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They interviewed his aunt in Korea and she stated that he was strange and very quiet even as a child. She also stated that when she talked to his mother on the phone the mother always stated she was very concerned for her son. Was he born with mental illness or did he have something happen as a child? Maybe a past life caused karma in this life?

We know so little about the mystery of life. Fox news wants to label him as a monster and evil. Compassion is so difficult but easier if it is not my son that was killed. The time and effort and the love shared when one has a child and to think they are killed while in a classroom is hard to accept and reconcile.

You made the comment he almost always wore headphones in class. Wearing headphones and listening to extremely loud music is something that schizophrenics quite often do.

What he was, however, I don't think anyone will be able to figure out -- except to say he was nuts.

Whatever the killer's psychiatric diagnosis may be, he will be facing a very dreadful karmic outlook. He is going to need a lot of forgiveness from his victims in order to make things a little more bearable for him.

i think his hardest obstacle is going be finding forgiveness within himself. there is no point asking forgiveness from the dead- whether there is an afterlife or not. if there is, why would those spirits want to hold grudges (sadness, perhaps, for the living) against him. if there is no afterlife, asking forgiveness is pointless and futile.

it's the living that has to live with the consequences- and if he is in the spiritual realm, i imagine it's way more difficult to seek forgiveness from yourself than from the living.

time heals everything for the living- but since time is not an issue for the spirits, his suffering in the afterlife will be self-inflicted.

Tom, thank you for your comment which I appreciate.
I was trying to describe the most likely scenario based on what we Spiritists understands the afterlife from the many spirit communications we receive. It’s all about human free-will, intention, and karmic contracts, but I don’t want it to sound too metaphysical. It’s simple, really. If the killer is responsible for cutting short all those lives, now in the spirit world he has a karmic debt towards his victims. After he understands that, and forgive himself as you are correctly saying, he will surely have to atone and make amends for his deeds. More than likely he will have to reincarnate many times, each time paying his debt to each victim by loving them and guaranteeing a new life opportunity in compensation for the lives he took. They could even decide among themselves to shorten the whole process by coming back as a family or karmic group. For instance, the previous killer may come as the father of the previous victims and he [the new father] will have the obligation to be a very loving and supporting parent. The only way the killer’s obligation is waived is if/when the victims decide to forgive him and not collect what it’s rightfully owed to them for allowing their lives to be cut short.
I am trying to explain this with all my love and respect because love it’s ultimately what our human experience is about. I hope everyone can understand it that way.

to play devil's advocate-

cho was a loner who possibly had speech impediment- i'm speculating that because 1. he hardly talks to anyone, and 2. in his video he mumbled and was difficult to understand. he was taunted and ridiculed in high school and possibly college too. he was rejected by women of his interest- not only that, these women reported him to the cops. the professor found him so creepy that she took him out of the class and taught him one-on-one. students were afraid to go to class or be near him because he was so creepy and taking pictures of them.

now i'm not giving him an excuse or a reason- because i hate what he did (i know hate is a strong word, but what else can i say), and i really don't like the guy (i have some issues of my own to sort out, i guess)- but if you look at everything that happened to him, the action of the society as a whole was breeding him into who he was.

yes, he killed over 30 people, and his karma suffered. but let's go back and see how karma led to him killing those people? how about those people who bullied and taunted him? what about people who gave him dirty look and called him names? how about people that ran away as soon as they saw the sight of him? were these people at least partially responsible for his action? those people planted the seed of bad karma by not only alienated him, but mocked him as well. but then, who got to pay for their behavior, those victims.

ultimately, cho was responsible and there is no excuse for that whatsoever. he may be mentally unstable, but he was sane to carry out those attacks. however, cho did not have any guidance in life- his parents worked all the time, and they probably barely talked to him, his social interaction with other people was horrible- being teased for his reticence and odd behavior.

we're all responsible for creating 'monsters' like cho and eric harris and dylan klebold. That's karma- it is more than just individual action. it's global. it's how every interaction in the world, no matter how trivial or insignificant, leads to a bigger picture- a butterfly effect.

the next time we think negatively of someone and feel the need to say it out loud, to that person, or to others, we should think about how our words and actions may affect not just that person, but of ourselves, and of the world.

i think the most important thing about karma, is not about what we did, but more of what we do NOW. what seeds will we plant NOW that will lead to tomorrow.

when i use the word 'hate' on someone else, i'll try to remember that, and maybe then i'll try to be more compassionate, and to love.

love, after all, it's a verb.

on another note:

"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Atman is Brahman. When this is seen, the rule of karma is as nothing. That applies to Cho as much as everyone else.

Hello, Everyone!

Been lurking for quite some time.

Call me a Skeptic with keen interest in the paranormal. But rather than begin in the heat of controversy (and as a secular nonobservant Jew), I wanted to post on the Other Side of this karmic equation: the heroic action of Dr. Liviu Librescu.

Copy and paste link, then click on "View Story" before reading comments.

