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Old 01-02-2005, 05:45 PM   #106
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I must admit that I have not had the time to read this thread and have no interest in "taking sides" in this discussion, but please allow me to say a few simple things (since last Sunday, I find too many words get in my way of trying to comprehend what our world has witnessed).

1) All our discussion here will not change anything regarding the tsunami. The people who are gone will not return and those left behind will have to try hard not to be traumatized the rest of their lives by their experience

2) I can not convince anyone here of the existence or nonexistence of God, nor will I try to do so. Suffice to say that the people of these countries are very traditional people and undoubtedly had a belief in some Higher Power.

In the midst of despair and uncertainty, Faith and Hope and Generosity is the only thing people have to hold on to. I will not diminish anyone's ability to hold on to Hope and to some higher purpose to all this destruction that we, as mere mortals, can't comprehend.

3) tsunamis are NATURAL disasters - they are not caused by humans or by God. Anyone who would use this natural catastrophe as an excuse not to get involved in helping these people recover is an unfortunate individual.

From what I have seen, though, there are very few of these individuals around. I would ignore them and concentrate on what you can do to be helpful to our world.

I hope these thoughts make sense and do not irritate anyone. I have no stomach for debate lately - I'm too focused on what I can do to be helpful to others.

God have mercy on the living - the departed are already in eternal peace.
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Old 01-02-2005, 05:50 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray


joyfulgirl: that was enlightening. I have some questions. Assuming that most of the people in the affected areas of the tsunami suffered greatly, how does one explain the coincidence that everyone living in the area happened to have the same 'huge karmic debt' to pay?

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The same as how millions of Americans have the same karma of being an American, the same as how an entire species can have the same karma of becoming extinct, I mean we're talking unimaginable cycles of time and numbers of souls. I guess this goes back to Angie's question about individual karma vs. collective karma. It's all happening at once and perfectly orchestrated. This, according to the law of karma and reincarnation.
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Old 01-02-2005, 05:58 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally posted by u2lassie
joyfulgirl, how can the death of 120,000 people, 40% of whom are children, be part of "perfection" or some sort of "unconditional love"?? I fail to see how a father or mother who watched their child slip from their grasp to be swallowed by the sea would find comfort in the idea that their little child is responsible for the "sins" of others. Or that they will be much happier in their next life. They will, I can only imagine, desperately want them back in this life...
I never said these people should feel comforted by the idea of karma. I said that I am comforted by it, and even when I have experienced personal tragedies in my life I have felt comforted by my beliefs just as others are comforted by different beliefs. I believe that all of life in all of its ugliness, beauty, pain, sorrow and joys, are all a part of God's design and that it is all love regardless of what it looks like to us mere mortals because we cannot see the beauty of the bigger picture.
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Old 01-02-2005, 06:01 PM   #109
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Originally posted by VertigoGal


I read your post joyfulgirl, but I'm still gonna have to agree with u2lassie. I understand your beliefs/logic, like I "understand" any religion, but I can't believe it to be true and I also can't understand how these parents should be comforted in knowing their babies paid off some "karmic debt."
You don't have to believe it and as I said above, I'm not saying these parents should be comforted by these beliefs. They should feel exactly what they're feeling--the shock, the excruciating pain, the I can't even imagine what, whatever it is, that's what they should be feeling.
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Old 01-02-2005, 06:02 PM   #110
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Originally posted by martha




This is why I hesitated to do it, and we'll see what happens here.
Well, I figured what the heck. I expected to come back in here with people spitting at me but so far so good!
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Old 01-02-2005, 06:09 PM   #111
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl


The same as how millions of Americans have the same karma of being an American, the same as how an entire species can have the same karma of becoming extinct, I mean we're talking unimaginable cycles of time and numbers of souls. I guess this goes back to Angie's question about individual karma vs. collective karma. It's all happening at once and perfectly orchestrated. This, according to the law of karma and reincarnation.
Perfectly orchestrated by whom, what? I guess that is a key question. Anyway, what you said about collective/individual karma reminds me of the biblical story of Lot. I suppose I will be thinking about this for years to come.

