Q&A with Aaron
June 24, 2008 (afternoon)
Emrich Retreat

Keywords: Evolution of consciousness, Densities, Fear, Polarity, Karma, Consciousness, Equanimity/intention, guides&teachers, Spirit guidance, Releasing Negativity, Veil of forgetting, Free Will, Vipassana, Dependent Arising, Fourth density earth.

We are sitting on the lawn at Emrich, under the flowering catalpa tree.

Aaron: … I’m happy to hear any questions you have, questions about your practice or related spiritual areas.

Q: After going through the experience of dissolving the body and going into the Unconditioned, I am starting to see another being but I can only see a silhouette which at times becomes very fearful. And it pulls me back into the conditional.

Aaron: So you say that as the dissolution experience of the body and of the ego deepens, there is no self, just awareness, moving into that space, and then there’s a silhouette, something semi-solid. Fear arises. At the point where there’s fear, there are 2 possibilities. One is equanimity with fear, but that’s not happening, there’s not equanimity with it for you. When there’s not equanimity with it, yes, it pulls you back. Then the work is simply to note fear, the direct experience of fear. If it’s unpleasant, know it’s unpleasant. Where does it hit in the body? Feel it in the body.

As the practice deepens you begin to know everything that comes is impermanent, arisen from conditions, not self. The fear is no different. Somehow the fear is posing as something “other than,” this ground of being, but all there is, is ground of being and its expressions. So when you note fear, and watch it carefully, you will begin to see its true nature is impermanent, arisen from conditions and not self. The fear will begin to shimmer and dissolve. The silhouette may or may not remain. If it remains, there won’t be any fear of it, and as you get closer to it, you’ll be able to ask, what is it?

You will note I am not trying to identify the ‘silhouette,’ but just to guide you in working with the fear. This is because it does not really matter what it is, but how you will relate to it. I know I’m oversimplifying. It’s hard work to stay with the fear, but that’s the practice. Most people as they come into that place of emptiness experience fear at first. That’s natural. It’s an unknown. What is it? Fear.

You just keep doing the basic practice. If the fear is stopping you from moving into that space in the first place, begin to use reflections like your intention, as we talked about in the group this morning. The intention of service to all beings; the intention to liberation; not grasping at it, just holding that intention; these intentions will support your work with fear.

If a father’s son is drowning in the sea and the father is afraid of the water, the father would ask himself, “What is my intention here? To save my child?” and he wouldn’t hold back, would he? He’d just go right into the sea because the intention is strong.

So we nurture that intention for liberation, for service, all the intentions that are highest to you, and they provide support so when the fear comes, an “I can’t do that,” kind of thought, the reminder is right there. As the Buddha said, if it were not possible, he would not ask you to do it. One can do it. This is the work of love. Okay?


Q: Yesterday I felt like I was sitting on a lot of questions but I didn’t know what they were. I’m beginning to have many questions. I would like to know more about nada and luminosity, which are new words for me.

I will say 3 things and you can pick one… That’s one. Another one is Barbara mentioned the difference between guides and teachers, the other night. And finally, being fairly new at this practice I guess I’m wondering where are we headed? What is the ultimate goal of this practice?

Aaron: Let’s start with that one. You are spirit. You are incarnate in this body. You come again and again into the body. Why? You are here to learn compassion, it’s as simple as that.

From my perspective, there are eight densities. I use the word density because they relate to the heaviness or lightness of the vibration. Simple beings like a flower are of a heavier density, not as high a vibration although some flowers have a very high vibration. Gas, rock, mineral, this is first density, the lowest, heaviest vibration. Vegetables and animals are second density, humans are third density. Then we have 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th densities.

When you no longer need to return to human incarnation, there is a shift into 4th density. The whole earth is shifting from the 3rd density to a 4th density planet, so many of you are here doing the work to become 4th density beings. For those who do not finalize this move into 4th density, once the earth is a 4th density planet, there will be 3rd density places for them to abide. But the whole earth is shifting into a 4th density planet.

This shift in consciousness is moving the earth from a dualistic consciousness into a non-dual consciousness. There have been, I don’t want to go into this in too much detail right now, it’s an answer to a different question, but the earth has been in transition through many different levels of consciousness and now you’re moving into a non-dual consciousness. As long as you live only in terms of the ego self and self-centeredness, you can’t make the transition to non-dual consciousness nor can you support it on the earth.

