Call and Response Ep. 41 Karma and Consciousness, Dealing With Negativity
Q: I’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on my mind a lot of my life and to turn that around, I find that quite difficult. I’m a recovered Catholic and I’m trying my best to remove all belief systems. They’re inappropriate. Lately, in trying to find, and this is one of my shortcomings, always the quickest way to get somewhere, and I’m reading quite a few things on YouTube, believe it or not, and I found out that some people believe that there is no such a thing as karma when we reach a certain level of consciousness and I was wondering if this (karma) is a belief system?
“It’s real easy to see the atmosphere you create for yourself when you’re kind to people, when you care about people, when you’re someone that’s open to being with people in a good way. Your life becomes simple and filled with good things. Consciousness doesn’t have to be created. It’s here. Always.” – Krishna Das
Q: I’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on my mind a lot of my life and to turn that around, I find that quite difficult. I’m a recovered Catholic and I’m trying my best to remove all belief systems. They’re inappropriate. Lately, in trying to find, and this is one of my shortcomings, always the quickest way to get somewhere, and I’m reading quite a few things on YouTube, believe it or not, and I found out that some people believe that there is no such a thing as karma when we reach a certain level of consciousness and I was wondering if this is a belief system
KD: A what? A belief system?
Q: That karma is a belief system? And at a certain level, our spirit, when it’s very evolved, can create not having karma or is one with the godliness, the essence of godliness, that they, it can create whatever it wants so it certainly doesn’t want karma except, naturally, the good karma. Is there such a thing as being able to remove karma by just creating, being evolved eventually, etcetera.
KD: Yeah, if you have good karma.
Yeah, so karma, yes, it is a belief system, so to speak. But it’s pretty misunderstood, you know? Karma is actually the key to freedom, because it says, every action has an, every action has an effect, has a, no not necessarily an opposite reaction, not at all, but every action is like a seed that gets planted and that seed will grow, sooner or later. So, if you’re a cranky nasty person treating people bad all the time, you’re thinking always about yourself before others, these are the kind of seeds you’re planting. A lot of happiness doesn’t seem to be able to come from that. If you’re a kind person who’s thinking about others and serving others and taking care of yourself as well, that’s a whole different atmosphere that you’re living in. And in that atmosphere, different things can happen. When you’re living in a very dark, unhappy, cold atmosphere, in a very self-centered kind of way, then you’re creating all those kinds of karmas as well, and the way you’re talking, someone would say, “Well, you have very good karmas, very positive karmas, because you’re already thinking of how to create more freedom, rather than more bondage.” So, even being involved in that process is already very positive, very, there’s sattvic, so to speak, harmonious way of living, because you recognize if you’re treating other people bad all the time, you create a very negative atmosphere about yourself, around yourself, and it’s, it’s not easy to free one’s self from that. And so even, you could say, karma’s just another belief system, like any so-called belief system, but my experience tells me that, regardless of what I think about karma, it seems to be a way of dealing with cause and effect. Because one of the things they say is that nothing can come, nothing can be, exist, without a cause for existence. You know? If you have children, there was a cause for their existence. If you have money, if you have money in life, they say that’s because you were generous in a previous birth, for instance. And so, people with money in this birth, they tend not to be so generous, they tend to have a lot of fear and try to hold onto that and protect it. And so, they’re spending their generous, their money creating karmas and not creating more money creating karmas, so in the future, their selfishness and fear has created poverty, so to speak. It’s things like that. Most of these things are off the radar, but it’s real easy to see the atmosphere you create for yourself when you’re kind to people, when you care about people, when you’re someone that’s open to being with people in a good way. Your life becomes simple and filled with good things. Consciousness doesn’t have to be created. It’s here. Always.
