I received this very thought-provoking article recently. As with so many of Ingrid’s writings, it is an intelligent and well-written piece that, like so much of her work, provides some fodder for – at the very least – introspection, and at it’s best, a great discussion. You can find links at the bottom to read more about and from Ingrid Naiman.
I hope you enjoy!
I have been corresponding with someone for a number of years. We are on a similar spiritual path but otherwise our life experiences seem to be quite different. Recently, we began a discussion of karma and sin that reached a sort of high pitch over the weekend. I would like to share some of the background process because she said that others can learn, but, of course, this is true of almost everything.
It’s very hard to know where to start. I practically have to look at a huge mural of the Universe or of life and just say, “why not here?”
I believe that what we call “life” is not actually what it seems. There are countless reasons for saying this, but perhaps a bit of comic relief will help launch this discussion. There was a man who could see ghosts. Someone he knew died. The ghost could apparently see himself in the mirror but his friend said, “You know you are dead?” The ghost said, “You have got to be kidding.” That’s as good a place to start as anywhere.
My birds see ghosts. Horses also seem to see them. Some people see them. I have on occasion seen some, but I never knew exactly how to interpret the experiences. In Hawaii, I saw “real” ghosts, lots of them. They would come through my house en route to an annual religious festival. You might equate their behavior to that of elephants when you build a hotel on their pathway. The elephants just walk through the lobby and continue on because that is how elephants are. The ghosts I saw in Hawaii played nose flutes and chanted on their way to sea. One day I was rubbing my eyes and went to see my mother. My head was sort of rolling. I said, “How do they play those flutes?” She explained it and said they would be back in the evening. Right she was. There were so many that it was like an immense cloud or thick mist moving through my living room. They did not seem to acknowledge my existence.
However, when someone I have known crosses over, the relationships have a sort of definition so when we meet, there is recognition and content and all makes quite a lot of sense. However, this happens so rarely that the longing for those who have left this reality is not really assuaged by the occasional visits.
What is relevant here is that we are already immortal because life is incapable of extinction, but the forms we take and discard create the appearance of change in this dimension. Hypothetically, the pressure to change would be much less or perhaps even non-existent in other dimensions.
Hypothetically, the pressure to change would be much less or perhaps even non-existent in other dimensions.
I am at the point in my life where I might also argue that we cannot evolve because we are already complete so what we are actually evolving is the capacity to express our true selves in this dimension. This is extremely difficult because the process of incarnating seems to involve tremendous loss of consciousness. However, once in a rare while, one encounters someone who has what, for lack of a better word, we will call continuity of consciousness. This means that the person manages to compress his or her vastness into a human incarnation without losing either awareness or memory.
My tentative opinion is that kaya kalpa is intended to simulate this process, i.e., mock death, bardo with all the emotional drama and regrets we have about our actions and inactions, merger with true self, formulation of the intention to incarnate, redesigning of the vehicle used to incarnate, and return to third dimensional reality without loss of memory. You can tell from this sketch that my understanding is highly subjective and personal, but more importantly, there is practically nothing about kaya kalpa that remotely resembles other anti-aging strategies.
If you accept this, then a few other points become interesting. First of all, the concept of punishment, even for misdeeds, appears not to exist in other realities — so the idea of sin aka karma also has no home outside of the psyche living amid the friction of the third dimension. Whenever there is creation and destruction, there is friction. To bring this to a halt, one must be in perfect balance which to me means being positioned in such a way that one is able to express spiritual inspiration in third dimensional situations so there is complete cooperation between the essence of self imparted by the Creator and the somatic self that is tactile, sensual, passionate, compassionate, and emotive. When the interaction between Divine Intent and the “Object” of Intent is perfect, we have the Ideal and we give this various names, anything from balance to christed consciousness to immortality. The reason for adding the latter, i.e., immortality is to draw attention to the fact that anything out of balance harbors the seeds of disintegration, dissolution, and what we call death. So, complex as this may sound, death is a temporary disconnect — so to overcome it, one must be fully connected which means that the flow of energy into the physical realm is calibrated in a manner that sustains the form without causing even the slightest injury.
Probably some people are hitting delete, but I want to keep pushing a few more boundaries until they widen our arena. We need space for new ideas.
In the discussion over the weekend, the idea was raised that acute suffering works off karma. I have not facilitated a single past life memory that supports this notion. For me, at this juncture, it is a meaningless concept, promoted by people who believe in judgment and various interpretations of justice. I believe in balance but this is achieved by understanding the nuances of actions and their repercussions and then developing strategies for harmonizing actions so that reactions are responses rather than repercussions. Just go slowly.
As mentioned in several previous posts, what I have seen in regressions is patterns. These patterns remain more or less the same until an event or series of events transforms the pattern. In short, due to a preliminary experience and the spin around that experience, we develop patterns that tend, all other things equal, to simply carve their way into deeper and deeper grooves. In short, once a pattern starts to form, it tends just to etch deeper and deeper until a modifying event provides the opportunity to change the pattern. In most cases, whole lifetimes, even series of lifetimes, may be devoted to changing such a pattern.
