Re: Theos-World Re to Brigitte - Karma
Mar 08, 2002 08:49 AM
by Steve Stubbs
--- Gerald Schueler <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Agreed. HH the Dali Lama says that karma should
> refer to acts of good or evil that carry human moral
> value to them, not to causality itself. I wish that
> Theosophists would be more honest with themselves.
Interesting point. Let me put this to you: since
Buddhism does not teach the existence of God, why
should it be that karma is anything but causality? In
other words, why should karma be "moral" and why
should the universe itself be "moral"?
If the universe is moral, then how do we explain that
the people most of us would regard as immoral get al
the goodies, including long life, wealth, and
happiness, whereas the "moral" folks generally get the
short end of the stick?
I suspect the truth is, the "moral" view of karma is
just a childish fairy tale, and that karma is simply
causality. Cause leads to effect. If you don't like
the effect, adjust the cause.
As for morality, I would propose that we adopt the
attitude of vairagya, which as explained by Sinnett
suggests that morals are ideals, pursued for their own
sake, and not because one wants to reap rewards or
avoid punishmets in this world on in the world to
come. I don't have the text in front of me, but I
believe this is the way Sankara explained it as well.
If you investigate this, it becomeds apparent that
morality designed to get gioodies in the next life is
really just a disguised pursuit of self-interest.
Virtually all moral thinking, unless one has engaged
in the practice of vairagya for some time, is really
just a way of justifying the Looking Out For Number
One approach to life's challenges. Only by the
assiduous practice of vairagya over a period of time
can one escape from this self-delusion.
It does not happen, as some have suggested, by reading
magazine articles and pamphlets and considering that
to constitute a "spiritual practice" in and of itself.
I have to say, I like the phrase from you e-mail,
"absurd when it is not meaningless, meaningless when
it is not absurd." I don't know what the hell it
means, but it is well phrased.
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