The key to that transition is compassion, because in compassion, we exchange self and other. We really shift beyond self and other through this exchange of self and other, opening the heart so deeply that self and other fall away.

As this growth continues, in your practice you watch physical sensations, thoughts and emotions arise and pass away, the whole conditioned realm arising and passing away. From the relative reality human perspective, there is a “me” and that object. And if it’s a pleasant object, there may be a “me” wanting it. If it’s an unpleasant object, there will be aversion to it.

Then there may be either grasping or hatred. The self, the ego, becomes more and more solid when you live with this world-view. As you do the practice, the training is to watch the objects that arise, watch the secondary reaction to the objects–pleasant, clinging; unpleasant, aversion–and gradually an equanimity with it all develops. Everything begins to open up. The objects arise; for example, a little snake slithers across your leg. Seeing, seeing, touching, touching, snake, snake. Is that tickling sensation really unpleasant or is it simply unpleasant because you see that it’s a tiny little garter snake? Snake! But it is just another creature. It’s a sentient being, just as you are

Somebody’s angry words fall upon your ears. You take it personally. You contract into the separate self. As you work with the practice, there’s simply hearing, hearing, hearing angry words, experiencing some unpleasantness to the tone and the energy of the words. Unpleasant is just unpleasant. One doesn’t take it personally. There’s no longer contraction into the self, but instead, there is equanimity.

Gradually, as you do the practice, the compassion and wisdom come together so deeply, the equanimity becomes so strong that there’s no longer any contraction into a solid self. I’m not saying it never happens but when it happens it’s brief and you see it as another object: contracting, separating–ah, allow it to open up again. No contraction, open.

In 4th density you will be, perhaps in material, perhaps not in material form, but you will all be telepathic. There will be a broad sharing of experience, no duality. You will be able to hear others’ thoughts and others will hear your thoughts. So I ask people, are you ready for that now? What if you were telepathic right now in this moment? What if everybody in the group was? Are you comfortable with that? Clearly most of you would say no. It’s a nice idea but what about the negative thoughts I just had, that somebody would pick up? Would you feel embarrassment? What about somebody’s comment, “I don’t like the blue of her dress?” Would you feel insulted?

As you deepen in the practice so there’s strong equanimity with arising and dissolution of experience, knowing everything is conditioned, just arising and passing away and strong equanimity with it; literally you cease to contract with it. I don’t want to go into this next area with too much depth now; it’s another question; but this is the basis of karma. Freedom from karma is the uncontracted space. When you rest in awareness, there’s no karma, no contraction. Contracted, there’s self, there’s karma, and the karma keeps spinning.

So when you ask, what is the purpose of the third density or the human experience, what I would call, not the purpose but the process, is the deepening of equanimity, which comes with non-dual awareness. The result is deepening wisdom and compassion. One could say the purpose is to graduate from third density but that’s not complete, that’s too self-centered. The purpose really is just compassion; it’s growth. Everything is seeking God. You’re moving outward from the small self, opening out into the vastness, that Ground of Being.

Q: Is that the purpose, the goal of our sitting?

Aaron: I could say that the goal of your sitting is liberation, or we could simply say it’s love, unconditional love. On the short-term level, it’s non-reactivity to catalyst; learning not to slap at the bug, not to yell back at the angry words; to say no when appropriate, when somebody speaks at you abusively, but to say no from a place of love. If an insect is about to burrow into your arm, you learn to whisk it away gently so it’s not harmed. “No, find something else to eat, please.”

So I would say the purpose is to reach this level of non-dual awareness. To do that, wisdom and compassion must develop, and there’s equanimity with all arising objects. The practice directly leads you into attainment of equanimity with the objects that arise and dissolve.

So the practice, it’s really, let me put it in this way. Two thousand years ago, the being I was, was part of the Essene school at the time of Jesus. All the children were taught these practices–mindfulness, watching the arising and dissolution of objects, watching reactivity–this was basic pre-kindergarten learning. Once one was stable in those practices, then there were further practices based non-dual awareness: how you co-create the weather; how the grass grows. It’s easy to see how you co-create an argument because if you react and they react, eventually it escalates, but in the same way, you co-create the whole world around you–even wars on the other side of the world. You’re all energetically co-creating everything.

