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Do you believe in past life karma?


sensitive_woman
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Do any of you believe in past life karma? That is, actions done in the past affect you in the present life. I have never believed in this but everyone I meet these days brings up this topic. So I just wanted to know that if I face a LOT of problems in my present life, does it mean that I may have created a LOT of problems to others in my past life or lives? What can I do now to rectify it?

If I face a bad marriage, an abusive husband, a divorce, a close family member with cancer whom I take care of every single day, an aging father who keeps complaining about the smallest of health problem, have to give up a booming corporate job to deal with all the stresses, regular hospital treatments every fortnight, chemo complications and rushing to hospital to treat the complications which can happen anytime on any day...................... Does it mean I was a bad person in my last life????????????

WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE MY LIFE AND MY DEAR ONES LIVES BETTER???

Was divorce the solution to a bad marriage or the reason for my parents health problems?? I'm not so sure about anything anymore and appeal to all of you for your thoughts on the same.

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SW,

Karma is not a part of my own personal belief system, but I've read something about it.

As I understand it, the emphasis isn't on the punishment aspect, but rather on the opportunity you have in this life, to more closely approach enlightenment. In other words, feeling helpless is the opposite of what's intended.

Of course you'd be unable to change what happened in the past, whether this life or a previous one.

As for linking your divorce to your parents' health in the current life, there's even less reason to believe that. You are not responsible for everyone else's pain, SW. Just your own.

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Hi sensitvie_woman

Im so sorry you are having such a harsh time of things - and my heart truely goes out to you. :o

Divorce was the solution to end a bad marriage. It does not affect the health of your parents, or the reason your mom got poorly with cancer, or you dad being unwell.

I dont think past live(s) happen, like in a re-incarnation way ??? I do accept everyones beliefs are different, and I try to keep a open mind. If past life(s) do exist, and we pay for our wrongs in the present life - then I must surely of been truely evil in my last life.

But the way I see things is that life just throws curve balls (problems) in our direction, if caught, in time we learn to overcome it and drop the curve ball. Illness, however just occurs - there is not always a reason as to why, it just happens and is one of those things.

I do hope things become easier for you soon :o

Please take care

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Karma means law of cause and effect. The karma of planting grain is the harvest. The karma of practicing a skill is you get better at it. The karma of doing bad things is a negative mental state. The karma of good deeds is a more positive mental state. It would be meaningless for karma to cross from a past life into a future life because how would we ever learn anything that way? You can call it karma if you want but if you don't remember a past life, then how does that meaningfully distinguish our "karma" from simple dumb luck?

At the same time you ask the more pertinent question which is how to make your life and those of your loved ones better. There are things we can control and things we cannot. The difficulty is assessing which is which and what to do about the matters we can control. The buddha observed that sickness, old age, and death affect all of us. These are sources of stress in that we prefer the opposite. We can cultivate states of understanding to lessen the impact of what we can control, in other words to get us better at problem solving. We can cultivate compassion for self and others to be more resilient to the matters we cannot control.

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Malign, Sweet Sue, Pseudome, Ralph

Thank You for your thoughts

Sue, even I like to keep an open mind and listen to the large majority and their thought patterns. Personally I have traveled the world and lived in the US during my student years so I like to believe that I have a more broader outlook than the average Indian here. But its just that anyone at all who meets me, says the same thing about 'Karma' so I was tempted to ask this question. I don't feel I deserved this reaction from life.. in my marriage when I had been so 'giving' all the time, now my parents health... Its just that too many stresses have happened one after the other and I just find it hard to cope up with whatever's happening.

I still dont know if Karma really exists, but if it does :eek: God better tell me what to do to change it. Maybe all of you are right when you say that we ask questions to seek answers and be in control of the situation. Maybe there is no Karma at all. Most of the people out here, particularly the Hindus strongly believe in it though. I feel stumped! :)

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Guest ASchwartz

With all due respect to everyone's opinions and the right to that opinion, I just don't and cannot believe in reincarnat or past life regression. The human brain is so very complex that it can make many things seem real that are not. In addition, memory is so fragile that it is unreliable after a short amount of time.

Allan

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You can't blame a "past life" for this life's mistakes.

Only you can change your circumstances. you can't let people take care of things for you. if somethign is bad in your life YOU have to change it.

Satanic Bible: "Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires!"

when people blame 'past lives' for their misery, it is a form of self-deceit that makes them, in their minds, no longer responsible for their own lives. Are they to blame though? Yes and no. Yes for how much they use the lie, and no for how much other people push it onto them.

I don't myself believe in past lives, or even an after life PER SAY. All is energy(and matter), and all is forces, physical or not. But it is in no way in the form that the karma system of reincarnation is.

