A Conversation for Karma in Buddhism

The implications of Karma

Post 1


Reading a recent article on h2g2 has got me thinking of an incident that occured a couple of years ago. A very good friend of mine is a Buddhist. One morning she climbed into her car only to be pulled out again at gun point. Her next door neighbour ran out with his gun and shot the attacker in the head, killing him instantly. My friend's children were sitting in the car.

For weeks after she was still in shock. One day i had a conversation with her about it and she burst out crying. She was convinced that this had happened as a result of something she had done, Karma. She was taken over by this guilt that hung over her head.

I'd like to know what h2g2 readers think, can Karma cause unnecessary pain and guilt? Don't some things "just happen" ?

The implications of Karma

Post 2

RFJS__ - trying to write an unreadable book, finding proofreading tricky

I think the point of the doctrine isn't that it's supposed to remove or avoid suffering itself, but that awareness of it can enable one to work towards ending suffering. The Buddha is supposed to have said, 'Suffering I teach -- and the way out of suffering.' According to Buddhism, _all_ life is suffering/unsatisfactoriness.

Karma itself, assuming that it exists, is just part of how the universe is -- I think a notion of 'unnecessary suffering' is rather psychological, and so I'm not sure it could apply here. The structure of the universe is itself something that 'just happens'.

The implications of Karma

Post 3

Existential Elevator

It's all down to the individual response really, I think. I mean, it's unwise to try and blame a currnet situation on karma, because that karma isn't really the "fault" of the current self, but perhaps the situation it presents is part of a lesson that must be learned, perhaps. Notice the excess of perhaps.
There is a certain amount of things that just happen, but when you think about it, anything could have "just happened", so what lead up to that thing "just happening"? To what degree is there freewill? smiley - erm

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