Does karma affect our consciousness?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Post Reply
Posts: 433
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:43 pm
Location: India

Does karma affect our consciousness?

Post by alfa »

Friends :smile:

It's said that what we go through in the present is the result of our past actions.

Does this apply to both the outside world and our inner life?

Let's say I experience something pertaining to the outside world, such as poverty. People may say that's the result of past karma.

But what of the things I experience inside (as opposed to the outside world)? Is my inner experience also determined by karma, or is it just random activity?

I think this is important to understand because if our experiences are the result of past karma, it'd mean we have no option but to go through those experiences.

Posts: 1037
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:33 pm

Re: Does karma affect our consciousness?

Post by SamKR »

alfa wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:15 am
Does this apply to both the outside world and our inner life?
Once it is seen that in the direct experience there is only this direct experience (and that the distinction of "outside world" and "inner life" is a cognition arising in this), then it may be seen that this (including the appearance of distinction "outside" and "inner life") is dependent upon ignorance of the whole process and sankhara (actions with self-view - karma), and vice versa.

When there is ignorance of the whole process there is the appearance of self and consequent karma. When there is no ignorance of this process there is no self and then no karma that could further shape this experience.
Last edited by SamKR on Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 1108
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:06 pm
Location: Tetons, Wyoming, USA

Re: Does karma affect our consciousness?

Post by JohnK »

Here is Thanissaro's Q&A-based description of kamma and how it works. ... n0004.html
Read the whole thing -- it's not long -- or check out the Q's that interest you and the A's to them.
In regard to your questions, he says that we do have choice in the present (w/in the bounds of what past kamma presents). He also says that, based on our intervening actions (i.e., between an action and its results, including our progress on the path), we may experience the results of past action with less dukkha (I mention this last part because it relates to your question about "inner").
Those who grasp at perceptions & views wander the internet creating friction. [based on Sn4:9,v.847]

Posts: 912
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:56 am
Location: Sri Lanka

Re: Does karma affect our consciousness?

Post by Srilankaputra »

Hi alfa,

I remember reading a sutta where a certain monk was trying to meditate at a certain place. But his mind keeps been invaded by sensual lust. Supposedly this monk was a king in many previous lives with a palace built at that same place. The blessed one tells him to move away to another place and the problem goes away.

I have been trying to find this sutta for you, but no such luck. may be some one else has read this sutta?
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

Post Reply