Librescu gave his life on Yom Ha' Shoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day -- a remarkable man of great courage -- not only here but while living in Ceausescu's Romania.

Also noteworthy: the words of his colleague, Professor Muhammad Hajj. Assalamu alaikum. And Aleichem Shalom.

Thank you, Michael, for providing this thoughtful blogspot, discovered quite by accident but now a favorite. Alas, I am not much of a fiction buff (excepting English murder mysteries), but now I shall have to read one of your novels! Perhaps the newest one...

And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.

-- Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:1 (22a)

I doubt if society is totally responsible for Cho's actions but it appears to be a common theme that students that are ridiculed in school take out their hostility on others sometimes in violent ways. Call someone long enough some intimidating name and it can change their outlook on themselves and others. I submit he projected his self-hate on to the world.

Calling him a monster and an evil person deflects societies limited or otherwise responsibility for his actions. Example: societies failure to have effective gun control, lack of effective mental health, etc. I am amazed that more of this does not happen. I bet for every cho there are thousands of other “cho’s” thinking about killing others for whatever reasons.

Mental illness is considered a stigma in this country and if one has mental problems they are often considered pathetic and weak. I wonder if drugs have not become a way for many to cope with a very lonely often violent, individualist society.

I guess Cho was the last person to know that he was disturbed. Everyone else seemed to know except Cho.

Obviously, he was very disturbed. Obviously, our system of higher education failed. Obviously, Virginia Tech is going to have a lot of explaining to do. Obviously, this guy should have been expelled from school.

This guy was beyond strange. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold didn't raise many red flags like this guy. They at least appeared normal. In no way shape or form did Cho appear normal.

Today, the media is reporting that his family is extremely isolated. Very, very, very few in the Washington D. C. Korean community seem to know them. The Korean community is saying that this isolation is unusual. Cho's father isn't even a member of the Washington D. C. Korean Dry Cleaning Association.

Fingers are going to be pointed for a long, long,long time. His family knew something was wrong, but apparently didn't address Cho's psychological problems. A few distant Cho family members have spoken to the media confirming that Cho's childhood behavior was antisocial from an early age. Realitistically, it's in the realm of possibilites that one, or both parents, may have mental illness. I don't know that for a fact, but it's very possible.


This is not uncommon for a student to be under the radar. Most students take a series of classes and get a degree. Professors for career reasons are more interested in publishing than student relationships. Universities have become factories for business and society and individual attention is a rare phenomenon.

Publish or perish rules the day. Many publish in their own peer journals set up to publish research for their particular discipline. Self-interest at its finest to survive of course in a publish or perish mentality.

The big question can we learn from these "tragedies" or just call Cho an evil person and a monster? These tragedies and our response to them may very well be indicators of an individual’s; and society’s level of spiritual progress or lack of.

As Emmanuel stated “where would you go to school if your world were perfect?” A perfectly imperfect world appears to be a harsh but effective schoolhouse

For those still debating Cho's mental state, Slate has a good rundown of the competing theories (depression, psychopathy, psychosis).

From what William has written, he seems to be somewhat linking this tragedy to a spriritual vacuum. I just don't think spirituality is in equation.

Yes, finding a purpose in life and spirituality can mutually coexist together, but this coexistence is not essential. A purposeful life, and a spiritual life, can be two separate and distinct entities.

It's not a foregone conclusion that an atheist has a sad life without purpose and meaning, while a spiritual person has a happy life with purpose and meaning.

I'm sure if a scientist viewed Cho's brain under a miscroscope, he/she would find areas of his brain that would look quite different than from a normal brain.

BTW, Michael, thanks for the link.

I'm not a mental health professional. From my understanding of depression, though, negative life experiences and stresses can really, really, really tip the scales if one is predisposed to depression.

Cho's mental state was, way, way beyond depression. Apparently, he was psychotic. I'll just leave it there, because I have very little knowledge of psychosis. Almost zero!

Cho had a very unhappy childhood, and we know many of the troubling details. He was bullied. He was an outcast. His financial resources were on the thin side, while living in a very affluent suburb of Washington D. C. These set of negative forces were a bad mix, with a troubled and psychotic/depressive brain.

I read an interesting article yesterday. The writer mentioned that masculinity, or perceived masculinity, homophobia, and sexist thinking seem to be overpowering influences in the lives of these shooters.

Discipline should fall outside the job requirements of a professor, as William mentioned. I agree. Their focus is teaching, and writing books. However, a university does have other departments which should include, among many departments, a security department. There appears to be a breakdown somewhere. Cho was off the radar screen when he should have been on the radar screen.

I just read this yesterday. The English Department, at the University of Florida, has an annual budget of around 7 million, while the Atheletic Department has an annual budget of around 69 million. I think these numbers should be reversed.

Cho was graduating in just a few short weeks. Most Seniors are setting up job interviews, when graduation is just weeks away. As of yet, I haven't read anything alluding to the fact that Cho was seeking job interviews, or had completed job interviews. This is rather strange.


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