XianGong

Teacher - Student Karmic Impact

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The thread of Huaoitian school has been locked, but there was a decent discussion there about the karmic impact of teacher and student connection.

In cases that I have seen personally, there was an idiot "guru", who genuinely believes he does a positive impact and will earn some positive karma that will accelerate his growth and self-development.
What happened, however, is due to his stupidity, deviation and lack of knowledge, he proceeds to harm and scam students for decades. Giving nothing of value, taking their money, time, energy.

What are the complications of scamming 2000+ people? :lol:
Does the teacher who does harm unknowingly due to his low qualifications / being trapped in delusion, takes the karmic hit?
How will it work out in the end?

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23 minutes ago, XianGong said:

The thread of Huaoitian school has been locked, but there was a decent discussion there about the karmic impact of teacher and student connection.

In cases that I have seen personally, there was an idiot "guru", who genuinely believes he does a positive impact and will earn some positive karma that will accelerate his growth and self-development.
What happened, however, is due to his stupidity, deviation and lack of knowledge, he proceeds to harm and scam students for decades. Giving nothing of value, taking their money, time, energy.

What are the complications of scamming 2000+ people? :lol:
Does the teacher who does harm unknowingly due to his low qualifications / being trapped in delusion, takes the karmic hit?
How will it work out in the end?

 

It can be difficult to say what specific karma anyone individual makes because karma is created by intention. 

   But since you use the word scam, if someone knows that they're scamming people then the karma of that would most likely be to be scammed.

   If it were scamming someone for mundane objects such as a con man selling someone something inauthentic for a lot of money then the karma of that would be to in turn yourself be ripped off. It gets more complicated though when it affects someone's Dharma. If you're scamming efforts harm someone's Dharma development and increase their delusion and their attachment to samsara then this can be very serious karma for the person doing it. Since the remedy for liberation from samsara is seeing through delusion then it stands to reason that the karma for increasing someone's attachment to samsara would be greater delusion and suffering.

   If I had to guess a few examples I would venture to say that this person will have a very hard time finding authentic teachings and good teachers and will believe foolishness which causes them more suffering and attachment and delusion.

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30 minutes ago, XianGong said:

The thread of Huaoitian school has been locked, but there was a decent discussion there about the karmic impact of teacher and student connection.

In cases that I have seen personally, there was an idiot "guru", who genuinely believes he does a positive impact and will earn some positive karma that will accelerate his growth and self-development.
What happened, however, is due to his stupidity, deviation and lack of knowledge, he proceeds to harm and scam students for decades. Giving nothing of value, taking their money, time, energy.

What are the complications of scamming 2000+ people? :lol:
Does the teacher who does harm unknowingly due to his low qualifications / being trapped in delusion, takes the karmic hit?
How will it work out in the end?

 

From what I know? Well, in Dharma practice, this is a serious offense and sends you to the Avici Hells. False teachings, greed, and misleading others is no good even if someone believes he's good. 

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3 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

But since you use the word scam, if someone knows that they're scamming people then the karma of that would most likely be to be scammed.

   If it were scamming someone for mundane objects such as a con man selling someone something inauthentic for a lot of money then the karma of that would be to in turn yourself be ripped off. It gets more complicated though when it affects someone's Dharma.


In most cases, bad teachers don't think they are scamming anyone. In many cases, they believe they are so great that even for the ability to hear their divine voice people should pay 959429$ and kneel or do slave work/work for free for decades.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, XianGong said:


In most cases, bad teachers don't think they are scamming anyone. In many cases, they believe they are so great that even for the ability to hear their divine voice people should pay 959429$ and kneel or do slave work/work for free for decades.

 

This is why the Buddha said that the foundational problem was delusion because it leads to all of the other problems that give rise to suffering.

 

If through delusion a teacher tells all of the students to jump off a cliff and then he jumps off a cliff too he might mean well but the delusion is still going to be harmful.

Edited by dmattwads

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3 hours ago, dmattwads said:

karma is created by intention. 

 


Nope. At least not only. (According to my understanding)

 

Karma is also created through action. Karma created through intention is much more subtle.

