Q&A - June 26, 2008 (morning)
Emrich Retreat

Keywords: Karma, Forgiveness, Evolution/Densities

Aaron: I am Aaron. We are now on Thursday morning instruction period. There are no new instructions this morning. Do you have questions about my talk last night?

If no questions about last not on karma, then any other questions?

Q: Is karma true with everything we do?

Aaron: Everything. And I also want to make sure you understand that there is both wholesome and unwholesome karma. What we consider wholesome karma is easier to release. “I’m going to be kind… I will be generous… I will take care of others.” The intention may come from a place of great love but there’s still a sense of a self in that, so the specific strand of karma there is about the sense of a separate self who’s going to be a do-er, doing the most wholesome deeds. The karma is not about the doing itself, not about giving, which may be very kind and selfless, but about the sense, “Me, I just did good.” So that carries its own specific strand of karma.

But as you work with karma, in the beginning there is a self choosing between wholesome and unwholesome, and finally at the end the self is the last thing to go. Don’t worry about the fact that there is a self, however strong or subtle. Just make wholesome choices and then begin to attend this self who is still trying to be a somebody who is loving and positive.

M, karma attaches to anything to which there is intention. Where there is no intention, there is no karma. The first time you walked on the sidewalk outside the hall, you probably stepped on some ants. There’s no unwholesome karma the first few times you step on the ants. Then at some point there was strong awareness–“There are all these ants, I need to be careful.” Then if you walk through saying, “I’m late” and walk quickly and step on ants, then yes, there’s unwholesome karma. You made a choice at some level to not pay attention to the fact that in some way you were harming these small creatures.

Q: Can one have negative karma unwholesome, and still become enlightened?

Aaron: Yes. There are 4 stages of enlightenment–in English: the stream entry, the once-returner, the non-returner, and the arahat. The stream entry level, one is not yet fully enlightened. I talk about this two different ways, in the Buddhist framework of enlightenment and in my density framework. One is still a third density being, there is still karma, there are still reverberations within the physical, emotional, and mental bodies that pull you back into incarnation, but there is seeing of what’s going on. And suddenly there’s awareness, “I can attend to this. I don’t have to stagger around blind.” The eyes open, the eyes close again, but there’s awareness, “With my eyes closed I’m stomping on things, destroying things. I’m going to learn how to keep my eyes open so I can be more loving to that around me.”

The once-returner label I consider a euphemism. It may be once, it may be 20 times. It simply means one has approached the point where one is releasing and balancing the karma and, phrased in a different way, where one has enough equanimity with what arises in the heavier 3 bodies that one is no longer reactive to it. So one still needs to come back once or a few times to release that karma, to resolve that habit energy. But one is well on the way.

This comes to the question, perhaps it was in the small group yesterday afternoon when we talked about densities, to graduate from this plane there needs to be equanimity with the 3 heavier bodies and what arises in them. If there is still reactivity to thought or physical sensation, one is pulled into contraction and pulled back karmically into needing to recreate the situation again and again, thus into rebirth again and again.

Beyond that, in 4th density, which is the next stage of your evolution, everyone is telepathic. If there is not equanimity with thought and you have a negative thought about someone, shame would arise if you thought those people could hear your thought because they were telepathic. If you were telepathic and others had a negative thought, “Why is she wearing black? What an ugly color!” you may not want to hear that from others.

At the point where there’s complete equanimity with the arisings with the physical, emotional, and mental bodies, or strong equanimity–let’s not call it complete, just when there’s not equanimity there’s awareness that there’s not equanimity and one doesn’t personalize what comes up, one just regards it with, “Ah, I’m getting pulled in. Story. Story.”

At that point one is ready to move into 4th density because one can be comfortable in a fully telepathic setting. If I asked you now if it would be okay if everybody in this retreat now were telepathic, if you and everybody else were telepathic, … some nodding yes, some no. Those who are saying yes, think about this carefully. Are you completely comfortable if somebody offered some negative thoughts about you? Would you react to them at all? If you had negative thoughts about another would you be upset if they heard those thoughts? Perhaps not. Perhaps you’re ready for this. Some of you are. Some of you are not.

So the resolution of karma is one way of phrasing it. The readiness for 4th density including equanimity with what arises in the 3 heavier bodies, is another way of phrasing it. They’re really both the same thing. At that level one is ready to move on into 4th density. There’s no karma pulling one back into new incarnation. But there is still an emotional body. One is no longer highly reactive to the emotional body. Beyond this incarnation there will no longer be a physical body. But one is still reactive to some degree to negative thought. One still feels anger or greed. One works with it skillfully. At that point one is no longer karmically pulled back into an incarnation but there’s still work to be done. One is not yet an arahat.

