Elaboration of “Karma: Who’s to Blame?”

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Karma refers to the compelling urges that drive our thoughts and the compulsive movements of our body and the compulsive utterances of our speech with which we commit, for instance, destructive physical and verbal actions. As a result, we build up negative karmic potential and negative karmic tendencies that eventually bring about suffering results. The self, what we designate as “me,” is the agent of these actions and the one who experiences their results, and thus is the one responsible for them. However, when we imagine that we exist in impossible ways that do not correspond to reality, such as the horrible, bad person who did such horrible bad things, and we hold tightly to that identity, then we are filled with guilt. To overcome that guilt, we need to deconstruct karmic cause and effect and the self and thus differentiate responsibility from guilt.