In the notes for a recent distance healing by Dorothy Rowe, she made a useful observation I wanted to share.
She differentiated pain born of karma and pain born of illusion:
“Pain born of karma is sharp and drives awareness inward toward the pain’s place of origin, to be thus addressed and eliminated. Pain born of illusion is remembered or anticipated pain. It drives thoughts and action while yet remaining unrealized in the present moment. When recognized and handled with discernment, pain born of karma is a tool for evolution. Pain born of illusion is a tool for creating more karma.”
Characteristics of the pain of karma include being present now. If we put our attention on it, we’re led to its source as mentioned above.
Characteristics of illusion-based pain include stories of the mind, the movement to the past and future, and feelings of inadequacy, helplessness, and inability.
This is where discrimination is important. The two types of pain can be quite intertwined. Behind stories are often energetic drivers that are karmic. Past stresses bring karmic events into experience now and may remind us of that past.
If we put our attention on present pain, we can resolve it. Even physical pain is a call for attention. Once received it can ease way off.
But if we put our attention on illusory pain it can amplify it, making it stronger and more real. The key is using our attention to see through the illusion rather than giving it strength. Often it has a quality of aversion, a looking away or avoidance so we don’t have to face our karmic pain.
If our attention is on dramas and stories, it’s on the illusion. If our attention is on what we’re feeling behind that, we’re shifting to resolving old karmic pain.
But we have to be willing to see the stories as stories. The mind can be addicted to the satisfaction it gets from “knowing” and blame. With stories it has explanations and feels in control. Seeing through the stories threatens that.
When truth becomes more important, the illusion fails and we see the karmic pain behind it – often in layers.
As Dorothy observed, remembered pain can include learning that gives us common sense in the present. For example, don’t put your hand on a hot element. Every experience can move us forward.