From what I learnt in buddhist studies in secondary school, the goal of a buddhist appears to be doing as many good or beneficial deeds as possible, so as to gain merits and accumulate “positive karma”, and hopefully one day the “positive karma” will outweigh the “negative karma” and he/she will enter “Nirvana” (a state of non-existence, so to speak, being free from the endless cycle of birth and death).
I think that while buddhism can be beneficial as a way of living, in terms of helping people to take responsibility for their own actions (instead of blaming it on the devil or the “original sin”, like what mainstream christianity does), it doesn’t really take into account the unconditional love and grace that is present in the universe. Buddhism is great for cultivating mindfulness and realising our oneness with others and nurturing love and kindness. Other than that, I have come to see that the concept of karma (law of cause and effect) can be limiting (in the sense some people may want to do good to others because they want to deserve good in return, not so much because they love others unconditionally), but nevertheless it is not dogmatic, in the sense it doesn’t use threats in the name of God to condemn people for not conforming to a particular belief system.
I recently was reflecting on the scenario when Jesus healed a blind man to demonstrate that grace (unconditional love) is greater than karma (conditional love based on the deserving system, or the natural law of cause and effect) because He seems to be saying to His disciples that the blindness isn’t caused by the man’s past (sins or mistakes) or his parents’ past (thus refuting the theory of original sin). In a way, Jesus was probably demonstrating that when the blind man awakens to who he is, the blindness is healed (spiritually and physically). That’s my understanding for now (as I am ever on a journey). 🙂
In retrospect, the universe works like a mirror of ourselves. When we love ourselves, the universe responds in love, and at the same time we respond in love to the universe by loving others. “All love is self-love”, as my beloved has shared with me before. So people will take responsibility for everything in their life when they become self-aware. I like Abraham Hick’s message about the importance of feeling good about ourselves. When we awaken to who we really are, and know how wonderfully made and beautiful we are, we can’t help falling in love with our true self and the natural progression of this unconditional, divine love will overflow to others. Thus, I realise unconditional love is a by-product of knowing our true identity – we are a workmanship created in love, and love is our true essence.
- Falling In Love VS Unconditional Love (racheljessicatanblog.wordpress.com)
- Free Hugs: Hug for Freedom (everydaygurus.com)
- feelings.. (landofpossibilties.wordpress.com)
- Unconditional Love Will Bring Peace to Our World (achievingworldpeacenow.wordpress.com)