Cause and effect is one of the central teachings in Buddhism and Hinduism.
The common term is known as karma.
What is karma? How is karma related to the concept of cause and effect.
The law of the cause and effect states that for every cause, there is an effect. For every effect, there is a cause.
Nothing happens without a cause.
For example, in the city, we have many pollutants from the vehicles, and factories. These are the cause of pollution.
What is the effect? The effect is a sickly population in the city.
For individuals in the city, the pollutants cause many different problems. Some have breathing problems. Some have skin problems. Some are more severe than others in the symptoms.
That is the cause and effect from a broader scale.
From the Buddhism perspective, the law of cause and effect, also known as karma, is on an individual basis.
The difference is that of the time frame.
There is no time frame for the effect to appear.
You may do something bad today, and the karmic effect comes a thousand years later.
That means whatever you experience now, in this life time, are the effects from the past.
The things you do now, and the words you say, will have an effect in this life or the future.
In many ways, the cause and effect happen almost immediately.
For example, you drive recklessly on the highway. As a result of your action, you drive off the road and hit the lamp post.
You suffer injuries due to your reckless act. That is the effect.
However, from the Buddhism perspective, not all causes will have effects.
Actions without intent will not have effects.
For example, you go hiking, and step on many ants. You are not aware of the fact that you have killed many ants.
The act of killing will not have negative karmic effect, since you do not have the intention in the first place.
This is known as neutral karma.
Cause and effect, or karma, is the law of nature. Nobody can change it.
You should bear it in mind when you speak or act or think.
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