Saturday, January 05, 2008

Many a Peer Have to Fall, But it's All In the Game (1.07.11)

For in the Coonifesto, it is written: "Remember, even if you were to forcefully yank on the brake of the Karmic Express, its sheer momentum will continue to carry it down the tracks for a while, so that you shouldn't be surprised at the persistent weeds that continue to sprout in your spiritual garden. These are the result of karmic 'seeds' you have mindless deposited throughout your life, each with a different life cycle (many seeds take years to sprout). They will continue to sprout up long after you've stopped being naughty, just as the good seeds you are currently planting will take some time to germinate and yield their sound fruit."

Now, I know that Bob hates to sound like some kind of drug-addled hippy child of the '60s, even though many people will suspect him of being one in the final urinalysis. Yes, the idea of karma has become a kind of airy fairy subject. Nevertheless, as I mentioned a couple of posts back, the Bible is full of references to karma -- which is simply cause and effect on the moral plane -- to such an extent that the entire metaphysical system presented by the Bible breaks down if we eliminate it -- just as the physical world makes no sense in the absence of horizontal cause and effect, to the detriment of fatalistic Mohammedans everywhere.

However, causation on the moral plane can't be as simple and linear as it is on the material plane. This is easy to understand, because that's true of most everything above the level of matter. In the Primordial Tradition of which Raccoons are a nonlocal branch (although we retain our autonomy), there are always at least three degrees of being: the material, the psychological, and the spiritual worlds, corresponding to body, mind (or soul), and spirit (or intellect, i.e., the nous); in turn, these correspond to the three main ways of understanding the world, 1) empirical science (the "eye of the senses"), 2) philosophy (the eye of reason), and 3) theology and metaphysics (the contemplative eye of spirit, or pure intellection and understanding). (As I recall, Ken Wilber does a good job of explicating this in his Eye to Eye.)

Regarding the complexity of causality on the human plane, there is essentially no difference between the statements "I would like to make a fist with my hand," and "I would like to become president of the United States." Both of these are clearly teleonomic (i.e., top-down) exercises that exhaust any materialistic explanation. There is no materialistic explanation for how you can formulate the thought, "I am going to make a fist," and then do it, for no materialist knows what a thought is, much less how it can cause things to happen on the plane upon which it is supposedly wholly dependent. For a materialist, psychic causation must remain an absurdity and ultimately an illusion, equivalent to a rooster believing it causes the sun to rise.

Now, if someone says, "I would like to become president," and then becomes president, did they cause it to happen? Yes, to a certain extent. Of Aristotle's four causes -- material, formal, efficient, and final -- it is the latter which takes priority and tries to "organize" all of the lower forms of causation, similar to the way that higher levels must exploit the freedom left over by the boundary conditions of lower levels. But think of all the countless layers of causation that exist between "I want to be president" and "I am president." Finally seeing the effect of that thought might require one to "hold it" in mind for 30 or 40 years.

Now, reality is way too complex to ever have anything like complete control over our fate. However, according to Bolton, "By keeping increasingly free from certain states of mind for long enough, one may exhaust the negative reactions from the world which would need to connect with such corresponding inner states in order to be manifest. In this way, the 'cosmic debts' incurred by the use of negative energies can be dissipated."

It is probably somewhat useless to argue the point. Either you have noticed this pattern in your life or you haven't, and it actually reveals an underlying principle or it doesn't. The materialist will dismiss it a priori, as his conclusions are always buried in his premises. This is not to be confused with "thinking."

Partly because actions cannot be divorced from the state mind -- even the total being -- of the person engaging in them, there is no guarantee that the same action will redound to the same personal consequences. In short, we just don't know, which is all the more reason to be virtuous for its own sake, not for any immediate karmic "payoff." In turn, this is the benefit of understanding how the total system works, for, among other things, it gives us the patience to gracefully endure what we have coming to us and gratefully accept what we probably don't deserve anyway.

In Keys of Gnosis, Bolton points out that "it is mainly because of the wide variations among these time intervals that the succession of action and reaction passes unnoticed. A major factor here is the degree to which true values inform one's life.... The return of reactions rapidly enough for them to be recognized as such is a sign of closeness to the truth" (italics mine).

This is analogous to what I was saying the other day about how proximity to O effectively "thickens" time, so that we begin to take notice of the nonlocal web of causation that permeates our life. Indeed, it is difficult to ignore. Reminds me of a couple of tunes from Van Morrison's Poetic Champions Compose:

There are strange things happening every day / I hear music up above my head / Fill me up with your wonder / Give me my rapture today (Give Me My Rapture), and

I began to realize / the magic in my life / See it manifest in oh, so many ways / Every day is gettin' better and better / I wanna be daily walking close to you (Did Ye Get Healed?)

