Author Topic: "Soul"/Karma age?  (Read 483 times)

Offline KimAndre

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"Soul"/Karma age?
« on: June 18, 2016, 10:20:10 am »
I know there's no souls in Buddhism, but yet, what is the factor that makes me experience this lifetime and you another? What is the factor that makes me have a different set of past lives than you? Karma springs to mind. But from what I understand, Karma isn't an entity, but then again, are there really any entities in Buddhism? Supposing we are not an entity but are our Karma, and Karma is not an entity, can this Karma have an age? Can "I" (as in the Karma expressing this post) be older/younger than you (the Karma reading this post)? I know there is no discoverable beginning, so we can't possibly measure these ages, but I'm thinking this might explain the density/enlightenment level of individual Karmas. The density/enlightenment levels could be explained by mental faculties, but these faculties would be the expression of the Karma. Another theory is that all Karmas are of equal age, but our density/enlightenment levels can fluctuate, so that those who seem less evolved might have been more evolved before, but neglected their practice and devolved. What do you Karmas think?

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: "Soul"/Karma age?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2016, 10:29:46 am »
The age of the effect (kamma vipakha) passed on from one lifetime to the next is not material.  What is important is the validity of what has been learned and practiced.  One can be a very old effect, but be very foolish, or one can be very old and very wise, close to buddhahood. :r4wheel:

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Vipāka: 'kamma-result' or 'effect of action', is any kammically morally neutral mental phenomenon e.g. bodily pleasant or painful feeling, sense-consciousness, etc., which is the result of advantageous or disadvantageous intentional action kamma through body, speech or mind, done either in this or some previous life. Totally wrong is the belief that, according to Buddhism, everything is the result of previous action. Never, for example, is any kammically advantageous or disadvantageous intentional action the result of former action, being in reality itself kamma. On this subject see: titthāyatana kamma, Tab. I; Fund II. Cf. A. III, 101; Kath. 162 Guide, p. 80.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2016, 10:32:03 am by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: "Soul"/Karma age?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2016, 05:16:23 am »
Things arise on condition. Things happen because other things have happened. Think of doing a bad deed and doing a good deed. Choose one, you change the universe to one where that choice was made. Things happen because of that choice. People are born into the universe where that choice has been made. Conditionality. Karma.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline KimAndre

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Re: "Soul"/Karma age?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2016, 09:14:33 pm »
Hmm... I think I miscommunicated my question. I'm really wondering about our inter-carnate age. Not it's exact number of years, incarnations or eons, but if you and I can have different such inter-carnate ages, if that makes sense. What, in that case, would allow either one of us to be older than the other?Perhaps this is just unskillful speculation, but it's quite curious nonetheless.

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Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: "Soul"/Karma age?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2016, 04:09:44 am »
Hmm... I think I miscommunicated my question. I'm really wondering about our inter-carnate age. Not it's exact number of years, incarnations or eons, but if you and I can have different such inter-carnate ages, if that makes sense. What, in that case, would allow either one of us to be older than the other?


What would it matter as regards the cause and the means to ending suffering?  Buddha gave us this analogy as to how we should spend our time in any given life-cycle:  Practice The Dhamma as if our hair was on fire!" 

Would you stand around speculating about philosophical issues?  No!  You would be in such pain that you would look for the quickest means to end your suffering!  To do anything else would be foolish, unless you didn't realise your condition out of ignorance.  That is why Buddha identifies ignorance as the root cause of all suffering in his dependent co-arising:

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Dwelling at Savatthi... "Monks, I will describe & analyze dependent co-arising for you.

"And what is dependent co-arising? From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.


Source:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.002.than.html
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline KimAndre

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Re: "Soul"/Karma age?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2016, 12:23:08 pm »
Touché!

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