Techniques For Maintaining Good Karma
Eastern religions aim at the emancipation of the human spirit from bodily existence. To achieve this, the Jains developed a veritable science of ahimsa, a multitude of precepts for not injuring life in any form, down to minerals and metals, to liberate the spirit-soul from its burden of karma-matter. The Buddha discovered the chain of the conditions of co-origination that ties human consciousness to the world of nature, and taught his followers how to break it. The Upanishads emphasize the unreality of all things visible and tangible and urge to realize brahman, the transcendent all-embracing spirit that alone can be called real. Yogis become famous by defying the laws of nature surviving for days buried underground, walking on water or sticking swords through their bodies without bleeding. If any of the teachings of the mainstream major religions had the added benefit of protecting nature, it was a side effect, not their main intention.
In contrast to this, traditional Asian religions saw the embodiment of the highest human ideal in the sage the person who had gained a state of tranquil self-contentment. Enlightenment and wisdom went hand in hand with the restriction of wants and desires. Empathy with everything and everybody and sensitivity toward nature as well as toward fellow-humans were highly valued. Virtually all Asian traditions accept rebirth as a universal fact of life Humans do not occupy a unique position and their fate, both present and future, depends on their rela
Jainism has since its beginnings over 2,500 years ago practiced reverence for life or ahimsa. For the Jains, all living things are not to be harmed, because this will add karma to the soul of those who kill other living creatures, such as animals or even insects. This has made merchants of Jains, rather than butchers or farmers. Their ethic is one that requires urban living tolerance of wildlife if it invades the urban area.
Analysis of Early Triassic recovery has been confused by another phenomenon first noted by Batten (1973). Based on his compilation of gastropod distributions from the Guadalupian through Ladinian stages, Batten concluded that Djulfian and Scythian (Early Triassic) faunas were largely depauperate, with few species and large numbers of individuals. That some 32 Permian genera could have escaped the great end-Permian mass extinction by seemingly disappearing for perhaps 10 Ma seemed most remarkable. Jablonski (1986) christened these Lazarus taxa, in recognition of their disappearance and apparent rebirth. More importantly, however, Batten recognized that normal marine Anisian and Ladinian assemblages were more like those of Guadalupian than they were Jurassic gastropod assemblages. On this basis he argued that the major faunal turnover among gastropods occurred near the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.
Buddhism stresses the endless cycle of birth, rebirth, and suffering in which souls are reincarnated in a variety of forms through the ages. Since souls could inhabit not only animate but inanimate objects, then it benefits people to take care of those items appropriately. They may be used in moderation, but not abused and used excessively. Other religious beliefs also confer upon humanity the right to use natural resources, but with certain limitations. The same is true of some moral creeds that have an environmental basis. Proponents of the Gaia hypothesis, for example, hold the resources of the Earth to be central to the successful existence of nature consequently, husbanding of those resources is a central part of the successful functioning of society.
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