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I am constantly amazed at the things that come out of Pat Robertson’s mouth. 9-11 was the result of homosexuals and the ACLU. Hurricane Katrina was the consequence of drugs, strip joints and too-spicy jambalaya. Now Haiti’s earthquake is the by product of some deal with the Devil. I am constantly amazed at what the man says and equally amazed at how the left-leaning pundits are so appalled at this man’s cause-effect analysis. It seems that what our insurance policies still call an act of God can never in good taste be attributed to anything approaching divine justice. To do so is so “mean” and compassionless. However, for a Buddhist to espouse Karma is still okay. Just not getting it.

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9 Comments

  1. ?? … because… you misunderstand what karma is ?? It has absolutely nothing to do with retribution or justice… if that is what you’re implying here…

    • But it has everything to do with consequences. Do good and good comes your way…etc.

  2. That’s where you’re incorrect, espousing an unfortunately shallow and common, and incorrect understanding of Karma as consequences.

    From The Pali Dictionary by by Ven. Nyanatiloka

    “karma (Sanskrit), Pàli: kamma: ‘action’, correctly speaking denotes the wholesome and unwholesome volitions (kusala- and akusala-cetanà) and their concomitant mental factors, causing rebirth and shaping the destiny of beings. These karmical volitions (kamma cetanà) become manifest as wholesome or unwholesome actions by body (kàya-kamma), speech (vacã-kamma) and mind (mano-kamma). Thus the Buddhist term ‘karma’ by no means signifies the result of actions, and quite certainly not the fate of man, or perhaps even of whole nations (the so-called wholesale or mass-karma), misconceptions which, through the influence of theosophy, have become widely spread in the West.”

  3. Right. Karma is not the consequence piece. It is the cause piece.”CAUSING rebirth and shaping destinies.” My point is Robertson is saying there was a “cause” to this disaster. That shit doesn’t just happen. Buddhist teaching also sees “wholesome and unwholesome volitions…causing” outcomes. The only major difference may imply a pissed off deity. Buddhism says shit happens only because of some previous bad shit.

  4. There was a cause to this disaster. No one needs to introduce any fantasy to justify it. An earthquake caused the disaster. Poverty caused this disaster. A nation driven into debt over 200 years caused this disaster. A series of bloody-minded dictators and CIA overthrown leaders cause this disaster.

    If God had wanted to make a point, why did he destroy the Cathedral?

    • Not saying that Robertson’s analysis is right. I am saying the desire to understand disaster as a consequence of misbehavior is the temptation of many religious and superstitious folk. However, the Jewish tradition has no problem with God destroying his own temple to punish a wayward nation. So a wrecked cathedral is hardly a convincing argument against Robertson’s remarks. The Judeo-Christian God is not attached to buildings.

  5. Buddhism says that things happen because they have a cause. Twisted and failed understandings of Karma say “shit happens only because of some previous bad shit”. Maybe that’s some kind of Hindu or Theosophical or New Age understanding. Maybe that’s some kind of simplified understanding put out for the common laypeople who need to fish all day to make a living and can’t sit for years at a a time to understand the deeper meaning.

  6. It’s a longish essay at http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/karma.htm
    but it covers the ground well.

    “There are some who criticise thus: “So, you Buddhists, too, administer capitalistic opium to the people, saying: “You are born poor in this life on account of your past evil karma. He is born rich on account of his good Karma. So, be satisfied with your humble lot; but do good to be rich in your next life. You are being oppressed now because of your past evil Karma. There is your destiny. Be humble and bear your sufferings patiently. Do good now. You can be certain of a better and happier life after death.”

    The Buddhist doctrine of Karma does not expound such ridiculous fatalistic views. Nor does it vindicate a postmortem justice. The All-Merciful Buddha, who had no ulterior selfish motives, did not teach this law of Karma to protect the rich and comfort the poor by promising illusory happiness in an after-life.

    While we are born to a state created by ourselves, yet by our own self-directed efforts there is every possibility for us to create new, favourable environments even here and now. Not only individually, but also, collectively, we are at liberty to create fresh Karma that leads either towards our progress or downfall in this very life.

    According to the Buddhist doctrine of Karma, one is not always compelled by an ‘iron necessity’, for Karma is neither fate, nor predestination imposed upon us by some mysterious unknown power to which we must helplessly submit ourselves. It is one’s own doing reacting on oneself, and so one has the possibility to divert the course of one’s Karma to some extent. How far one diverts it depends on oneself.

    Is one bound to reap all that one has sown in just proportion?

    The Buddha provides an answer:

    “If anyone says that a man or woman must reap in this life according to his present deeds, in that case there is no religious life, nor is an opportunity afforded for the entire extinction of sorrow. But if anyone says that what a man or woman reaps in this and future lives accords with his or her deeds present and past, in that case there is a religious life, and an opportunity is afforded for the entire extinction of a sorrow.” (Anguttara Nikaya)

    Although it is stated in the Dhammapada that “not in the sky, nor in mid-ocean, or entering a mountain cave is found that place on earth where one may escape from (the consequences of) an evil deed”, yet one is not bound to pay all the past arrears of one’s Karma. If such were the case emancipation would be impossibility. Eternal recurrence would be the unfortunate result.”

  7. “I am saying the desire to understand disaster as a consequence of misbehavior is the temptation of many religious and superstitious folk.”

    On that, we totally agree.


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