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Old 01-02-2005, 06:30 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray


Perfectly orchestrated by whom, what? I guess that is a key question. Anyway, what you said about collective/individual karma reminds me of the biblical story of Lot. I suppose I will be thinking about this for years to come.

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Orchestrated by God, the Divine, the supreme being, whatever you want to call it. Thanks for reading and thinking about it. I'll have to reread the Lot story.
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Old 01-02-2005, 06:58 PM   #113
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originally posted by joyfulgirl
When looking at a natural disaster through the lens of karma and reincarnation, the first thing one sees is that the ‘disaster’ is only a ‘disaster’ to the mind because the mind can only see a tiny little slice of an infinite pie. DaveC was right, in my opinion, that according to the law of karma people get what they have coming to them, and martha was also right, imo, in pointing out that that is an oversimplification. Both are true, because we’re not talking about these particular people—i.e., those affected by the tsunami—in their current incarnation as having done something horrible to deserve these horrible consequences. The law of karma and reincarnation views this over billions and trillions of lifetimes, where every thought, deed and action are recorded and carried on with a soul from lifetime to lifetime until the debts are paid. Only when they are paid does the cycle and death and rebirth end

So how then can a natural disaster such as the tsunami, and all the suffering it has caused, be viewed as anything but terrible? Well, first of all, since the soul is immortal, nobody really died. The ones who lived through the ordeal suffer, no doubt, but when viewed from the whole (and by whole, I mean the general bigger picture, the specifics of which none of us can know) you see it is God’s plan playing out once again in perfection. While it looks terrible to the mind, it is in fact unconditional love playing out once again because these souls have to burn this karma off and in their next incarnation, they will have much better circumstances and their journey continues on

We see the law of karma playing out in all of life—in science, in physics—where there is a cause there is an effect.
Thanks for your post. I read and reread it, but I still have a few questions:
By saying that everything we've done in this life and our previous lives, effects everything around us - as in what we give comes back to us - do you mean that bad karma caused the tsunami to happen?
Because you say that the law of karma is in all of life, science and physics included. Does that mean our bad deeds has some sort of magnetic force on the Earth?
I know that may sound silly, but I find it hard to understand that God would deliberately allow a natural disaster like this to happen so people could burn their karma off and move on to the next life. Why would He do it in such a manner and with such a high death toll? Why particularly a massive earthquake followed by a tsunami?
Also, since you say everything is effected by the law of karma, does that literally mean the whole earth, right down to its core? This is what I've heard about the law of karma - that everything in the universe is effected by it, nothing is left out and everything is connected
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Old 01-02-2005, 07:22 PM   #114
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So, you reject the notion of god because no matter how you define god, your god does not does not meet your expectations (dare I say demands) of what god should be or how god should act?

The sad reality is that we don't need to travel far from our own homes to find hurt and suffereing.

i reject a God that would kill 150,000 people, 40% of whom are children, in order to somehow test us. if he does not meet my expectations, if he performs horrible act that go against whatever sene of morality i have, then yes: i will reject him, because it is the right thing to do. my faith cannot be blind, i cannot and will not surrender my rationality and sense of right and wrong simply because i was told to do so or because some make logically indefensible arguments about God knowing best/beyond our comprehension stuff.

one question still kicking around here, and as it relates to Dread, is whether or not God is behind natural disasters. there are two answers:

1. if God created the world, then he created a world where natural disasters were sewn into the fabric of the design itself, and those that suffer the flaws are His children. any court of law would find the designer of flammable pajamas or exploding coffee makers guilty for the people they maim with their faulty products, the same holds true of God. it appears as if we've got a Pinto of a world here.

2. the world was created by Nature, and Nature is definitionally amoral, and operates completely upon its own terms and we simply exist on top of that. there is no why, no test, no reasons, no explanations. it simply *is* -- and all we can do is deal.

finally, i only have to go to the end of my block to find some crackheads. they suffer, but not through flaws in the design of the earth but through societal flaws which are way, way too myriad to get into here. the inner city poor i live near have been failed by society on so many levels, and that i think we can all take some sort of responsibility for. the shifting of the earth's plates, however, is something entirely different.