 

You might imprison someone against their will because you feel overwhelming love for them… or you might try to destroy a whole race out of love for the purity of your own ‘tribe’…

 

Whatever the intention it is the action that creates the weightiest karma.

 

This also applies if you feel ill will towards someone, but are able to control your impulse and still act with kindness, this is of great benefit - even if not ‘perfect’.

 

And similarly, in answer to @XianGong - ignorance of your actions will not save you from the karmic repercussions.

 

Karma isn’t just personal - it happens and is registered on a deeper, more collective level - on a level beyond who you think you are.
 

One may take great joy in making people suffer (and harbour no guilt or attachment at all), but at the moment of death, when the ignorance of that current incarnation is lifted, one will be confronted by the suffering they have caused - and the weight of this realisation will knock the trajectory of their soul’s transmigration process and this will be reflected in their next incarnation.

 

From what I understand it’s never as simple as you steal and so you will be stolen from as a result. That’s kind of a simple way to explain the concept to non-cultivators - but obviously it’s much more nuanced than that.

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Thanks for initiating this thread. I think it's also important to consider the karmic impact if a teacher is not necessarily malicious, but what they're teaching is wrong. 

 

In Buddhism there's a precept against 'selling the wine of delusion'. This is literally interpreted as not selling alcohol, but I think it goes further, in not misleading people, so they end up further enmeshed in samsara. 

 

Say someone creates a new breathing technique or meditation, and it feels good for them and a few others. They suddenly create a trendy brand and start selling it to others on the Internet. It reaches more people, some people find it life-changing. 

 

But ultimately, it is a path with no known destination. People go down this road instead of following a legitimate and traditional school of enlightenment. In 30 years, their alloted time on earth is almost up. They may have held genuine spiritual aspirations, but they've wasted their lives.

 

In that case, it seems to me that the person who did this, should be culpable somehow for 'selling the wine of delusion'.

 

I'm a person with no attainment, but if anyone has ever been influenced by any advice I've given on the Internet, thinking me as a voice of experience, and they've gone down a wrong path as a result, then I too have created bad karma in this regard. I think we should always be careful about this, as cultivators.

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3 minutes ago, freeform said:


Nope. At least not only. (According to my understanding)

 

Karma is also created through action. Karma created through intention is much more subtle.

 

You might imprison someone against their will because you feel overwhelming love for them… or you might try to destroy a whole race out of love for the purity of your own ‘tribe’…

 

Whatever the intention it is the action that creates the weightiest karma.

 

This also applies if you feel ill will towards someone, but are able to control your impulse and still act with kindness, this is of great benefit - even if not ‘perfect’.

 

And similarly, in answer to @XianGong - ignorance of your actions will not save you from the karmic repercussions.

 

Karma isn’t just personal - it happens and is registered on a deeper, more collective level - on a level beyond who you think you are.
 

One may take great joy in making people suffer (and harbour no guilt or attachment at all), but at the moment of death, when the ignorance of that current incarnation is lifted, one will be confronted by the suffering they have caused - and the weight of this realisation will knock the trajectory of their soul’s transmigration process and this will be reflected in their next incarnation.

 

From what I understand it’s never as simple as you steal and so you will be stolen from as a result. That’s kind of a simple way to explain the concept to non-cultivators - but obviously it’s much more nuanced than that.

 

Your understanding of Karma is more similar to the Jain understanding. This is why they wear masks and sweep the sidewalk as they walk. They believe even accidently stepping on a bug or breathing one is is bad karma. 

 

In the Buddhist understanding if one were to accidently step on a bug unintentionally is not considered bad karma because it was not intentional. 

 

I guess it comes down to which interpretation of karma one accepts.  

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24 minutes ago, Vajra Fist said:

if anyone has ever been influenced by any advice I've given on the Internet, thinking me as a voice of experience, and they've gone down a wrong path as a result, then I too have created bad karma in this regard.


There’s a huge difference between having a teacher-student relationship - and being a voice on the internet.

 

21 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

In the Buddhist understanding


Much of what I know about karma is from my Buddhist teacher in Burma. I’m not well versed in the texts at all.

