~ the Buddha's last words (paraphrased)
A conversation on the liberation from suffering, illusion and karma and release of the belief in past-life karma and reincarnation
This conversation took place over the internet, some parts by means of voice chatting, other parts by means of keyboard chatting.
"Those beneficiares will give you thanks."
Sorry, Natalie, I don’t get what you mean by that...
Oh, gosh, I must have just copy/pasted that in by accident, sorry. I’m feeling a bit weak today... But, hmm... why should I be feeling weak today? After all I spent quite a bit of time with my yoga teacher who was helping me meditate positively on issues to do with my health and well-being (kalyas*). He is a Theravada Buddhist teacher...
Hmm... I think I know... Maybe I'm feeling weak because afterward I did some intense burning off of personal karma...**
Right, maybe your timing of "karma burning" was a bit off... That happens.
But about "Those beneficiares will give you thanks"...
Maybe it was not so accidental that you pasted that in, because it is true, isn't it?
Sooner or later all those who truly "benefit" will give thanks.
(No universal good will ever go unnoticed.)
But back to your "burning off some personal karma", I have heard that phrased differently, something like "killing the demons from one's past".
Incidentally, my wife just yesterday did quite a bit of that, but afterward she realized something very important, namely the illusiveness of those "inner demons" - those inner turmoils that we sometimes like to call "demons" or "evil spirits".
She became quite convinced that what is usually seen as personal karmic suffering, that it is really based on illusion - artificially forced make belief.
She discovered that, although suffering is somehow experienced internally and personally, that it really is not her own suffering.
Karmic sufferings, brought on, so to speak, by 'outer demons' in one's past, sooner or later tend to POSE as 'inner' demons***.
At some point they even tend to be identified that way - even experienced as such.
But are they really my inner demons?
Who's suffering is it really?!And... aren't those karmic sufferings really characterized by the very transience and impermanence**** that the Buddha called "illusion?!
So true Wim, tell her that I often feel that too. I also know, albeit mentally, that 'my' suffering is not really mine.
So she realized that too eh? As for myself though, I realize it only sometimes, but... unfortunately not now! Right now it feels as though this suffering is located as pain in my stomach.
I do feel pain. I do feel weak. I feel this aching emptiness, like a hole, a wound in the pit of my stomach.
I know it well, Natalie, it is a terrible feeling! But, like you say, although that suffering is not really yours, the body though does feel it as physical pain...
What about that pain then, Wim?
Where does the pain come from if the suffering is not really mine?
If my suffering or based on illusion, delusion even, then why the physical pain?
Well, the pain is not an illusion, it is not even psycho-somatic! The pain is your pain, you feel it physically. Maybe you can trace its origin.
Do you remember, from your past, when you felt that pain for the first time in your life? Can you remember the situation in which you actually first became aware of that aching, when it was first incurred?
Well I would have to dig deep, but I'm sure that I can find instances. I may not find the first time that it happened, but...
I remember for instance that when I was still very young, how lonely I often felt, abandoned...
and that is... ... That's when the pain started, that aching in my stomach... Oh, and that intense nervous feeling in my belly...
And now... I am still feeling it!
Could that be the body's memory of when exactly your suffering - your abandonment - was first instigated? The moment that you first became acutely aware of being abandoned?
You see, pain and suffering, although they take place at the same time, they are a different kind of experience, the one is in the body, the other in the mind.
- Pain is 'bodily' yours. It is actually a physical memory in your nerves and muscles of what took place physically when other people's anguish and/or anger was unduly instilled in you, transferred to you; when it was reflected onto you in the hope - false though - that by projecting their anguish, anger and suffering onto you, that they would be rid of it themselves.
- Suffering is actually never ever 'bodily' yours. Suffering is only 'mentally' contained, in the form of disturbing messages or memories.
The problem is that those memories or messages, although called memories, they are often 'forgotten', hidden actually, suppressed... even if they are registered by means of neural linkages and come up as mental associations!
