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More on Karma

Nov 20, 1998 06:06 AM
by Jerry Schueler

Many Theosophists seem to take the easy and simple
approach to karma, that it is cause and effect or
a system of rewards and punishments. They seem
to think that karma has the super-human ability to
see what "really" happens in every single event in
every single lifetime of every single person and then
dispense an effective and appropriate measure of 
compensation, no more and no less. This, IMHO, is
nothing more than changing the word god to the word
karma. I don't believe that karma works that way at all.

Modern psychology has found that our minds cannot
always tell the difference between an external or "real" 
event and an internal or "fantasy" event.  To the psyche,
there appears to be no difference between inner and
outer events (i.e., whether our experiences are
subjective or objective). Now anyone is free to disagree
with this psychological finding, but I agree with it.

It is memory alone that allows us to tell the difference
between an outer experience and an inner imagined
experience. Some people with faulty memory, for
example, will confuse a past event with what happened 
in a dream. It has been found in modern psychological 
experiments that many children can't tell the difference 
between what they saw in a movie or on tv with an actual 
event that happened to them. In other words, some
children will honestly think that something happened to
them, which actually they only saw in a movie, on tv, or 
in a dream.

With all of this in mind, where is karma?  If a child sees
a movie about a rape, and then later thinks that they were
raped, the belief that they were raped will effect them
exactly the same as if it really happened. In other words,
karma from a false memory in the past effects us in the
present just as much as a true memory. I believe that
this is an occult fact. Karma is so tied up in our memories
that what "really" happened in the past doesn't make
any difference at all. Also, any two people undergoing
similar experiences can be karmically effected in entirely
different ways.

I just don't think that karma is as simple and straightforward
as many seem to think it is.

Jerry S.

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