So the young children learned the practices that you’re learning; that was basic. And then as they grew up, they began to learn the much deeper energetic practices. But this kind of practice that we do here is the ground for those further esoteric practices.

Q: This makes a lot of sense to me. It’s the not the same terminology I’m used to, but in the Brennan school, that was a big part of what we were doing there, responding rather than reacting, moving from duality to non-duality.

Aaron: Exactly. And responding not just to the snake crawling over you or to the angry words but responding as you do energy work with a client. You can’t react to a shift in the client’s energy; you have to respond. It’s part of mutual co-creation through respect, inviting rather than enforcing. But in order to do that stably, there must be the dissolution of the self and ego, and the understanding of what that means, and being able literally to live from that place. At that point we start to co-create this 4th density, non-duality Earth together. And this Earth can be the Eden that it was promised to be. It’s up to you, whether you’re going to co-create that or not.

Teachers and guides. Each of you has your own guides. You all have primary and secondary guides. A primary guide agrees not to incarnate as long as you are incarnate. Secondary guides may do so. Guides exist at all levels. I think I spoke of third density guides, guides in between lifetimes. Your grandmother who died when you were an infant, or your friend from a past lifetime who did not incarnate in this lifetime with you, these persons have agreed to be your guides just as you will agree to be the guide for others between lifetimes.

You wonder how another third density being can guide you. I like the illustration of walking underwater. You have a long snorkel tube, but no goggles, you can’t see where you’re going. There are flags on the surface indicating a course. It’s important to stay on course, but you can’t see. But your guide is sitting on your shoulders with her head above the water, so your guide says, “Over that way, further this way,” and points you where to go. But if when the guide thusly directs you, and you say, “No!” and pull away, you’re not listening. The guide cannot help. You made a pre-incarnation agreement with the guide; it’s up to you to listen. They’re there.

You have spirit group families so for most of you, the primary guide may be 3rd density, but they’re part of a much larger family. Barbara had come to know her one of her 3rd density guides before she met me. But an agreement had been made before the incarnation that I was her primary guide. So getting to know this guide helped her to open a bit to the possibility of spirit guidance.

As you need a higher level guide, they will be there. Think of the university system where the student might go to the TA with questions. The TA is also a student. She understands the student’s questions. But then as the student’s questions become more complex, the TA might not know and they will need to go to the assistant professor. The assistant professor can handle the student’s questions for awhile, but as the student matures, finally they need to call in the full professor. The whole chain of understanding is there; it’s all set up. Whatever you need, will be there. The level of guidance will be there.

While you each have your own guides with whom you planned before the incarnation, you also have teachers with whom there may not have been any prior plan. Some teachers will be human teachers, some teachers will be spirit plane teachers. I am Barbara’s guide. I said to her in the beginning, I am happy to teach anyone for whom it would be beneficial. There are several of you, like John, for whom I am also a guide. We have a long past life history together and there was agreement before the incarnation that I would be one of his guides, but he’s also in contact with his other guides.

So teachers come and you work with them for as long as it’s appropriate to work with them, and then they go. You don’t hold on to a teacher; no attachment. You work with them for as long as it’s useful, and then you let go. But the guide is with you throughout the lifetime.

I’d like to give others a chance to ask questions. I’m aware we have not answered all of your questions.

Q: Are these beings enlightened?

Aaron: The third density guide is not enlightened but if you were sitting on somebody’s shoulders and could see above the surface of the water, you could guide them as to which way to go. When you incarnate you agree to a forgetting of your true nature, of who you are. You come into the incarnation and, in part because of the culture, there’s a strong self-identity with the aggregates. In some cultures there’s much less self-identity with the aggregates. Some children are taught from childhood that they are not their bodies, they’re not their minds, but in your culture, this is what you’re taught.

Your guides may not be more evolved than you are but they have broken through this veil of forgetting because they are not incarnate. When they’re incarnate, they’ll come back into the veil of forgetting, but right now they’re out of it, head above the water, seeing everything, seeing what your life-plan was, even if you have forgotten.

