Additionally, several of the essays in this volume view karma through a comparativist lens. Unfortunately, the value of this volume is compromised by a number of weak essays. Tull, Herman. Edited by Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby, — New York: Routledge, A brief essay, but comprehensive in scope. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login. Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions.
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Sign in with your library card. Related Articles about About Related Articles close popup. Introduction Karma is a central element of South Asian thought, and, as such, it has deeply influenced South Asian religious and social practices. General Overviews Until the s, analytic studies of karma were essentially nonexistent. How to Subscribe Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
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Introduction to Karma :: Spiritual Media Blog
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Get A Copy. A new idea is born, followed by a period of reflection, confirmation and assimilation. Each step is constructed from small mosaics, discrete bits of information that combine to form a whole. As each piece is added a larger picture begins to emerge. The standard model is not yet fully proven, but slowly, over decades, it is being verified one step at a time, using mathematics and experimentation. It has intrigued physicists for over a century, and at the time of writing they are searching for a particle known as the Higgs Boson, which will provide one of the final and most significant pieces of the picture.
The Standard Model will no longer be a theory; it will be a truth. This seems to be how science works.
This is how knowledge evolves. Other scientists learn about it, they discuss it and eventually somebody sets about verifying it.
The verification process takes place in steps. A picture begins to take shape over years, decades, even centuries, as scientists fill in the remaining gaps. Another example of this step-by-step approach is the periodic table, which lists in rows and columns all of the chemical elements. It was first proposed by George Mendeleev in , though his table had more gaps in it than elements. But it proved to be an accurate predictor of what might later be found.
Chemists looked at the patterns and were able to deduce the existence of elements long before they were actually discovered. Science seems to be a sort of cosmic paint-by-numbers game; the more we work at it the clearer the overall picture becomes. We start with a belief, develop a theory and then gradually fill in the blanks. On the way to completion our confidence in the truth of the theory increases, step by step.
Is there such a thing as a Standard Model for the spiritual side of life, of karma, of what some call the perennial philosophy? We have lots of disparate beliefs — which often seem at odds with each other — but is there a model that we can, step-by-step, verify and confirm, so that even though the verification will remain incomplete we can refer to it with ever increasing confidence?
If there is a standard model perhaps it would read something like this: We each find ourselves here on earth, vulnerable and maybe a little perplexed, and conscious of the short and brutish nature of life. We struggle for our allotted three score years and ten and then we die. But a part of us continues. We find ourselves in a different realm, a realm where thoughts predominate. The life we have just left and the way we lived it affects the situation in which we now find ourselves, a heaven or a hell that we have created for ourselves. We soon discover that the nature of this new existence is determined by the quality of our thoughts: if we are full of love then that is what we experience but if we give out hate then nature gives us that experience too.
We eventually return to this world in another body, with our circumstances largely determined by our desires, our thoughts, our karma. Gradually, over many such lifetimes, we begin to realise that there is a developmental process going on. We become slightly wiser with each lifetime and begin to recognise patterns.