collective karma" assumes that groups share karma. This is true only insofar as similar actions bear similar results. But for example, claiming that Jews in the holocaust suffered from collective karma is wrongheaded.
Thank you for such clarity... This is crystal clear. We're all alone in this, together. So is this why teachers like Thich That Hanh stress the importance of interbeing?
Interbeing is an extension of dependent origination, based on East Asian ideas.

But dependent origination, when reduced to its essential components, simply means: where there is affliction, there is a cause for action; where there is action there is a cause for suffering; and where there is suffering, there is a condition for further affliction. Without affliction, there is no cause for action; without action, there is no result, suffering.

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:47 pm
by Ogyen
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:01 pm
Ogyen wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:38 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:17 pm

You cannot gather karma for me, I cannot gather it for you. "Collective karma" assumes that groups share karma. This is true only insofar as similar actions bear similar results. But for example, claiming that Jews in the holocaust suffered from collective karma is wrongheaded.
Thank you for such clarity... This is crystal clear. We're all alone in this, together. So is this why teachers like Thich That Hanh stress the importance of interbeing?
Interbeing is an extension of dependent origination, based on East Asian ideas.

But dependent origination, when reduced to its essential components, simply means: where there is affliction, there is a cause for action; where there is action there is a cause for suffering; and where there is suffering, there is a condition for further affliction. Without affliction, there is no cause for action; without action, there is no result, suffering.
So a Buddha's actions don't cause karma and therefore suffering (further affliction) because they are no longer bound to the cycle of dependent origination?

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:16 pm
by Malcolm
Ogyen wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:47 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:01 pm
Ogyen wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:38 pm


Thank you for such clarity... This is crystal clear. We're all alone in this, together. So is this why teachers like Thich That Hanh stress the importance of interbeing?
Interbeing is an extension of dependent origination, based on East Asian ideas.

But dependent origination, when reduced to its essential components, simply means: where there is affliction, there is a cause for action; where there is action there is a cause for suffering; and where there is suffering, there is a condition for further affliction. Without affliction, there is no cause for action; without action, there is no result, suffering.
So a Buddha's actions don't cause karma and therefore suffering (further affliction) because they are no longer bound to the cycle of dependent origination?
A Buddhas deeds are not based on afflcition (desire, hatred, and ignorance); they are based on wisdom. Hence, they do not result in suffering.

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:22 pm
by Astus
Ogyen wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:48 pm
Is it your doing that you were raped? No! So is it a coincidence because it isn't your doing?
Good and bad experiences are the result of good and bad deeds. That is the basic concept of how action and result work (see: Cūḷakammavibhaṅgasutta). Furthermore, the results are not produced by someone else, but everybody is an heir to one's own actions. At the same time, it is also not the case that there are really agents, it is only dependent origination (Timbarukasutta; also Natumhasutta). In fact, not just one or two things, but the whole world is a product of dependent origination (Lokasutta). So, to say that there are things happening to oneself because of others' will or because of different independent factors, does not fit into what the Buddha taught about karma.

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:47 pm
by Grigoris
Astus wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:22 pm
Ogyen wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:48 pm
Is it your doing that you were raped? No! So is it a coincidence because it isn't your doing?
Good and bad experiences are the result of good and bad deeds. That is the basic concept of how action and result work (see: Cūḷakammavibhaṅgasutta). Furthermore, the results are not produced by someone else, but everybody is an heir to one's own actions. At the same time, it is also not the case that there are really agents, it is only dependent origination (Timbarukasutta; also Natumhasutta). In fact, not just one or two things, but the whole world is a product of dependent origination (Lokasutta). So, to say that there are things happening to oneself because of others' will or because of different independent factors, does not fit into what the Buddha taught about karma.
So how does learning happen then? What is the role of a Buddha if, as you posit, essentially there is no interaction and influence between beings?

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:16 pm
by Ogyen
Astus wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:22 pm
Ogyen wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:48 pm
Is it your doing that you were raped? No! So is it a coincidence because it isn't your doing?
Good and bad experiences are the result of good and bad deeds. That is the basic concept of how action and result work (see: Cūḷakammavibhaṅgasutta). Furthermore, the results are not produced by someone else, but everybody is an heir to one's own actions. At the same time, it is also not the case that there are really agents, it is only dependent origination (Timbarukasutta; also Natumhasutta). In fact, not just one or two things, but the whole world is a product of dependent origination (Lokasutta). So, to say that there are things happening to oneself because of others' will or because of different independent factors, does not fit into what the Buddha taught about karma.
This is a subtle change of subject and a definite twisting of my words and the context in which my statement is quoted. Also what you note does not contradict the spirit of what I wrote while quoting me out of context.

We were talking about "coincidence" in the way you had posited
If an experience is not a result of one's own doing, that means one can suffer the consequences of external causes and conditions.

Re: Collective karma

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:31 pm
by Malcolm
Ogyen wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:16 pm

This is a subtle change of subject and a definite twisting of my words and the context in which my statement is quoted. Also what you note does not contradict the spirit of what I wrote while quoting me out of context.
Idiot theory of karma is "tit for tatism": I raped someone in a past life, now in this life they will rape me.

Actual theory of karma is not deterministic but based on probability. If you have negative dominant karma and are born in a war torn country based on the criteria given above, your chances of having a short life and a violent death are increased exponentially.