Posted by Sam on January 31, 19100 at 11:01:32:
In Reply to: Karma? posted by Jim on January 30, 19100 at 07:40:48:
To the best of my understanding, karma is neither good nor bad -- it simply is. Karma is, to imagine it physically, a sort of addendum to your personal consciousness, a collection of spiritual accessories, if you will, not unlike a neck full of jewelry, or more appropriately, a shackle about the ankle. Collected karma is what perpetuates samsara, it's what keeps you stuck in the cycle of rebirth. So long as you have karmic debts -- be they "good" or "bad" -- you will continue to reincarnate until the house is square.
To be a little more concrete about it, it's very much like a crooked casino. You walk in even, owing nothing and winning nothing. At the tables, you gamble, you make choices. Some choices are good, and your pockets get a little thicker. Some choices are bad, and you slip into a bit of a debt to the house. Either way -- your possession of either more or less than you came in with -- the casino will not let you leave. Why would they? They don't want you walking out with more money than you came in with, and they can't let you leave in debt. So you're stuck there, going from table to table, on and on, until you break even and get out.
What to do, then? Just do what you're supposed to do. In the Hindu religion, you must simply live according to your position and lot in life, doing no more and no less than is required of you. If your bill is square at closing time, you may check out. In Buddhism, keeping the house square is to follow the Eightfold Path, being careful to avoid attachment to both excessive charity -- at least, attachment to charity for personal gain -- and to avoid excessive selfishness. In fact, you should simply avoid excess altogether.
I hope this helps some. Perhaps someone else here could give you a more detailed -- or more concise, as the case may be -- answer than I have. Either way, I hope this helps.
Peace and much compassion... Sam:)
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