Friday, January 07, 2011

Tilting the Cosmic Pinball Machine

On page 226 it is written that "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."

Thus, one "shouldn't be surprised at the persistent weeds that will continue to sprout in your spiritual garden. These are the result of karmic 'seeds' you have mindlessly 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."

True in 2005, truer today, truest tomorrow.

I know that Bob hates to sound like some kind of hippy-dippy liberal, even though, in the final urinalysis, that is precisely what he is. No one is more surprised than he is over the fascinnoying spectacle of his supposedly liberal generational cohort becoming the leading edge of left-wing psychic conformity, state control, and spiritual materialism. But the reactionary rebel only rebels against himself, so it is easier to just cut out the middleman and identify with the Man himself -- the cause, not the effect.

Now, the idea of karma has become a kind of airy fairy, windy Hindi subject. Nevertheless, as 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 in its pages breaks down if we eliminate it -- just as the physical world makes no sense in the absence of horizontal causation.

However, causation on the moral plane cannot be as simple and linear as it is on the material plane. This is easy to understand, because it is true of most any phenomenon above the plane of matter, e.g., biology, history, economics, etc. Each of these is irreducibly nonlinear and non-deterministic.

In the Primordial Tradition of which Raccoons are a nonlocal branch (although we retain our autonomy), there are always no less than 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 three worlds correspond to the three main ways of understanding it, 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); one might also say fact-truth-wisdom, or observation-axiom-principle. (Ken Wilber does a good job of summarizing this perennial truth in his Eye to Eye.)

Of Aristotle's four causes -- material, formal, efficient, and final -- it is the latter which takes priority for human beings (at least in a free society). It is what organizes and enlists the other three, similar to the manner in which the design of a machine exploits the freedom left over by the boundary conditions of lower levels, e.g., physics and chemistry. We only have the freedom to create a machine because of stable and consistent laws (which is why leftist economics never works, and why transparent and unambiguous law and private property are necessary conditions for the generation of wealth and prosperity).

Now, reality is far too complex for one to ever have anything like complete control over one's 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."

This is a critical point, one that Walt immediately picked up on the other day. Obviously the materialist will dismiss it a priori, as his conclusions are always buried in his premises. This is not to be confused with "thinking." We all understand that there are moral causes loose in the world -- think, for example, of Martin Luther King's crusade to make America live up to its first principles.

Partly because actions cannot be divorced from the state of 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 or huge slackpot.

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 inevitably have coming to us -- our Cross to bear -- and to gratefully accept those injustices that we would probably deserve anyway in a just world.

To put it another way, in a just world, no man would escape a severe wedgie. Appreciating this is a fine psychic defense against the auto-victimization of the left, which makes a man powerless, resentful, irresponsible, and entitled to that which he doesn't deserve. It is also why we all feel compelled to give Dennis Kucinich the wedgie of his life.

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 we were 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 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 our life -- to "see it manifest in oh so many ways" -- but that can't possibly occur without undermining the logic of the whole system. It's not that easy to create a moral universe. You try it.

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 nullified as well, and the whole existentialada would fall apart. 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. To say I AM is to implicitly say I AM TRUTH and I AM GOOD, and therefore I AM the WAY.

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. (Waiting times may vary. Claim has no caché value. Tenured not eligible for this offer. Void where prohibited by left.)

26 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

On page 266 it is written...

Wiggy. I was just reading that yesterday, having been forced to take a hiatus over the holydaze. Plus the little guru is getting awfully demanding lately; he's convinced that whatever I'm reading must be good eating, which makes it challenging to get through anything made of paper. In this case, of course, he's right.

This is analogous to what we were 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.

I had a deidream along those lines last spring. This bobservation adds a little perspective. Interesting.

1/07/2011 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

No one is more surprised than he is over the fascinnoying spectacle of his supposedly liberal generational cohort becoming the leading edge of left-wing psychic conformity, state control, and spiritual materialism.

Amen. I never cared for authority even with I agreed with it. They just didn't like the fact that they weren't getting to set the cadence for the universal goosestep.

1/07/2011 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

For the liberal, liberalism is simply whatever the liberal happens to believe at the moment, irrespective of how illiberal. The main point is that they know better how to run your life. Details to follow.

1/07/2011 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

This FABULOUS new bill will change EVERYTHING!

What? Of Course I don't know what's in it. But once it's passed we can open it up, and rainbows and unicorn farts will burst forth. Pinky swear.

1/07/2011 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Barney said...

Constitution? Don't be ridiculous! Fascist.

1/07/2011 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

How often I thought
I got clean away
But my payment due
still, merely delayed
drawing compounded
interest day by day


wv says it's sonal -- I'll take that as a compliment.

1/07/2011 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

This just reminded me of what I didn't get around to saying yesterday,

"I know that Bob hates to sound like some kind of hippy-dippy liberal, even though, in the final urinalysis, that is precisely what he is. No one is more surprised than he is over the fascinnoying spectacle of his supposedly liberal generational cohort becoming the leading edge of left-wing psychic conformity, state control, and spiritual materialism."

Outstanding punsterizing the few couple days, even for this place. Nothing gets through the gates like fully loaded trojan horse.