I’ve met young children, sometimes as young as 3 or 4, who respond to me very openly. They have no problem with a spirit plane being. Some of them see their own guides clearly. They live in a world of spirit. But as children mature in your culture, they lose this. So you move into this, we call it “veil of forgetting,” that descends.

This is part of the work. If there was constant clarity about your true nature from birth, can you see that the work would be more a matter of self-discipline? How can I best explain it… If anger arose, one would simply call forth that deep knowing that says, “This anger is not me. It’s arisen from conditions. I will not move into anger.” But one wants to work with it and know, “Here is the reality of anger, fear, confusion or sadness. How do I relate to it with compassion?” So part of the human learning is to know the human experience, and use it as the ground for compassion.

The young infant at first does not distinguish between the self and her mother. It must move into that differentiation between self and mother in order to evolve. Maybe she’s headed for a lifetime of dharma practice and the eventual deep realization of non-duality with which started as an infant, but it’s different because the adult realization of non-duality comes by breaking through the everyday world that the infant has not yet experienced. The infant is just there, quite naturally.

Q: What happened between the kindergartners of 2000 years ago and today?

Aaron: Those Essene children and the children of today? The world has moved more and more into an exploration of darkness and negativity. We need to explore things to understand them. In the exploration, at times, there was some getting caught up in it. People who explored power found that they liked power. They had to work through that, to see that while they liked power, they did not like the pain of hurting and being hurt. People who had control over others found they liked that control. People with greed found they liked having more than they needed. And then they had to bear the repercussions of those feelings, to see that this was not good for the whole.

There have been different levels of consciousness, much like the evolution that the child goes through. The mythic consciousness, the child believes in myths as reality. And on to different levels of consciousness, I don’t want to give a long talk on this. But the most recent has been a relative reality consciousness that dwells deeply in separation. You’ve had to explore that. Many of you were there 2000 years ago. You were learning these things. As negativity developed, many of you went along with it because you understood people have to explore at their own pace. It’s like with a baby, you have to let the baby put things in its mouth. You make sure there are safe objects for it. You can’t say, “That’s not good; let’s bypass that stage of learning.” The baby has to touch, put things in its mouth.

We move through different stages of learning. But now as the world has evolved, you’ve gotten to a point where your brains have given you the ability to destroy the world. So that you’re aware there needs to be a step back to deeper awareness; more and more of you are aware there needs to be a step back into a deeper reality of non-duality, and into a deeper understanding that we can live, and must live, from that place of non-duality.

These teachings have not disappeared and they will be increasingly available to you as you all gain maturity to handle them. Some of these teachings are–let us simply say if they were put in the hands of someone who would use them to self-service, they could do enormous harm.

This is true even the teachings here at retreat. Sitting under this tree, we often teach the dzogchen practice from the Tibetan tradition. Dzogchen means literally, “not two”. It’s a meditation practice in which you are taught just to rest in awareness. Until perhaps 40 years ago these were secret teachings. It was felt that they could not be entrusted to people who did not have the motivation of the highest good of all beings, so the people had to become firm in that ground before they could learn these teachings. Then the great Tibetan masters realized, we don’t have time for that; we need to educate people all together. So they started to allow these previously secret teachings out into the world. They’re very powerful teachings.

When you rest in awareness in that way, there is no karma. One who has negative intention could conceivably learn to rest in awareness and literally to kill from that place of resting in awareness. Think of the repercussions from that. So there must be deep grounding in morality and in the non-dual awareness of no self or other through the meditation practice. So all of these teachings haven’t gone anywhere. They’ve become increasingly available on the Earth as people are ready for them.


Q: I have two friends who are students of Brenda Morgan in Ann Arbor, and they are dedicated to bringing light and love into the world and helping the world transform. They believe, these two women, that part of their work is to help transform the dark powers. They feel sometimes the dark powers come after them, sort of attack them. Can you comment on dark powers?

[it sounds like wind on the mic, as if outside, which occasionally obscures some words]

Aaron: First, I do not know Brenda Morgan. What I say, then, is not any statement on his or her work. Certainly there is negativity. I do not deny there is negativity but there is also only light. When I say there is only light, that is not a statement that there is not negativity but that in the ultimate sense, that negativity, that darkness, is also grounded in light.

