January 31, 2007

What Is Karma?

Although I'm not a big fan of quick and dirty article websites, I realize they are a major source for web content. So, that said, let's take a look at this splash article about karma.

I'm not an ordained Buddhist Monk or anything, and I realize that all brands of Buddhism hold their own subtle definitions and approaches to what karma is, but there are a few things in this article that I feel compelled to comment on. Here we go:

Supposedly originating from the Orient, the theory of karma is known to millions around the world.

The theory of karma originated from "the Orient"? (and who says, "the Orient" anymore anyway?) From my limited understanding of religious origins, karma, as a term and as a religious precept, originated from Hinduism/India. (If I'm wrong about this, please correct me.) So, I suppose the article is technically correct in that India is an area that resides inside what some people call "the Orient". I dunno, I call that part of the world Asia.

I really should have stopped reading here, but ah well. Here's some more:

Like it or not, this law is universal. That's right; this law operates in the whole universe. It affects everyone, all the time. What people don't realize is, it's not only our actions that cause reactions; it's also our thoughts.

Our thoughts don't cause reactions. Our thoughts effect the things that we decide to do, which then cause reactions. I think he's trying to describe intention here, but I'm not sure. Intention drives action. Intention is what can change karma overall, right? Help me out on this people.

Misuse your thoughts and actions and the Law of Karma will fall upon you, and you will be horribly punished.

Ok, I haven't even reached the third paragraph and I'm faced with this garbage? "Misuse your thoughts?" What the hell does that mean? And, karma doesn't "punish", just as karma doesn't "reward" people. Karma is not a punitive God.

It just keeps going downhill from there.

Go read it, see for yourself. No wait, don't. Here's a better discussion of Karma.

On a side note, if anyone has read something on one of these article mill websites that actually makes sense, is accurate and well-written, PLEASE send me a link. Thanks.

1 comment:

oksana said...

it's not to defend the article or anything (it actually does sound raher crappy judging from the passages you quoted), but i don't understand, what's the problem with orient? maybe they really don't use it any more, but it actually does mean "Middle East, South Asia and Eastern Asia" according to what i've read