View Full Version : Bono on the difference between Grace and Karma

01-29-2014, 03:08 PM
You see, at the centre of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics in physical laws every action is met by an equal or opposite one. Its clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. Im absolutely sure of it.

And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that.. click for the rest of the article.


The Left Sock
01-29-2014, 08:00 PM
Well, the idea that karma works like an 'eye for an eye' rule, is simply mistaken.

Karma is simply the truth of who you are. It is the cumulative impact of everything you have done in life, and it cannot be taken back, or reversed. Consequently, good karma can be built back up, by the choices and actions one takes in a moral sense, throughout their lifetime.

Instead of looking at karma like a cause and effect law, it is much better to look at all humans as though they have a spiritual battery. Everyone is born with a level of charge in that battery, and what happens to that level depends on how you live.

Good deeds charge the battery. Bad deeds drain it. It's overly simplistic, but it gets the point across.

If you do some harm to a person, your karma is affected. If you do something good for a person a few years later, it does not remove the harm you did to the other person, does not 'make it right', does not 'balance' the ledger, but it will improve your karma.

All sentient beings accumulate karma. There is no escape from it, it is a force of nature, much like gravity. Or better yet, like a carbon footprint. The damage you do in life you must own. At least, on a spiritual level.

The idea of 'grace' essentially means to grant someone a pardon from their karma. While forgiveness is indeed a strong moral attribute, and it can lead to better karma for the person who forgives, sentient beings do not possess the power to remove bad karma for others. That idea runs contrary to natural law, and the person involved would not progress in the way they need to, in order to develop as a spiritual being.

No, we all must take the same path to enlightenment, and we all must pay our own way to good karma. There are no exceptions. At least, not on this level of experience.

Now, if a deity exists on a higher level of experience, who has the power to forgive karma through grace, that might be something different altogether. But Buddhists don't elaborate or speculate on this - the focus remains entirely in this level of existence.