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Switch to Forum Live View Karma, If we take the time to look,then why don't we comment?
9 years ago  ::  Jul 03, 2009 - 10:10PM #1
Posts: 1

What is the Taoist position on karma/reincarnation?

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9 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2009 - 4:04PM #2
Posts: 60

I think no one replies because karma is not part of Taoism.

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9 years ago  ::  Aug 11, 2009 - 9:09PM #3
Posts: 29

Most Taoist view karma as the universe balancing itself out. Not as a series of consequences but as a matter of newton's third law. For every action there will be a reaction thus you find the emphasis in Taoism on wu-wei or action through non-action.  In that sense karma as little or no affect on the Taoist. It is really just a matter of realizing the effects and responses to your choices and actions in life. That is why Taoists practice Tao(the way) and Te (virtue) in their daily lives.  Hope that helps....

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8 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2010 - 3:13PM #4
Posts: 73

Karma and Reincarnation are Hindu concepts, not Taoist ones.  However, they could fit within a Taoist perspective. 

If you think of karma as something like "punishment for doing evil," then it will not fit in Taoism because good and evil are not the focus.  Both are considered to be manifestations of the Tao.  However, since the Tao is a unity of all things, karma can be conceived of as the natural repercussions of any action that you take.  So for example, you may lose your connection with the Tao and fall into conceptual separation.  As a result, you mistakenly overemphasize "good" and try to keep good in your experience while trying to avoid "evil" and keep it out of your life.  The consequence of such action is that you will have to keep evaluating situations as good or evil, and trying to get one or avoid the other.  This will cause you stress because even if you are avoiding evil, you have to focus on it in order to recognize it and act accordingly.  Thus your life will become a struggle against evil.  If you keep to the Tao and accept things as they come, you do not need to worry about whether a situation is "good" or "evil;" you will simply respond according to what comes naturally.  Thus you will avoid conflict or struggle.  So your struggle against evil is the karmic repercussion of your decision to value good and avoid evil.

The Tao Te Ching speaks of things emerging from the Tao and being taken back into it, but not in the sense of a repetition of life cycles, necessarily.  Since there is no personal karma that transcends one's lifetime, there is no reason for souls to reincarnate.  On the other hand, since souls are a manifestation of the Tao, there is no particular reason to think a soul could not be reincarnated.  Everything is the Tao and the Tao is everything, so in some sense all souls are one soul.

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