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Switch to Forum Live View Karma and suffering
3 years ago  ::  Apr 03, 2011 - 12:05PM #1
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833

I'm inquiring mostly about how people who think past lives and karma are realities deal with suffering they consider to be karmic in origin, inspired to this line of thinking by a posting elsewhere that asked for personal accounts about how non-Christians cope with suffering in their lives. The posting was made by an elderly Pagan who'd just been diagnosed with macular degeneration and was already homebound by other infirmities. It was clear from the description given that this is a person who isn't going to get better and could live on for a number of years, gradually becoming blind in an already quite limited personal world. 

While I believe to some extent that various types of suffering have karmic origins, I'm not sure that the belief is helpful when a person is attempting to deal with mental or physical suffering that can't be alleviated. 

Have you found solace in thinking that karma has caused or contributes to moments in your life, if any, when you've considered yourself to be suffering? How do you regard the role of karma in human suffering?

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2011 - 7:29PM #2
koala972
Posts: 865

Apr 3, 2011 -- 12:05PM, DotNotInOz wrote:

I'm inquiring mostly about how people who think past lives and karma are realities deal with suffering they consider to be karmic in origin, inspired to this line of thinking by a posting elsewhere that asked for personal accounts about how non-Christians cope with suffering in their lives. The posting was made by an elderly Pagan who'd just been diagnosed with macular degeneration and was already homebound by other infirmities. It was clear from the description given that this is a person who isn't going to get better and could live on for a number of years, gradually becoming blind in an already quite limited personal world. 

While I believe to some extent that various types of suffering have karmic origins, I'm not sure that the belief is helpful when a person is attempting to deal with mental or physical suffering that can't be alleviated. 

Have you found solace in thinking that karma has caused or contributes to moments in your life, if any, when you've considered yourself to be suffering? How do you regard the role of karma in human suffering?


it is hard to deal with physical emotional suffering from a karmic perspective in the short term, because we all want our ills to go away NOW and karma means you have to wait and live through whatever the consequences for previous activities were.


I don't get much solace from karma because as I've observed, people are forever putting me in situations I don't want to be in, then throwing some karmic punishment at me because I was in the situation.  I don't get much choice bad karma gets thrown at me no matter how well I behave...  Honestly, sometimes I think the point is I should misbehave so that at least I get a temporary reward before the punishment comes.  No wait - I tried that then was killed immediately in punishment for trying to get some kind of momentary reward before I got the next punishment for something I didn't do oh well...  But it isn't too bad any more, I sorta have a sense of why it has to be this way and can even sorta go along with it...  and it isn't as bad as it once was either...  now maybe I like to endlessly complain about how put upon I feel but really I probably couldn't take much more than I've got anyway :)


 


 

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2011 - 4:17PM #3
Nay_ho_tze
Posts: 2,605

Dot -


You know where my answer will go on this ...
not all suffering is to pay it backward -
or to pay for one's own karmic debts ...
Some souls choose suffering
in order to pay it forward,
to benefit mankind ...


For example, some folks questioning the existence of God,
always point to starving children -
in fact these are holy souls,
whose love of God and man is so great,
that they chose to selflessly help pay off cosmic debt ...


The concept works on the same principle behind
what you and I heard as children,
to "Offer it up!"


*evil grin*


NHT
=]

Nay_ho_tze
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designer and artist
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2011 - 10:31PM #4
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833

Interesting that you would mention that sort of thing, NHT.


A cousin of mine has an only child, a daughter who'd be in her thirties by now, who has multiple birth defects-- eyes that don't track and can't focus properly, can't talk or communicate in any comprehensible fashion, can't walk, can't even swallow and has been fed through a stomach tube since early childhood.


I recall a moment when I'd swear she looked straight into my eyes with the precision any person unencumbered by such defects would have. I felt an intensity which conveyed to me that there was a mighty soul inhabiting that terribly damaged body.


Probably magical thinking and an overactive imagination on my part, but for that moment, I felt in the presence of great sacrifice and humility.


Silly though it may have been to think so, I think the moment of unity I experienced with her was genuine.

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3 years ago  ::  May 20, 2011 - 9:32PM #5
williejhonlo
Posts: 3,586

Apr 7, 2011 -- 4:17PM, Nay_ho_tze wrote:


Dot -


You know where my answer will go on this ...
not all suffering is to pay it backward -
or to pay for one's own karmic debts ...
Some souls choose suffering
in order to pay it forward,
to benefit mankind ...


For example, some folks questioning the existence of God,
always point to starving children -
in fact these are holy souls,
whose love of God and man is so great,
that they chose to selflessly help pay off cosmic debt ...


