Earlier I posted two quotations from ‘The Precious Vase’ on positive and negative conditioning by karma, ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’ respectively part I and II.
Here I am reblogging a post by Craig Bialick which, I believe, explains the correct context of the Buddhist teachings on karma and cuts away some common misunderstandings.
In other words, using my metaphor of the movie title, the postman still has a physical body and wears pants. :-)
“It’s all karma.”
When looking at world events, as well as experiences closer to home, does that line ever sound a bit trite or too simplistic an explanation to be meaningful? You might want to hear what the Buddha said about it.
According to Buddhism, there are five relatively independent orders or processes (niyama) which operate in the physical and mental realms, among which karma-niyama is only one. The others correspond to the domains of physics, biology, psycholgy & dharma.
Utu Niyama - physical inorganic order, e.g. seasonal phenomena of winds and rains. The unerring order of seasons, characteristic seasonal changes and events, causes of winds and rains, nature of heat, etc., all belong to this group.
Bija Niyama - order of germs and seeds (physical organic order), e.g. rice produced from rice-seed, sugary taste from sugar-cane or honey, peculiar characteristics of certain fruits, etc. The scientific theory of cells and genes and the physical similarity of twins may be ascribed to this order.
Karma Niyama - order of act and result, e.g., desirable and undesirable acts produce corresponding good and bad results. As surely as water seeks its own level so does Karma, given opportunity, produce its inevitable result, not in the form of a reward or punishment but as an innate sequence. This sequence of deed and effect is as natural and necessary as the way of the sun and the moon.
Dhamma Niyama - order of the norm, e.g., the natural phenomena occurring at the advent of a Bodhisattva in his last birth. Gravitation and other similar laws of nature. The natural reason for being good and so forth, my be included in this group.
Citta Niyama - order or mind or psychic law, e.g., processes of consciousness, arising and perishing of consciousness, constituents of consciousness, power of mind, etc., including telepathy, telaesthesia, retro-cognition, premonition, clairvoyance, clairaudience, thought-reading and such other psychic phenomena which are inexplicable to modern science.