 

22 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

interpretation of karma


At a certain stage one has direct insight into what actually happens (rather than subscribing to a school of thought). I don’t have this insight, but my teacher does.
 

I trust that this is the case because he has shown to have accurate, direct insight into things I would not have imagined possible. 
 

What he’s explained correlates to what my Daoist teacher says about Ming… though the emphasis is quite different.

 

I assume that these nuances and subtle differences in emphasis and context could spin off into quite different schools of thought.

 

25 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

This is why they wear masks and sweep the sidewalk as they walk. They believe even accidently stepping on a bug or breathing one is is bad karma. 


Ive been taught that as a spiritual cultivator, the aim isn’t to micromanage ones karma in this way. You create karma almost all the time - often subtle, sometimes gross… sometimes it’s ‘good’ karma, sometimes bad… ‘good’ karma might help with a fortunate incarnation - but that’s not the aim of a spiritual cultivator.

 

Being aware that our actions create causation chains is important… but trying to ‘game the system’ to benefit oneself is a waste of time if spiritual development is ones main aim.

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Hello, 

 

I am sorry for the questions, but I choose to ask.

 

Thank you for answers, even if there will be none(in post).

 

How do you know that karma exist and is not a "illusion"? 

 

There are my questions in here too:

 

2 minutes ago, freeform said:


There’s a huge difference between having a teacher-student relationship - and being a voice on the internet.

 

What is the difference?

 

I trust that this is the case because he has shown to have accurate, direct insight into things I would not have imagined possible. 

 

For example?
 

Being aware that our actions create causation chains is important… but trying to ‘game the system’ to benefit oneself is a waste of time if spiritual development is ones main aim.

 

What happens when one is spiritually developed?

 

Be well.

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7 hours ago, XianGong said:

What are the complications of scamming 2000+ people?

 

How about the millions that eat McDonald's food for example?

 

The corporation is still very profitable and it doesn't seem they are going to go out of business:

 

https://www.statista.com/statistics/208917/revenue-of-the-mcdonalds-corporation-since-2005/

 

My advice: 

 

Find a good teacher; there are certainly many out there. 

 

I learnt from a very good one. Others will state likewise from theirs.

 

There always will be good teachers and bad teachers; bogus systems and proven and legitimate systems. Such is life. 

 

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2 hours ago, Gerard said:

Find a good teacher; there are certainly many out there. 


It is very hard for a beginner to find a good teacher, the main reason they cannot tell a difference between high quality "food" and "McDonald's". It all looks the same to them.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, freeform said:

From what I understand it’s never as simple as you steal and so you will be stolen from as a result. That’s kind of a simple way to explain the concept to non-cultivators - but obviously it’s much more nuanced than that.


This point is important because I think that many teachers, schools, lineages, and just humans like to OVERSIMPLIFY things.

So far, I have not found any evidence that scamgong teachers would lose money from their actions as a karmic repercussion. In fact, they get filthy rich by milking their students for fake teachings. If they get a karmic backlash from profaning the esoteric arts it must be coming in a different way.

Edited by XianGong

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Indiken said:

How do you know that karma exist and is not a "illusion"? 


In most cases when people talk about it they do talk about their own illusion about what karma is.

 

I am thinking of karma as a law of physics. You send a wave through space and it reverberates, some of it will hit you back.

Edited by XianGong

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13 hours ago, Indiken said:

What is the difference?


The closer you get to the causation behind suffering, the more ‘sticky’ the karma.

 

If you kill an animal to eat it - that’s direct causation.

 

If you raise animals for slaughter - that’s one step removed, but still causes negative karma - even if you don’t do the slaughter yourself.

 

If you order an animal to be slaughtered for your consumption - that’s also a step removed.

 

If you buy or consume the meat of an animal who was not specifically slaughtered for your consumption - then that’s several causal steps removed - and the karma is much less sticky.

 

This applies even though by buying meat you’re promoting the meat industry and the questionable practices of that industry.

 

11 hours ago, Gerard said:

How about the millions that eat McDonald's food for example?

