The problem is the Pope still thinks the Old Testament, which is full of 
horrifying stories, is part of Christianity. If I am wrong, please point it out.

--- On Sun, 21/11/10, Kristy McClain <> wrote:

From: Kristy McClain <>
Subject: Re: [Zen] Re: FW: Amazon book
Date: Sunday, 21 November, 2010, 10:20 AM


I certainly respect your position on this, but after looking at the link you 
gave, I have a queston...
If  the Bible and other events were recorded by mortal humans, how can you  be 
certain these accounts are the divine intentions of God?  Could they reflect 
mankind trying to understand the world around them, and assert their 
perceptions are inspired by God?  Perhaps they were wrong.  Perhaps they were 
right.  Perhaps they made a mistake.  Perhaps compassion arises from such 
(I'm behind on mail, but thank you,  Anthony, for your note. I'll reply 
tomorrow.  At this time, I am testing a pumkin cheesecake recipe).

--- On Sat, 11/20/10, ED <> wrote:

From: ED <>
Subject: [Zen] Re: FW: Amazon book
Date: Saturday, November 20, 2010, 5:50 AM


Bill and All,
Be nice to your partner, or else you will be at the receiving end of a 
this-worldly unspiritual effect. Tell the truth to your boss about how he can 
improve his management style and you will experience another kind of 
this-worldly unspiritual effect. Don't jump when the powerful say jump, and the 
effects will be not at all illusory.
Karma is as non-illusory or as illusory as the justice-inflicting Abrahamic 
God-conception is non-illusory or illusory.
I am allergic to the habit of mixing the impersonal with the personal. 
Nevertheless, here we go: I am an agnostic with respect to karma extended over 
putative life-times. I am an agnostic with respect to all supranatural 
phenomena I have not experienced or verified. As an act of faith, I am a 
non-believer in the Abrahamic God - and here's 'why':

--- In, <billsm...@...> wrote:
> As most of you already know I believe karma as understood of a kind of
'spiritual cause-and-effect' is illusory - both the short- and long-term

> I do, however, think Chris' interpretation below that identifies karma as part
of the action (instead of a result of the action) has a lot of merit. If I were
to believe in karma it would be something along these lines.


>> Chris: Is that what people mean by karma? I was taught that "karma" means 
>> "action,"
and that the Buddha just meant that to be mean is an unpleasant state to be in;
the effect and the cause are indivisible, the very blindness that pushes the
brain towards being mean makes the heat of anger burn the brain a bit. When one
is free enough from ego/blindness, the heat of anger has space in which to
dissapate harmlessly, and the more pleasant baseline state of our brain is


One problem I have with karma is that it assumes some pre-determination to our
life experience. In my view, most of the problems in society around the globe
stem from theology differences. Let me ask you: What is so fearful about a
belief that once our mortal body dies, we are just gone? This fear of death has
created so many myths and fantasies to explain away death, by soothing our ego,
so we can believe our "soul" energy is transformed to some other type of
existence. This fear of God /Satan / or karmic retribution only encourages a
state of fear within, and a judgement of others by comparison.

What is your worst-possible fear once you die? Once you are aware of the answer,
deal with that realization. It is my feeling that these belief structures only
reinforce the negativity that keeps us separate from self-awareness and
compassion, then extended to those around us, and then social orders beyond.

I don't know for certain whether karma exists or not, but I am comfident that
there is not a person living today who can explain it accurately. I see it as a
means to help one stay in fear, rather than compassion. This idea of some
heavenly or spirit retribution for all your mistakes. Why wake up in the
morning and get out of bed? Its all just a means to somehow "earn" the next
trip back? So what if I end up a pidgeon or an ant? So what if I simply
return to the dust of the earth? According to Mormons, every one has an
afterlife, as a human being, in one of three levels of heaven. Your assigned
level is dependent on one's behavior and faith in this mortal existence. If you
are really good, (and you are male), you will eventually become a God of your
own world.

So many different belief systems.

So much of this is rooted in fear and ego-- our deep need to feel that we
matter, somehow. I'm not judging or balking at those who believe in karma. If
it works for you, thats fine. But I know it doesn't work quite the way you
think it does.. You asked how else to explain some events? Why does everything
always need to be rationalized and explained? (And remember I am saying this
as a science and social scientist).

I remember learning a fundamental Law in a 1A physiology class as a freshman.

Energy can neither be created nor destroyed: It is merely transformed. Okay,
that can be debited to the karma ledger in a mild sense. But it does not suggest
a theology framework.

I was raised a Christian, and still go to church at times--like Christmas and
Easter. I embrace many buddhist philosophies. I have some very close Jewish
friends, and last Thanksgiving, we shared their traditions. I practice zen
daily. For me, these practices simply help refine my character and compassion,
so that I can focus on doing the right things in this life, rather than the


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