Whereas the associated pain is still physically felt, even years later, the originating circumstances are often suppressed and seem to be forgotten.
But when you remember what actually and exactly took place, say, that moment when you were abandoned, when other people's anguish, frustration and suffering got transferred to you, then, what you now remember in your mind as seemingly your anger, anguish, frustration and suffering, you are matching the physical pain that you now have with the physical pain that you incurred then, the previously repressed and seemingly forgotten memory.
Although the memory is yours, the transferred suffering though, the anguish, etc. is actually not!
It was only directed to you, reflected onto you, although... in a rather serious and convincing manner!
Suffering then - in its 'original origin' - is really only a projection onto you, a reflection that was initially only aimed at or directed to you.
The problem is though that that projection was repeated so many times that at some point in your early life it stuck itself to you like a thistle... like Velcro... meaning, that over time you have been made to feel as though that projection was not a projection from the outside at all, but that it was you, that it represented you, that it identified you, and... unfortunately... it is still trying to do that.
So, now it feels that that suffering IS YOUR suffering, and… worse even: you have been made to believe that you were also the... cause of that suffering, in addition to the... result.
So, now it appears as though that suffering defines me... and that I myself caused my suffering?
Yes, you have been defined and identified by that suffering so much and so often, that eventually you came to fully identify yourself with it... causing you to also assume that that suffering is part of your identity and reality…
But, of course it never ever was that, but… by now you have forgotten that.
So, at some point early in my life, I, my unadulterated being really, has been substituted by that passed-down pseudo-identity...? And I was made to adopt that pseudo-identity and treat it as ME?
How did that happen, and when, and who made that projection?
Who projected that anguish, anger, or as you say 'their own assumed suffering' onto me, while, as you say, they expected that by projecting their own suffering, that they would be rid of it themselves?
Look for someone in your life's past... a malevolent person of course, BUT very likely appearing as benevolent... one who even thought, or even may have told you, that he or she had the best intentions in mind for you.
See if you can recognize that you have been artificially identified to be that 'pseudo-person' which 'that person with the best intentions' wanted you to be...
People with secondary (often malevolent) motives do that so often that eventually one adopts that forced or made-up fake identity as one's own.
Eventually one even assumes that it has all been 'your own fault' or if not that, that you had it coming or deserved it… all the while forgetting - or having been made to forget - that you were actually tricked into the acquisition of that fake identity, that identity with that unwarranted and 'uncalled for' suffering.
Isn't it interesting that suffering people have been tricked (through the instillation of fear by others with likely secondary, even malevolent motives) into treating illusion as more real than reality itself... thus having been tricked into replacing REALITY with pseudo-reality and their real SELF with a fake or pseudo-self?!
That must be the reason why so many suffering and anguished people often say that they don't feel themselves!
Absolutely! Right on Natalie!
But back to "burning karma" or "killing demons"...
This is how demonic**** people (malevolent people / power mongers who use others for their own benefit, but to the detriment of the ones they are abusing) make you believe that it is "all your own fault", that it is YOUR karma… while… it is/was actually their abusive work, their karma** on you.
And it enabled them to hold you under their control, in their power… and... which is even worse… if you did not succumb or surrender to them, they made you believe that you were absolutely discardable and not even worth to be alive!
U ARE SO RIGHT...
And so, they abandoned me...
And they probably even expected that I might end up wanting to put an end to my life
About my meditation just now with that yoga teacher.... See, oddly enough, this person still smokes, and after my meditation I was so sad that I felt like smoking too, like I needed it as some form of compensation, hmm... consolation actually.
It was so strange, the sadness and the temptation or need for that artificial consolation.
I mean, why after such a meditation, when I only wanted to burn off karma, that I felt like burning tobacco and inhaling smoke?
And.. that temptation made me even more sad.
Too bad about that temptation, but it was very good that you felt that enhanced sadness. It gave you a chance to look at it.