 

The corporation is still very profitable and it doesn't seem they are going to go out of business:

 

Karma isn’t ethics and morality.

 

Its closer to what @XianGong says - it’s more like a law of physics than an ethical judgement.

 

There’s a divine mechanistic process… and it’s not based on how you feel about things.

 

Its a very deep subject that I’ve only had some instruction on - and I have no direct insight into how it works beyond a very basic level.

 

….

 

13 hours ago, Indiken said:

For example?


I rather not go into details. But think of it as knowing what shouldn’t be possible to know - in specific detail. Like if I was able to, right now, tell you all about your mother or grandfather - their names what they look like, their life history… or I could tell you your bank account PIN… not vague, not ambiguous.

 

13 hours ago, Indiken said:

What happens when one is spiritually developed?


Ultimately you release all your accumulated karma (both good and bad) that weighs you down and anchors you into repeated rebirths. This allows you to eventually return to the source.

 

While still on earth, you would also act in a way that no longer creates karmic repercussions in you and only positive ones in others. Like a pebble dropped into a lake with no resulting ripples.

 

Though this is all very much the highest achievement possible… almost unheard of in human history apart from a very small number of individuals.

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Naturally karma is a complicated and confusing topic with several different traditions each having their own nuanced interpretation.

 

Back in The Vedic times in ancient India karma was described as being the performance of the correct ritual by the bramatic priests.

 

Then came along the Jains and they had a different interpretation of karma which they said was any action done at all not just ritual. So if you trip over a pine cone and then you land on a ladybug and kill it, that would be a negative karmic action of killing even though it was an accident, because it was still an action.

 

Then the Buddha came along and he identified karma as being the domain of the fourth Skanda, Sankhara. Sankhara is usually translated as volitional action, or willful action. The Buddha said this is what creates karma and this is what is affected by karma. According to the Buddha if you're walking down the sidewalk any trip on the pine cone and you fall on the ladybug this is not a karmic action because it was non-intentional. On the other hand if you're walking down the sidewalk can you see the ladybug and you get an evil gleam in your eyes and you lick your chops and you intentionally squash the ladybug then that is a karmic action because there was intention behind it.

 

Another reason that karma can be confusing is because often there is a time period before the karma ripens which is usually due to certain causes and conditions needing to be in place for it to do so. So if there was a teacher that was intentionally scanning students for money he might indeed accumulate a sizable amount of money for a time, but at some point in the future even possibly or probably another life this teacher will find themselves being scammed out of their money and being taught things that are an authentic for example. Likely someone like this you could offer for free to show them authentic teachings and they would not accept it because they wouldn't have the karma for it. This would be why in general some people come across good teachings and accept them and understand them when other people do not come across good teachings or even if they do they don't believe them or understand them. One either has the karma for it or they don't. This is like people who complain that they only ever date jerks but have no interest in nice people. They simply don't have the relationship karma that is good enough to come across nice people or be interested in them if they do.

 

As an aside I don't really do the Zhunti mantra anymore just because it's too strong and the effects are too unpleasant but one thing I would notice when I did do it for long periods of time is my insight into karma became much more focused. I had this friend when I was in college who seemed like a pretty nice guy. He was always polite and respectful and courteous and kind and after college he became a police officer. He also liked to hunt and trap a lot. One day I was in this truck and he asked me if I would like to take a ride with him to the woods and since I like nature I agreed. It turns out he was going to check his trap lines. I didn't really know much about trap lines at the time but as we were checking them there would be that animals stuck in them who had gotten snared and then frozen to death or starved to death. Some had tried to gnaw their leg off to get out of the trap. I thought this was a pretty horrible one to die but my friend didn't seem to be concerned about this. Apparently he did this regularly frequently and often. 

    Fast forwarding several years I lost touch with him but then I saw on the news that he had been killed in the line of duty which obviously was very sad. I remember thinking what a nice guy he was and how friendly and polite he always was how he treated people respectfully and I wondered how this could happen to him. This was around the time I was doing regular Zhunti practice. It was not long after this when I was doing Zhunti practice that the topic of his death was on my mind while I was doing the mantra. As I was doing the mantra it popped into my head very clearly and distinctly that in the sutras the Buddha had said that the karma for killing was a shortened lifespan, and then I thought about all of the animals he had killed and many of them in very inhumane ways and then I understood.

