Question of the Day April 21, 2012 – Karma

Do we really have to learn through pain / suffering / sacrificing to go through Karma?

Thank you Jeetika,

With that introduction of yours, I was intrigued enough to do a little more exploration.

It seems to be an interesting concept at this level of cause and effect.

It seems to me that we are capable of learning from the mistakes of others, and we can also learn from our own mistakes, and the pain that comes from them.

It seems that pain is inevitable, and it seems that suffering is optional.

It seems that sacrifice is the necessary consequence of choice, for finite beings in a world of infinite possibility.

So it seems that we can move beyond suffering, and pain and sacrifice appear to be the necessary consequences of free choice.

[followed by]

Hi Andrew, FOS, Janet, Torch, Deb, Mendy, Jeetika et al,

I agree with FOS in most aspects. The aspect of good Karma/ bad Karma that most accept, seems to be substantially without foundation. In so far as there is anything in it, it seems to be other mechanisms at play.

In so far as we are examining Karma as an aspect of cause and effect, and the levels of awareness we as individuals bring to life (as beautifully expressed by Jeetika above) then it seems very real (though I use a different explanatory set, rooted in systems theory, games theory and evolution) – the outcome seems identical.

@ Andrew
It seems to me that each of us (on our own Heroes Journey {thank you Joseph Campbell – and for follow your bliss}) must experience suffering before we can move beyond suffering. So in this sense, it does seem that we must experience suffering, and it need not be a constant companion.
It seems to me that to say we “determine” our own destiny is a bit too strong. We can certainly have a powerful influence over it, via our choices, and there is a great deal happening in reality that is not determined by our choices.
The deeper our understanding of reality, the more powerful the choices that we can make, and the wider their influence, and there are always things beyond our control in all situations.
In this respect, and in respect of the good/bad, I am reminded of the many variations on the story of the Taoist farmer (here are a couple).

It seems to me that the judeo/christian theology of original sin is a misunderstanding of necessary process that it seems that any self declared self awareness must pass through, which involves first learning some rules around a simple binary valuation system (like right/wrong or good/evil or whatever) then finding oneself in breech of those rules, and as a result declaring oneself to be something else.
It seems it is this reflexive (recursive) process of self declaration that bootstraps the software system in brain that we tend to call ego. It seems to be one of many such systems operating in most brains.

As to pain and sacrifice, they do seem be logical necessities.
Evolution has fitted our bodies with systems that provide us with a disincentive to experience things that have proved dangerous over evolutionary time (the experience of pain).
Given that we are neither omniscient, nor omnipotent, it seems very probable (nearing 1) that we will all encounter circumstances in our lives at some time that create the experience of pain for us – and for most of us, it will happen with some regularity (life throws a lot of situations at us).

On the sacrifice front, we seem to be capable of imagining or envisioning far more than we are capable of physically doing. Therefore, at least at this level, it seems to be a logical requirement to sacrifice some of those visions to enable the creation of others. Similarly, as we build networks of connections with other people in the world, the size of the networks, and the demands of commitments we have made, tend to mean that again, we must choose, and sacrifice one for another.

As to Bliss, Campbell talks of the three jumping off points to enlightenment in Sanskrit – sat (beingness), chit (consciousness), ananda (bliss). Campbell said he wasn’t too sure about the first two, but thought he had a rough idea what the third one might be – so he went that way.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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