A Discussion on Karma

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Dialogues

During the month of April, Hariod and I had a back-and-forth discussion on the idea of karma– what it is and isn’t and how its effects may play out in our lives.  It turned into a somewhat lengthy discussion by blogging standards, but we didn’t think it made sense to serialize it, so are offering it here as a PDF file.  It should read easily in a web browser, an e-book reader, and/or be easily downloaded for review at your leisure.

A Discussion on Karma

We are most interested in any thoughts or responses you may have and hope you will add your insights, reactions, and conjectures to the discussion in the commentary below, to which we will both be able to respond.

Many thanks,
Michael and Hariod

48 Comments

  1. Advanced Research Technology says

    It is best to come to ones own conclusions about this. Is there cause and effect? It matters how awake the person observing it is. Personally I have followed it back to the level of creation and conclude that we are the makers of our own reality.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Indeed so, one can really only arrive at one’s conclusions about the possibility of any Natural Law of Karma based on one’s direct experience and in very closely observing the character and life of others. Book knowledge only takes us so far in terms of ascertaining our beliefs. I do not quite grasp what you mean by ‘the level of creation’ – could you possibly expand? Thankyou.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Advanced Research Technology says

        It is kind of like a metaphoric universe between the spiritual and physical aspects of life. For example: if one is indebted spiritually, then one is usually indebted physically. The spiritual aspect is seen in the physical aspect of life. We are creating our reality in this respect.
        I have experimented with this on a number of fronts and found it to be true across the board: inner conscious changes create outer physical changes to match.

        Liked by 1 person

            • That theory (C.I. of Q.M.) has largely been dismissed in the sphere of physics, of course, though you are talking about (put simply) the power of thought, or perhaps prayer and meditation?

              Liked by 2 people

            • Advanced Research Technology says

              I thought you were referring to quantum mechanics or quantum physics where it has been shown that matter forms according to our thought concerning it.
              I’m not actually sure what C.I. of Q.M. is, but do gather that it has something to do with quantum mechanics. If you are talking about something else, please forgive my assumption.

              Liked by 1 person

        • Hariod, did you say the Copenhagen Interpretation has been largely dismissed? And by this do you mean that physicists generally view the observables of quantum mechanics to be predicated upon underlying processes yet to be elucidated?

          I am curious what you have found!

          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

          • As I said to ART, I don’t pretend to understand QM, even in some low-level, pop culture way, but I’ve read several articles that make it clear that the notion of an observer-created reality is now highly suspect, at best. The CI has many shadings, it would seem, but I believe the work on Quantum Decoherence undermines the loose (pop culture) idea that conscious observation alone causes wave function collapse. My (admittedly feeble) understanding is that the environment of the complete system contributes to the collapse – not the mere fact of conscious observation alone. People like Donald D. Hoffman, and a whole host of woo merchants, like to keep the CI (observer-created reality) ball rolling, but as I say, it seems old hat now in the light of work on decoherence. Do let me know if it is me that has it wrong, Michael, as you are far better informed on all this.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Dear Hariod,

              I was not familiar with quantum decoherence but read the opening paragraphs of the Wikipedia and am interested to read more. I read an article once that explained the high specific heat of water that we observe (higher than it should be by classical rights) in terms of quantum decoherence of coherent domains in the water. But I hadn’t realized it was a means of avoiding the challenging issues surrounding the interpretation of measurements in quantum mechanics.

              What I can say is that I see an inappropriate leap of logic in pop culture– in my opinion– as it relates to extrapolating the physics to the idea of an observer created universe, and the reason is that when I read books by scientists that describe the various double slit experiments for instance, it is not the mind of the experimenter that is at work like an act of prayer or intentionality, so to speak, it is the nature of the experimental apparatus and whether or not it is configured to extract certain types of information. People observe the outcomes of the experiment in either case– whether the system observed is displaying quantum or classical behavior– with the essential difference being what pieces of hardware they installed, what physical forces and fields were imparted upon the subject of study, and what physical measurements were actually and physically made. But I don’t see an obvious basis for suggesting that a mental decision causes one behavior or another to occur, unless you count a group of scientists at a white board six months before the experiment; in fact quite the contrary– the shifts from classical to quantum behaviors are so consistent and unerring it strikes me as all but impossible that the average person’s thinking patterns could be the direct cause of it.