Conversely, "the long or indefinite delay of [reactions] is a sign that one has strayed too far from the truth to be able to atone for wrongs in this life." We want to believe we can instantaneously turn things around and realize the magic in one's life and "see it manifest in oh so many ways," but that can't possibly be true without overturning the logic of the whole system (but God knows best). Just as in science, many things are known to be true by virtue of the fact that if they weren't, then a multitude of other truths would be undermined as well, and the whole existentialada would lose coherence. It's no different on the metaphysical plane, where most things are known to be true because they must be. The karmic web of cause and effect is one such example.

This is why, unlike those new age frauds, Bob doesn't make the absurd claim that if you read his book you will somehow achieve "instant enlightenment." Rather, he makes the much more humble guarantee of eternal life while you wait.

18 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

Wouldn't it be great if Bob's book was the cosmic equivalent of Round-Up?

The weed analogy is a great way to describe this problem. I suspect the only way to truly get rid of the weeds is to over-plant the mind with desired/good seeds that will eventually overcrowd and runoff the weeds. Another thing to consider is what is actually a weed so to speak. More to ponder...as always.

1/05/2008 10:22:00 AM  
Anonymous hoe down said...

I guess you could ask the people who have been using the easier softer way of positive thinking their entire life, has it worked? Or has it just covered up what is still underneath.
Without attention, weeds in a garden always choke out the good plants. I suspect it is the same with an unattended mind.

1/05/2008 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

At the beginning of each month I have been creating a different photo banner at the GA blog. January's is an image of young, sprouting bulbs, bright sunlight and dirt. Why include the dirt? I didn't have but a vague notion, but today, a gift from Van:

"Surely all your dirt will turn into gold." Van Morrison, "The Mystery"

Painter Paul Klee: "It is the artist's mission to penetrate as far as may be toward that secret ground where primal law feeds growth. Which artist would not wish to dwell at the central organ of all motion in space-time (be it the brain or the heart of creation) from which all functions derive their life? In the womb of nature, in the primal ground of creation, where the secret key to all things lies hidden? ...Our beating heart drives us downward, far down to the primal ground." from The Van Morrison Website

1/05/2008 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Redeemed
base of a brain stem
blowing away in a wind
the mount of olives

1/05/2008 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Also in recent days, there has been some discussion about mind parasites -- about how to deal with them, and can they be "gotten rid of," and are they "us" or "other."

When Bolton says --
"By keeping increasingly free from certain states of mind for long enough, one may exhaust the negative reactions from the world which would need to connect with such corresponding inner states in order to be manifest. In this way, the 'cosmic debts' incurred by the use of negative energies can be dissipated" --
does this provide a clue or "strategy" regarding mind parasites, that in some cases simple avoidance will in time defuse their energy?

I once read an interview with a therapist who said the main treatment for sex addiction was simply "impulse inhibition," i.e. getting the patient to stop the behavior.

1/05/2008 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"... The materialist will dismiss it a priori, as his conclusions are always buried in his premises. This is not to be confused with "thinking." "

That is so often IT in a NutShall... as with the loony Lincoln linker at VanDerleun's site the other day - they allow their systems to determine what they are willing to acknowledge - there is much whiring and thundering of 'principle', but they exclude the full picture on behalf of their cystemick princeIpall - all is predetermined and they are just lost at See.

1/05/2008 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Commended to all Raccoons: The Proper Conservative View of Gloominess, Truth, and Change, by Roger Kimball. I would be a conservative if only for the superior writers.

1/05/2008 07:24:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Thanks for the link Bob,
It's interesting that I don't recognize any of his book titles except 'Tenured Radicals'.
More homework ahead!

1/05/2008 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Remember, even if you were to forcefully yank on the brake of the Karmic Express, its sheer momentum will continue to carry it down the tracks for a while, so that you shouldn't be surprised at the persistent weeds that continue to sprout in your spiritual garden. These are the result of karmic 'seeds' you have mindless deposited throughout your life, each with a different life cycle (many seeds take years to sprout). They will continue to sprout up long after you've stopped being naughty, just as the good seeds you are currently planting will take some time to germinate and yield their sound fruit."

I will be a witness to this, Bob!
The weeds, seeds and fruit and the karma that produces each according to my free will.

