25 thoughts on “One-Liner Wednesday — Karma”

  1. Indian philosophical systems – as diverse as they are – are obsessed with deconditioning. We’re conditioned (karma) therefore you need to find a way to decondition ourselves. What they propose is pretty tough, so if you find an easy way, please let me know. I enjoyed your posting!

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    1. You make a good point about deconditioning. I hadn’t thought about it like that, but I can see how following one’s conditioning would lead one to expected, causal and karmic results. I don’t have an easy way. Even trying to be more rational doesn’t seem like it would help: we rationalize our conditioning rather than reason a way out of it. Thank you for the comment! It got me thinking differently about karma.

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      1. Frank, I can’t take credit for the duo conditioning/deconditioning. The explanation belongs to one of the greatest historians of religions: Mircea Eliade. Karma is defined as man’s actions (thoughts, desires, etc). However, you make a great point too. According to Eliade, in the Indian thought, rationality does not help. Suffering comes from one’s actions, and escaping karma means renunciation to one’s desires. Desires always lead to suffering. Deconditioning has nothing to do with rationality. Deconditioning is renunciation to everything that the material world has to offer. Anyway, I enjoyed the discussion here. And, since very few among us are ready for deconditioning (ha!) your post is perfect: There’s plenty of karma to go around!

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        1. I’m glad you liked the phrase. Rationality is looked on skeptically by some scientists today as well. I got the idea of excluding rationality from Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind) and he (I think) from Anthony Damasio (Descartes’ Error). I have read some Mircea Eliade, but I should read it again since it was long ago. Deconditioning makes more sense as “renunciation”, maybe even “surrender” if the religion is theistic and there is someone personal to surrender to.

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