1/07/2011 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

"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."

That is one of the most disturbing quotes I have seen.

wv:diestuc Even wv agrees.

1/07/2011 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Scary, isn't it? It is like being completely out of orbit from the moral universe -- or like a dream from which one cannot awaken.

1/07/2011 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

You've been gone so long, you stop getting messages from Om...

1/07/2011 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

For myself, as a human being, this seems a good expression of the law of Karma:
"As one is so one acts; as one acts so one becomes."

Regarded as cosmic Law, it indicates determinism. But assuming other indications Bob has brought to Light, about varying degrees (or levels) of being (↓↑) and the spiraling complements thingy (<----->), it also guarantees the possibility of freedom. I mean, part of the law of Karma explains what is required for freedom from that law.

Regarding that line from 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."

I was speaking one day with a client who seemed familiar with such ideas, and the conversation got around to karma. I said, "As I understand it, karma needs something to attach to. If a person can shed their delusions, then karma no longer sticks to them. Is that correct?" He simply said, "That's the idea." Again, a recognition of both the good and bad news aspects of the law.

1/07/2011 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

You may have good point, Tig. I say that myself all the time. "Eyes in front, predator; eyes to the side, prey." (Birds are exceptions somewhat.)

Prey animals have a tremendous range of vision, close to 360, but they see only in black-and-white. They are good at picking up movement, but they have no depth to their vision. It's easy to stand still with something to break up your outline and fool them.

My brother Coyote is not so easily fooled.

Raccoons, of course, have eyes in front.

I don't know about the old soldier's wisdom -- personally I never trust a man whose eyes are too close together. My dad always said, "Not enough room for brains" -- like the little guy (Terry Maroon?) who does "Nightline" now -- looks positively cyclopean, as Lovecraft might say.

1/07/2011 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Going completely off the rails, just imagine reading this aloud in a Barry White sort of voice:

"This is the man who will put a little more glide in your stride, and let you fall out to a happening in your sizzle pants with a few extra dips in your hips."

Jiminy Christmas, those must have been some serious drugs...

1/07/2011 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Came across a notion of Uncle Steiner's that struck me:
"The arising of consciousness, together with illusion, serves the forces that destroy life. If we did not bear in ourselves all that leads to physical death, we could certainly live in a physical body but we could not develop consciousness. The connection between death forces and consciousness remains hidden for ordinary consciousness..."

p. 166 THE SECRET STREAM Christian Rosenkreutz and Rosicrucianism

[now that's a fine howdy-do]

1/08/2011 03:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Well, what do you know: Foundations of Free Will, by Robert Bolton. Just ordered me a copy.

1/08/2011 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

And now there's only one left...

Funny - the info there is a little sparse, so I clicked the author name. They had it linked to a few people, and the first was a self help doc. Had me going for a moment there.

1/08/2011 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Dr. Zero's new habitat.

1/08/2011 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Magnus says:

""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."

That is one of the most disturbing quotes I have seen."

This is the entire theme of the computer game Planescape: Torment.

People like this have "one foot in the grave, and the other in hell" so to speak.

1/08/2011 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

With respect to the idea of Karma, I just think of it as energy that is stamped by me, so to speak.

Since I stamped it when I sent it out into the world, it's going to find it's way back to me, now or later.

Because I'm a gravity well for my own energy. Regardless of the length of time, it's still in my orbit and will eventually crash back into me.

1/08/2011 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Given that it's Saturday, I wonder if any of you music/ tech types can help me out? We have a recording from a very old record, which has a lot of scratchiness to it. Anyone know if it's possible to clean it up a bit?

1/08/2011 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If it was copied from a record there are machines for cleaning vinyl. Otherwise, all you can do is turn down the treble.

There are also "no noise" techniques of remastering, but it's difficult for them to remove bad high frequencies without removing good ones, so most audiophiles prefer the unvarnished truth.

1/08/2011 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I don't know anything about the state of the record, unfortunately, except that nobody had been able to listen to it. Could have been just that they didn't have record players, but I think there was some other problem.

***

In other news, it seems callous not to say anything, especially since it's in my state. I hope Rep. Giffords pulls through, and prayers go out for the families of the dead and wounded. How awful.

1/08/2011 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julie, regarding the noise on your recording it is easily fixed in an audio editor like Adobe Audition. Essentially, you take a noise fingerprint of a small section of the recording before the actual music starts, the program then analyses the sonic signature of the noise and subtracts it from the rest of the track. I downloaded the audio from your website, processed it and emailed it back to you. Check your inbox. I emailed it to the address on your website (The sound is a bit better but still not great) Regards, FO

1/08/2011 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

As Anon capably explained, you can do a fair amount to clean up vinyl, but as Bob observes there are limits to what you can expect.

Now, if you're sick of the unnatural "digital sheen" of CDs, you can go the other direction and make your CDs sound like vinyl.

(Don't take that tool too seriously)

1/08/2011 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Wow! Thank you, FO - that's a huge improvement!

1/08/2011 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger SippicanCottage said...

Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?

1/09/2011 09:18:00 AM  

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