Source/Copyright: Richard Bartz/Wikimedia
Yes, before you ask, that's a Leopard Lacewing butterfly in the picture. I could have used the real leopard but that particular saying was getting a little cliched.
So, I was at yet another PhotoReading event presented by my friend Marilyn Devonish yesterday and this issue did come up in passing. With all the hooha about The Secret, has anyone cared to observe the karmic consequences?
Kaye, what the heck does karma have to do with The Secret?
Rather a lot, actually. Basically, it impacts it in three ways:
1. If you're attempting to manifest something, your past manifestations will play a part in it. The old energetic blueprint will be active unless you know how to deactivate it. That's personal karma.
2. If your manifestation impacts the fabric of the sea of awareness (which it assuredly will, since by definition you are affecting the flow of energies when you manifest), you will be subject to the kickback from the ripple effects from that effect. And contrary to what you may intuitively think, doing good doesn't necessarily mean you get good back in the short run. It certainly pays to be good in the long run.
That's because you also have to deal with group or social karma. When you change something, you are stopping a karmic event. That's the same as hitting the brakes on a car headed off a cliff. In the long run you may save lives. In the short run you may have to deal with the attendant problems of the smoking brakes. Make sense?
3. If you are doing multiple manifestations that are not congruent with each other, you are self-sabotaging. The butterfly is a good example of this - nice wings, no? But to get the perfect design it has to get into a cocoon and build from scratch. Somehow people think this has nothing to do with The Secret. As Byron Katie would say, "Oh, honey..." If you like polka dots, wear polka dots, but drawing polka dots over a Van Gogh canvas is a bad idea. Trust me. Been there, done it, got the t-shirt.
So what do we do?
Learn to manage karma. It's rather dangerous to ignore it, even after one attains enlightenment. I believe that in Tibetan Buddhism it's considered a cardinal mistake. Anyway, karma management as I see it has to do with two things:
1. Pacification of obstacles - inner, outer and secret. Outer obstacles are the usual ones related to the material world. Inner ones are delusions that prevent us from effectively achieving our goals. Secret obstacles - unseen ones. I prefer the Alex Viefhaus (my great friend and mentor) version - a block isn't a block until it blocks you from something.
Obstacles can be pacified by energetically paying off and releasing past karmic "debts". They can be pacified by forgiveness, such as the Hawaiian ho-oponopono. It depends on the particular energetic knot you've tied, really. People are so creative about how they get themselves into trouble. The only one-hammer-fits-all-nails solution I have found to cutting these karmic knots is to master the essence of shunyata, or emptiness. See two posts previous to this one - my commentary of the Three Words Hitting The Essence.
For those so inclined, listening to the Vajrasattva Hundred Syllable Mantra helps too. So does understanding what it means, which is really a much more complex issue.
For those who wish for a shortcut, pray to Grandmaster Wong. I will put it up in the post after this one.
2. Attainment of merit. This one is interesting, because one first has to decide what merit is. Now, if one asks me, I must say I can't really say. However, I vaguely recall a line in a Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche book which says something like, "Merit is a sense of satisfaction." Unfortunately, I haven't been able to relocate that quotation. However, I think it is accurate. I don't think it is so much about accumulating brownie points, but to congruently hold an energetic state. This is done through offerings, through the energy of enjoyment, faith and trust. More on that another time.
Ask me questions if you want to know more.