From my perspective, I talked about the densities, and upcoming 4th density. From density, 4th density one comes out of this group energy more mature, through 5th and into 6th density. In 4th density there are still emotions, still the emotional body but there’s equanimity with the emotional body. In 5th density, the emotional body begins to recede. There is still joy and sorrow but not strong heavy emotions. In 6th density there is only the mental and spirit body.

Negativity can advance through to 6th density. It can become so self-absorbed that it doesn’t perceive its anger and cruelty as harm. So it moves deeper and deeper towards 6th density. A negative 6th density being is very powerful and very negative, whether it’s human or it’s on the spirit plane. But negative polarity ends at 6th density, it cannot move into 7th density because 7th density has an antithetical vibration. 7th density and 8th density are a high vibration of light. So the 6th density negatively polarized being that’s moved as far as it can in 6th density needs to backtrack all the way, often into second or even first density and run this whole course again.

Some of these negative 3rd density humans and higher-density negatively polarized beings serve as a reminder to us for compassion. When you address such a being with kindness, when you refuse to be pulled into their negativity, this is the strongest thing you can do with them. For a very powerful 6th density negatively polarized spirit plane entity, yes, they will attack. They will only attack if you give them an opening to attack. Your friends are providing just that opening by thinking of them in dualistic terms, and thinking of them as something they have to fight with. As soon as there’s fear, me against that, that’s the opening negativity needs to get in. Nothing can harm you without your consent. Nothing can harm you, without your participation.

Q: Is our ultimate destiny to become one with that 8th density light? Are you there?

Aaron: I would not put it in quite that way because you already ARE one with it, so how could you become it? Rather, your ultimate destiny is to know that you are one with it. That means to let go of the whole myth of the self while still revering this human expression of the divine, just as we revere this floral expression of the divine (pointing to the tree filled with white catalpa blossoms). There are beautiful, different expressions of the divine. There are mundane expressions, there are supramundane expressions; all expressions of the divine.

When you come to know yourself at that level, that you truly are an expression of the divine, with these aggregates of form, feeling, thought, impulse and consciousness, you respect these aggregates as tools. If you are a carpenter, you respect your tools. All of you are carpenters of sorts. You’re here on earth to build an abode of love, and you have tools.

Answering your further question;, first I have held myself in a high 6th density space. To move into 7th density is to release the mental body. Once released, you can’t get it back again. Think of holding out an eye dropper and dropping a drop of water into the ocean. It doesn’t cease to exist. That drop of water is still chemically exactly the same, a drop of water, but there’s no way you can extract that drop out of the ocean again. To move into 7th density is to release the mental body. I have no fear of doing that, in fact I know that someday I shall do so and look forward to that time with joy. But not while there are beings suffering here on earth. So this is my work, now.

Eight density takes it one step further and I can’t explain that because I have not been there, I only understand it conceptually. Eventually all of you will move into that space but you all have free will and you’ll move in when the time is appropriate. I wouldn’t worry about it now, don’t let it hold you back from your meditation practice, the fear, “Oh, I’ll be a drop of water in the ocean, I’ll be lost!” It’s a LONG ways off, and there’s always free will. You can stay in 6th density as long as you like.

Q: I would like to ask that question that I asked this morning, about the Buddha [and God]. What’s going on?

Aaron: What’s going on with God and the Buddha. Can you express the question in a different way?

Q: Yes… as a child we were told stories about heaven and there would be angels singing. [I thought] that is the most boring place in the world to be.

Aaron: Indeed. Do they sing the same songs all the time? What happens to people who speak a different language?

I don’t mean to trivialize anyone’s religious traditions, but God is not a puppet master. God is not a mother or father entity. God is simply the wholeness of love and intelligence. It is mother and father but it goes so far beyond mother and father as to be unrecognizable as that. There are many levels to heaven, if I can put it that way, and people will find what they seek. The loving 3rd density being that has lived his life with kindness and believes in such a heaven may indeed experience it, temporarily. But through its guides it will need eventually to look at its past life and its karma, will face some unpleasantness as it looks at the ways that it did harm on the earth, no matter how lovingly it lived, and it will finally have the readiness to come back into incarnation and resolve that karma.

