Firstly I hesitate to put down words that can be contrived to criticise another’s religious beliefs or spiritual inclination. It is not my intention to give offence so please forgive me as I’m fallible but seeking to improve my temporal disposition and knowledge.
However I placed a rather lengthy comment on someone else’s very good blog that contrasted the different approaches taken in relation to Karma by different spiritual paths and felt the need to also comment here in turn.
From what I can make out the Eastern Buddhist concept of Karma relates to the “do this or that and this or that will also happen in turn.” The principle of cause and effect or causality is centre stage. This is considered a very personal experience and relates to an action that an individual does, or omits to do, that causes an outcome. If that outcome is bad or injurious to another then any suffering to a third party(s) is reflected right back onto the person causing the suffering and manifests itself likewise in a negative manner. Actions can have occurred at any time in the past or even span many previous generations. A good example here are what we euphemistically term “conflicts” in the Middle East that have been “tit for tat” bad Karma over many century’s. Karma can also be positive in the sense that if I do a good turn for someone then I store up good Karma and reap a positive reward for my altruistic actions.
The Western spiritual approach could be characterised as “There’s no need to consider Karma as if I do bad deeds then I can repent to the right authority in the temporal and all is forgiven. I’ll also repent to the supreme being real to me, or imagined when I get to the pearly gates. Hopefully I’ll then get into the glorious kingdom of heaven.” The personal transgression or sin is passed on to another to yoke. We could call this psychologically the alter ego. Consequently there’s a decided lack of personal responsibility.
Of course mainstream Western religions make up for their spiritual lack of interest in personal liability or responsibility with some good deeds that they actual undertake. In that respect I can think of all the charitable works that Westerns Religions undertake that work for the betterment of humankind. But we transgress.
Each to their own spiritual path and by all means take that path with my deepest respect.
Feel free to leave considered and respectful comments…