              Now, I’m not suggesting there isn’t any interaction between our minds and the greater world, but again… I find so many difficulties in trying to apply science to justify some of these things I often feel we’re better to leave well enough alone. Meaning, I see moments of psychic connection and synchronicity quite often, and I have little difficulty accepting the reality of “miracles” of various sorts, but I accept those things like we accept that zebras have stripes. We see it. We know it. I don’t require a mathematical proof. The fact that we see a white stripe if we set up the microscope to look at white fur, and a black stripe if we set up the microscope to look at black fur, does not mean that the human mind setting up the microscope caused one fur to be black and another white.

              The Copenhagen Interpretation in and of itself I didn’t think implied the idea of an observer created reality. I thought it was the interpretation that “there is nothing deeper” than what is observed in the research experiments. Meaning, Einstein and company felt that the oddities of quantum mechanics were because there were deeper lying forces or effects we hadn’t come to understand yet. And the Copenhagen Interpretation said, nay nay… this is it. The universe is just that way… I think perhaps it led to an observer created reality hypothesis for some, but you see an observer created reality would be one in which there are deeper principles not previously understood– namely the observer’s minds– and so if true it could not be consistent with my understanding of the Copenhagen Interpretation.

              But I am not exactly current on my own reading on these topics Hariod… This is what I think I might know. If I decide to know it. Ha!

              But seriously, in closing, I am not sure the science of quantum mechanics ever really suggested that a human thought influenced a physics experiment in real time. There was the thought experiment of Schroedinger’s Cat, which is essentially the question about whether a tree falling in a forest makes a noise, only rephrased. In the experiment a cat would live if a quantum system decayed in one direction, and die if it went the other, but until a human observed it, both states are mathematically valid. Both states are probable and contained in the wave function until the wave function collapses.

              Now… I can think of many reasons why this isn’t exactly proof that the observer creates the reality. One I like is that creation (for me) is not an act of choosing. That is not creation at all…! Creation for me implies the arising of new levels of order– spontaneous ordering– and this experiment can only ever be about things coming apart and coming undone. To force a system to take one path or another is not in my mind remotely related to writing a play or evolving a tree… It says nothing about the development of new relationships, or the moment of coherence itself– nevermind decoherence! There are many, many more pragmatic issues with linking such a thought experiment to an observer created reality of course…

              Michael

              Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m filing this for a sit under the tree and read it with gusto. I love how you are going multi-media and providing another forum for learning, sharing and connecting. Hope your weekend was better than any Price Is Right Showcase Showdown. Peace, Harlon

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks, Harlon. I hope that is an enjoyable contemplation beneath the tree, and I am frankly at a loss as to how I might exceed the joy of witnessing the Showcase Showdown. As a child this was an important part of any sick day… 🙂

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Its a very heavy read for a lay person, such as myself. I have been interested to read the thoughts and add it to the basic knowledge I already have. In a very literal way I think we are all capable of attracting good and bad luck. That’s very simplistic, but I do feel that if you apply yourself in a positive way and truly do have the courage of your convictions, then your luck does often turn out to be ” good”. I also think Karma can be viewed in many ways…. and its almost like if we do something terrible and bad things happen to us its a sort of self expectation that bad will befall us
    I do believe in re incarnation and maybe what we don’t learnt his time, we learn next time
    I also believe you find the same people from previously and carry on where you left off. If you are ” sorted” it works but if not, you come around again
    Sorry its a bit of a pathetic and simple train of thoughts compared to yours but I also think it is something chemical in us that attracts something in our sub conscious that allows us to learn lessons or grow spiritually… as in ” its gonna come regardless, so get ready!”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello LB,

      I think you touched upon something important here, which is the idea of guilt although you didn’t describe it as such. But that is what I relate to your description of doing something terrible and having the expectation of a pending difficulty. I think in a way this is what Hariod was describing as a predisposition, for the awareness that we have done something terrible so often predisposes us to the idea that we are “deserving” of whatever calamity befalls us.

