|From my journal...
||[Jun. 12th, 2010|04:59 pm]
A community for Zen Buddhists and those interested
Buddhism has lots to say about lots of things. It talks about Dukkha and the four noble truths. It talks about karma and co-dependent arising. It talks about reincarnation and anatta ("no-self" or "no inner core"). It talks about impermanence.|
I've been trying to say this for a long time, to write this, that follows. Buddhism isn't about whether those things are true or not. Buddhism is about how those things are true. In what manner are those things true. Buddhist practice is about finding the truth of karma, the truth of reincarnation, the truth of dependent arising, reincarnation, and what selfhood is all about and how and what about it is illusion and delusion.
The conversation shouldn't be about "do you believe in karma". It should be about, "how do you think karma functions...what IS karma to a Buddhist?"
That'd be a beginning.
It should be about, "how do you think karma functions...what IS karma to a Buddhist?"
The early Theravadins asserted that actions simply persisted unripened until meeting with causes for fruition-- but did not account for continuity of of a link between between cause and result, i.e. a action happening lon in the past ripening now .
The Sammityas conceived of dharma called the "indestructable", which was a
dharma which while not mental, accompanied the mind until either coming to
fruition through cause and condition or death. At death, one special
indestructable, different from all the rest, and based upon the state of
mind of the dying person at the moment of death, determined whether that
person would take rebirth in a higher or lower realm. [this is the account
of the ripening of karma favored by Naagaarjuna in MMK].
The Kashmiri Sarvastivadins asserted that the result of karma persisted like a debt.
Sautrantikas asserted that actions created traces [Tib. bag chags, Skt.
vasana, lit "perfumed"] on the mind continuum which came to fruition by when the mind met with specific circumstance which would allow for the ripeening of a result of action.
Interesting history lesson, but does it help you see the functioning of karma for yourself? I bring it up because you don't say, "When I heard this, I understood that thus was true!"
This dharma, called indestructable. If we take it to be how karma functions, mustn't that dharma, if indestructable, be unconditioned? This dharma then does not directly form itself from karma, but can indeed be the cause of karma. At the point of death, through this dharma "indestructable", a particular being is born, yet we can't say that this death caused that birth to be a particular being, but only that this death caused this birth through ignorance and contact and whatnot, and that this dharma caused a particular being to be born.
A creditor doesn't care who pays the debt, so long as the debt gets cleared. Sometimes, I pay someone else's debts without knowing it. A man comes to my door defeated by life, and I help him if I can, just because I can.
A man who kills over a hotdog lives his life in a world where a life is worth nothing more than a poor meal. This is immediate karma by which he lives his life. Eventually, this karma ripens and we see the result, whether it's him or someone else along the stream.
This is deep stuff for me, I hope I don't sound ridiculous. Terminology at this level is very difficult for me to use in a discussion in which I try to talk about karma as I see it. But I think it's worthwhile to take the rare opportunity to possibly make a fool of myself, maybe one of us will learn something!
Word. Names are names...so sit down and see what is and then you'll see how so.