The 4th density being who no longer has need to come back into incarnation, I talked about energy groups that you move into on 4th density, a group of such, let’s call it Christian believers, might band together and be convinced that they are in that kind of heaven. They’ll be very convinced until they emerge into 5th density and find that there are others who had Buddhist or Moslem or some native culture background, and who envisioned and experienced a totally different heaven. Slowly they emerge from these sets of beliefs into the reality of what is.

I would ask you to think of the time in your life when you have felt most openhearted, empty of an individual self, and surrounded by love. Maybe it only lasted for a few moments, or maybe for awhile. Can you think of such a time? That’s heaven. Will you experience other beings there? Certainly.

Q: And that doesn’t get boring?

Aaron: It doesn’t get boring because you don’t stay in that space for so long. Your perceptions are constantly expanded, as you are ready. It’s like the shell I spoke of. You may have one of those big spiral shells, but all that we have is a little piece of it. We are searching for the rest. Do you know the poem by Shel Silverstein, Looking for My Missing Piece? Anybody know that poem? It’s a song.

Looking for my missing piece
Looking for my missing piece
Here I go, round again,
Looking for my missing piece.

He has an entire book of poems called Looking for My Missing Piece. But here we only have a small piece. If the shell existed, the whole shell, it still exists, but in your hand is only the fragment. So as part of, let’s call it heavenly realization, there is a vast peace and love, and the awareness of the possibility of expanding ever outward. “I’m not just this.” Here is John’s “one step beyond the line,” moving out and out and out. Finding the support you need, in angels or whatever form they come.

There’s always work to do. Heaven, as I have experienced it, is diverse. At one level there are many schools, places for learning. Beings like yourselves in between lifetimes, positively polarized beings–you don’t just slip off into a new incarnation, you understand what is going to be needed for the new incarnation and you study with some of the great masters, some of whom are beyond the need to incarnate again. It’s very powerful. When you feel ready, that you’ve learned what you need to learn, to have success in the new incarnation, then you come back into the incarnation.

Q: Does that have anything to do with the size of the universe?

Aaron: The universe is infinite. Your universe as you know it is finite, but the greater universe is infinite.

Q: Okay… I was just referring to the size of this universe. You said there’s a lot to do.

Aaron: You will never be bored unless you have the negative tendency toward boredom and confine yourself into a small space. Have you ever read the book, Testimony of Light? (Q: No.) I believe there’s a copy in the bookstore…by Helen Greaves. This book is a very clear statement of the stage beyond the transition. The author’s friend was a Catholic nun but then left the order. She wanted to explore spiritually in a much wider way. She said, “If I die first, I’m going to come back and tell you how it is.” And she does. It’s very clear.

Of course, she first wakes up in what seems to be a Catholic retreat house. Now, a farmer is not going to wake up in a Catholic retreat house; he’s probably going to wake up on a farm. A sailor is going to wake up by the sea. A Buddhist is going to wake up in a different setting than a Christian, with Buddha images, not Christ ones. It’s created in the mind. The Sister loved gardening so she finds herself in a place with beautiful gardens. The first thing she does is simply to rest and have loving guides, or angels, as you might call them, help her through the transition. And then she asks, “What am I here to do?” She finds all the support she needs.

I don’t want to tell you all about the book but I suggest you read it. I think it will answer some of your questions. The book is accurate if you know that not everybody will wind up clothed in monk’s robes in a Catholic retreat house.

From the Buddha’s perspective, the arahat moves into 8th density. One who has that full realization will still live out his or her life but upon transition will move into 8th density, unless there is a decision to remain accessible in 6th density. From that perspective, one simply releases into the ground of being. I used the idea of sweetening the water. So it’s not irresponsible to make this choice; rather it’s a great gift. The sweeter the water, the deeper and sweeter the ground, the more accessible it is to beings. Some beings have a karmic tendency and intention simply to move into that ground. Other beings choose to stop as I do at 6th density, or some choose to stop in a different space–a 6th density being can still incarnate if it so chooses.

