Hey, Look! Inigo Montoya Again! (Also More Talk on Karma)

Inigo Montoya

(Oh Inigo, you will never not be appropriate here…)

Mr. Montoya has aided me previously in explaining why the popular (mis)conception of karma as being poetic/cosmic justice is a deeply inappropriate distortion of the original concept. Well, today he will be helping me again.

A poster on a Buddhist forum I frequent (and, full disclosure, where I am now a moderator), recently asked why it’s seen as improper to view karma as retribution or punishment. The answer came almost immediately: who is doing the punishing?

Karma is not a sentient being. It has no mind, no cognitive faculty, no thoughts. It is a force of nature, like a storm. And just as the same storm that breaks a drought and revives crops can flood rivers and drive people from their homes, karma causes both joy and suffering.

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