 

Another time when I was heavy into Zhunti practice I had found out that my first ex had died of cervical cancer. The reason she was my ex is because at the time I was in the army and we had barely been married a couple weeks before I went to the field for a couple months. Even though we had only been married for a matter of weeks when I came back from the field I found out that she had cheated on me repeatedly and spent all my money that I had saved over the course of a couple years. Naturally when I found out about this I ended things and we got divorced. It was only years later that I ran across her on Facebook that she actually apologized for the things that she had done to me in the past. It was a year or two later that I found out through Facebook that she had passed away from cervical cancer. It was after I found out about this and I was doing Zhunti practice that I was pondering her death that over the next couple years when doing the mantra I would begin to see her various reincarnations. I believe the first one was as a squirrel but then after only a few months I saw that she was reborn as a bird. Every few months I would see her reborn as another small animal until more recently I think she finally was reborn as a larger animal I believe a deer. Anyway I begin to wonder why she kept being reborn as these small animals as I was doing the mantra and then it became clear as day. It wasn't just me she cheated on she was like that a lot with a lot of people basically she had no impulse control when it came to sexuality and did what she wanted to do regardless of who it would affect. A lot of these small animals tend to reproduce often and frequently totally driven by instinct. There's no thought behind the instinct they're just compelled to reproduce. Then I remembered in the sutras one of the Buddhist said that most basic karma for being reborn as an animal is ignorance and to basically act like an animal which would be just acting like impulse with no self-control. 

 

Anyway I went on much longer about karma than I intended to but it is a topic that I study a lot and deeply. It's also a topic that I realize is not simple and has many interpretations. If one really wants to understand, and it doesn't mind doing a practice that involves a fair degree of suffering, then I would recommend Zhunti practice.

 

 

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"People want karma to explain everything, but the Buddha did not want karma to explain everything. What the Buddha was trying to do was to point to the tremendous impact that our motivations, our intentions, have on our lives. In looking at the choices that we have to make, the Buddha said that it is very important to look at what motivates those choices, what intentions fuel those choices. To be somewhat simplistic about Buddhist karmic theory, it might go something like this: in whatever fuels an action, the fuel of an action produces more of itself. If your action is fueled by hate, it somehow produces more of itself. In different words, if our intentions are unhealthy, that unhealthy fuel produces more unhealthy intentions. If our intentions are healthy, it produces more health. If the intentions which fuel our actions are healthy, they tend to produce more health. If the intentions which produce our actions are unhealthy, it tends to produce something unhealthy." - Gil Fronsdal 

 

Full article: https://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/transcribed-talks/karma-and-intention/

 

 

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Karma means action, and the system of karma implies causality.
 

Do good, reap the good results of your action. Do bad, likewise the results. Action can be both material as well as mental. Every thought is also an action.

 

The “good” and “bad” are a matter of scale. A little sugar is sweet, too much is potentially poisonous. Even if the taste of sweetness remains. Eat nothing but sugar every day and you’ll be sick of it in a day or two. 

 

It’s not a good idea to overthink it. There is no Hindu karma, Buddhist karma or Jain karma. There is action, and there is the consequence of the action. What rules apply at the individual level, operates similarly at the collective level too, only scale is different.  What can an individual do about the collective karma and the consequences thereof? Nothing at the collective level. They can however work on it at an individual level — fix yourself first before trying to fix the world.

 

As far as spiritual teacher-disciple goes — the teacher takes on some of the student’s “karmic debt” along with their own. Why? Equation is balanced that way. Teacher provides knowledge which will alter the student’s karma. The teacher initially will become the student’s safety net, so to speak. So the energetic price paid for teaching is very big. It takes immense spiritual power to be a spiritual teacher — especially if you have more than a handful of students. That’s why most advanced teachers only have a few advanced students. Those students have more less advanced students, and so on the chain of causality goes - becoming a lineage and collective karma of the lineage. 
 