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I still dont know if Karma really exists, but if it does :eek: God better tell me what to do to change it. Maybe all of you are right when you say that we ask questions to seek answers and be in control of the situation. Maybe there is no Karma at all. Most of the people out here, particularly the Hindus strongly believe in it though. I feel stumped! :(

The way to improve your karma is awareness of your actions and consequences. I could strongly believe that wearing magnets will help me lose weight without diet and exercise, but if doing so doesn't help me lose weight, then my karma is that I stay overweight.

If one believes that past "karma" forms current circumstance, does that influence his actions in a way that leads to the reduction of human suffering? My current thought is that it doesn't, since if everything that happens is just a result of our past (mis)deeds, then I have no reason to act compassionately. After all, anyone in suffering deserves it. My action to help someone is just putting them in further karmic debt, prolonging their attachment to the cycle of rebirth.

I am fairly confident that acting in this manner will not improve my circumstances. In fact there is a well known psychological principle of "reciprocity," which means that when we help others they are motivated to help us, or "pay it forward" to help someone else in the future. So if I act compassionately to others, they will want to do the same to me, or to someone else. If I act meanly to others, the reverse occurs.

This is (AFAIK) the reason why the buddha was reticent on questions of past lives or reincarnation. It's not the right question, and worrying about it only takes time away from the work to understand the effects of the actions we take right now, since the present is really the only time that matters.

This is to be sure only one possible view. There are reasonable folks on all possible sides of this issue who would disagree. If our interest is to reduce suffering, the view we should take is the one that informs our actions such that they achieve this goal.

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Omg!!! Where is this conversation heading? hehe I'm actually smiling reading all the replies and concluded that most (almost all except lagrima) believe that there is NO PAST LIFE REGRESSION. I believe there's no past life too but then I'm not sure why I'm facing constant problems in my life when I haven't done anything to deserve it.

Darkness, I disagree with you when you say this ----

"You can't blame a "past life" for this life's mistakes.

Only you can change your circumstances. you can't let people take care of things for you. if somethign is bad in your life YOU have to change it."

Sometimes you cannot change your circumstances. I cannot change whats happening in my life... That's exactly why I wanted to know if there is a past life. Read my first post, you will understand what I'm saying.

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Lagrima,

You do have a point there. Although we (at least "I") don't want to believe in 'past life regression', there may be something there. When enough evidence of a past life is not proved, terms like 'bipolar personalities' and such sophisticated terminology is resorted to. I don't know about past life because if its not been proved and seen by my own eyes, I wouldn't confidently believe in it. But, there could be something there.

What makes you believe in a past life so strongly?

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I cannot change whats happening in my life.

To be quite frank, and out of context, unless you are physically being held against your will, this is a lie.

In context,

If you had a bad marriage, then I can only assume it was because you married someone with poor character, or at the very least, you married a really good liar. If you divorced him, then that IS you changing the situation.

As for the stress being too much, you owe nothing to your parents. Why should you give up your entire adult life to take care of them? I understand and can relate to wanting to take care of ill loved ones, but at a certain point will it not rob you from enjoying life? Would your parents want you to be miserable over them all the time, or would they want you to have enjoyment in your life before you starting going their way?

Also, unless you are literally in a situation with your own physical ailments from which there is no escape, that is understandable, and you will die, as you will have no other option.

The strongest instinct in any animal is to survive. If you have some ailment of some sort that is treatable and survivable, even with the slimest chance, fight it tooth and nail. Don't give up, destroy it, don't let it destroy you.

I offer no apology if this is too brutally frank, but some things need to be said, and some things realized. If you are miserable because you have to take care of your loved ones, weigh how much it negatively effects you against how positively it helps them. If they are going to suffer no less from your help, then what is the point?

A truly loving person would realize that it weighs heavily on you and that you still have a life to live and that you can't devote your life to ailing people. This might seem very hard, but I am not saying to give up on them. It's their struggle. In reality it will come down to their willpower and physical health.

I'm not saying to dump them out on the street either, surely there are other family members that might be able to take care of them as well, that way not one person is too strained. If that is not possible, then you will have to decide if you are willing to destroy your chances at life and mental well being all for your parents who are already dying.

Again, I mean no hostility, I am being a realist. They can't change your situation, only you can. If my mother wanted me to waste my life tommorrow with caring for her, I'd throw her in a nursing home. I have a life to live and I can't waste it by taking care of an ailing person. If the person doesn't appreciate it, then cast them away! Why would you show love to someone that spits in your face? (not saying they do, i dont know)

"Satan represents kindness to those who deserve kindness, not love wasted on ingrates!" -9 Satanic Statements

I mean, you could take some of what I have to say and consider it, or you could stay in the unchanging and miserable state you are in now. Only YOU can grant yourself happiness. You are your own god.

