Strictly according to the commentary, do kammas from different beings intermingle?

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zan
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Strictly according to the commentary, do kammas from different beings intermingle?

Post by zan » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:15 pm

If a person is stranded on a road in the desert nearly dying of thirst, this is the result of their past negative kamma. If another person is driving on that road in good health and with lots of water and a nice car, this is a result of their past positive kamma.

If the person in the car stops to help the stranded person, is this the intermingling of two being's kamma? The positive results of one being's kamma are intermingling with the negative results of another being's negative kamma while they both generate new kamma in the process? And of course past negatives and positives on both sides would be intermingling as well, not totally positive on one side and totally negative on the other.

Or is it somehow solely the result of only one of the being's past kamma and only that being generates future kamma as a result of their actions in the situation and the other being's past kamma has no affect on the situation and they do not generate future kamma as a result of their actions in the situation?

For example: the results of the one stranded being's past kamma affect the situation and the stranded being generates new kamma as a result of their actions in the situation with zero results from past kamma of the other car driving being affecting the situation and zero future kamma generated from the car driving being? The former seems reasonable, the latter does not make much sense.


Thankyou
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

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Re: Strictly according to the commentary, do kammas from different beings intermingle?

Post by DNS » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:55 pm

zan wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:15 pm
If the person in the car stops to help the stranded person, is this the intermingling of two being's kamma? The positive results of one being's kamma are intermingling with the negative results of another being's negative kamma while they both generate new kamma in the process? And of course past negatives and positives on both sides would be intermingling as well, not totally positive on one side and totally negative on the other.
I'd say it's more the intermingling of two individuals and then they are still generating their own kamma in their own ways. It's difficult to say for sure and that is why you are probably receiving cryptic answers in the other thread on this topic. See:
“There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

“The Buddha-range of the Buddhas is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

“The jhana-range of a person in jhana…

“The [precise working out of the] results of kamma…

“Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

“These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them.”
AN 4.77

santa100
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Re: Strictly according to the commentary, do kammas from different beings intermingle?

Post by santa100 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:12 pm

Notice that Kamma is a broad term that includes actions not only limited to what one did in a previous life, but also the immediate actions leading up to the incident. So being stranded in the desert could be the result of previous life's actions and/or the current life's immediate action (instant kamma) of neglecting to perform proper maintenance on the car and various safety preparations (water/food/clothing,etc.) before the long trip. Similarly, the act of helping from someone could mean the stranded guy already did him some favor in a past life, or it's just some immediate wholesome action/volition from that kind-hearted stranger. This is why Kamma is different from Fatalism. So to be on the safe side, practice metta and try to help other people AND perform proper maintenance check on your car and bring along adequate supply of water, food, clothing with you before going on any long trip.

zan
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Re: Strictly according to the commentary, do kammas from different beings intermingle?

Post by zan » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:56 pm

DNS wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:55 pm
zan wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:15 pm
If the person in the car stops to help the stranded person, is this the intermingling of two being's kamma? The positive results of one being's kamma are intermingling with the negative results of another being's negative kamma while they both generate new kamma in the process? And of course past negatives and positives on both sides would be intermingling as well, not totally positive on one side and totally negative on the other.
I'd say it's more the intermingling of two individuals and then they are still generating their own kamma in their own ways. It's difficult to say for sure and that is why you are probably receiving cryptic answers in the other thread on this topic. See:
“There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

“The Buddha-range of the Buddhas is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

“The jhana-range of a person in jhana…

“The [precise working out of the] results of kamma…

“Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

“These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them.”
AN 4.77
Thank you. It is so funny that you posted the unconjecturables sutta as I was mulling it over just this morning after posting that lol!

You have answered my question though regardless. If I understand you correctly then beings do not experience their own kamma results in isolation but rather beings intermingle with each other while generating kamma.

This has been the core of my questions all along: do beings operate in some kind of self contained isolation or do many beings intermingle with each other? And it sounds like you are saying they do with "I'd say it's more the intermingling of two individuals..." And I agree. This is how I have always understood the suttas but got some strange ideas when reading certain sections.

So conjecture about kamma aside, the Buddha did make it clear that many beings intermingle with each other and generate kamma? And so this bizarre isolation view is not supported by the suttas?
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

zan
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Re: Strictly according to the commentary, do kammas from different beings intermingle?

Post by zan » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:07 pm

santa100 wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:12 pm
Notice that Kamma is a broad term that includes actions not only limited to what one did in a previous life, but also the immediate actions leading up to the incident. So being stranded in the desert could be the result of previous life's actions and/or the current life's immediate action (instant kamma) of neglecting to perform proper maintenance on the car and various safety preparations (water/food/clothing,etc.) before the long trip. Similarly, the act of helping from someone could mean the stranded guy already did him some favor in a past life, or it's just some immediate wholesome action/volition from that kind-hearted stranger. This is why Kamma is different from Fatalism. So to be on the safe side, practice metta and try to help other people AND perform proper maintenance check on your car and bring along adequate supply of water, food, clothing with you before going on any long trip.
Thank you. My core confusion though is; does one being act in a kind of isolation or do beings intermingle? Are both the stranded man and the driver intermingling and their kammas from past and present are affecting them both? Or is only one being experiencing their own kamma in isolation and the other being experiences and generates absolutely zero kamma themselves?

