Monday, January 9, 2012

What is karma and does it really exist?

Hello, mates! Tonight I feel like writing about something seriouse. I`m thinking maybe about Karma and whether it exists or not? The idea to write about it basically came out of the blue. Let`s see, what comes out of this.
So karma. I guess we all have some kind of a basic understanding of what karma is. We think it`s this magical force that makes sure that bad things happen to those who have done bad to others. And we are not all sure of it`s existence. Right? Well I did some research.
First of all, the word karma is in Sanskrit and it means "action" or "deed". A concept of karma is believed to originate in the shramana tradition of which Buddhism and Jainism are continuations. It`s a believing that our actions in this life decides how we born in next. And by how I of course don`t mean whether dad gets mom to the hospital in time or will they decide to do a waterbirth. It decides whether we are born in better or worse circumstances compared to our previouse life. It seems like it could mean everything from health to whether our parents are living in a suburbian idyll or in a poor and starving village somewhere in Africa.
Secondly, Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh philospohies have treated the original shramana idea of karma and the meaning of karma differs slightly in different religions. I`m not going to write about them all, but it`s more than sure that the explanation for karma I gave in the first passage of this post, is only partially true. It`s the popular misconception.
Although, the word karma means "action", surprisingly in many religions the world around karma relies on the art of inaction, rather than the art of action. They think (I agree with them on this one) that an action cannot be good or bad and it`s the intention of the doer that can be either good or bad. Depending on the intention the nature of the consequences varies.
Thirdly, believing in existence of karma or not, is everyone`s individual choice. We can`t really prove it`s existence or non-existence.
I`m not saying I believe in karma, I don`t even certainly believe in reincarnation, but I do think that the world would be a better place if we all would believe in karma.

58 comments:

  1. Hmm interesting read... Not sure if i believe or not.

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  2. You can call it karma or phoskitos, the reality is that if you're expecting something normally you'll see it in each corner. + followed!

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  3. I believe in smarm-a. If you're too nice to someone, they tend to think you're sucking up to them!

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  4. I think it exists to the extent that if you're mean and horrible to people, things will just naturally be bad for you, as a matter of principle. I doubt there's a mystical force, there doesn't really need to be in order for karma to work.

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  5. Probably doesn't exist per se, but if people were to act like it did, things would turn out better for most I think.

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  6. I've had difficulty accepting the existence of a karmic balance seeing as how there are many ethically terrible humans still walking the planet. I think if everyone would just be more mindful of t heir actions everything would be nicer overall.

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  7. Throughout my years I have realized Karma is all to real. It acts in mysterious ways. Maybe you will run someone over with your car today but in twenty years you will be the one run over.

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  8. Eh I'm not a huge fan of karma

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  9. I think it doesn't exist, but it'd be nice if it did.

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  10. I am not really a believer either but I suppose the saying 'what goes around comes around' is just an extension.

    I think that it is more aligned around the fact that the actions of an individual will affect those that person has contact with, hence the logical conclusion that 'what goes around comes around' applies.

    This probably makes no sense...

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  11. Tassie Joe, yes, I read that it is believed that the saying "what goes around comes around" is an extension.
    And this is totally true.

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  12. I am a fan of karma but I don't believe in it.

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  13. I really like your blog dude.
    I amd too thinking kind of person,but sorry i must ask,do you like philosofy and famous philosophers like Niche?
    Blog is educating and thinking friendly alike :) Just what i need. Would like to chat with you sometimes in the future :) .
    Sorry,English is not my native language if i made some mistake. >< +followed :)

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  14. Also,on topic. I do not belive in luck,carma,religion or anny other stuff.
    I feel like those things are making me softer,like praying to something,beliving. And not doing anything about it but expecting,waiting something to happen.

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  15. I'm still undecided on karma. Have no clue whether to believe in it or not..

    Weird Interesting News
    Following!

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  16. well who knows. Maybe im in for some serious payback

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  17. I do believe in it. Good post btw! :)

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  18. i think theres alot to be said for karma, real or not seems to work for buddists :D

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  19. You make some good points!

    (also bad people do bad things and think they do good!)

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  20. zikYoKotov, Nietzsche has made some good points. No problem. English is not my native language either.