So now, looking at that sadness...Do you now see that that sadness is really a repeat of the very first sadness you ever felt when you were for the first time duped in your life, and when you were for the first time conscious of the unfairness of it.
Yes, that is so true, that sadness and me wanting to cry came from the abandonment, the feeling of not being accepted, recognized - not being wanted!
So that’s also why the loneliness!
Somebody told me once that it was just bad luck...
That cannot be of course not, I so remember that I was a defenseless little child... a mistreated child... and now of course I always have that sense of being the victim…
You have a right to cry, so please do weep, you WERE so terribly duped...
It all happened when your will was weakened AGAINST YOUR WILL, when your free will was hijacked so to speak, when you were either taken advantage of, or when you were just abandoned and discarded.
You have a right to be angry... you have a right to stand up for yourself...
Then - in the past - when this first happened, you could not stand up for yourself, you were probably too small or too weakened, short-changed and underfed emotionally, and perhaps... physically as well...
Hence the pain or empty feeling in your stomach or around your solar plexus - the seat of your willpower.
And, yes, this happens most often when a child is helpless, defenseless...
Well, I feel hurt, intense hurt, like the wound is again open and I wonder why?
Yes, the old hurt revived..., that intense aching!
By the way, Natalie, nothing of what we are talking about here is to assign blame or to judge anyone... but IT IS IMPORTANT to make contact with that moment... AND... to identify the players and the circumstances in the drama that took place.
The players of course had no choice but to do to you what they were somehow also forced to do. If they still would've had their 'free will', they would never have done it.
But compassion will take care of that... but later.
NOW you have to identify that moment and identify the actors without fear... Good thing they are not here at the moment..., it is safe now.
Feel strengthened, Natalie, by this knowledge...
Be strong in this moment...
Let the weakness and sadness turn into strength...
Do some intensive deep breathing after your weeping, and… look for a feeling of triumph... however strange that might sound, however uncalled for triumph or even victory may seem…
Why does the attempt to liberate yourself cause so much pain and suffering?
That feeling of suffering appears to be so ancient, as though from an other life… I have so many memories of that…
More about that "other life" later, Natalie. For now, anger is good, providing it is at some point followed by compassion, and it will be!
It is a good thing that real rightful anger (not resentment, not hatred) will always be followed by compassion... you can take my word for it... and... love will follow as well, but it will be REAL love not fearful or pseudo-love that is being fed by guilt.
Yes, I feel that, but I would like to break this connection with suffering forever. Of course!
And you are right, before compassion one must understand that suffering, gain deep insight into it.
I feel that I need to understand how that... how did you put it?... how and why suffering was instilled in me.
Right now though, on the whole, there is still so much darkness in my suffering…
Have you read my blog pieces on "reincarnation", "past lives" and "bad karma"?
What I write about that, you may at first not agree with, but please do read the pieces on it carefully and trust me fully: you can confidently give up the belief in past life karma.
http://free-by-nature.blogspot.com/2010/02/reincarnation-past-lives-and-karma.html (also read the comments)
http://free-by-nature.blogspot.com/2007/09/karma-power-of-entrapment.html (also read the comments)
In fact, liberation (moksha) does not take place when you don't realize that past life karma is also part of that chain of suffering and ILLUSION!
The illusion being that you have been made to accept (or tricked into accepting) that you personally are the cause of your suffering - eternal suffering even, in the case of belief in past-life or past-lives karma and the reincarnations that presumably follow.
You can safely undo that belief in that so called 'reality' of past-life suffering.
Sure, that is a daring thing to do, I know, but when one does, one IS very brave...
One MUST be very brave, as it (giving up the belief in past life karma) goes against the sentiments that unfortunately are such a strong part of certain unhealthy elements in many religions and most New Age spiritual approaches. Unhealthy, as those sentiments actually keep the 'believer' enslaved to those unhealthy elements of religion and spirituality - the elements that keep the 'believers' captive, bounded.
