Buddhist Hell

Jess Row at Bookforum:

In any case, for me—like many Buddhists, past and present—the most frightening part of karma isn’t a vision of torments in the next life, but the idea that my suffering in this life isn’t altogether random or circumstantial; it carries the trace of some previous action along with it. There’s something unbearable about causality when we think about it in the strictest terms: A virus, for example, can be transmitted through the simplest unconscious act, like scratching your nose with the same finger that was just wrapped around a subway pole. In contemporary physics, the limits of causality are explored in the field known as “quantum entanglement,” or what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”: that is, the ability of distant entities to influence one another with no apparent force (like gravity) connecting them. Physicists know quantum entanglement happens, but how it works, and what power it exerts over everyday objects, is a subject of much debate.

more here.