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If our present existence is the result of something we could not control (from a prior life), what hope can we have related to our present situation in this life?

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Our present 'existence' (state of mind) does not have to be related to a prior life. The scriptures explain having such a view results in having no hope & leaves one stuck in inaction.

When one falls back on what was done in the past as being essential, monks, there is no desire, no effort [at the thought], 'This should be done. This shouldn't be done.' When one can't pin down as a truth or reality what should & shouldn't be done, one dwells bewildered & unprotected. One cannot righteously refer to oneself as a contemplative. This was my first righteous refutation of those brahmans & contemplatives who hold to such teachings, such views.

Tittha Sutta

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  • Yes, that's a good attitude but past life karma was the reason a person was born, "prarabdha" karma. It's what caused a person to take another life and it must be settled. But all life is not "past karma" playing out. There are 4 flavors of karma in play. Sometimes knowing what debt we have brings awareness of how to live and settle things and avoid future karma – Alex S Aug 6 '16 at 5:24
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – Dhammadhatu Aug 6 '16 at 5:59

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