What’s looking out of our eyes, what’s hearing through our ears, what’s feeling through our skin, tasting through our tongue, seeing through our eyes and being aware of thoughts in our so-called mind, is consciousness, is awareness. It’s here. Always here. They say it’s uncreated. They say it’s before creation, so to speak. Consciousness. So, everything comes after that is an object of that consciousness, so one doesn’t have to create that. One has to recognize it, to look for it. Look towards it. And so, for instance, in a practice of like, the repetition of the Name, where’s that Name come from? They say that these Names that we’re repeating, in India of course they call them the Names of God, whatever that means, they say those Names were brought to this world that we live in by a Being who recognized Reality, who merged with the Universe and then offered this path to finding that merging with the Universe. So those Names come from a place that’s deeper than our thoughts. Deeper than our emotions. Deeper than our conceptual understandings. So, by the repetition of those Names, we’re moving ourselves deeper within our own Being. And ultimately, we recognize that deeper reality. There’s no proof, you can’t prove these things, you know? But, if one meets Beings who radiate this goodness and this happiness and strength, inner strength and kindness, one says, “Well, how did that happen for you?” And they tell you, and that’s what they tell you, you know? They all have their way, each one of them has a way that they realized that, that experience. Saint Francis, all the great saints, they all tell you certain things and they’re all about not focusing only on your small “s” self. You now, we always wanted Maharajji to give us, to tell us what to do. Give us the thing, we’ll go do it. And He would say, we’d say, “Baba, how do you find God?” He said, “Serve people.” Serve people? He’s obviously out of it today. “Ok, Baba, how do you raise kundalini?” Mmmm… kundalini. He said, “Feed people.” What?
What is he talking about?
This is what He told us. “Don’t think about yourself. “ He never encouraged us to do spiritual practice for the sake of our own enlightenment. Why? Because all you get is a big ego that you can’t see because it’s spiritual. Must be good. Even though it doesn’t seem to be working very well. So, that’s the deal.
And, you know, in Vajrayana Buddhism, in Mahayana Buddhism, they talk about offering the fruits of your practice to others. So, you sit and you make your effort of remembering that you’re actually sitting, trying to remember, you know, and then before you get up, you say, well, may this practice that I’ve done, may this effort benefit all beings. And that expands you. It connects you. You begin to feel that you’re not, neither are you alone in the universe and neither are you, nor are you isolated. And that what you do affects others, and others affect you too. And on the other hand, I don’t know how many hands we have, but on the other hand, a lot of our unhappiness and our fear and anger and is not really ours alone. We’re living in a very dark, unhappy time and it’s very scary. And it’s the atmosphere. Everybody’s living in it, in this planet, in the same atmosphere. So, a lot of the stuff that happens mentally is not really our own personal issues, although we do take it all personally, our depression, our anger, our grief, our shame. All the stuff that we have, that’s my stuff. But it’s not always only your stuff. It’s a combination of the atmosphere we’re living in, so you know, trying to surface, to come up to the surface and get a breath of air in that atmosphere is very difficult. It takes time, and a kind of sincerity and whole-heartedness to really, to bring to our lives, to be able to give ourselves fully, or at least, more fully to what we’re doing. Whatever it is we’re doing. I hope that wasn’t too horrible. Ok. Thank you.
Q: You just spoke about lot about this not being our own, but really a societal thing or rather I’d call it, more like, it’s in the ether, so there’s a lot of negativity polarity as we all understand. Too little of ability to come up for, for fresh air or have an alternate by many many many many layers upon layers upon layers upon layers. With all the awakening going on, those of us who get what you just spoke of also find ourselves overwhelmed by the overpressure of what’s in the ethers, it’s like an imbalanced see-saw. How can we build critical mass to right that see-saw for there to be more light? For there to be more of what you do want rather than what you don’t want and then reacting because you see more of what you don’t want and then you’re just pissed off at that. It is just so dense and intense, permeating in the ether and there is still, as a global society, as a, it’s really in the global planetary ether, how to change all that?
KD: Got it. Got it. Ok? Got it.
