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Originally posted by cloudyday
At times I think that our individuality is nothing more than a useful abstraction created by our brains. Buddhism and Hinduism seem to have that view, but they also seem to believe in karma, free will with moral responsibility, reincarnation of an individual soul, etc. That seems to be a contradiction, but I don't know much about those beliefs.
Just wondering if somebody can explain how these ideas fit together.
Originally posted by n00bUK
Karma doesnt exist.
What does exist, and maybe the word Karma is used to represent this matter, is. . If you surround your self with dikheads, your going to end up been a dikhead and dikhead things happen to dikheads
whereas, if you surround your self with positive people, who are nice people - you only get nice things happen to you, you eliminate the dikheads
Karma doesn't exist in the sense of, i'll open the door for this lady and maybe some one will do it for me, thats just luck - infact luck doesn't exist, its just probability, probability which when taking the above into account, not been a dikhead and surrounding your self with nice people - the probability of something good happening to you, heightens, vice verca.
sorry if i didnt make sense, i hardly ever do
Jetsün Milarepa spent the greater part of his life meditating in utter solitude in various caves. While meditating intensively in the cave that has come to be known as Chubar Dzong, which is situated between Tibet and Nepal, a group of non-humans appeared to him, among them the very powerful tshe-ring-mched-lnga, the ‘Five Sisters of Long Life.’ Seeing them, Milarepa recounted, “When I meditated in other caves, I made offerings and praised the local deities and spirits, like the Lords of Mountains. I didn’t make a torma (‘a ritual cake’) or offer tea, barley, or other nice things to the local deities here because I owned nothing. Perhaps this is why these mighty spirits are coming to me here.”
After he realized this, they didn’t leave but became fiercer and more threatening. Milarepa prayed to the Three Jewels, but it didn’t stop them from approaching. He prayed to the yidam deities and protectors, which didn’t change things either. He fervently repeated mantras, but things didn’t get better. He couldn’t even pacify the demons and terrifying ghosts with his melodious voice. On the contrary, they came nearer to him, grew bigger and bigger, and became very wrathful. One demon shouted: “You yogi. Your voice may be melodious, but I want to eat your flesh.”
Another demon bellowed: “I want to drink your blood. I will squish and kill you. You will see.”
They came nearer and nearer, looked him straight in the eyes, and became more vicious and threatening than imaginable. In response to their rage, clouds darkened the sky, the earth quaked strongly, and the thick walls of Milarepa’s cave rattled and shook – he was afraid.
Distinguishing the Provisional from the Definitive in the Light of Mahamudra
Realizing that all his attempts to appease the foul spirits were in vain, Milarepa turned his attention inwards, reflected, and thought, “Aren’t all outer and inner appearances of conditionality manifestations of our own mind? Isn’t it so that there are no appearances outside our own mind? Isn’t everything an illusory appearance of our own mind and in truth doesn’t exist?”
He continued contemplating and thought, “Who said this? Lord Buddha said this in many Sutras and Tantras and it is stated in commentaries on his words, too.”
Then Milarepa remembered his exalted Root Lama, Marpa Lotsawa, and recalled that he had given him the same instructions and again and again taught: “All things without exception are the appearance of our own mind. All outer phenomena that we perceive, like forms, sounds, scents, etc., are nothing but manifestations of our own mind. Mind’s essence, ngo-bo, is empty of inherent existence and its nature, rang-bzhin, is clear light. Not knowing that the true nature of our mind is free of mental constructs, that it is emptiness, and that it is brilliant clear light means being deluded.”
Milarepa also remembered that Marpa Lotswa had said:
“The fundamental nature of our mind as it is, gnäs-lugs, is phyag-rgya-chen-po, Mahamudra.”
Having brought the Mahamudra teachings he had received from Marpa Lotsawa to mind, Milarepa recognized and thought, “Clinging to the assumption that the fierce demons and threatening ghosts that are appearing to me are outer appearances is an illusion. They are nothing but a manifestation of my own mind. I am only afraid of them because I am deluded, ‘khrul-pa.”
