To Richard I in the Pursuit of Benefical Karma
Nov 12, 1995 03:58 PM
The best way to sell a book is with a catchy title. And
to get someone to read an email message ...
>Practically speaking perhaps karma need only be regarded as
>uncorrected tendencies for specific types of semi-Self indulgence.
Or that every action produces changes in oneself and the rest of
nature. The part of us that is subject to time undergoes perpetual
>Genetic twins born at the nearly the same astrological moment
>could thus be regarded as starting out with roughly the same "karma."
As *human personalities* newly minted that would be true. The
"memory" of previous experiences is carried deeper within than the
personality has ready access to.
>The only difference--and it is a big one--between the twins would
>be in their degrees of Self-awareness.
Not just self-awareness but *inner resources*. When two people of
different skills sit down to write an article each may start with
a blank mind and intent to write something. One draws upon a rich
experience of previous writing; ideas readily occur to this person
and the words quickly take shape on paper. The other draws upon almost
no experience and sits staring off into space wondering what to
>From the standpoint of the human personality we're in the same
position as the writer attempting to produce another article another
attempt at self-expression in a particular media. And we start off
with a blank sheet of paper the newly-minted personality. But we
draw upon a different skill set and a have different talents which
quickly become apparent when we start fashioning our lives.
>This would change the level animating physical desire-feeling
>desire-mental mental Spirit-mental and Spirt at which Self
>Undifferentiated Consciousness will become completely transformed
>into semi-Self delusion differentiated consciousness.
I'd consider the world as both absolute reality as well as complete
illusion. That is viewing it from the standpoint of emptiness of
undifferentiated consciousness it is illusory and unreal. And viewing
it from the standpoint of fullness it is a vast creation of astounding
beauty and magnitude with well-defined laws that we live our lives by.
The two modes of experiencing the essential mystery of life need to
be balanced so that neither gets the upper hand.
>One of the twins might regularly lose all Self-awareness when he or
>she started to eat a bowl of ice cream; the other not until he or
>she started to share an idea. In the former case the temporary egoic
>delusion is of the nature "I *really am* the taste of chocolate chip";
>in the latter "I *really am* what I think I know about the
>subject of reincarnation."
There are different experiences in which we momentarily forget the
sense of personal self and experience life in total enjoyment. That
sense of enjoyment can progress I suspect from a temporary
infrequent pleasure into becoming a permanent background melody that
becomes the theme song for our entire experience of life.
You're talking here about our interests and desires. What we want
and are attracted to and occupy our consciousness with makes us
into the type of people that we are. We make ourselves out of the
things we do. We are fashioned out of the activities of our lives.
Our personalities are formed out of the contents of our lives.
>Naturally complete semi-Self indulgence at any level usually
>brings negative consequences and of course Self-awareness
>is never so perfect as when we are suffering.
The pursuit of pleasure at any level leads to suffering. This
is due to the failure to recognize the impermanence of life.
Suffering is self-imposed. There is no notion of suffering in
life it comes from not getting what we want. And the sense of
wanting something that we don't have at the moment is really
a denial of life. We want to be rich for instance and let
ourselves suffer due to the thought of not having enough money.
The suffering is not so much due to unfulfilled desire as it
is due to our *denial of life*. We deny that we are poor and
that puts us out of harmony with life as we find it at the
moment and that denial or lack of harmony with surrounding
life is the cause of our suffering.
>Increased diffidence because of learned lessons may be the
>mark of the "older soul"; kamikaze-like boldness in semi-Self
>adventure the "younger."
The sign of intelligence is forethought and planning. We
premeditate then we act. But with further increase in
intelligence we premediate *in the very moment* rather than
having a Hamlet-style period of worry and inaction. And even
with direct insight when the action of mind no longer creates
the illusion of an objective world we still use our mind and
insight skillfully to seeing into what we are doing. The only
difference at this point is that the false notion of personality
is gone and we see things purely without any bias in the
direction of personal benefit.
>Shit like "bad" karma may be found everywhere and in many
>disguises; however perhaps it is not really necessary to think
>that it "belongs" to you--no matter who killed whom 20000
True. Since *everyone* has free will and anyone could choose
to give you some undeserved evil. Someone else through their
free will could decide to harm you and you'll suffer and it
would be undeserved since you had never done anything to warrant
it. And then your relationship with that other person has changed
and you have control over your response to the injustice suffered
both in this and future lifetimes.
>Undoubtedly the important thing is to become the more
>Self-aware twin who egoically steps in less shit and thus *becomes*
>less of it.
