Tilting the Cosmic Pinball Machine
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.)