Karma and the Golden Rule

In the shower this morning I was thinking about this Christian saying of: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you“. I am not a religious person but I recognized the similarities in some of my readings and it reminded me of this short article I had posted on Karma.

It was May of 2007 after a strong discussion that broke this circle of friends apart. At the time, I guess that I was trying to deal with both sides at the same time, feeling responsible yet caught in the middle of things. Almost 4 years now since this “event” and, looking back, I think this helped me then and now… but I still have so much to learn!

Karma is a sum of all that an individual has done, is currently doing and will do. The results or “fruits” of actions are called karma-phala. Karma is not about retribution, vengeance, punishment or reward; karma simply deals with what is.

The effects of all deeds actively create past, present and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one’s own life, and the pain and joy it brings to others. In religions that incorporate reincarnation, karma extends through one’s present life and all past and future lives as well. It is cumulative.

Therefore, do not only think about how your actions will impact others, but also how they will change your life in time. Hopefully, you will decide that positive actions and words should prevail in your everyday life.

Thinking about the Dalai Lama’s Teachings on happiness in his interview with Dr. Howard Cutler, in the book The Art of Happiness, it then occurred to me that WE are others. And so in seeking further interpretations, I stumbled upon “The Golden Rule”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Rule. For the eager ones, I invite you to skip right to the Religion and philosophy section for a quick scan. Namaste.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. John Barron Jr.
    Feb 04, 2011 @ 17:37:14

    Its not the similarities of the world’s religions that matter, its the differences. For example two otherwise unidentifiable white tablets (pills) sitting on the table may appear to be pretty much the same. If you had a headache would you take the pills in hopes of curing your headache? Perhaps. But what if one were arcenic and the other asprin? Would the pill’s similarities be the most important factor in determining which is helpful to your situation; or is it their differences?

    It’s the same with religion. It is not the similar teachings which will matter in the ultimate sense, its the differences. Either God exists or God doesn’t. Either Jesus is God or He wasn’t. Either trusting in Jesus death and resurrection will save us from punishment for our sins, or it won’t. The golden rule is great, but whether the majority of religions teach a similar rule is not the thrust of each religion.


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