Karma is a curious bird. It means action, what we’d call energy in physics. Yet most people think about it more in terms of our baggage – the karmic consequences that are active in our lives. This is the unresolved energy we carry around, filtering our experience and frustrating our desires.
It’s role post-awakening is also misunderstood. Many assume someone Self Realized is beyond all that. That enlightenment will someone how free us from anything we dislike, like it was some form of escape.
In a way it is. But it doesn’t mean it goes away. We just change our relationship with it.
To explain, lets review karma briefly.
There is the kinetic (active) energy flowing through our lives. And there is the potential energy that is our backlog of unresolved experiences. Intense stuff that we never quite completed energetically. This is stored in various ways but typically in the mental and emotions bodies (koshas). It shows up as tendencies, events, relationships, and more in our lives. Everything about doing is karma, action.
Traditionally, karma is described as having three types – our mountains of backlog, the sprouted seeds active in our current life, and the new ones we’ve been creating, adding to the pile. Karma is often described as being like a wheel. When old karma comes up for resolution, if we resist it we end up not only cycling it back around again (to come back later) but often adding to the pile in the process. What we resist persists.
Connecting to our true being (via samadhi) and the transformation of tamas (inertia) into Sattva (clarity) though rajas (fire) – roasts those old, unsprouted seeds. It also reduces the tendency to act out our unresolved stuff, making our lives a little less dramatic and eventful. We become less and less likely to add to our backlog.
With Self Realization or Cosmic Consciousness, we shift from being a me immersed in the field of action to being Cosmic Self, an observer of the field of action. This detachment much more deeply disengages us from our burdens. The fire of presence becomes 24/7, massively accelerating the clearing process.
The shift in itself clears a great deal of our backlog, depending on how deep and thorough it was. But it is typical for more clearing to be required. Adyashanti has spoken of the tendency for the mind to try to become dominant again. This helps us clear what remains. As this process progresses, many of the old tendencies, strengths and weaknesses fall away. Those laws of nature involved leave, shifting the group disposition of the devata involved in our upkeep. It can be surprising what stays and what leaves.
We can say we’re liberated from all our baggage but life itself continues. And a suitcase or 2 is still at play.
This points to why awakening is not something we do, yet some doing may arise to help clear the ground and prepare us. This helps with smoothness and clarity.
Once enough is clear and the shift has become well established and embodied, the bliss kosha is no longer blocked by emotional and mental fog. This established state is known as nirvana or sat chit ananda, absolute bliss consciousness. A spectrum of “happiness for no reason” is ever present, ranging from background yum to rapture.
But this is not the end of the process and still deeper and more subtle layers need to shift. The intellect, for example, shifts from looking out and dividing to turning within and joining in the Unity process.
What drove us to take this body and life is the suitcase of karma we’re living out now. Those sprouted seeds do not end but with detachment, our response to them is much different. We allow those old experiences to complete. Life will have a tendency to simplify and become more settled over time.
With more refined perception, we can learn to recognize our energetic issues and resolve them on their own level – simply by allowing the unresolved experience to complete. No acting out required.
However, some of the larger things tend to come with a blind spot. This can help to facilitate the process but does mean we don’t see it coming and thus cannot resolve it prior to it becoming part of our lives. Even the very awake still act in the field of karma and are still sowing the fruits.
But not being so caught in the drama, it can resolve reasonably quietly. We’re the mostly patient observer of life unfolding.
Over time, it becomes apparent that there never was any “individual” person here and thus there never was any “personal” karma. We are only ever together in one wholeness and now recognize how we can support the group with our own specific gifts. Another argument for spending time with the awake after the shift so the recognition of the cosmic body is facilitated.
Our differences are only in the more active laws of nature here. They bring a specific emphasis that leads to unique experiences. And that is why we’re here – so That can experience itself more completely. It’s all in the details because we are the details. 😉
Life events have brought more to share here.