Dogen Sangha Blog

  by Gudo NISHIJIMA

Japanese / German

Friday, January 18, 2008

Karma and cause and effect.

Master Nishijima,

When I begin to consider Karma and cause and effect it can result in idealistic thinking.
I understand that Zazen dose not free us from cause and effect. I know you have written on this subject before but I am still not clear.

Could you please explain the rules of cause and effect and karma once again?

Thank you
Jordan


Dear Jordan San,

Thank you very much for your important question.

Generally speaking the Sanskrit word "karma" means a common word, which means "action," and so it does not mean originally the special meaning of "a fate, which has been already decided by an action in the past.

However, because of wrong understandings in Buddhist philosophy, many people have understood the word "karma, or action" as the meaning of an already decided "fate", which has been decided by an action in the past.

And because of such a wrong interpretation of the word, many people misunderstood that "karma" is a kind of "fate," and so the Buddhist philosophy is just a kind of fatalism.

But at this point we should remember the fundamental Buddhist theaory of the four philosophies, which is a dialectic series of idealism, materialism, philosophy of action, and reality itself.

And even though the concepts of cause and effect belong to the second phase of materialism, but the concept of action belongs to the third phase of philosophy of action.

Therefore, even though Buddhism insists the theory of cause and effect in the second phase of materialism, it can also insist the perfect freedom of human beings in the third phase of philosophy of action. In other words Buddhism insists clearly that even though human beings are caught by the rule of cause and effect in the materialistic philosophy of the second phase, it can also insist the perfect freedom of human being at the present moment as a pea of pearl on the edge of razor, which can fall down sometimes to the right side, sometimes to the left side. in the third phase of philosophy of action.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima

1 Comments:

Blogger Jordan said...

Master Nishijima,

Thank you for your informative answer.

In Gassho,
Jordan

4:24 AM, January 19, 2008  

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