In one sense karma is like a cycle that happens over time. There
is an action then after a delay in time the affected person
responds with his reaction. And the cycle goes back and forth
until one of the parties breaks out of the cycle.
In another sense karma is like a dynamic relationship with its
own living content. In this view karma can be changed by one or
both of the parties changing themselves internally.
>However if we get rid of the idea of trans-personal karma we
>would still need some explanation or mechanism for how/why a
>particular Chunk of Atma-Buddhi in a particular Degree of
>Self-awareness would stay together for another lifetime
I'd say that we could not possibly exist were we not rooted in
the ulitmate divine the unknowable mystery that transcends both
time and space. And in coming into existence we experience the
same series of emanations or stepping down of beingness as that
mystery does itself.
There is a timeless eternal unchanging part of ourselves that
is yet *uniquely us* and that does not participate in evolution.
That is the Monad and it overshadows the part of us that actually
steps into the turbulent swirl of material evolution.
The Monad persists because it is beyond time as we know it.
Its emanation clothed in the seven principles is subject to
time and evolution. When we clothe ourselves in the seven principles
and step into material existence we find that we have established
relationships with others in life. These relationships are our
karmic content and it is through these relationships that we are
able to exist and cooperate in creating the objective world.
>--and certainly all of the foregoing pretty-much flies in the
>face of what many theosophists have said about the "Causal Body"
>etc. doesn't it?
I'd say that both viewpoints are true from a certain perspective.
>From a pure conscousness unstained by the baggage of the past
we can see what is right to do at this very moment in time and
truly enjoy life. Yet we are drawing on both *inner resources*
as well as outer resources. And those inner resouces are the skills
evolved talents and faculties of consciousness that we have
developed over time.
As beings that are subject to time we grow and evolve. That means
over time we move from less advanced states to more advanced states
and have increased powers and faculties.
On the other hand we have immediate access our personal
timeless nature and can see the pure perfection behind life
and the emptiness of outer activities.
Both modes of experience are true valid and available to us.
It's really a skillful balancing act between the two that makes
a healthy life.
>It also comes very close to suggesting that an increasing/decreasing
>"Degree" of Self-awareness is the only thing which can be carried
>into a new life and out of the old.
We can look at life in terms of *process* or *content*. When we
take the viewpoint of process we'd describe things in terms of
the living awareness that we bring to manifest life. How awake
are we even when in our physical forms? When we take the viewpoint
of content we'd describe things in terms of an accumulation of
merit capabilities powers etc.
Even your "degree of Self-awareness" is a form of content in
terms of a quantity how much of applied to pure consciousness
and indicates the accumulation of something.
>There is not very much homey trans-lifetime romance or
>"connectedness" to be found here is there?
The living spiritual realities that all of us are seeking for are
not found in fairy tales nor in pious but uninspired observation
of some rigid code of conduct nor in paying lip-service to some
set of ideals. The living reality is something that is earth-
shattering in its sweetness in its thundering presence in the
sense of amazement and awe that it brings. Yet it comes as quietly
as one's breath and is always at hand in our lives whether we
notice it or not.
Romance and inspiring tales can though have a valuable
place in our lives. It can inspure and enrichen. It is as
important as art and music in bring the joy of the higher
planes into our mundane world.
>But on the other hand it would ease our burden of having to
>seek out and interact with every unperfected "soul-bundle" we
>have encountered in past lives in order to consumate some sort
>of karmic zero-sum game.
When we step into existence we take up anew our karmic bonds
with other lives in that world or universe. The karma exists
in living relationships with other lives. When we step out
of existence we leave aside those bonds. The feeling of "unfinished
business" or desire to continue our existence in that world tanha
draws us back into incarnation and continuation of our evolution
in that particular world.
I don't expect it is ever possible to achieve "zero-sum karma"
where all beings exhaust all possible karma with the reset of
all other beings. Rather we have karma waiting for us in every
possible world that we could come into existence in and that
karma involves living links with the beings of those worlds.
Out of existence we are temporarily karmaless not being in
dynamic interaction with other paricular beings.
>Perhaps in the short- as well as the long-haul karma can't
>come Where we're going. . . .
It *stays behind*. It is found in our Shandhas for a particular
world and in established relationships with the beings on those
worlds. If there is a person that you know a friend you have
a living relationship. When you meet and interact with that
person your relationship is consciously activated and you're
in karmic interaction. When either you or that person is out
of existence there is no possible interaction since one of
you no longer exists. But there can be a feeling of unfinished
business between the two of you that draws both of you back
into life at the same time...
Best wishes and good karma
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