      As to the chemical aspect of the magic of synchronicity and rediscovery, I cannot say. But I do think we somehow find ourselves in precisely those positions most advantageous to our awakening from the predispositions and recognizing our true nature– situations that reveal to us the patterns at work in our thinking, our believing and our living…

      Thank you for taking the time to respond!
      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

    • I fear you are quite right, LB, and that we did rather navel-gaze overly on this one, Michael and I. The hope, really, was not so much that people pay too much attention to our own speculations, for naturally they are no more valid than those of others, but that readers would step forward and add their personal perspectives, which you have done most admirably and candidly. And also, I suspect, with the weight of some deeply significant life experiences to back those same perspectives up.

      I entirely agree with you on the point you make about applying oneself positively (earnestly?) and having the courage of one’s convictions. This idea seems to hold good, in my experience, whether it be in the worldly sphere of, say, business, or in the inner world of so-called spiritual seeking. I have pursued both in my life, and found that earnest application, as well as faith in my convictions, carried the day, so to speak.

      Thankyou so much for wading through the offering, but moreso for engaging so candidly and perceptively.

      Hariod

      Liked by 1 person

      • H – you are far too kind ! I don’t think I was perceptive, just a few random thoughts from an ill educated lay person. I have questions to ask… may I pose them?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Let’s have a bash, LB, with the proviso that it’s understood that on any supposed Natural of Karma, I can speak with no more authority than anyone else here, yourself included, quite obviously. Michael may well be able to add more perspective to your own, and to any thoughts I can bring to the table.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

    I’m just really ready to get off this wheel of illusion. Once we all realize we aren’t separate, we are free of it. Looking forward to that. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Here’s to that, Mary; although as the Natural Law of Karma is taught doctrinally, then the effects of past inefficient, moral action cannot be avoided, even in so-called ‘Liberation’. As Michael and I discuss in the exchange, there are two aspects to The Law: the first is Karma, which is inefficient (self-centric) moral action; the second is Vipāka, which is the resultant (maturation) of the former. One sees that the great historical sages – Jesus, Buddha, and others too – suffered despite their respective understandings. May I ask of you, Mary, do you think such a Natural Law exists; how does it seem to you?

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Okay… here goes in no particular order and I may have to two it in two stages… as I have an enquiring mind!
    1 – liked your comment re self prophesy could also be determined as guilt. As in bad things happen to bad people but do you not think that if you are happy – ie positive then your mind is open to new opportunities and so it appears your life is more blessed? I think also if you mix with negative people then you feel tired because they are like a sponge. Sucking the good out of you and you absorb their negativity.. or is this just fanciful
    2 – do you think we have chemical reactions and this affects our moods. I don’t mean hormones… but something more ( I don’t know what)
    3 – Karma means punishment or reward from a higher presence doesn’t it? Are you of the belief that we plan our own destiny? That we choose the rocky path for further enlightenment?
    4 – Why are some people ” luckier” than others…. luck – fortune – location
    5 – Thoughts on reincarnation?

    I really need to read your pieces again because I think I am on the wrong track here…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello LB, these are fun questions so I will give it a go, prefacing my comments by reiterating that I have no special claim to understanding this any better than you or the next person.

      1… on the question about positivity and negative sponges… I think there is indeed something about a “bias” in our mental condition that influences the way experience the world. I don’t think the evidence shows that bad things happen to bad people and good things to good people; rather that experience is an accurate image of our predispositions. Like a reflection of it. Many people we would call bad have been very successful at it, and occupied positions of power and influence, and many good people struggle to achieve even a modicum of the same influence. But you see already how hard it is to couch this in terms of good and bad because as soon as one of us makes a statement our internal predispositions disagree with, we start redefining the terms… Hitler successful!? No way! But clearly at some level he was, right? It’s an extreme example and I hope you will forgive me using it… But I do think that people who are very successful living lives centered upon achievement and glorification of the “self”, carry this nagging thing inside them akin to guilt. Because I believe it is true that ultimate reality is one of unity, and that we know this, and so in our lifelong pursuits of achievement and self-glorification, we know we are going about something not quite in keeping with our fundamental nature. And sometimes this catches up with us, in my opinion. But “good” people also have this, because we can make idols of anything, and fall away from unity…