So, one time a reporter was interviewing the Dalai Lama. And he said, “Your Holiness, are you happy?” And the Dalai Lama said, “Well, I guess you could say I’ve had a hard life. I was recognized as a reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lama and taken from my parents at a very early age. And then, the Chinese invaded and I was forced to take the reigns, become the, run the country at like, 15 years old. And then, the Chinese continued to invade so I had to escape my country. And then I had to watch helplessly as millions, millions upon million of my country’s people were slaughtered and killed. But, I’m happy.” He said, “The Chinese took everything from me. Am I going to let them take my happiness?” This is big time. Big Time. Your happiness is not dependent on what’s happening in the world. And in fact, until we can be happy within ourselves, we’re severely limited in what we can do in the world because motivation is what, is what dictates the result of our actions. You know? If we, if we plant a seed by just throwing it out, you know, like this? Maybe it will grow. If we plant the seed and plant it in the right place and give it some fertilizer and the prevent the cows from eating it, then it might grow. So, our actions have a lot to do with the motivation of our why we do what we do. Two people can do the same thing and have totally different result. Why? Well, there’s a million reasons, but it has a lot to do also with why a person does something. For instance, once I, when I was living somewhere, I had a little closet that I went into to meditate. And I had a candle and incense and a little cushion, and one day I went in there and I got in, I closed the door, ok, and I started puffing up the cushion and I turned around, before my ass hit that cushion I went “ahhh..” and I saw that my motivation for doing these practices at that time was that I wanted to create a “me” that I could like. And if I was doing spiritual practice, well I must be a very good person and I must like the right things… In other words, I was creating a version of me that I could love because I didn’t love myself as I am. So what could come from that? If my motivation is hatred of myself, then the practice, all it’s going to do is make me a bigger ego that I don’t even like. If it was a big ego I liked, ok that’s not so bad. Although it’s the same. But yeah, see?
So there’s nothing out there. There’s nobody out there. There’s only you.
You are every being that you see in this world. That’s the other side of taking responsibility for everything out there. So, when you clean up your act, the whole world is cleaned up. Now, I know. The neighbors are still going to be noisy. Your car’s still not going to work. The kids are going to be yelling and screaming, but you will be dealing with that and meeting every minute in a completely different way. One time, Maharajji said, somebody asked Him about something, He said, “I’ve already done everything. I just leave the mind to you.” Thanks.
But He was saying, like Siddhi Ma said later, “It’s all grace.” We live in a state of grace. We’re swimming in an ocean of grace, but we don’t realize it and so, we suffer. You can’t, it’s not something you can manipulate yourself emotionally to feel. It’s not like that. It’s already there. It’s looking out of your eyes, right now. When Maharajji left the body and I was running around looking for Him, because I knew He was somewhere, He just wasn’t showing me. I was running through the jungle and I meet these Babas, and I go, “I’m looking for my Guru.” “Your Guru? Your Guru is looking out of your eyes? What’s your problem?” “Ah, you don’t understand.” I went somewhere else. You know, it’s you have to hold, what they say there’s ultimately reality and relative reality, ok? In other words, this, there is what it is already, ok? Perfect. And then there’s relative reality, which is all the bullshit we think all day long. Ultimate reality is like the sky and it holds everything within it. The earth, the smog, the trees, the birds, everything, right? Relative reality is all that stuff. When we’re in relative reality, we don’t experience ultimate, the real thing. We’re stuck in this. But those who are in, who recognize ultimate reality, they live in this world freely and they, they’re here. Those are the great Beings that are here only to remind us and show us what’s possible. So, It’s not like you can make that happen. You don’t have to make it. You have to find what this is. Who you are. And then everything will come. And like I say, the most important thing, one of the most important things is how do you meet every moment? How do you meet every person that shows up in your awareness? Every person. How do you treat that person? Because all we see is our subjectivity. We react, whether it’s attraction or aversion. It’s usually one part of one of those or some mixture. But when Maharajji looked out, He saw God everywhere. He saw His own true nature everywhere. And He could see what I thought about myself, which is why compassion arose in Him, because that’s the only thing that can arise in one of these Beings. Kindness and compassion. And the ability to help me extricate myself from my self-hatred and my self-judging and my self-limiting and the whole thing.