The vast majority of the suttas seem to point to the understanding that beings intermingle and their kammas affect their situations. However I developed a bizarre understanding in which one being could only experience their own kamma and therefore other beings would be essentially mindless kammic results that themselves do not produce nor inherit their own kamma. So in this (obvioisly incorrect) ubderstanding, if two beings meet, only one produces and inherits kamma, the other does not.

Again, as far as I can tell, in the suttas it is made abundantly clear that beings produce and inherit kamma, no exceptions (except arahants do not produce but even they inherit kamma). I just had this strange understanding and wanted to check it against the intelligent folks on here in case I was right and had therefore been misinterpreting the suttas all this time.
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

santa100
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Re: Strictly according to the commentary, do kammas from different beings intermingle?

Post by santa100 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:50 pm

zan wrote:The vast majority of the suttas seem to point to the understanding that beings intermingle and their kammas affect their situations. However I developed a bizarre understanding in which one being could only experience their own kamma and therefore other beings would be essentially mindless kammic results that themselves do not produce nor inherit their own kamma. So in this (obvioisly incorrect) ubderstanding, if two beings meet, only one produces and inherits kamma, the other does not.
Given the vast scope of kamma inclusive of the past, present, and future as said in my previous post, it'd be safe to say that yes, one's situation is affected by kamma, whether of past life or immediate life kamma. Regarding the intermingle of kammas, the teaching in the suttas makes sense. For example, John Doe killed Jim Rowe in a previous life. In the current life, Jim Rowe2.0 kills John Doe2.0 in return. It'd be wrong to conclude that Jim Rowe2.0 doesn't create unwholesome kamma for killing John Doe2.0 simply because he only returns the "favor". The Anatta nature of phenomena means that the various John's and Jim's are like the transport carts that help carrying/manifesting the endless kammic cargoes in Samsara. By killing John2.0 to settle the score, Jim2.0 has actively taken part in perpetuating and propagating the unwholesome kammic loads so that John3.0, Jim3.0, 4.0, 5.0, etc. continue to carry on with the endless killing cycle. They do have a choice to stop this once and for all though.

zan
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Re: Strictly according to the commentary, do kammas from different beings intermingle?

Post by zan » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:18 pm

Okay I think I have a way to ask this related question as it existed in my other thread more clearly using a comparison and hopefully someone on here can answer it, which would ultimately answer both questions, rather than me boring myself and everyone else by creating another tiresome thread :tongue: . Thank you all for your patience so far! Apologies for my lack of proper writing skills. Let's consider this a rough draft :)

If I were to pose the question "Does a being generate 100% of their own experience?" to someone versed in the Abhidhammattha Sangaha by the Venerable Acariya, the answer from them would be a flat "No." This is factually incorrect according to the Abhidhamma/commentary understanding. External things like geological and climatic formations are temperature born matter and are not the result of kamma, consciousness or nutriment (Abhidhammattha Sangaha VI Bodhi, guide to 12). Plants are generated by their own kind of life and not kamma either (Abhidhammattha Sangaha Narada Maha Thera Page 109). So a being could not be said to generate 100% of their own experience because being's kamma does not generate geological formations or plants.

It is also the case that according to the Abhidhamma/commentary a being's own form is the result of their own kamma born matter, nutriment born matter and consciousness born matter, all of which are strictly internal types of matter groupings (Only temperature born matter is external and it does not originate from kamma, consciousness or nutriment -Abhidhammattha Sangaha VI 21) and therefore do not result in someone else's form, so a being does not generate another being's form with their own kamma. Further, a beings body becomes temperature born matter after death in the form of a corpse and kamma born and consciousness born matter cease. So even a dead body is not generated by any being's kamma, consciousness, etc. but is a different kind of matter (Abhidhammattha Sangaha VI 25).

So within the Abhidhamma/commentary tradition this idea is completely false. A being does not generate 100% of their own experience. Their past kamma does have a great deal of influence on their life and so it could be said that some of their experience is generated by themselves in the form of their current reaping of past kammic fruit, but geological and climatic formations, plants, other beings and corpses are not generated by a being's past kamma, consciousness, or nutriment but rather by temperature born matter, some kind of unique plant life matter, the other beings own past kamma, consciousness, etc., and again temperature born matter, respectively.


It took me about five minutes flipping through the Abhidhammattha Sangaha to disprove this idea and it was easy to do because it is clearly counter to the firm points laid out in that work.

What about the within the suttas? Is there any way to explain why this idea is false using them like we can with the Abhidhammattha Sangaha?

Is this clear enough? I am not always as articulate as I would like to be and for that I apologize!

Should I make this a new thread? I do not want to annoy people, but I have yet to get a straight answer to this core question due entirely to my own poor writing skills and not the kind and intelligent users who are answering my questions.
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

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