(Permalink) In the West, karma is a very vague notion, and prettily modified compared to the original Eastern concept. Hence dangerous confusions if we do not put things back up. It is anyway essential to avoid the degeneration of an important concept, or to have a word which means different things depending on the TV channel.
The popular Western view of karma is a «force» which repays our acts, evil or virtuous, with confronting us with painful or pleasant situations. This seems closer from Christianity than from Buddhism. But the confusion is still more profound: the Buddhist karma does not at all work in this way, and Christianity assigns this role to characters of a spiritual nature, without «force». As what syncretism is not always a good synthesis.
Of course the materialistic science does not recognize such a «force». But it also poses a problem for my theory of the logical self-generation process: where does it come from? How does it exist? How does it appeared? Nothing we saw until now allowed to predict its existence.
Then out the karma as a «cosmic force» existing by itself. Still remains however the «Christian» version, where legions of angelic or demonic civil servants keep thorough accounts of any of our actions, on kilometres of parchment, in huge celestial archives, to then interfere with the physical world and play us dirty tricks. Clearly, if entities capable of such an influence on our lives have fun in doing this, then they frankly lose their time: it would be a thousand times more useful to appear to us and clearly settle things, rather than punishing us indefinitely without ever explaining why.
(Permalink) In reality, if we have the humility to pose our bum on a cushion in a Buddhist teaching, what one hear is very different: the karma is simply the law of cause and effect, the same as in physics, or our logical self-generation processes. Jainism even includes explicitly the laws of physics!
There is therefore nothing unexplainable in the concept of karma, nor for the classic Western science (the laws of physics as well as the laws of psychology are «karmas»), or for the modern General Epistemology: I could rewrite all my book by replacing the expression «logical self-generation law» by the word «karma». If I did not do it, it was just to avoid the allergy to the scientists reading me. The Yogis will understand, them.
Of course Buddhism and Hindu yoga are mostly considering thing in the spiritual perspective: the laws which govern the functioning of our mind.
According to Buddhism, we engage our karma (we create causes of future effects) when we want or desire to do an action, either it remains a thought, or it becomes a word, or an action. Then beware that it also works in imagination, see into virtual worlds: many young fans of violent video games easily accumulated a worse karma than the SS of Oradour sur Glane, under the discreet smiles of their «educators». This karma appears first by making the said action easier to accomplish. For example if one kills once, it will be easier to do it again. This is what is called taking an habit, in the current language, see to become dependent. Secondly, the karma will attract us similar situations: If one commits such acts of violence, then one will be more easily confronted with situations of violence.
We should not, however, confuse the Buddhist karma with a strict determinism, and especially not with something external to us. Indeed, if we consider a total disaster, such as Hiroshima or the nazi Holocaust, everyone is involved there, good or bad. There is no miraculous bubble protecting the innocent from fire... If this does not happen in the global case, this no more happens in peculiar cases: the good and the innocent can as well die from a car accident or a cancer. This is because the cause of these things are independent of our mind. So we cannot say for example that a person who suffers does so from his karma: he may be totally innocent. Then there is no way to unload our responsibility on karma, to justify inaction or indifference! Such an hypocritical justification even directly increases our guilt of doing nothing (failing to help an endangered person).
However the essence of Buddhism is that our karma binds us to this capitalist material world, and more generally to suffering, or that it determines our destination after death (paradise, rebirth, hell...). So the whole practice is precisely about getting rid of the links of the karma, which produces the «liberation» (Arhat state) and allows us to choose ourselves our destination. This works perfectly well after death, but also in the physical world, where our behaviour drastically changes the probability of encountering such or such situation.
(Permalink) We repeatedly discussed the logical self-generation law of consciousness, which unites elements of the experience of consciousness (sounds, images, ideas, intentions, feelings...) in a series of scenes. We saw, especially in chapter V-7, examples of this process running, in various states of consciousness: psychological consciousness, dream, NDE, sleep paralysis, the after life, etc. Each of these states then has its own self-generation laws, although they have many points in common. We imagine that these laws are in fact complex and numerous, far more than in the religious views, and to study them will be an exciting science.
What would most match the idea of karma would be the notion that each consciousness has a certain «atmosphere», and that this atmosphere will attract him toward matching experiences of consciousness, ugly or beautiful, calm or violent, etc. In the case of a disembodied experience, consciousness itself generates its own content, and thus this law applies easily. The consciousness can therefore generate visions which correspond to the bardo of becoming, or create a link which will allow it to incarnate in a world.
However in the physical world, neuronal consciousness, which content is created by the brain, will then obey to the latter. There is therefore apparently no room for laws of a spiritual nature, during the stay in a material world.
Yet there are the laws of psychology and of the functioning of the neuronal thought. But this thinking is often very routine. In addition, tastes, attachments, etc. make us look for certain types of experiences. So that this looks very much like the karma. I think that we can say that consciousness has learned to function with the brain: even once disembodied, it will continue to operate according to the same laws! So this is how appeared the logical self-generation laws of the disembodied consciousness, and the material and psychological origin of the spiritual «karma».
Can this «neuronal karma» determine our experiences in the physical world? At first thought not, because the neuronal consciousness has no action on the physical world. Yet our thoughts will determine our behaviour, and hence a large number of circumstances around us: people that we frequent, ideas that we accept, our reactions to various situations, etc. This can be enough to greatly determine our life, between a quiet and settled life, or a life of violence, etc.
In more events such as instants of superconsciousness, ESP, premonitions, etc. can intervene, certainly rarely, but in a way to dramatically influence the course of our lives. And it is clear that they are produced by our spiritual consciousness, not the neuronal one).