At that arahat level is the readiness to move beyond upper 6th density. One does not necessarily move beyond. I hold myself as an upper 6th density entity because I need the mental body in order to teach. If I were to move on I would release the mental body. I have no fear of doing that, but without that tool I’m no longer able to teach, and I’m committed to remaining available in this way.

But at this level all of the defilements are resolved. Anger, fear, greed, they simply no longer arise. So there is a progression. They’re still arising in 4th and 5th density but one has the tools to work with them and the more one works with them, releases them, the thinner the sense of a separate self is, the more they’re simply objects.

I miss our bubble machine this retreat. You know the children’s bubbles with a machine blowing them out, hundreds of them into the air. Poof! Poof! Poof! They look solid but they keep popping. There’s nothing solid there. So this is the way it is once one reaches that non-returner level. Whatever comes up is poof, poof, poof.

Does that answer it for you? Yes. Thank you.

Other questions?

Q: In the Christian traditions, especially Catholic, there is forgiveness of sins. It is said that we are forgiven because Jesus died on the cross. So where does forgiveness fit with karma?

Aaron: First I do not want to violate anybody’s religious beliefs. But my dear ones, you are already forgiven once you forgive yourself. There is nobody else out there judging you. You are not forgiven because Jesus died for your sins but Jesus taught the power of forgiveness of oneself and of others. He broke the ground, one might say, teaching people who were so caught up in an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth mentality the power of forgiveness for oneself and for others.

You are already forgiven because there was nothing to forgive. We come back to that whole original sin idea. There is no original sin. You are unblemished. You are radiant and beautiful. It’s as if you looked at the glass up there and found a big splat of dirt on it–“That is a marred spot on the glass and we’ll have to replace the window.” But the glass is perfect and there’s just a bit of dirt that can be washed off with care.

You are radiant and divine and perfect, and you have the capacity for both positivity and negativity. Because of that capacity and because you have free will, you can enact the positive and radiant and divine in yourself, or you can enact the negative and fear-based. When you enact the fear-based, you cause suffering for yourself and others. Through trial and error, through however many lifetimes, the being finally learns self-centered, negative action is not going to work and shifts back into the positive tract and the readiness to enact positivity. One may not fully accomplish that on the earth plane. As I just said to L, one does not have to. So that there is still an emotional body and there may be the arisings of fear or negativity beyond third density. But when it comes up, one knows, “This has arisen out of conditions.” No need to personalize it. One releases it through one’s strong intention to be loving in service to all beings, for the highest good.

But of those who are strongly negative beings who delight in cruelty, they also can progress into 6th density with that negativity. So there are some very strong negative beings in the universe. But beyond 6th density they cannot go any further because this is a non-dualistic universe. There is only light and relative absence of light. Even these most cruel and negative-seeming beings are beings of light, but they have become so mired in darkness that they’ve completely forgotten the light that is their essence. Once they come to 6th density they can go no further because the move into 7th density is a centering in the light. Darkness must reverse itself and come to know its light base in order to move into the light.

This reversal, in a sense, is the act of forgiveness. Do you understand what I mean by that? This reversal, whether one is a highly negatively polarized 6th density being or simply a 3rd density being with some negativity, this reversal, this free will decision to come back into the light and enact one’s light basis could be described as the ultimate act of forgiveness. It’s a letting go of self-identity with negativity and coming to know one’s own light core. This is forgiveness. This releases karma. It resolves and balances karma, both. Are there questions?

Q: I do kill mosquitoes. And I’m so sorry when I do it but I do it. And I set traps for little mice and kill them. Can I just forgive myself, or what?

Aaron: This is a hard question. This instrument also kills mosquitoes and traps mice in her pantry. I think it’s not just what you do but the way you do it. When a mosquito is on your arm and you say, (alarmed sound effects) “Die, beast!” that’s very different than watching a mosquito approaching and flying over you and saying, “If you land on me and begin to bite, I’m going to have to kill you. Please go elsewhere. I send you my love. Find something else to eat.” Saying to the mice in the pantry, “Tomorrow I am going to set traps. Any of you who are here and are still eating my food are probably going to get caught. Please go elsewhere. I do not want to harm you but I must protect my food for my family.”

There’s still some karma in it but it’s a much different karma. It’s not arousing strong aggression–“Me against that. I’ll kill anything that opposes me.” But rather there’s a feeling of loving concern that’s offering the other creature free will decision.

There’s a lovely book written by a woman named Michelle Small Wright, Behaving as if the God in All Life Mattered. She’s talking about plowing her garden with a tiller and how she realizes she’s cutting earthworms in half. She doesn’t want to kill those creatures so she gets to the end of the row and she says out loud, “Next I’m going to till this row. I’m going inside to get a glass of water. Please be out of my way when I come back.” And she sends this out as a very clear intention and she goes inside to get her tea or water. She comes back and the earthworms are gone. She plows the row. She gives them time to move for the next row. She looks, she’s curious–lots of earthworms here, lots of earthworms there, but none where she’s plowing.