If I were called to incarnate, certainly I could. Fortunately I have this instrument who has been willing to work with me in these several lifetimes so that I can be “sitting on her shoulders,” in 6th density and still able to use her body as a platform from which to teach, and can also help her to find release from 3rd density.

Q: The only thing that’s keeping you from joining the 8th density is the need to relieve suffering here…?

Aaron: That’s correct. I would not call it the need, but the intention, the aspiration, the desire.

Q: And once that suffering stops…

Aaron: But that does not mean that a being who moves into 8th density is less compassionate that I am.

Q: No, I understand. But once that stops, these conditions stop, you’d gladly go to the 8th density…

Aaron: Probably. It will depend what happens after that. If I am needed in some level in a 4th density earth where there is no suffering, I will remain. I really have no preference, here. I will meditate on it and see where my energy is most useful. But I have no attachment to this mental body nor to being a somebody in any way.

Q: Is there kind of a plan or an organization for this? I have a frightening recall of a movie called Beetlejuice, where…

Aaron: I did not see the movie; Barbara did not see the movie…

Q: … <> and he runs into a social worker who (cannot hear).

Aaron: There is a great body of what I would call brothers and sisters of light, highest masters, of all Earth and other planes. They do not direct, they simply offer guidance. There is always free will. But at that point when there’s no suffering on the earth, I will probably turn to this brother/sisterhood of light of which I am a part with the question, “Where do you see my highest service?” And I will hear their thoughts, and I will take it into meditation. There is no organization who orders us anywhere.

Q: How does our free will fit in with karma?

Aaron: Perfectly… Let us suppose you have a neighbor who is very rude, always angry, hostile, and you begin to react to his hostility. You have a free will choice. When he walks his dog on your front lawn, you walk your dog on his front lawn. When he yells at you, you yell back. When he puts our rat poison for your dog on his front lawn, you put out rat poison on your front lawn. You’re escalating the negativity. This is your free will.

But by that escalation, you are perpetuating the unwholesome karma. At the point where you look at what is happening and your own wisdom, compassion, deep understanding says, “This is getting us nowhere,” then you might change your behavior toward him. That changes the karma.

There’s always free will. There’s what we call the active moment. You see this man, this neighbor, walking toward you and he has a very angry scowl on his face. You’ve been trying to act in a kinder way toward him. But when you see this angry scowl, all you want to do is punch him in the nose, or lash out at him, “NOW what are you angry about?” Mindfulness watches, “Anger arising, wanting to react.” Mindfulness sees intention–which is part of karma–sees the intention to defend, to fight back. And you also see the intention toward compassion and healing. A part of you recognizes that fighting back in this moment will be unwholesome for him and for you. In simplest terms, it will be karmically expensive, a lot of karma for a moment of ego satisfaction. In that moment, the active moment, there’s a choice to fire off angry words or a fist or to simply say, “You look very angry. What’s troubling you?” That shift in intention from your free will shifts the karma. He may still lash out with angry words, but you realize, “This is just his fear talking. I don’t have to take it personally. He’s suffering enormously.” Now, you still may want to put a fence up around your yard and literally not deal with him. That’s okay; that can be a compassionate thing to do, but you’re no longer acting from a place of negativity.

Q: I really like that picture of how behavior can work to the advantage of good. However I think there are some interpretations of Buddhist explanation of karma that make it seem that because of previous experiences, all our behavior is determined because of previous experience.

Aaron: Not at all. This is not what Buddhism teaches, nor what the Buddha taught. Nothing is predetermined but if you’re inclined in any direction, it is harder to stop. If you have a wagon at the top of a hill, it’s not yet inclined at any direction; but as you start it rolling down the hill, it becomes harder and harder to stop. The more you act out a certain negative energy, the more the “wagon” of habit is heading down the hill. Then it becomes harder and harder to get it back on neutral ground. But you always can stop it. If you run down that hill and crash into rocks and other people at the bottom a hundred times and there you are, about to roll down again, something in you can say, “Ah, this is not going to work,” and roll off the wagon before it picks up momentum. You always have free will.

Let us hold further questions about this topic for tomorrow. It’s 4:00. Tomorrow we’ll pick up from here. Thank you all. My blessings and love to you.

(recording ends)

Copyright © 2008 by Barbara Brodsky