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Living KarmaThe Religious Practices of Ouyi Zhixu$
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Beverley McGuire

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231168021

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231168021.001.0001

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Divination as a Karmic Diagnostic

Divination as a Karmic Diagnostic

(p.37) Two Divination as a Karmic Diagnostic
Living Karma

Beverley Foulks McGuire

Columbia University Press

This chapter looks at Ouyi Zhixu's use of divination as a diagnostic technique for determining past karma. Ouyi suggests that divination can reveal karmic obstacles from past sins, one's karmic potential, and one's future rebirth. Ouyi sees two positive functions for divination. First, by revealing karmic obstacles, divination guards against excessive pride. Second, by revealing karmic potential, divination enables one to dismiss doubts and maintain confidence. In relation to these functions, Ouyi considers divination as a diagnostic tool for determining karma, so that one might then repent for one's previous misconduct and commit oneself anew to the Buddhist path. This view of divination suggests a complex understanding of the workings of karma that is best described as an organic model of fruition rather than mechanistic cause and effect.

Keywords:   Ouyi Zhixu, divination, karmic obstacles, karmic potential, Buddhism

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