Dread: you missed the point -- we are both insignificant and *incredibly* precious. its living with that confounding paradox that makes life so exquisitely painful in so many different ways. you're right, i am not insignificant to the kids i tutor online, but nor am i significant in the face of 1bn chinese people who will never know i exist. we are universes unto ourselves, none better nor worse than the other.
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Old 01-02-2005, 07:32 PM   #115
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Originally posted by martha


At the risk of needing a tissue for my ass, this is fence-sitting. So God exists, but you don't believe in Him?

how is this fence sitting? this is nuance, this is being able to hold more than one thought in your head at the same time (the definition of an intelligent person, according to F. Scott Fitzgerald). Indra doesn't think there is a God, but knows he could be wrong. he's made a choice, but knows there are other valid options. sounds mature to me.
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Old 01-02-2005, 07:36 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
I believe that all of life in all of its ugliness, beauty, pain, sorrow and joys, are all a part of God's design and that it is all love regardless of what it looks like to us mere mortals because we cannot see the beauty of the bigger picture.

that's a beautiful sentence, and one i really, really want to believe. but the randomness and ferociousness and sheer scale of this tragedy has really, really shaken me, and what used to seem beautiful -- like that sentence -- now seems little more than one of the million little lies we tell ourselves each and every day in order to simply get through.

okay, time to head to bed -- back to the grind tomorrow (and more images of dead babies).
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Old 01-02-2005, 07:57 PM   #117
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Desperately trying not to sound flippant here...

Exactly how much innocent suffering is incompatible with the concept of God?
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Old 01-02-2005, 09:04 PM   #118
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I'm going to take the liberty of answering these questions. I am only speaking for myself here, not joyfulgirl. Althjough we do agree on most things like this.

My answers may be hard top wrap your head around, particularly if you're a Christian. They have a hell of a time with this.

Quote:
Originally posted by Pearl
- do you mean that bad karma caused the tsunami to happen?
No. I believe that God works though natural law much of the time.


Quote:
Originally posted by Pearl
I know that may sound silly, but I find it hard to understand that God would deliberately allow a natural disaster like this to happen so people could burn their karma off and move on to the next life. Why would He do it in such a manner and with such a high death toll? Why particularly a massive earthquake followed by a tsunami? [/B]
It's a very complicated concept, one more suitable to face-to-face discussion, but for whatever reason, the poor souls who went through this had things to learn and/or karma to live through. There is such a thing as group karma as well, but I'm still not clear enough on that concept to even attempt to explain it here.

Quote:
Originally posted by Pearl
Also, since you say everything is effected by the law of karma, does that literally mean the whole earth, right down to its core? This is what I've heard about the law of karma - that everything in the universe is effected by it, nothing is left out and everything is connected [/B]
Well, in my religion, technically, yes. If I explained here, heads would explode.
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Old 01-02-2005, 09:10 PM   #119
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

how is this fence sitting? this is nuance, this is being able to hold more than one thought in your head at the same time (the definition of an intelligent person, according to F. Scott Fitzgerald). Indra doesn't think there is a God, but knows he could be wrong. he's made a choice, but knows there are other valid options. sounds mature to me.
I guess I'm too stupid to understand this, but how can you not believe in something, but not deny its existence either?


Quote:
I personally don't believe in a god, but I don't deny the possibility there is one (or more).
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Old 01-02-2005, 09:16 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
if he does not meet my expectations, if he performs horrible act that go against whatever sene of morality i have, then yes: i will reject him, because it is the right thing to do.
My goodness. You will reject God because He doesn't meet your expectations.

Do you reject humans who don't meet your expectations, too? Are you in fact too perfect to ever have anyone teach you something? Are you so serenely moral that you are indeed beyond learning? What if your online students don't meet your expectations? Do you reject them?


I won't argue this with you, because you've decided that God is below you; that you are the arbiter of morality in the universe. You must understand all of it, or at least have it explained to you so you can approve of all that happens.
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