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  21. I always liked the idea of karma, because it gives people, what they deserve. Unfortunatly it likes to skip those politicians, who are corrupt and working for their own good.

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  22. I think there has to be balance. I hope its real, because I really need the balance back in my favor.

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  23. I think it basically boils down to what all principals of true religion try to teach. A basic set of morals that people can follow. Even if the outcome is not as intended, try to do good things and find some satisfaction in this. It doesn't actually matter if Karma exists, the practice of applying Karma is what matters.

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  24. Curt, you couldn`t be more right.

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  25. Karma unites people from different religions/countries to one and unique thought of an external "energy" making justice and rewarding good people. So it must be real.

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  26. Treat people how you want to be treated.

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  27. A little shout out to you on my blog, thanks for the inspiration.

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  28. WARNING: EPIC COMMENT!!!

    Hey-hey!

    Thanks for the comments. With regards to what else I like, you should ask instead "What don't you like?" It'll be a much shorter list! I don't really do mainstream music, as I much prefer experimentalism over commercialism, but I'll listen to pretty much anything!

    Thanks for completing the bubblegum quiz, your answers are great, I couldn't agree more! You sure as shit can choose a keyboard as your chosen writing instrument! Just tell anyone who objects to get bent!

    Pointless info: Nearly all the Sagittarians I know, and I know A LOT, believe in karma, especially in this life. Apart from maybe two of them, it hasn't made them better people. (present company excluded, of course!) I think people's choices to better themselves should arise from a choice to be better human beings and not because they can get something out of it, but that's just me! I must agree, it is not the deed, but the intention with which it is carried out that matters most. If we all thought a little more carefully about our intentions, the world would indeed be a better place. Thanks for following, right back atcha! :)

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  29. Curt, you are welcome!

    Jéanne, I agree.
    By the way, it`s not that I don`t believe in karma, it`s that we don`t have any proof of it`s existence or non-existence. Therefor I think it could be both.
    That truly was an epic comment. Thank You!

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  30. to me karma doesnt exist what will happen can happen even the impossible, do we cause it? do we make our own luck? whether it exist or not i believe i make my own choice and i face the effects by myself and not blaming it on something as useless are karma as a easy way out. thats just me though :)

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  31. aww, very interesting.
    Will continue to read int he future.

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  32. I keep changing my mind on this whole karma thing, but basically it comes down to ask yourself. Is it possible that there are no coincidences? and right now my answer is no, everything in the world is just a causality

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  33. I want to start by saying I don't believe in Karma, and I don't really want to get into any sort of debate about it but... It seems the only reason to believe it is wish thinking, wanting it to be true. It would be great, if karma was real, or if wanting something to be real made it so. Of course we can't disprove it, especially if we are talking about how you will be reincarnated (one could argue Hitler did not suffer in his life proportional to the evil he committed, or that children starving in Africa have done nothing to deserve their lot). But lacking any reason to believe it, saying we can't disprove it puts it in the realm of Russell's teapot, God, and the flying spaghetti monster.

    Now more importantly, should we all believe it even if it isn't true? Well I would say as Bertrand Russell did when asked why people shouldn't believe in God even if they found it useful, "Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite... at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t... it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true."

    A step beyond this now, is believing in karma actually a good thing, assuming it's OK to believe something you know isn't true. I think not. My reason for this is that it makes us complacent with the way the world is. If there is a spiritual force that is seeing to a balance between good and evil, then there is no reason for us to act out against injustice. We can say, “The world is a mess, but it will all balance out. If I'm a good person then good things will come my way.” But if we look at something like the current economic situation in the US, the greed of a small number of individuals did not cause them to suffer, but rather caused countless others, many of whom we can assume did not at all “deserve” it, to fall on hard times.

    The world is what we make it, and if we all act as passive observers it has nowhere to go but down, and that's just not fair to all those future generations who, as they say, “never even asked to be born.”

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  34. i do deeply believe in karma, thanks for sharing such amazing post..

