This is part of an ongoing series of posts regarding specific concepts related to theosophy.
Other Resources: Evolution, Reincarnation, Souls
The intention of these posts are to create a resource for inquiring students, so we'll approach it a little differently than we would a normal discussion.
Here's how we'll do this:
The main idea here is that when you come across something while reading and think to yourself: "wow, what a beautiful description of such and such!", you can come here and post the quote and/or link so that we may all share in the discovery! As this resource builds, when we say to ourselves: "Oh, now where did I hear that quote again? I know it was somewhere!?", we can come to Theosophy.Net, run a quick search, and viola! find the quote/link we were looking for!
Here we will post quotes, thoughts and links on the much popularized concept of Karma.
I hope everyone will feel free to add to this ongoing resource. Don't be shy... share away! This is a "no debate zone". :)
I have no problems with 28. I am with you on that. It seems to deal with the perennial misconception of "good" and "bad" karma. Not judging others by externals.....check. What is good for the immortal soul may not be pleasing to the personality.....check. Difficult circumstances are not necessarily bad or the return of 'bad' karma.....check. Must be a Seer to really know (read the Astral Light accurately)...check. What's there not to agree with here?
I think all theosophical statements can be viewed as lens through which, if given a chance, can reveal more than conceal. But to view them as the last word is dogmatize them which theosophically is walking backwards.
Here is the second file, with the remaining articles.
Thank You David for making available the articles on Jaina theory of Karma. Only you can explain the Vaishesika theory of Karma as Motion. Whenever you have time, kindly post your views on that too.
We are forcibly reincarnated into new lives on earth by our own hands, bound indissolubly with tendencies and potentials from past lives.
We are reborn possessed with a character, compounded of lessons learned, intertwined with many talents and potentials.
The cause of our painful and pleasant karmic luggage, can be understood in the Buddha’s teaching that all the varieties of personality and character are the result of the formative power of ‘thoughts.’
The brain should not be confused with the mind, Judge also says, it is merely “an instrument for the mind.” We have to use another power — our spiritual will, a soul power — to subdue the mind, and make it a servant of the heart.
“The mind, therefore, is not the supreme or highest power—it is only a function, an instrument with which the soul works, senses and experiences.”
“…the particular conditions of life in which each person finds himself, are nothing more than the retributive Karma which the individual generated in a previous life.”
Karma — with its army of Skandhas [traits, habits, debts, unlearned lessons] — waits at the threshold of Devachan [a Tibetan word meaning blissful state after death] — whence the Ego re-emerges to assume a new incarnation.” ... “It is in this rebirth which is ready for it, a rebirth selected and prepared by this mysterious, inexorable, but in the equity and wisdom of its decrees infallible LAW, that the sins of the previous life of the Ego are punished.
Sri Aurobindo point of view on Karma - a must-read from The Life Divine - Chapter XXII.
" It is not conceivable that the Spirit within is an automaton in the hands of Karma, a slave in this life of its past actions; the truth must be less rigid and more plastic. If a certain amount of results of past Karma is formulated in the present life, it must be with the consent of the psychic being which presides over the new formation of its earth-experience and assents not merely to an outward compulsory process, but to a secret Will and Guidance. that secret Will is not mechanical, but spiritual; the guidance comes from an Intelligence which may use mechanical process but is not their subject....
Karma, then, - or at least any mechanical law of Karma, - cannot be accepted as the sole determinant of circumstances and the whole machinery of rebirth and of our future evolution...
Human beings have erected the rule of reward and punishment as a social necessity in order to restrain the doing of things harmful to the community and encourage what is helpful to it; but to erect this human device into a general law of cosmic Nature or a law of the supreme Being or the supreme law of existence is a procedure of doubtful value...
The action of the cosmic Energy is complex and the same Forces may act in different ways according to circumstances, to the need of the being, to the intention of the cosmic Power in its action; our life is affected not only by its own energies but by the energies of others and by universal Forces, and all this vast interplay cannot be determined in its results solely by the one factor of an all-governing moral law and its exclusive attention to the merits and demerits, the sins and virtues of individual human beings."
This is enlarging the scope of the uderstanding of Karma.
Thank You Jacques, for this beautiful quote from Sri Aurobindo. The mechanical law of Karma has dominated the human thought for far too long. Kindly help me in pointing out the errors in the graphical representation of the idea as below:
My own actions will be the result of countless actions of the others and my action will influence the countless action of others. If there was an algorithm to calculate that, one would assume Sri Krishna would not have denied it to his favorite disciple Arjuna in verse 2.47 of Bhagvad-Gita. Instead, he instructs Arjuna to not to aspire for results, precisely because within the limits of finite existence, it is not feasible to calculate the resultant of such infinite influences. Good and Bad Karma may therefore be understood only as social necessity.
Jon, you posted
When Buddhism teaches that “Karma is that moral kernel (of any being) which alone survives death and continues in transmigration ‘ or reincarnation, it simply means that there remains nought after each Personality but the causes produced by it ; causes which are undying, i.e., which cannot be eliminated from the Universe until replaced by their legitimate effects
that is it, it is hard to simplify it in words any better.
In one sense it is considered by many to be a moral law of cause and effect, by others, including many Buddhists, karmas are elements of action, an important ingredient in the doctrine of dependent origination.
People use the term law of cause and effect, but I think it is more accurately, the Law of Action and Reaction. A cause is an act or the result of an action and an effect is simply the reaction to it. But it is for the most part, and certainly for the layman, a distinction without much of a difference.... at least in my humble opinion.