So, be, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be active in the world. We should do everything we can to relieve any kind of suffering that comes into our lives, whether its for somebody else or our own personal suffering. That would be a wonderful way to go through life, being somebody can help anyone and anything that comes into your life. But we’re not capable of that. We don’t know how to, I mean, one time, many many years ago, before I went to India, before I met Ram Das, I was living on a farm. I had taken way too much acid, so I went off to live on a farm in the mountains of Pennsylvania all alone, with my two dogs and my cat and I was living up in the mountains with no human beings in sight. And, so I used to walk around and I got friendly with the people who owned the farm next door. So one day, the phone rings. My name was Jeff. They said, “Jeff, come on up here. Come on up to the house. Hurry hurry!” So, I thought, “What’s going on?” So, I ran up to the house up the road, you know? And I walk up and she comes running out of the house and she hands me a rifle. “Look, we got a coon treed! You can shoot it!” “Ah… What?” “Yeah yeah. Right here right here! Take the rifle, you can shoot the coon!” I didn’t know what to do. I took the rifle and I shot the racoon. And then I didn’t kill it even. I had to like, shoot it three times because I was a terrible shot. And the whole time I’m like… you know? I didn’t know how to stand up for myself. I didn’t know how to not do what life was putting in front of me. Boy, I can still feel it. I tell ya. Another time, many years later, Dada, one of Maharajji’s devotees, he came to visit us in America and I was driving him around, going through these neighborhoods, just showing him around and I hit a squirrel. A squirrel ran across the street and I hit it with a car. And I said, “Dada, what happened?” You know? “I had no intention of killing that squirrel.” You know? “What about the karma of killing the squirrel? I killed the squirrel!” He said, “Just drive.” So another time, so Maharajji, Ram Das had bought a Volkswagon bus from some westerners that were in India, and we were driving it all around the mountains. We were driving it to the temple every day from the town, like 17, 18 westerners piled into this volkswagon bus, hanging on the top, sitting on the roof, hanging off the back. It was a scene. And it was getting a little intense. And Indians would come out of their houses to watch the bus go by. You know? So, Maharajji killed the bus eventually. It just wouldn’t start one day. But before that happened, before that happened, he took the key, He said to Ram Das, “Ram Das, you’re a saint, you have to take the bus with the regular people.” And He gives the keys, takes his keys and gives them to me. He said, “Jeff will drive.” So, from then on, He called me “driver.” “Driver!” For a year, my name was “Driver.” So, that’s cool, it’s pretty hip. “I’m driver.” That’s cool. So, I had a secret desire. It wasn’t so secret but I never told anybody, but I wanted to drive Maharajji in the car, right? So, I kept the keys with me. I never, the keys were never out of my sight. When I went to sleep, they were in my shoulder bag, right by my pillow. I never, so like, a year later, Maharajji looks at me one day. “Got the keys?” “Yeah.” “Let’s go.”
So, we went out of the house, Dada’s house. Dada was walking with Maharajji. We were walking out to the bus, the volkswagon bus and I opened the door. Maharajji and Dada come up, and Maharajji was short and He had to throw Himself up onto the seat of the Volkswagon bus, right? So he throws Himself up and He bashed His head on the doorjam, on the top. I mean, really bashed His head. I almost pissed in my pants. I said, “Dada! Did you see that?” And he said, “He did it on purpose. Just drive.” That’s a real devotee.
Obviously. The seal of approval over here. Because in Dada’s eyes, nothing could, everything Maharajji did was on purpose. There was no, everything that happened. And a really interesting thing happened. So, two days later we were sent away to do this pilgrimage with this swami down in south india that Ram Das had promised. So, Maharajji said, “You promised. You have to go.” So, off we went. Three or four of us with Ram Das. And I was driving and there was a big long curve and on this side was a reservoir, right? And I entered the curve too fast. And the car, you know, those old Volkswagon buses weren’t very good and I felt the car moving out off the road, you know? And I’m thinking, we’re going into the reservoir and as soon as I thought that, there was like a wind came, like woosh and pushed the car back on the road like that. And I thought, He hit His head.
Prove it isn’t so. Go ahead.
He hit His head. He saved us. We were going, I swear to you, we were going into the water. The car was already drifting across and I couldn’t, nothing I could do, I was… and then woosh. Really. It was amazing. What are we talking about?