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  35. This is a very profound post. The world would be better, agreeably, if everyone acted as though Karma exists. That said, one does not necessarily need Karma to act in a "morally right" way. Either way,
    +follow

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  36. M34nMrMust4rd, yes, you can say that wisful thinking could be the main reason for one to believe in karma.
    I don`t really get the section on Hitler and starving kids in Africa. Did you read the section of my post about the popular misconcepiton of karma? Well, you should.
    Well you don`t really have to believe that something is true, when you are sure that it`s
    true. Then you just know it`s true. That`s knowing.
    Belief, in the other hand, is a psychological state in which an individual holds a propotion or premise to be true. That`s the thing with believing in somtething, that you don`t know for certain, whether it`s true or not, but you believe it is.
    One should always act out against injustice, despite what he or she believes.

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  37. Hello again!

    Yes, I understood that, despite the lack of evidence, you are open to the existence of karma. Good idea, in my book, because while not everything is probable, anything is indeed possible!

    My accent is not terribly fascinating, I'm afraid! I don't have a typical Saffa accent, but it certainly isn't posh either. It's somewhere in the middle, really! Thanks for the compliment.

    While I was born in Cape Town, I currently reside in Port Elizabeth, the armpit of the world! (one horse town pretending to be better!) Yes, we do have 11 official languages! My second language is Afrikaans. At best, it can be decribed as a bastardised form of Dutch, most similar to Flemmish, but between you and me, it's more of a throat disease! Super gutteral and rough, only really good for swearing! It's a dead language that I will never use, I'm afraid, unless I find myself stranded somewhere in rural Belgium! Goddess forbid!

    I'm thrilled that you think I'm interesting, most people find me dull as dishwater! :)

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  38. Interesting thoughts! i like it! you got your self a new follower +1 :D

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  39. Jéanne, I don`t really know how a typical Saffa accent sounds like. But yours did remind me of posh a little. Do the majority of people speak English in everyday situations?

    I read from Wikipedia that Port Elizabeth is nicknamed The Friendly City. That sounds nice.
    So are the people overwhelmingly friendly there?
    Anyways, I would like to visit South Africa one day. As a north-eastern european I find South Africa exotic and fascinating.

    Haha. Well, maybe I find dishwater quite thrilling. Not that I would think that you and dishwater have any similarites, expect for being thrilling.

    I hope I didn`t ask to many questions. :)

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    1. The majority of the people here are made up of the indigenous people and they speak one of the African languages, depending on the tribe to which they belong and one other language, usually English or Afrikaans. Caucasians only make up 9% of the population and speak mostly English and/or Afrikaans.

      All the peoples of southern Africa are very friendly indeed! It's our special brand of southern hospitality! P.E. is also known as the Windy City, due to the strong south-easter that blows through here every now and again! I would definitly recommend that you visit S.A., especially the winelands. Our coastal regions are most beautiful. Africa really is 'big sky country'!

      I find Estonia deeply facsinating! From what I've seen/read, yours is glorious country, Kristjan!

      You can never ask too many questions! :)

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  40. Erixsson, readers are always welcome.

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  41. I think to a certain extent kharma is true. I don't think it's a magical force, but I do believe the nature of something good produces something good and vice versa.

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  42. screw it all, do whatever you like

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  43. hmm, this got me thinking! nice!

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  44. I kinda believe in karma but that's the thing about stuff like this. We may NEVER know :(

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  45. Personally I believe in it. Sure it may not be swift but, who knows.. Just in case it does exist and karma does end up actually being some bitch (lol) I will just treat people nicely so she doesn't come mess me up. I advise others to do the same.

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  46. I believe that good things will happen to good people. But it's probably because of their positive values.

    p.s. followed for more interesting posts!

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  47. what an interesting post. this is a great topic of conversation

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  48. Every time I hear word karma, reminds me on "My name is Earl"...btw I believe that karma exits.

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  49. Of course Karma exists, how else is this universe staying in tact and in order. Reicarnation too. The sad thing is, people glorify the action/reaction law, when in truth that is only a fraction of the UNIVERSAL law of Karma. And about incarnation, you think we were put here randomly for just 60-100 years to learn basically nothing about life?? The Universe is omnipresent and immense, the physical dimension is just the 1% that we can see and experience daily, so wake up and find life's meaning which has been hidden from you for so long.

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