      I think the issue with negative sponges is that if we are trying to change a mindset, we are initially perhaps going counter to the vipaka we have earned. Meaning, for a while we were spinning the water in our bath clockwise, and now we want to go the other way, and so all that water already in motion piles up and gets turbulent when we start going the other way, and this comes up in our experience for a time. And if we let it confuse us, which I often do–! we constantly change directions and constantly have turbulence… There is a transition I think we must traverse when truly changing our minds…

      2… I do think chemistry can affect our mood, but I also believe at a deeper level that our minds influence our chemistry. I think like the transition zone I just described, long-term healing of our minds can cause physical changes, in some cases swiftly, in some cases over a far longer time. It is not really my place to know. But I think ultimately our mental predispositions are mirrored in our experience by our physical conditions. (This is often misinterpreted and used as a justification for judging those who are in difficult physical symptoms, and this is a complete misapplication of a principle that in its heart can lead to freedom…)

      3… I think when Hariod and I dance around the topic of the relationship between karma (the cause) and vipaka (the effect) we are actually saying it is not a higher power punishing or rewarding. It is no different than a thrown ball falling back to Earth in a gravitational field. Particular types of choices and mental conditions elicit particular effects or experiences. It is not governed by sentiment per se. I think the idea that we choose our paths is true at some level, and that we are immersed in so many levels at once these types of ideas are best held loosely. I think it can be helpful when having a difficult time to consider that there is deep meaning behind it, and that the meaning is related to the very nature of who we are, because in doing so we can trust ourselves and our experience in a deeper way, and ultimately that may be one very powerful tool for changing our thoughts and actions, and thus our conditions. It also makes us open to recognizing the meaning all around us, and to receiving grace, which is always given. I am not saying the notion isn’t true… Only that it is very true, for some time and some period of our journey.

      4… I have observed that most people around me who are lucky have a particular predisposition– an unforced expectation almost– that things are headed in a good direction. That there is nothing they really need do to ensure it goes their way. And by this predisposition I think the experience arises for them, very similar to what Hariod described in our piece. I also think those who experience themselves as “unlucky” have a peculiar way of looking at the experience from the outside that isn’t necessarily ultimately true either… It’s like none of it is ultimately true, but things seem a certain way when we bear a certain predisposition to them. These predispositions are not as simple as saying “Today, I will be lucky” (though they might be for some), but rather in my opinion they root deeply within us, below the to and fro of the transient level at which we most often think and reason.

      5… Hariod and I wrote about this last time! If you search this site for “Dialogues” in the tags or keywords, I believe you will find it…

      Thank you for the great questions. I enjoyed thinking about them very much. Please let me know your reactions to some or all of this if you are so inclined.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

    • Big questions, short, and undoubtedly inadequate, answers, LB (at least from me; we’ll see if Michael can throw more light on any of this):

      1) Yes, I think it entirely possible that apparent (mis)fortune may appear solely dependent upon obvious and chronologically traceable prior conditions – like those same psychological (pre)dispositions I’ve alluded to earlier. That’s a bit of a mouthful, but is a way of addressing the matter free of notions of being ‘blessed’ (your word) by unseen forces, which may or may not exist.

      So, the question then is where do these (pre)dispositions come from? Once again, we can trace some of these to sources – actual events – within our lifetime, and once again this takes us out of the realm of any possible fanciful thinking.

      But also there are (pre)dispositions which are completely unaccountable for. I have two granddaughters who very early in life showed powerful and quite differing (pre)dispositions. Perhaps they are genetic? Perhaps J.S. Bach was a musical genius due to his genes, or W.A. Mozart a child musical prodigy because of his genes? It seems unlikely, but who knows?