Student’s ability to be follow the teacher’s guidance, diligently practice and intelligently live by those teachings will impact the karma of the lineage too. Not doing so after being initiated into a lineage is a grave danger to themselves and to the lineage itself. 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, dwai said:

Karma means action, and the system of karma implies causality.
 

Do good, reap the good results of your action. Do bad, likewise the results. Action can be both material as well as mental. Every thought is also an action.

 

 

If karma is action and is causal, doesn't this mean that karma produces karma? If so, we are not "agents" in reality, we have no choice, but are moving parts in a system, like:

 

9 hours ago, freeform said:

Its closer to what @XianGong says - it’s more like a law of physics than an ethical judgement.

 

There’s a divine mechanistic process… and it’s not based on how you feel about things.

 

 

For example, scanning myself now i see:

 

that i can choose infinite actions, but my only "compass" is feelings.

 

The problem for me is that thoughts arise without my control and the same feelings i depend on in life are "given", i did not choose them...

 

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11 minutes ago, Indiken said:

 

If karma is action and is causal, doesn't this mean that karma produces karma? If so, we are not "agents" in reality, we have no choice, but are moving parts in a system, like:

Yes. What westerners call “karma” is actually more appropriately “karma phala” (or fruits of karma or action). 
 

Causality means “cause and effect”. Karma is the cause, it’s fruit is the effect. 

11 minutes ago, Indiken said:

 

 

For example, scanning myself now i see:

 

that i can choose infinite actions, but my only "compass" is feelings.

 

The problem for me is that thoughts arise without my control and the same feelings i depend on in life are "given", i did not choose them...

 

Yes thoughts may or may not arise without “your” control. It depends on  what you consider “me”. If you can see that thoughts arise without your volition, where do they arise from? Where do they disappear? Why do certain thoughts repeatedly arise? What causes them to drive one to act on them? 

 

Have you ever observed the sequence of thoughts, set into motion by a single thought, like how a single domino can set off a chain of dominos to fall? Or a single explosion in a thermo-nuclear reactor sets off a chain reaction? 


This happens all the time. Thoughts leading to more thoughts, until one is compelled to act. A smell, a sound (maybe a tinkling of a bell) triggers the memory of ice cream trucks that sold the most delicious ice creams you ate as a child —> memory of playing in the street where the ice cream truck used to come —> your neighborhood bully who used to torment you stealing your ice cream money —> your anger at being bullied —> the guilt and shame it resulted in —> why you are unable to relate to people of a certain kind because you associate them with the childhood bully 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, dwai said:

Yes. What westerners call “karma” is actually more appropriately “karma phala” (or fruits of karma or action). 
 

Causality means “cause and effect”. Karma is the cause, it’s fruit is the effect. 

 

I did not understand, my main point was that our karma controls us, not we control our karma.

 

19 minutes ago, dwai said:

It depends on  what you consider “me”.

 

What are the alternatives?

 

 

19 minutes ago, dwai said:

 

If you can see that thoughts arise without your volition, where do they arise from? Where do they disappear? Why do certain thoughts repeatedly arise? What causes them to drive one to act on them? 

 

From my humble experience, thoughts are "related" to heart. 

 

19 minutes ago, dwai said:

Have you ever observed the sequence of thoughts, set into motion by a single thought, like how a single domino can set off a chain of dominos to fall? Or a single explosion in a thermo-nuclear reactor sets off a chain reaction? 

 

Thoughts produce thoughts. If so why did the first thought?

 

19 minutes ago, dwai said:


This happens all the time. Thoughts leading to more thoughts, until one is compelled to act. A smell, a sound (maybe a tinkling of a bell) triggers the memory of ice cream trucks that sold the most delicious ice creams you ate as a child —> memory of playing in the street where the ice cream truck used to come —> your neighborhood bully who used to torment you stealing your ice cream money —> your anger at being bullied —> the guilt and shame it resulted in —> why you are unable to relate to people of a certain kind because you associate them with the childhood bully 

 

 

 

It seems to me that thoughts have no compelling power of their own. Feelings compell. There is some mechanism by which thoughts are evaluated by some kind evaluator which then produces feelings. 