This is the basis for the work at Findhorn where they’re speaking to the plant devas. Of course you can communicate with life. Barbara was sitting sometime this week, perhaps in the dining area, and suddenly she saw a spider descending. Barbara is very uncomfortable with spiders. She wanted to just jump up and move. Her plate was there, everything was there. She wanted to kill it. How can I sit there with it coming down on my head? How can I eat? And I said to her, “Talk to it. Ask it to leave.”

So she stopped and she looked up at it and she said (to laughter), “Please leave. I do not want to eat with you hanging over my head. I do not want to harm you. Please leave.” And it went back up to the ceiling and left. This is not always going to work but at least talk to the creature.

So sometimes you may find yourself killing something. The mosquito, it’s really not necessary to kill it, just flick it off. The mice in the pantry, eventually it’s either your food or them. Tell them what you’re going to do. Make sure there’s a safe place they can go. Barbara, when she does this even puts some small pellets of food out just outside the house near the foundation. Bird food, something of that sort. And she tells the mice, “Right on the other side of that wall there’s ample food for you but you may not be in my pantry.” Usually there are one or two hangers-on who persist but most of them leave. Every fall she goes through this.

K, you had a question.

Q: If a person has a negative thought of intention but does not carry out the action, is there unwholesome karma?

Aaron: The negative thought arises. The arising is the result of old conditioning. In that active moment where one can either enact the intention in the thought or not, one sees and makes the wholesome decision not to move into the unwholesome act. Here there is only wholesome karma. The fact that the thought arose is the result of old conditioning but it stops at the point where one greets it with mindfulness and chooses to go in a different direction and not to enact it. Depending on the depth of the conditioning, that impulse will continue to arise maybe thousands of times, but eventually, because nothing is feeding it, because there is mindfulness that says, “No, this is not what I choose to do,” it will cease to arise. One is making space for that impulse, as the spider coming down on the head, “Am I going to kill it? No,” move out of its way, talk to it, find some way to relate to it with kindness. Eventually the fear of the spider is going to stop. Eventually the entire sense of two separate selves will stop.

The abusive person at the next desk, “No, I’m not going to retaliate. I’m not going to get gum and chew it louder than he does. I’m not going to get on my cell phone and talk louder than she does. I’m not going to be rude to him. I’m going to watch the anger and make space for the anger.” Eventually it shifts. One begins to find compassion for this neighbor at the next desk who is so oblivious to the pain he or she is causing others. He’s so lost in his own world. He’s suffering. As there’s a shift into compassion, the negative impulse, wanting to hurt him back, disappears.

This is why your practice is so important. Your practice is important here in this moment because it lets you live with more kindness. It’s important in terms of the resolution of kindness. It’s important in terms of liberation at all levels. Your practice is the base for this work.

Q: What if you are married < > the one who is unwholesome <inaudible>

Aaron: What if you are married to someone who is unwholesome and you…<inaudible, not repeated for tape>. First, my dear one, there is no one in this room who could possibly be married to someone who is wholly unwholesome because you are all people with a basic positive polarity and love, and there’s something of that positive polarity and love in anybody with whom you would align yourself. That doesn’t mean this person may not act in many unwholesome ways, but if you look you will also find beauty in that person. You would not have married him if you had not found great beauty and love.

Then the process becomes much like I described with the mouse. You speak either in your heart or preferably with your voice, if you feel the person can hear you. Explaining, “You may not abuse me in this way, speak this way to me.” Or perhaps the person simply cannot hear you, does not listen to you or is self-involved, and you try to explain that. Just as you say to the mouse, “If you keep eating the food I will have to set the trap,” you say to this person, “I cannot live with this situation. If you wish us to continue to exist here happily together, we need to attend to this situation. This is the area of my pain.” Not, “You do this,” but “It hurts me to feel so unheard… It hurts me that you seem to mock my beliefs… It hurts me that you act in such an angry manner toward me… I cannot live with this so the only choice I see is to separate, or for us to try to resolve this. Let us think about what we both think is the best resolution.”

So you involve the person and respect their free will. If the person denies, “I am never angry at you. I act only in a loving way. You’re always wrong,” (laughter) okay, the mouse has just turned around and looked at you and jumped into your bag of rice. He’s making a clear answer. Then you need to say, “No, I’m not going to go along with this.” But if he stops and looks up and says, “I never really understood that. Let’s talk more about that. I don’t want to hurt you. I love you,” then you’ll see where it can go from there. It’s always done with kindness and respect for yourself and for the other.

We are out of time here. I want to leave you time to sit…

(recording ends)

Copyright © 2008 by Barbara Brodsky