      I personally don’t go along with this Law of Attraction business too much, and suspect that psychological attraction and repulsion are much more complex phenomena than can be accounted for by, say, incantations and visualisations alone. That said, then making one’s mind receptive through an open intentional stance (see: Daniel Dennett) does have its effects.

      On your second point, under 1), then I am very familiar and highly prone to emotional draining by others’ self-centricity. I think this is quite common, at least in some degree, and is connected with primate empathic faculties (See: Frans de Waal).

      2) Yes, brains run on chemicals (and electrical currents) leaking through walls of dendrites and synapses, as I understand it. This is all very well known and proven, not least of all experientially by the millions who are on prescription medication to control mood disorders; it’s very common, as doubtless you know.

      Some moods, such as where there is no prior clinical condition, are treatable by simple incantations though, by using the mind to overcome the mind. If we find ourselves feeling a bit flat, then simply saying ‘don’t worry, be happy’, or something like that, can transform the mood instantaneously.

      Similarly, environments can change our mood, and the mind seems to respond to the immediate environment in clear and obvious ways. I sometimes go to evensong at Wells Cathedral (though I am not a Christian), and it has a strangely powerful effect upon me, as does walking out on the Somerset Levels (fenlands), where there is a great sense of space and light.

      So, moods arrive, seemingly unbidden, but (I believe) largely due to chemical changes in the brain, and/or changes in one’s environment. Is this your belief too, LB?

      3) No, Karma, which concept originated in the Indus (Hindu) Valley some 3,000 years ago, is not related to the agency of deities; it’s not strictly a theistic doctrine. It’s solely about conditioned psychological tendencies, their expression and their resultants, although there are many takes on it, across a range of theistic and non-theistic traditions, and some posit religious cosmologies in which the results of Karma come to maturation – such as hell states, and so on.

      The interesting thing about Karma is that one doesn’t necessarily have to die to experience its effects – this is isn’t always good news!

      As to whether we plan our own destiny, then you’re really addressing Free Will, which is a vast subject. Actually, my next post at my place is on Free Will, and I’ve aimed to do something accessible on it, rather than get bogged down in how the brain works and all that. I know you subscribe to my blog, so prepare to be thoroughly bored on the subject of Free Will ere too long.

      The schema that most closely fits your idea of planning one’s destiny, to me is the Buddhist concept of Condition Dependent Origination, which is by other words a Law of Causation. The critical distinction between ‘planning one’s destiny’, and one being solely a series of links in a causative chain, is that in the latter there is no invoking of selfhood. The supposed ‘self’ has nothing to do with it.

      4) I don’t know. But I also don’t know if there is such a thing as luck to begin with. All I know is that there is the appearance of luck manifesting, good or bad, in different character types. What do you think, LB, is there such a thing as luck?

      5) Again, we come back to selfhood, the illusory self-entity, and the false idea of agency, when it comes to reincarnation. It is a huge subject, and to give you a foretaste of its complexity, then within Buddhism, there is indeed a doctrine of reincarnation, and yet this runs alongside a doctrine of no-self. Buddhism specifically denies the existence of any enduringly instantiated entity thought of as the ‘self of me’. It also denies the existence of the soul. It is therefore quite different a formulation to either a Pythagorean transmigration of the soul, or any religiously posited soul which appears from nowhere and then abides in an eternal plane of religious cosmology.

      So, when we talk about reincarnation, what do we actually mean? From a Buddhist perspective, one might draw an analogy with electricity. If you think of ethical (that is, self-based, egoical) behaviour as an electrical current, then it doesn’t manifest or provide experience to the senses until something requiring power makes it apparent that it’s there – such as a lightbulb (in reality, a physical body). So, each life (physical reincarnation) isn’t a self or soul transmigrating through time and experiencing different lives and conditions, but is instead its own manifestation at its actual birth, and its own demise at its actual death – these are the bulb illuminating and going out in the analogy. What this newly manifesting (and then dying) being experiences is determined both by Karmic resultants and by conditions impressing upon it in its current (excuse pun) life. This Karmic current is invisible yet follows a very particular trajectory, and can only illuminate lives in ways that its power permits. I don’t know if that analogy worked for you?

