“Karmanot”

Many folks have the impression that karma is a back-at-ya thing, if they think of it at all. You know–wack a cat and be reborn as a mouse. "Got Ya!" says old Indra. Do it again Sam. Evangelical Christians, Christians in general and particularly rad medieval popes like Greg think karma is evil nilhism and moral relativity. Yet, otherwise perfectly intelligent adults have this notion that after death they go to a heaven with a blond Jesus and his blond mother (depending on the sect) and float around hea-bin all the day. Go figure. Since the controversial theory of everything, 'string' dynamics of physics, postulates with mathematical beauty the position of multi-layered patterns of simultaneous dimensions it appeals to more than infantile wannabe angel fantasies. Ultimately 'string' theories–at least 11 of the most elegant of them basically come down to the intricacies of cause and effect. By leaving out middle men and grandious prophets a sentient being simply chooses free will to effect all relative time, be a part of a tragic paradigm like Oedipus, or be perfectly free in what coexists as real and true at the same time–Buddha. The con job about Jesus makes it a lot easier just turn it over to excited faith and don't worry about it. Its basically a choice in the end, time after time to choose compassion over self interest to act in the world. Men have trouble, by and large, with this position, but most women ( neo con durgas excepted) seem to have an eon of wisdom about such matters. That's why the Buddha affected being such a misogynist–to give stupid men a leg up. Naa–I don't believe it either. That's real, but probably not true. Basically, don't wack the cat and do feed the mice. These are the kind of knots I struggled with sitting on a pillar of sandstone in the Colorado desert, whirling in Acid many years ago. Now I'm too tired to whirl, acid or no, and all those koan contradictions seem more like autumn leaves than spring shoots. Some of us are hard cases carrying forward Buddha knows what bovine spirituality in the most plodding way. Have you ever seen the ten Ox Herding pictures? They are an ancient iconic way to illustrate how one captures the beast of self, rides it, knows it and then becomes not two–rider or Ox. That's the kind-of mind candy my inner child was idicted to in the late sixties. After the Summer of Love in 1967–which happened for almost exactly ten hours in the Golden Gate Park and then disappeared like Brigadoon, we just wandered off high on a wave of karma. Mine took me to San Jose and the classes on Indian philosophy by the great Professor McCulough. What an extraordinary human being he was. A very long teaching career and forceful personality had refined every didactic trick in the book. One spring shoot that stays with me to this day was his lecture on duality. He would stand in front of a class composed of several hundred students, extend out his arm, open his hand, then clench it and inquire: "hand or fist?" And off we'ld go. For that reason today I'ld much rather go to 'string' energy than a puffy, sweet heaven.

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