After Milarepa had settled his mind on the practice of Mahamudra, he was able to experience perfect fearlessness and could abide in steadfast valour. He looked into the faces of the malevolent beings and told them: “There’s no reason for me to be afraid of your vicious and threatening outbursts. If you want to eat my flesh and drink my blood, I offer my body to you and I hope it tastes good. Everyone born inevitably dies. No matter what, I will die one day, so it makes no difference to me what you do.”
"He who knows the nature of self
and understands how the senses act,
finds no room for selfishness,
and thus he will attain peace unending.
The world holds the thought of self,
and from this arises false apprehension. 
"Some say that the self endures after death, some say it perishes.
Both are wrong and their error is most grievous. 
"For if they say the self is perishable,
the fruit they strive for will perish too,
and at some time there will be no hereafter.
Good and evil would be indifferent.
This salvation from selfishness is without merit. 
"When some, on the other hand,
say the self will not perish,
then in the midst of all life and death
there is but one identity unborn and undying.
If such is their self,
then it is perfect and cannot be perfected by deeds.
The lasting, imperishable self could never be changed.
The self would be lord and master,
and there would be no use in perfecting the perfect;
moral aims and salvation would be unnecessary. 
"But now we see the marks of joy and sorrow.
Where is any constancy?
If there is no permanent self that does our deeds,
then there is no self;
there is no actor behind our actions,
no perceiver behind our perception,
no lord behind our deeds. 
"Now attend and listen:
The senses meet the object
and from their contact sensation is born.
Thence results recollection.
Thus, as the sun's power through a burning-glass causes fire to appear,
so through the cognizance born of sense and object,
the mind originates and with it the ego, the thought of self,
whom some Brahman teachers call the lord.
The shoot springs from the seed;
the seed is not the shoot,
both are not one and the same,
but successive phases in a continuous growth.
Such is the birth of animated life. 
"Ye that are slaves of the self and toil in its service from morn until night,
ye that live in constant fear of birth, old age, sickness, and death,
receive the good tidings that your cruel master exists not. 
"Self is an error, an illusion, a dream.
Open your eyes and awaken.
See things as they are
and ye will be comforted. 
"He who is awake will no longer be afraid of nightmares.
He who has recognized the nature of the rope
that seemed to be a serpent will cease to tremble. 
The Gospel of Buddha
"He who has found there is no self
will let go all the lusts and desires of egotism. 
"The cleaving to things, covetousness,
and sensuality inherited from former existences,
are the causes of the misery and vanity in the world. 
"Surrender the grasping disposition of selfishness,
and you will attain to that calm state of mind
which conveys perfect peace, goodness, and wisdom." 
And the Buddha breathed forth this solemn utterance: 
"Do not deceive, do not despise
Each other, anymore.
Do not be angry, nor should ye
Secret resentment bear;
For as a mother risks her life
And watches o'er her child,
So boundless be your love to all,
So tender, kind and mild. 
"Yea, cherish good-will right and left,
All round. early and late,
And without hinderance, without stint,
From every free and hate,
While standing, walking, sitting down,
Whate'er you have in mind,
The rule of life that's always best
Is to be loving-kind. 
Originally posted by ALOSTSOUL
I don't believe in Karma as an actual force, like gravity but I do see it as an psycho/social-logical effect.
Lets take the bankers for example, for too long they were playing around with peoples lives and futures. They have been borderline criminal! And as a Karmic consequence they (bankers) were all strung up from the lamp-post.....wait that hasn't happened yet has it?
What I am saying is if Karma is real, then it isn't doing a very good job. I have known bad things to happen to good people and good things happen to the bad.
But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be good. It feels good to be good.
ALSedit on 19-12-2011 by ALOSTSOUL because: (no reason given)