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50 minutes ago, Indiken said:

If karma is action and is causal, doesn't this mean that karma produces karma? If so, we are not "agents" in reality, we have no choice, but are moving parts in a system, like:

 

Karma does not produce more karma, but if often leads to the creation of similar karma. It happens enough this way commonly that it can be said to work this way conventionally for most people. The primary factor that can prevent karma from leading to the creation of more karma of a similar type is mindfulness.

 

Typically for example if someone has the karma of anger and this karma ripens in their mind and causes them to feel anger as a reaction to a certain circumstance, what usually happens to the unaware mind is that it tends to react in a manner that is angry thus producing more anger karma. So the cycle seems to keep going around.

 

On the other hand when a mind is mindful the same anger karma can come to fruition and one feels the emotion of anger, but when mindful one is aware of the feeling, but does not react to it thus letting that particular karma run its course and come to an end. This is the importance of mindfulness. 

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34 minutes ago, Indiken said:

If karma is action and is causal, doesn't this mean that karma produces karma?


It tends to result in more karma, yes - but not always. Depends on your level of awareness.

 

34 minutes ago, Indiken said:

If so, we are not "agents" in reality, we have no choice


Free will does exist… but one’s level of agency is much more limited than we tend to think.

 

And the level of agency you do have is also based on your karma.

 

Different people are more or less automated in their behaviour.

 

A factor of how karma fruits and controls your behaviour is dependent on your level of awareness. Pure, present moment awareness limits the fruiting of karma.
 

Being in ‘wholesome’ or virtuous states creates the conditions for positive karma to fruit… Being in unwholesome, unvirtuous states creates the conditions for negative karma to fruit.

 

34 minutes ago, Indiken said:

that i can choose infinite actions, but my only "compass" is feelings.


And your feelings are based mostly on karma.

 

And in reality your possible actions are nowhere near infinite. For a start you have a body - and that limits you to a time and space… 

 

Your body in itself is karma.

 

In fact Jing (from a Daoist perspective) is how your karma comes into existence on a physical level.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, freeform said:

And your feelings are based mostly on karma.

 

(that i can choose infinite actions, but my only "compass" is feelings.)

 

Yes very strongly agree. 

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1 hour ago, Indiken said:

 

I did not understand, my main point was that our karma controls us, not we control our karma.

It goes both ways. Imagine you are a hamster who's been put into a spinning cage and someone hangs a piece of carrot in front of you. You will move due to the momentum of the cage, but also in order to stay upright, you will keep running too. Add to that the lure of that juicy piece of carrot, and you'll keep running.

 

That's how the karmic mechanism works -- we are impelled to act due to the existing momentum that has already been set in motion, and then, in order to survive, we have to act. Add to that mix some proverbial "carrot" that we are shown, and boy o boy, do we run!

 

But, there is a way to break out of this "prison". See the answer in the next section...

1 hour ago, Indiken said:

 

What are the alternatives?

Find out who you truly are. Are you a body/mind/personality who's running in the cosmic hamster wheel? Or are you something else altogether, who has mistakenly identified themselves as a body/mind/personality?

1 hour ago, Indiken said:

 

 

From my humble experience, thoughts are "related" to heart. 

 

 

Thoughts produce thoughts. If so why did the first thought?

That begs the question -- what is a thought? Is it not an object in the mind? 

1 hour ago, Indiken said:

 

 

It seems to me that thoughts have no compelling power of their own. Feelings compell. There is some mechanism by which thoughts are evaluated by some kind evaluator which then produces feelings. 

If you didn't have any objects of perception, would you have feelings? Thoughts evoke emotions and feelings. Some thoughts make you happy, some make you angry, others make you sad and so on. We need to have enough clarity of the mind to discern which comes first. Without understanding the events of causality within our own minds, we can't easily tell if feelings come first or thoughts come first. And, then, arises the question where do feelings come from? 

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