Karmic fruit

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Ngawang Drolma.
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Karmic fruit

Post by Ngawang Drolma. » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:23 pm

Do you think the karmic fruit can appear in the form of being in a position to accrue further bad karma?

I'm watching a program on Hitler Youth, thinking about how their young, vulnerable minds were put into a terrible position. And I'm speculating that their actions probably caused them to contribute to their cycle of suffering.

:anjali:

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kc2dpt
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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by kc2dpt » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:02 pm

I think that's a tough question.

One's kamma could be a cause for being born poor, ugly, despised... and these are certainly conditions more conducive to creating more bad kamma. Then again, one born rich, attractive, and well liked can also create bad kamma. Ajahn Brahm likens it to baking a cake: the best of ingredients can still turn out a terrible cake if used carelessly while the worst of ingredients can still turn out a tasty cake when used with skill.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

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SeerObserver
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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by SeerObserver » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:29 pm

Drolma wrote:Do you think the karmic fruit can appear in the form of being in a position to accrue further bad karma?

I'm watching a program on Hitler Youth, thinking about how their young, vulnerable minds were put into a terrible position. And I'm speculating that their actions probably caused them to contribute to their cycle of suffering.

:anjali:
Most definitely. I once raised this idea in a thread (on another forum) about Hell's minions, whose main (and only?) function is to hand down retribution on other beings for their misdeeds. But then the hell being is harming another and therefore creating karma which will lead to retribution to bestow upon them. The temperament one builds carries over. For example, beings who currently like to dabble in black arts or follow dangerous masters may have been followers or even leaders of similar activities in the past.

It takes stronger temperament/karma that one must have built in order to be a hell being or the like as opposed to a Hitler youth or the like, I would imagine. The purpose of the whole existence (although temporary) is to inflict harm and therefore accrue demerit. It would seem that this would be a retribution for forcing or coaxing other beings into committing demerit. Since they forced, misled, or somehow caused beings to harm others and therefore accrue bad karma, they are now forced to harm others and accrue that kind of karma.

Although our past temperament and actions were causal agents in what our current situations are, we do (as humans) have free will and can exercise that when it comes to what kind of karma we want to create from here on out, an option that certain existences mentioned may not. There are many more people who are not subscribing to things like what you mention than people who are.

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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by Ngawang Drolma. » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:42 pm

Thank you both, these answers are satisfying input.

It almost seems more unfortunate to experience karmic fruit in such a way that you are causing further harm, like it's continuing the cycle. When something unpleasant happens in my life, I sometimes think I'm kind of cleaning up my karma. Better now than later to bear the fruit, possibly in the form of worse delusion.

Hope I make sense :anjali:

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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:20 pm

Greetings Drolma,

Cause is effect is cause is effect - one moment conditions the next.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by AdvaitaJ » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:30 pm

Drolma,

The last thing I want to do is defend Hitler youth, but even for them, wouldn't "intention" play a major role? If their intent was to save their families, their homes, their younger siblings, wouldn't that have put them in a position to generate more positive karma than many of us could ever achieve?

Regards: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai

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kc2dpt
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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by kc2dpt » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:39 am

retrofuturist wrote:Cause is effect is cause is effect - one moment conditions the next.
Not quite. Cause is not the same as condition. Karma can never be vipaka.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by SeerObserver » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:47 am

AdvaitaJ wrote:Drolma,

The last thing I want to do is defend Hitler youth, but even for them, wouldn't "intention" play a major role? If their intent was to save their families, their homes, their younger siblings, wouldn't that have put them in a position to generate more positive karma than many of us could ever achieve?

Regards: AdvaitaJ
...than any of us could ever achieve? That's a little strong. Their intention may lessen the amount of akusala kamma they will derive from the overall situation, but whatever they do that causes harm to others, following orders or not, still generates negative karma. You've probably seen this POV in any thread discussing soldiers/law enforcement killing.

What you raise is interesting though in that there is something of a Robin Hood element. Can't a "personal" sacrifice be kusala kamma at least to some extent? I hope someone can chime in on this...slippery slope, I know. For example, although I doubt that the Hitler youth were privy to this perspective, but what if after assessing the whole situation they were willing to endure asankheyyas of unfavorable existence in order to save their families, etc. as AdvaitaJ hypothesizes? This could be out of shear love, dutifulness, or what have you. The Jataka tales even address major sacrifices and what not.

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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:53 am

Greetings Peter,
Peter wrote:Not quite. Cause is not the same as condition. Karma can never be vipaka.
True, you can't classify something as both kamma and vipaka, but I'd suggest that vipaka can be a cause under the banner of citta-niyama.

If it wasn't, what would cause you to want to be Buddhist?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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kc2dpt
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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by kc2dpt » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:56 am

I still think you are conflating 'cause' and 'condition'.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:58 am

Greetings Peter,
Peter wrote:I still think you are conflating 'cause' and 'condition'.
Yes I am... but I'm comfortable with that.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:22 am

Hi SeerObserver and AdvaitaJ,

Yes, that's what I mean. The Hitler Youth kids were in such an unfortunate position. The program I was watching was so sad, little kids being made to guard corpses! Sorry to be graphic, but it happened. Those kids were in a terrible predicament. It's an interesting point about intention. But the thing is that kids really don't understand about death and stuff until a certain age, and even through adolescence kids don't understand long-term consequences very well. That's why they engage in risky behavior a lot of times. So I don't know what the intent factor could be like in such a young mind, it's hard to imagine. And as you mentioned, loving your family and wanting to protect them seems like wholesome karma.

I was just thinking that being born into a position to basically be forced to create negative karma and cause harm really sucks. It's a human birth, which is good, but it seems like some negative karmic fruit coming to pass too. I was thinking about the cyclic nature of all of this.

:anjali:

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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:27 am

Hi Retro and Peter,

Both of your comments make sense. I think it's true about this flow of cause and effect, like water, and it's true about the distinction between karma and its fruit too.

:juggling:

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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:28 am

Greetings Drolma,

Re: your Hitler youth post...

Its worth remembering though that causing suffering to others in inherent in our existence.

We need food, shelter and water to survive, and even with the most careful effort and the best intentions, our actions required for our own sustinence and continuation are going to cause harm and death to sentient beings.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Karmic fruit

Post by appicchato » Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:35 am

Peter wrote:I still think you are conflating 'cause' and 'condition'.
The 'condition' is the 'cause'...from this angle anyway...

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