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Appendix XI:

KARMA AND THE TOOL BENCH

"Karma " means Action in Sanskrit and presumably more than just action. It seems to be about "accountability" and "causality" around an action or actions. Perhaps we can look at it for a moment without that extended definition. In the course of my own reality-shift, all bodily "action" seemed "equivalent": moving hand muscles doing dishes is identical to moving muscles necessary to skin a fish or paint a portrait.

What would be the brain action of mind around "skinning a fish" and would it not be identical to "painting a portrait"? Could it be said that the nature of mind-action is really "re-action:" revulsion, beauty, enjoyment, devotion, suffering, etc? In Hindu and Buddhist dogma, Karma is: "cause and effect" of deeds of merit as well as detrimental behavior. The idea is taking hold in Western thought as well.

Westerners often mistakenly try to use Newton's law, usually paraphrased: "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" to explain Karma. However, Newton was not speaking to the nature of mind, rather to the science and "motion of bodies." His Third Law of Dynamics actually states: "The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies are equal opposite and collinear."

My feeling about karma is that it is more immediate than the dogma tells us and is another description of "the I" from perhaps a re-action view. Have you had the experience of leaving tools around or scrap clutter from doing a repair or building something, and the very moment you need to sit a piece down in a particular spot, you find that you left something right there in the way. That to me is karma.

Whereas, if one were mindful, or even a less messy repairman, the result would allow for putting the piece down in just the right place and in exactly the right moment necessary. That to me is Karma transcended or perhaps even the absence or obliteration of karma altogether. So, this had me asking: can action [the I"] even karma or effect of action be transcended and what would that look like?

As Trungpa said : "The monkey has not yet transcended the dualistic logic upon which achievement depends." Certainly karma as its dogma is outlined in tradition, like reincarnation, is flawed with a dualistic logic. Incarnation or re-incarnation, the whole of the wisdom tradition points to transcendence (nonduality) as the logical way out of the predicament we presume to be in.

Wisdom teachings emphasize: transcendence is possible, but not from within duality. Such transcendence first calls for "disillusionment" of "the I" which brings us back to that practical level of "mind action" (thought) which cannot be controlled as easily as one might "think." Volition can overcome an impulse to act out a thought, but to prevent a thought (or the thought) from arising to begin with is impossible.

Presumably Karma translates as action and its consequence in a journey or continuum from one embodiment of actions and consequences to another. How a circuit beyond the electrical activity of a brain, (thought) can continue to stream cannot be understood from the brain side of mind, but perhaps so from the mind side of Consciousness or consciousness alone or as a prior condition.

In other words, embodiment might not be the condition for Consciousness; rather consciousness the condition for embodiment. As for action or karma in Consciousness, it may be so complex in its unknown dimensions that like recent discoveries in quantum science, connecting, and compounding threads or chains of cause lose their linkage regularly, and effects vanish into nonlocality.

Rather than chaos ensuing, perhaps "grace" surfaces from the domain of "what is" or Consciousness, sealing the break with energy from an entirely new stream or course of action. Not all of what has been said in the last few sutras are my intuitions; remarks about prior consciousness are lifted directly from reading the wisdom teachings, and I can not help but endorse that wisdom.

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