The concept works on the same principle behind
what you and I heard as children,
to "Offer it up!"


*evil grin*


NHT
=]



I believe in this, just like the story with Jesus and the blind man. The disciples asked," why was this man borned blind? Was it his sin or the sin of his parents that he be born blind." And Jesus answerd, "neither, he was borned blind to show the glory of God." Some souls make a covenant with God to accept some suffering to enlighten mankind.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 19, 2012 - 10:42AM #6
Samantha66
Posts: 4

My ideas on karma are shaped by two guiding principles:

The universe is infinite.

The fundamental guiding force in the universe is Love.

The ramifications of the first principle are enormous. An infinite system can never be out of balance. So I have to ask, what is "karmic debt" and who is it being paid to? There is no cosmic out-of-balance condition that needs to be corrected. So from this point of view, suffering serves no purpose, karmic or otherwise.

Turning to the second principle, in a universe of unconditional Love, we must have free will. Free will means the ability to turn away from love--or from being loved--and also to make choices regardless of the outcome of those choices. Choices not informed by love will result in suffering.

Love does not require nor does it desire suffering, but it must allow it if an individual chooses to go in that direction.

I chose to go in that direction, because I believed I did not deserve to be loved. I was born in the most exciting time for the most powerful country, and I spent it locked away inside a loveless house, my greatest desire being that I could not exist at all. This was my "karma", not because I "deserved" it, but because I chose it--because I blamed myself for events in a past life that actually I had no control over, and believed I did not deserve to be loved.

I do not think that a person suffers because they must pay back what they "owe" for some previous misdeed. Nor do I think they are "paying forward" for anyone else, because who is it that requires suffering as payment? I think that people may believe they deserve to suffer, or they may believe that their suffering will take away someone else's, but I think these beliefs come from not fully understanding what it means to be unconditionally loved.

If there is validity to the story of the man born blind "to show the glory of God", the point is that a loving God (Jesus) did not want the man to suffer at all, which is why Jesus healed him.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 21, 2012 - 2:16PM #7
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833

That the universe is fundamentally guided by love is a pleasant belief that may enable a person to relate better to others.


However, I honestly can't see much evidence of any such guidance in nature.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2012 - 1:17PM #8
Samantha66
Posts: 4

Free will gives us the option to turn our backs on love, which it seems humans choose to do more often than not. The rest of the physical world is much more in tune with love.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2012 - 5:05PM #9
Jm8
Posts: 784

Apr 3, 2011 -- 12:05PM, DotNotInOz wrote:


I'm inquiring mostly about how people who think past lives and karma are realities deal with suffering they consider to be karmic in origin...


While I believe to some extent that various types of suffering have karmic origins, I'm not sure that the belief is helpful when a person is attempting to deal with mental or physical suffering that can't be alleviated. 

Have you found solace in thinking that karma has caused or contributes to moments in your life, if any, when you've considered yourself to be suffering? How do you regard the role of karma in human suffering?




It really helps when one understands that suffering is neither a result of a random occurence (as per atheism) nor of a punishment by evil being/s (as per various non-Vedic theistic views) but of one's own fault in the past. To transcend the perception of suffering one has to realize that one is different from one's physical and subtle material bodies. This is the goal of mukti, liberation. Vaisnavas quote a verse from Narada Pancaratra telling that mukti is a byproduct of bhakti:


sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam
tat-paratvena nirmalam
hrishikena hrishikesa-
sevanam bhaktir ucyate


Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and one’s senses are purified simply by being employed in the service of the Lord.


Hare Krsna
Your servant, bh. Jan

www.vrindavan-dham.com
www.veda.harekrsna.cz

jIve dayA nAme ruci vaiSNava sevana
IhA chArA dharma nAhi zuna sanAtana

"Hear, Sanatana! Kindness to all living beings, taste for the holy name, and service to Vaisnavas - apart from these there is no other dharma." (attributed to Lord Caitanya, often quoted or alluded to by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, e.g. in Caitanya Bhagavata Adi Khanda 1.1 purport)

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2012 - 10:03AM #10
christine3
Posts: 6,980


I'm inquiring mostly about how people who think past lives and karma are realities deal with suffering they consider to be karmic in origin...


While I believe to some extent that various types of suffering have karmic origins, I'm not sure that the belief is helpful when a person is attempting to deal with mental or physical suffering that can't be alleviated. 


[/quote]


Well, in my experience, all it takes to get over physical or mental suffering is, to get a psychic reading of the past lifetime that is causing the problem, and remove any attached entities that prevent the physical body from healing itself.  See how the body progresses after these initial noninvasive interventions.  Most of the time, that's all it takes.  If this doesn't take care of the problem, other healing is necessary.




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