      What do you think, LB; do you believe in reincarnation, and what is it that reincarnates?

      Thankyou very much for the chance to respond to your far-reaching questions, and I apologise for the total inadequacy of my responses to them.

      Hariod

      Liked by 2 people

      • You and Michael, or Michael and yourself are tying me up in knots. In fact when I first read it I understood – or rather comprehended absolutely nothing. So I read it three times and each time it was clearer as I was remembering what I had written. A little more comprehension maybe
        Its fascinating and I have a lot to answer both yourself and Michael….and I will, but I know I need to think about my replies rather than rattle something off, like now
        BTW – yes I believe in reincarnation. I definitely have ” unfinished” business with The Pilot…

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sorry LB, but you asked big, searching questions, and no less than five of them. I’m laughing at mine and Michael’s overkill in response, yet I daresay that Michael, like me, felt he did insufficient justice to the magnitude of your questions.

          Anyway, please feel entirely free to go no further than the three readings you’ve already made, and for which I thank you. But if you do feel moved to offer your own perspectives, I would love to hear them and have a dialogue.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. PS Michael… I cant return your ” peace” – you said they were fun questions…
    Maybe for you… not for me. ( sorry H for the ellipses) I wanted a bit of a pause whilst gathering up a head of steam
    When you said fun – you reminded me of a benevolent uncle who would say ” oh the sun has come out. go outside and play little girl”
    I shall reply in a most unfun and serious manner…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, LB. It sounds as though I may have come across in a patronizing manner with my note of fun. That is the sense I got reading your reply here, and that was certainly not my intention at all. My apologies. I really have had fun discussing these topics with Hariod and your questions provoked reflection on my part, and so when I read them I knew it would be enjoyable for me to try and respond to them. I look forward to your reply and hearing more of your thoughts on these subjects.

      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • Dear Michael, Hariod has said I must come over and apologise, so I have recently attached a hair shirt and come armed with a basket of contrition. Its the way of the world, Hit before you are hit yourself and of course illiterate people often have a social complex about their station in life and come across as rather sniffy. Indeed it would appear to me myself I am writing about and of course its true. Learned Scholars such as yourself and H have kindly responded to my simple questions and I have behaved most unbecomingly…and if in doing so I have offended you must know it was not the case. I am more than interested in what you write about but sadly, I don’t always understand it. I still feel we come around a lot of times and I am still chasing the bastard from last time! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dear LB,

          I did not take any offense and certainly no hair shirts or acts of contrition are necessary. I quite often discover I’ve been flailing for weeks or months (or lifetimes) at the paintings on my own cave wall, and understand fully what you mean about writing about oneself. I’m not sure any other sort of creative acts are even possible, despite what they may say. I am not a learned scholar and you are clearly the farthest thing from illiterate, so let us meet in the middle… where our all too human hopes, desires and uncertainties all reside, and we are left with the simple and wholly shareable givens of who we are.

          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

          • H said you were a perfect Gentleman and indeed you are. I think you would be fascinating to have around a dinner table. Not to crucify but to ask so many questions to. I am going to have to keep an eye on your Blogs and raise seemingly dim questions when necessary. Thank you again
            As they say… The Mass has ended, Go in Peace. ( I love that bit at the end of the service, it makes me feel ” worthy”)

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Genie says

    Complex topic with a lot of angles to think about.
    I keep changing my mind on “the” definition about Karma, I’ve read too many theories and had too many discussions about it to pin myself to any one theory.