Generally, deep patterns are surrounded by opinions that tend to reinforce the patterns so having a friend or professional to help reinterpret patterns can be helpful. Otherwise, we tend to attract experiences that prove our opinions are justified. A behavioral psychologist might suggest modifying approaches to situations that appear hard to handle; and if the advice is sound and followed, a new experience may arise. The new experience stands a chance of replacing the former pattern unless a hurricane comes along that reinfects the old pattern — in which case, we are back into the suspicions and anxiety and other issues that belong to the pattern we are trying to rewrite.
Examples are always helpful but what happened over the weekend is that we got into personal history as well as music. Since we both love music, it can sometimes serve as a common language. I tried to use the lyrics and passion from one of my favorite operas to illustrate a point.
What is marvelous about really fine writing or art or music is the timelessness. Though set in an historic time, the themes of the opera are as relevant today as two centuries or two millennium ago. Norma was a Druid priestess who fell in love with a Roman and secretly bore two children. In the first act, Pollione confides to a Centurion that he no longer loves Norma and has fallen in love with a virgin priestess named Adalgisa.
This is not quite a Romeo and Juliet type of story, but the Druids desperately want to end the Roman tyranny and are clamoring for war. Unaware of his infidelity, Norma tries to avert danger to her lover. The device she uses might be called “psychic forgery” because she prophesizes that Rome will fall due to its own weakness. Then comes the famous aria “Casta Diva” while her rival in love kneels piously.
In the next scene, Norma is beside herself because she knows she is losing Pollione. Adalgisa comes to unburden herself of the guilt she feels for harboring feelings unworthy of a virgin temple goddess. Unsuspecting, Norma at first hears echoes of her own life story and is about to release Adalgisa from her vows until she realizes they both love the same man. Enter Pollione and the truth comes out with absolutely overwhelming passion. Adalgisa chooses to be loyal to Norma rather than Pollione. Norma is over the top furious.
Act II is pure emotional turmoil. Bereft, Norma considers murdering her two children, but motherhood prevails over lapses of sanity. She goes from jealousy to renunciation, true Mars-Neptune conflict! Hear ye, hear ye! This is the energy we have overhead as we speak.
In the Neptune mode, she will renounce Pollione and allow Adalgisa to marry him. There are however conditions attached. Adalgisa is more emotionally consistent than Norma and reaffirms her allegiance to Norma. She plans to appeal to Pollione to “do what is right” by Norma. The duet between the two women is one of the most magnificent in all opera.
Meanwhile, the warriors are scheming war against the Romans. Adalgisa’s mission fails and Norma goes back into the wrathful Mars mode, strikes a gong three times and calls for war, aka revenge. Chaos reigns. A Roman has violated the sanctity of the cloister. It would not be opera unless the villain were the same perfidious Pollione. The law demands that the punishment for this intrusion is death. Norma has another bout of second thoughts and regrets when telling the Druids that a priestess has broken her vows. In a hush that almost presages Verdi, the Druids are whispering while wondering who the accused is. Pollione begs Norma not to accuse Adalgisa because she is innocent. This is truly a fine moment in grand opera. The crowd can’t wait. Totally conflicted, Norma accuses herself rather than Adalgisa.
So, we are back to Neptune and all the complicated emotions of an imminent funeral pyre.
Norma’s father, the high priest Oroveso must sentence his own daughter. She asks one last favor. She asks her father to care for his grandchildren that until that moment he did not know existed.
Now, we come to the final scene and the reason for writing this post. Pollione is deeply moved by Norma’s nobility. You might say that the otherwise worthless man was metamorphosized by something loftier than his own ambitions and passions. He realizes much too late what he should have known all along. We then have a simply magnificent stretch of words that probably sound much better in Italian than in English:
Ah! Troppo tardi t’ho conosciuta!
Sublime donna, io t’ho perduta…
col mio rimorso è amor rinato,
più disperato, furente egli è!
Moriamo insieme, ah, sì, moriamo!
L’estremo accento sarà ch’io t’amo.
(crescendo di passione)
Ma tu morendo, non m’aborrire,
pria di morire, perdona a me!
Basically, this is the lament of a moronic man who realizes too late what was in the heart that he betrayed. His love is rekindled, not by the pyre but by nobility, and he reaches a new height in which his final request is for forgiveness before he dies.
On the other hand, Norma is pure woman and begs Oroveso not to make the children suffer for her mistakes.
So, this is an opera about innocence and passion and turmoil but it resolves which is why this is a serious opera rather than a comedy. Well, I have already taken immense liberties and probably annoyed some readers, but the purpose of subjecting you to this was to show that the experience must be different in order for the patterns to be transformed.