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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Karma -- Credo III

Several decades ago, I had an attack of insight:

A mistake is a loop in consciousness made to expose a greater surface to experience.
This later evolved into the parable of the tree in The Dove in the Stone, with the sap running up the tangential branches to the trunk and the leaves on the branches going aha! as they take in the wisdom of the sun . . .

In my own life, I had another realization – I thought then that becoming conscious was sufficient and sat back pleased with myself. But – oh no! One has to apply the realization in real life for it to count!

This led me to think of Christ’s “seamless garment,” or pure aura, and the myths of Achilles and Siegfried, whose mothers dipped them in some magic stuff to render them invulnerable – but no! Achilles was held by the heel and Siegfried had a leaf fall on him. And we all have a blind spot.

My vision was that karma from one life to another represents holes in our would-be seamless garment, which we have to fill in by conscious redemption. I felt fairly polka-dotted with chinks!

A Tibetan lama pointed out that Christianity puts a spin on karma by the concept of repentance. Jesus said plainly that “As you sow, so shall you reap.” But the idea put forward by dogma is that he died to take away our sins, so all we need is to confess and do penance and in many cases the Church gains power to absolve and the sinner goes off and repeats whatever.

In one of his most passionate letters (I think to Dorothee Hoch) Jung says that By Golly, we need to pick up our own cross and see the crucifixion as a model of what we need to do ourselves instead of conveniently projecting it all symbolically on him!

So karma, rightly viewed, is not judgmental in a moral sense, it is a dispassionate fact of cause and effect. So a cynic, as I once was, thinks, “Virtue is really enlightened self-interest!” In a sense that is true: touch a hot stove and you get burnt, etc.

Later in life, I realized what I was missing in the equation: cause/effect is a duality which the ego is subject to. The missing and healing element comes from our Divine Guest (Self, Christ Within, atman). It is Love.

Compassion. In forgiving others, we forgive ourselves. Several parables in the New Testament bear this out. And “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive the trespasses of others”.

This led in turn to my Milkstool Principle! (Three-legged stools are firm.) Love, Wisdom, Power. We need all three!

Love needs wisdom and power to love rightly. Wisdom needs power and love to be compassionate in relation to others. And power should only be used with love and wisdom to serve or lead others.

If you think about it, most of us are deficient in one of the three and we need to turn to our Divine Guest for guidance. Many women have to learn about power and not see it as animus or manipulation. We need to honor the ubiquitous goddesses that represent Wisdom. The masculine gods represent Power. But the supreme Unknown Spirit is offering us the Solar Spirit of Love.



PS: In the body, the Sun rules the heart which gives us Life. In alchemy, the Sun is depicted as looking towards the invisible Sun-behind-the sun, which is invisible Spirit. It gives the "pook" in every atom, in every seed, in every mouse, and in all beauty, hopefully in the “quick and lively word.”

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