At last, , a disembodied consciousness produces itself its experiences, or it determines in which world it will go. In this case it is clear that we have a strong determinism of the karma type.
Thus, if we cannot isolate a specific law which would be «the law of karma», we still find many laws which fall under this definition, or which apply to specific states of consciousness.
Above all, we saw that many aspects of the relationship between consciousness and the brain can be explained only by self-limitations of the consciousness, due to his inveterate habit of the conditions of the material world. For example why aren't we not permanently in superconsciousness, or why don't we have ESP permanently, if our memory works in this way.
Such self-limitations of consciousness exist and are easily observable, for example when we vote for grey sadomasochist candidates, while we have this fantastic democracy which would allow us to elect the best. It is clear that to blow up these limits, even just a scale, would make of us incredibly more powerful and happy beings, as predicted by all the spiritual teachings. Simple question of changing habits, that we can achieve quietly through appropriate meditation.
(Permalink) Let us take an example: a traditional religious person will tell you that the use of vivisection for medical research creates new diseases, instead of bettering our health. But the self-generation theory says no, because these things are not directly connected.
However observation shows that we actually have quantity of new diseases, despite the growing effort invested in medical research and the eradication of the old plagues of mankind. How can this happen? Specific examination shows that new diseases arrive by pollution, especially agricultural pesticides (cumulative intoxications, hormonal troubles) or nuclear pollution (cancers). Others arrive by the standardization of medicine (vaccines or drugs which produce allergies in some people, often years after). Others arrive by meat (cholesterol, prions, AIDS passed to humans by poachers, new viruses mutating in concentration camps for animals, also the main source of antibiotic resistance). This makes that, ultimately, no new disease would ever have appeared without, at some point or another, one of our evil deeds, resulting of our ecological irresponsibility or our cruel attitude of exploitation of other beings. Thus, even if new diseases and vivisection do not result the one from the other, they have the same cause.
The obvious conclusion is that, even when there is no direct cause and effect relationship, our state of mind and our actions can create dangerous situations, or traps in which we fall later. Thus the self-generated karma behaves, statistically, exactly like the religious karma.
So, it is better not to play the smartest with the karma, especially when we do not known how it works.
(Permalink) Throughout the previous chapters, we repeated that a logical self-generation system cannot be stopped, which, in the case of consciousness, has the huge advantage of making it immortal. However there could be exceptions. In this case, a consciousness could actually end, that is to say die, and this definitely.
In mathematics, we know series which get stuck for certain values, for example x - 1/x stops when x is zero. Worse, if you go back the series in the reverse order, we find that this blocking value has an infinite number of ancestors! Well, we can reassure ourselves, with thinking that consciousness is much more complex than a mathematical series, and that, even if something is wrong somewhere, the consciousness has other elements which allow it to continue.
After all, only 18% of people report having NDE. This means that 82% of people disappear without we have any hint of where they go, or even if they survive. This is much more than the percentage of really evil people.
Indeed, a really bad or too lame consciousness could disappear without trace, by lack of content or from its internal contradictions. Or a too materialistic consciousness would self-destroy at the time of death: having too much visualised the void, it is what it would get at last. There could even be gravediggers in the beyond, in charge of destroying the too bad consciousnesses.
At last, consciousness could lose capacities in a permanent way. It even is a common observation fact, for instance when a love relationship turns to stalking: we lose the desire to start another.
Nothing sure of course, so, but still a serious risk. Way of saying that we cannot do anything, without taking the risk to pay. An infinite price, in this case.
(Permalink) The notion of collective karma (of a people, a religion, etc.) is a purely Western invention, in the name of which some authors allowed themselves to write things such as «the Jews deserved the Holocaust», because of such of such abuse attributed by the Bible to the tribe led by Moses.
This idea does not at all match the concept of karma. Indeed, the latter is based on the notion of will, and therefore of responsibility. A collective karma would then require a collective responsibility, another shady concept invented by the lynchers: even if the army of a people commit crimes, this does not at all mean that the whole people wanted it. Each individual therefore retains the responsibility for his words or acts, and of those only. It is while understanding this that we could for instance build the European Union, despite fifteen centuries of war and the nazism.
Finally there is no evidence that the Jews who existed centuries ago are still reincarnated as Jews today. In all likelihood, each of them had different experiences, and they are now scattered in different peoples, or even in different worlds. Thus nothing connects the today Jews with those of the past, neither reincarnation, nor responsibility or guilt. They are different persons, simply.
I had even seen once passing by a funny theory as what Israelis will reincarnate in Palestinians, and Palestinians in Israeli, just a matter of telling them to live in peace together.
It is thus clear that the concept of collective karma is just a... reincarnation of the racist thinking.
(Permalink) A tell tale small sentence, that I heard several times from people claiming to be mediums, contactees, channels, etc. Ask them questions on Atlantis, extraterrestrials, etc. they are never stuck, and they can discuss for hours. But ask them a more verifiable question, such as for example the address of a lost friend, or a good job, and the answer comes automatically, in the kind «this is not your karma to know», or variants such as «it is up to you to find», etc. And of course, to hear this, we have to pay, in cash, but also in social recognition, and often in sex. No need to go further: this person is a crook. In more he uses a common method of mental manipulation: to drop their commitment on us (to say that it is our fault if he cannot provide with what he claims to be able to offer). Don't try to get information from him, he can no more give any than your dog. Do not listen to his «spiritual teachings», they are distorted, and they can mislead you for years. And especially do not attempt to get sympathy or social recognition: a manipulator does provide with them, only if you are of use for him, otherwise it breaks you (I saw several suicides in this case). And of course sex is the last thing to offer him!
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