Attachment to that belief actually prevents, or, if not that, it can seriously stymie one's genuine liberation.
It may be best to start with: http://free-by-nature.blogspot.com/2010/05/reincarnation.html and then to take it from there.
Well now that we are talking about all this, it seems that my inner self addressed me to you to find your good advice.
Thank you Natalie, but don't be surprised if you find yourself doubting what I am writing about karma and reincarnation in the articles I am suggesting you to read.
But that is to be expected as it is quite radical... but so was the Buddha's message, so was Jesus', so was Akhenaton's...
To be genuinely free and liberated, all beliefs eventually will have to be detached from.
In spite of what most people think in the world of spirituality,
most attachments are to… beliefs - not things.
But you can unconditionally trust the process of liberation. All conditional attachments will eventually disappear while the process of liberation is taking place.
I know, I’m radical as well, eclectic even, but I would like to liberate with Palden Dorje. I dream being one of his disciples and experience Truth with no fear or attachments so that I can leave everything behind.
Palden Dorje is so pure, so 'virgin'. He does not want to be manipulated by any hierarchies, not even the Buddhist ones.
Four years ago I felt he is the one, and I’m so lucky to live in the same era.
It is so wonderful to find such a person, someone who enables you in becoming unconditional in one's love, who helps you in your genuine search for truth and who enables you to reclaim and realize genuine unconditional happiness…
The need for renunciation - that has been my life and of part of my ancestors.
I have already renounced so many things, but I have still so many things left that I still need to detach from.
Any genuine liberator will help you to also become free of... the liberator himself (or herself), and any real liberator will remind you of that many times... even while you, who are following him (or her), feel so drawn and indebted to that person.
Any one-sided dependency - even on the guru - will disappear, although, the gratitude will of course always remain.
I know that! For sure!
No attachment at all, not even to the guru… But still, the Buddha had many many disciples, and still Buddhism seems to be a wide religious movement of followers…
Let us always remember the very last words of the Buddha:
"Vayadhamma sankhara appamadena sampadetha."
"Work hard to successfully regain the perfection of you own original being."
I have to leave now, Natalie, it was privilege to be with you!!!!
We will talk again...
Thank you Wim and I know that Palden Dorje will always invoke in us:
"Om Mani Padme Hum"
"You are a treasure, the light always shines in you!"
Remember how we started our conversation with "Those beneficiares will give you thanks"?
And all negativity, illusion and suffering will be seen as transient and will disappear...
Universal good will never cease and will never go unnoticed.
* Kalya (Sanskrit), Adverb - able, healthy, ready, well, capable, timely, pleasant, agreeable, auspicious.
Kalya, (proper name) masc. - with a short final vowel: ' a healthy boy'.
Kalya, (proper name) fem. - with a long final vowel: 'she who is the object of admiring meditation'.
The name of the Goddess Lalita.
** Karma (Sanskrit) - originally karma means work, action or act.
*** The 'demons' actually being ill intending victimizers (power-mongers and manipulators) with devious or deviating motives in the treatment of their charges by means of abusive strategies which increase their own advantage to the detriment of and at an emotional cost to their victims.
**** Transience or anicca (Pāli: अनिच्चा anicca; Sanskrit: अनित्य anitya).
The Pali word 'anicca' is usually translated as 'impermanence'. In my view however 'transience' does a slightly better job in reflecting what the Buddha intended to point out when he discussed that conditional phenomena***** are fleeting and cannot be depended upon or trusted with full confidence:
- Conditions are as they are, they are givens (as in 'data'), they might or might not be transient, at least they can be scientifically and objectively measured, exactly calculated and even predicted.
- Conditional phenomena however, are reflections that appear in the mind only. They cannot be depended upon with full confidence as they are mental interpretations that depend on the correctness of observations, interpretations and descriptions.
***** Phenomenon (noun) from phainomenon (Greek, noun) - that which appears,
from phainesthaiphainein - to show (active verb) but also - to appear (passive verb).