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I guess this is the thought process of Americans... "Live For Yourself" kind of thinking. Each person would think differently as well based on their individual thinking and their upbringing. As in, if you had a parent who left you to handle your illnesses and went out to have fun in their younger days then you'd probably feel the same way when the parent falls ill. I had a neighbor in the US who was an 80 year old lady who's kids didnt bother about her because she didnt bother about them while they were growing up. Its totally understandable. I do understand your point but I don't agree with it.

My parents have always been the people who have done 'anything and everything' to give me the best of everything. I'm sorry if I sounded like I was fretting over what I'm doing. I'm not. I'm only human and I get tired sometimes handling everything by myself. God is great and I'm getting the same corporate assignments to do from home now so I have a 24X7 net access on my laptop so I can finish up the work as well as look after my parents, home, hospital visits everything. I would NEVER leave them in a nursing home. There is a BIG DIFFERENCE in how a nurse would handle a patient and the personalized level of care a family member would give. What I'm saying is, the nurse may be professional and work well but the family member who cares would be needed to give her the best attention and care. I dont know this is how we Asians think. I'm sorry I dont mean to sound racist but this is the truth.

Agree with everything you said about the bad marriage. By divorcing him, I have changed the situation though its not easy to handle the emotional lows of a divorce. I agree its best in the long run to get out of a bad marriage than stick around in it. But the heartbreak is something one cannot escape.

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you had a parent who left you to handle your illnesses and went out to have fun in their younger days then you'd probably feel the same way when the parent falls ill.

Actually it has nothing to do with that and it is not an "American" thing. It has to do with the fact that if your whole adult life you are taking care of dying people you will have no time to live yourself.

If there is no previous lives, and not any kind of tangible life after this one, then your pretty much wasting your whole existence being taken care of by your parents and then maybe 10 years of good living, and then the rest is taking care of your parents.

If your 20 when you leave home, and 30 when you start taking care of your parents and they die when you are 60 and you die when you are 70, how long did you live?

You didn't live until you were 70, you lived only twenty of those years. This isn't an American thought, I'm just saying that you might want to consider how much YOU are willing to put on your 'load' in order to take care of your parents out of guilt. It was their job to raise you, it's not your responsibility to "return the favor". It wasn't something you should repay, and anyone who thinks that upbringing is something that should be 'returned down the road' as even some Americans think, are obviously not thinking straight and see love and caretaking as something you can put a price-tag on.

I know a lot of Asian cultures put value of taking care of family members, but at a certain point you have to decide for how much longer you will let your parents and their illnesses rule you and your life. Living miserable and taking care of your parents 24/7 just because your culture tells you and you feel guilty if you don't, is a pretty bad reason too, and it really is so if you have kids of your own to take care of (if you do have kids that is).

So, do you want to have power in your life, or do you want to be a slave to your parents' every ailment? Spread out the care if they actually need assistance, don't do it alone if that is true. If they can live alone let them live alone and just visit them once a week or every few days to make sure they are taking care of themselves. I never meant to say to literally throw them away; you don't just go do that to people you love. I mean that you stop burdening yourself more than you need to out of guilt by doing every tiny thing you can for them just because you feel like you owe them something. (if they tell you you owe them because they raised you then they are obviously making their love to you is conditional and really do not get the reason for being parents in my opinion).

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I don't know what to say.. I'm not feeling guilty but it is hard. You are right that I should distribute the load but somehow there is no one to distribute the load with. My brother lives in the US and visits us for 10 days and goes back to his life of wife and kids. I just got divorced and I don't have kids.

Am not taking up good jobs because of her health and I genuinely and truly love her and want to be with her for any problem she may face because I dont want her to die. But I understand what you are saying.. about wasting a good part of my 30's. I really don't know what to think or do except what I'm doing currently. I want to believe that a miracle will happen by December and she will be completely cured so I can move on with my life. I cant leave her alone with dad at this stage when she needs me the most. Yes, I need to look for additional help from anyone who is available to distribute the load off me.

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Guest ASchwartz

Sensitive_woman and all here,

You raise a good question: where is this conversation headed? My thought is that this should continue in our forum on religious and spirituality, it's called "Sanctuary and Spirituality." These are fascinating ideas but fit much better there. How about it? I would enjoy seeing all of you there.

Allan

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest ASchwartz

What has happened to our fascinating and stimulating past life discussion?

I was hoping we could continue. I hope no one was offended by my suggestion that we move it to another forum??? I hope we can return to this discussion.

Allan

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