    Karma, does a god dish out reward and/or punishment?
    What kind of god is that?
    A God that serves the tyrannical governments and religions
    Who use reward and punishment to control people,
    Whilst they do as they please.
    Then, there is the baggage that usually comes with the Karma theory:
    Transmigration of souls from one life on earth to another form
    In the next life on earth.

    idk, I just know that I want to know nothing: leave the cosmos as the mystery that it is,
    Why?
    Because I’m having too much fun nibbling on gluten free, organic mouse made from avocados! and it tastes as though there’s milk and junk in it but there isn’t.
    Hafiz loves it too, he’s feeding it to that cat he is so fond of feeding with his fingers right into its mouth!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds delicious, Genie! Avocados in nearly any form work for me.

      I don’t know if you read the over-blown piece we have produced or not, but if so I think you will find Hariod and I are both distant in our thinking from the Capricious God Theory and the Transmigratory Enslavement of Souls. I am with you in regards to keeping one eye firmly fixed on the mysterious. I cannot explain the paradox I feel about this sometimes– there is a joy I feel to exploring ideas that feels like wandering down into underground caverns to go exploring, but on the other hand I know I’ve never glimpsed more than a sliver of what resides there, so any conclusions are necessarily temporary and incomplete. Maybe discussions like this, these underground forays, are like walks through the natural world for me– they conjure an intimacy with it that is precisely because I appreciate the beauty, simultaneously knowing I could never explain it or reduce it to pure principle…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Genie says

        It’s out of this world delicious! Here’s the recipe:
        https://simplysplendidfood.com/2016/04/22/5-minute-mousse-chocolate-with-avocado

        Yeah, I like discussions too, lately, I’m more into the simplicity of poetry: summing up an entire theory into few words.

        I spent too much time in university having discussions and writing papers on theories that I developed an allergy to discussions.

        Also, I think I read too many Khrisnamurti books and became weary of too much verbiage on spiritual topics, after all, spirituality is transcendental in its experiencing of spiritual states and insights into the cosmos, whereas,verbiage is cerebral, which is good too, I think it’s calked Raja Yoga, when one loves to contemplate spirituality via deep thinking.

        Yes, it is good to dialogue, we all have different places we are at at any given time and sharing them can be enriching.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, JoAnna! I thought it would make a nice addition to the subject matter at hand here, and also it touched on something that is, I think, at least related to what Hariod was saying about observing certain people he is close to, and the way their lives unfold. It seems to me that the way our experience provides a reflection on our predispositions is identical in content, if not in the words used to describe it, as the idea that the universe provides experiences tailor made to our continued unfolding. I think there is something quite miraculous about the manner in which our present moment experiences contain precisely what we must integrate/acknowledge/respond to, if we are to transcend that karmic cycle so to speak. For our predispositions, when they are unconscious and just sort of happening, need a mechanism to become observable and thus transformed, and it seems to me the universe has a knack for providing just that!

      Peace
      Michael

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    • Well me, too, Hedy. Undoubtedly. I can’t even remember what we said now! Ha!

      Any efforts you may have made are greatly appreciated, and all joking aside, what do you think of the idea that karma may be a sort of “natural law” akin to gravity or the equation of force and response (action and reaction)?

      Peace
      Michael

      Like

  8. Not sure if this is part of the discussion or not, but it is a little linked with Karma and Religion. Someone above me, sorry the person who likes avocados, about not enjoying the thought of a god ( opps, I noted Bloggers small “g” there) doling out punishment or rewards as they think fit. If it isn’t true it does serve a purpose, because without religion or belief of retribution then the world would be in a fine mess and we would rape pillage murder and thieve our way through life.. It works in a very simple level to keep people on the straight and narrow. We cant say ” oh we are civilised”, because you don’t have to scrape far below our so called civilisation to realise that actually we are still a bunch of savages. As an aside, I have meant to post my thought on why we, as a species will always be racist. I must do it. This has reminded me. It wont be as intense or factual as the baove blog but it does hold some credence. I think!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Genie says

      Animals don’t have a god nor any religion and yet they live in harmony with life, unlike humans.
      If reward or punishment is the reason for choice of actions then one is not free, to do what is good for the whole is to be part of the whole, in a transcendental way, not bound by dogma. Why would anyone choose to harm others? They are thus harming themselves because we are All One, and: An Injury To One, Is An Injury To All.

      Liked by 1 person

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