Tag Archives: freedom

Knowing and Overcoming Karma

At first glance Tantra and Astrology appear to be at odds with each other: astrology confirms the hand of destiny while Tantra confirms the freedom of our will. An astrological birth chart is none other than a map of how we are bound in our human condition. Tantra is the map of how to overcome the bounds of the human condition.

The very nature of Vedic Astrology is to look into the intricacies of exactly how we are individually bound by our karma and desires, our communities and even how we expend it all. The Vedic birth chart is said to be the body of Kala Parusha, kala means time, while Parusha indicates an individual soul. As an embodied soul in time we are subject to the veils of maya and the physical realities of karma.

Such is life. This is why they say to let go of it all and remain in the moment. The karma you are here to experience will happen with or without your worry or plan. Tantra teaches us to shift our awareness away from the objects of our lives and focus instead on the awareness itself.

This is where purity comes in. We have to wash away the impurities of our senses. Objectivity is the main impurity. This subject-object relationship we have with the world: us and them, me and you. The objects basically just muddle up the purer experience of just being aware of seeing.

When we start seeing in this way we start seeing things as really are. Almost every eastern philosophy has a different way of explaining this, Tantra often says that they are incomplete and would lead only to inertia. Tantra fills everything with divinity of consciousness rather than relegating it to mere illusion while setting divinity apart from the reality we experience in a day to day way.

There are 36 elements in the Tantric worldview. Beginning with the five gross elements of earth air fire and water the elements get subtler and subtler: objects sounds, gunas (the famous elements of Ayurveda), thoughts, mind, memories, kinetic and potential energy. Tantra teaches us to experience these subtler and subtler energies.

An astrology could be said to be a chart of how these subtle energies are working in our lives. From a karmic point of view there is little we can do. But by working with the subtler energies Tantra teaches many ways we can use these energies as the naturally manifest in objects to improve our lives and get what we want.

In the material world we are bound by the laws of karma; the spiritual world is quite a different matter once we learn how see that it’s essentially a spiritual world we are living in; we begin to see how we are absolutely free.

Rebel Yell (or maybe it’s just gas)

Some men are born lead, others are born to follow, some few others, to tread a path that neither leads or follows. This is my path. I’ve met none others that are like it, but I suspect everyone feels this way. It seems like one of those truths of humanity to me, that each of our paths are wholly unique.

I have one of those restless paths that they that the ol’ fashioned cowboys sing about. The world is my range. The mind too….and, I suppose my soul too, I can’t leave the soul out of this. Compared to most people, I’m always going about her and there: different cities, towns, villages, countries, natures. But I don’t feel like I move around much; it just happens that the places I like to sit have people passing thru more quickly than myself. “Two day tourists” as we call them in India. “I’m no two day tourist,” as I tell the shop-keepers to bargain for a better price. But I am just a tourist passing thru at my best convenience. I think I end up sitting because I’m so restless I don’t know what else to do. Or perhaps I only sit long enough for people to get to know me, and then I move on again.

I question too much. It drives my mind. Stories get created. A whole personality becomes crafted. I can’t help it. I practice yoga and meditation and watch my breath and my thoughts and the subtleties of life, but still this ego is at work building my personality. Writing, as I do, as I’m doing now, terrifies me. I throw out snapshots of my thinking, and this becomes tied to me somehow. These four or five years worth of blog posts (incredibly random) and photography feels suddenly so heavy. Much of it doesn’t even feel like me; none of it. A few pieces are very touching, but most of it is just bull shit, writing for the sake of putting something out there; not because I actually had something to say. Random shouting (or belching) at the world doesn’t count as saying something. But this also has to be done. Some people go in the street yelling and screaming and kicking garbage cans, I’ve done this myself; but sometimes I have to do it in writing and put a more permanent stamp on myself.

This is the stamp I want to put on now:

I declare my out right rebellion against the whole works of it. Politics and anarchism, monotheism, polytheism, atheism, and every other philosophy, scripture, way of life, or anything else that’s ever been declared by some human who is just as human as you and I. Neither you nor I know anything about anything.

I declare my rebellion against my own mind, my own personality, these very words I write.

I declare my rebellion against every mundane choice that has to be made; be it a clothing style, or a shave, or a meal, or a direction in which to walk. I am against every social code and constitution and rule of law.

I am for all people and their path. I’m for outright honesty and inquiry about life. I for you and me acting authentically, recognizing authenticity in others. I’m for believing that  we are all always acting authentically no matter what it is we are doing, no matter how entrenched in our own egos we might be. If this is our path, this is our path. My ego says that I’m a seeker, so I seek. Regardless of how full of shit I am most of the time, this is my path. I’m a seeker who is most often full of shit.

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Naivety became the theme the other night. This is everyones theme. When we look back own our lives we seem so naive. The moment some piece of writing passes me by it’s lost in naivety. So, with this in mind, why don’t I just admit my naivety now. I am very naive; simple even. I can’t get over the most basic of questions. Who am I? Without knowing this, I have no idea what to do with my days, with my life.

It’s tough not knowing who I am. There’s no one to project into the future. I have no direction. Restless. The energy is inside of me vibrating, bubbling, pulsating, but it has no outcome in mind. And then I create the stories and the personalities and get lost in them for a while until I see the mask covering me and I rebel again. I try to strip away my past by traveling, changing my direction (my job, my studies, my focus, my creative outlet),  getting rid of things. Fire ceremonies have become routine for me as I set the past ablaze. And just like that I’m off in a new direction; trying to shed my old ego, ignoring the fact that I’m just creating a new one and showing it off in front of new people.

It’s tiring: the vigilance it takes. Watching, watching myself and seeing the bullshit naivety coming out me, the personality, the acting. And it’s not just that. My body hurts so much. I’m far too human in this way. My body is just like one big ache and pain. It’s not that I have accidents and hurt myself. I just hurt. Watching all of this, having to stop my life to work on this is tiring. Years ago, before I knew it was popular to think this way, I thought my pain was related to mental/emotional crap. I should salute the Canadian author Robertson Davies for influencing me to think this way and many other ways besides. So not only do I have to look into the physical antidotes for my pain, I also have to delve into my mental/emotional being. Sometimes I think it’s even tiring for those who know me, but such is my path.

It’s hard sometimes to see it this way, unjudgementally as merely “my path,” one path of so many. There’s just so much good and bad all one the path that I can’t help to feel both exhaled and shamed. I’ve had such moments as you would never believe. Such beautifully executed moments that could never be planned or hoped for. Such absurdities. But it’s all past and I’m naive to think that any of it was my own doing.

Karma…. I declare my outright rebellion against Karma as well. The way my past sticks to me is unbearable. I just can’t shake it. It’s all so icky. Polluting my thoughts, my body, my being.

I’m free damn-it! FREE!!!! I say.

I’m broken, tired of carrying the weight of my past and the hopes for my future. I’m tired of being driven to question. I’m tired of not knowing anything. I can’t take the anticipation. I ask for nothing, but the whole world keeps coming at me. I can’t help but to be amazed. I can’t help being so small and naive. This too seems like one of those truths of humanity to me. We’re all so small and naive in this massive, complex world. Accept it and move on. Some day I hope to do this myself.