That's one of the reasons I never ask "why me?" when the weeds seem to outnumber the fruit in my life.
Because I know why.

In fact, I no doubt deserve all weeds and no fruit when you boil it down and cut to the quick mart of karma.
I could never claim to be like Job, for instance, who was still wrong to ask "why me?"

But now that I do gno why, I also gno that I'm the one responsible for planting the weeds that have plagued me.

All I can do is accept that truth and start planting fruit seeds.
I may never see any of the fruit, or not as much fruit as weeds in my own life, but I do gno the Master gardener has given me the courage and strength to take my medicine, so to speak, and to plant more seeds if I watch my p's and Q's.

Anyway, thanks for this post, and all of your posts, because they are full of resonating truth. :^)

1/05/2008 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I braved the drizzle tonight to check out the Plas Johnson Quartet tonight. I am fortunate to live by a really chill club. Plas-sax, Roy McCurdy-drums, John Gianelli-bass, Jon Mayer-piano. Carol Kaye also sat in on a few songs at guitar. Live music and especially good jazz is so soothing for the soul. Mind-parasites just melt away for a timeless moment. A nip of good tequila never hurts....

1/05/2008 11:58:00 PM  
Anonymous mudslide said...

Gotta disagree with you, big guy...sorry I don't have the fancy theophiloscosmitric visionaries to quote... but, after having lived in my shoes, cosmic weeds don't seem to cover it......refer to Job for instance....the Big Guy had His plans for His servant Job, but more importantly and always overlooked, Job's sons, daughters, servants, et al (aka, "cannon fodder") where there was no cosmicity, only what God decided was a good lesson for Job, (ie, time for the roof to come down, put to the sword, or died from disease) was a death sentence for them..no time for their weeds.....
Nahhhh...More like being in God's army..and like any private, I am never shown the grand strategy (seems I've been on "find the land mine" duty for what seems like forever)
weeds, schmeads, don't think it works that way.......God has free will as well as His plan .....but that doesn't sell as well as the prosperity gospel (blame them) or cosmic weeds (blame me).......
Well, I see I've wondered into another minefield (boom!) and (blammo!) I'll just find my way out...anybody find a spare foot?

1/06/2008 09:41:00 AM  
Anonymous bob's unconscious said...

Mudslide:

Of course you are partially correct. I didn't have time to get into how to discern between trials, purificatory tests, agni, karma, and mere randomness. But if you believe everything is providence, then you are simply a machine by another name, and certainly not a freeborn Raccoon (which I'm sure is of no consequence to you anyway). In any event, be assured that your position is heretical, not mine.

1/06/2008 10:09:00 AM  
Anonymous mudslide said...

bob's unconscious:
Not trying to be obstinate or heretical...hell...I'm bald (small joke) and I'm hoping you don't go for a Elihu answer (see Job) but just seeing the obvious to you ain't the obvious to me and vice versa.. but the devil is in those details and other than the hand showing up to write on my wall (it hasn't), if you or Bob can offer some prognostication on "Jobs children" in light of that heretical thought of predestination, my army life (actually more like the National Guard - couple weeks a year or as required) analogy, or some of those lesser items you mentioned, it would be a major help, because I've just been standing here shaking my head trying to figure it out....for about 10 years....or am I right and God does have a free will that we can't possibly know??? If so, why is that, or why is that NOT predestination or something danged close????Obviously, my reasoning, or Bob's learned reasoning, don't mean a tinkers damn in His realm...no offense.. and as Bob says, we can't even conceive of the horizon......
in the meantime, we still have to rightly divide.

1/06/2008 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous mudslide said...

and I'm not looking to argue, I'm looking for answers....

1/06/2008 11:57:00 AM  
Anonymous mudslide said...

better yet, agree you'll cover it in one of your future posts...
and I don't really care if you make fun of me, call me names, think terrible things about me...just cover it...agni, karma, trials the whole existenchilada

1/06/2008 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous bob's unconscious said...

I'm afraid I'm not sure what you're asking. Please formulate your question as clearly and concisely as possible, in full sentences.

1/06/2008 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

mudslide said "...I'm not looking to argue, I'm looking for answers...."

No Answers. Just questions, better questioning, and some answering... but no Answers.

Other than perhaps, sometimes Shit happens. AssUming you aren't the shit that happened, your choice is whether or not to clean it up.

1/06/2008 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Gerard said...

Onea these days, Gagdad, ona these days.... BANG! ZOOM! RIGHT TO THE MOON!

THE MOON, GAGDAD! THE MOON!

1/06/2008 03:35:00 PM  

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