Exegesis Volume 2 Issue #20

Exegesis Digest Mon, 07 Apr  1997


Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 11:38:24 -0600 (CST)
From: skyweasel
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V2 #19

> From: "Francis G. Kostella" 
> Subject: level of consciousness
> > "It is impossible to ascertain the level of consciousness
> > of an individual from the birth-chart alone."
> I find myself agreeing with Mary Downing, but for slightly
> different reasons. First, "level of consciousness" is one of
> those catch phrases which is never clearly defined. The idea of
> "levels" implies some sort

That's it in a nutshell. Level of consciousness is so far into the subjective end of the intellectual spectrum as to be nearly meaningless. In context you can always ask the person who uses the phrase what he/she means. Then, let the games begin :)

> about the corollary, the law of grace? Grace always transcends
> karma, there's a way around karma, but it can't be faked. It
> seems that if I tell you about the machine without telling you
> about the purpose of the machine I am at fault. Better to keep
> quiet in the first place.

I believe that we stumble on the concept of karma when we assume that there is some "karma central" out there with galactic spiritual bureaucrats administering to the balance on our personal ledgers. I suspect its workings are far more subtle than that, and that any attempt to tell someone else about "their karma" in judgemental or manipulative terms is a waste of time, theirs and ours. I think that most Westerners can get a better feel for the concept from e.g. the Edgar Cayce material than they can from various Hindu sources--my personal opinion/experience.

*If* someone somehow had genuine knowledge of the "karma" of another, it might be possible to use this constructively, but I think one can use a chart to talk to a person about issues in their life in an effective manner without any reference to karma. The reality is that we work on issues which may well be "karmic", but knowing that they are or are not "karmic" doesn't necessarily change the work we accomplish or fail to accomplish. In short, if you buy into the karma concept, we're working on it whether we use an astrology chart to tell us about it or not.

Karma/reincarnation tend to go hand in hand and if you believe in these things, it maybe useful to focus on them but then again, most of us do not have conscious, ongoing experience with either; we have what we've read somewhere. It may be a cosmic hide and seek game, or just a way of helping to ensure that we focus on our Being not our past, as our being is here and now and is something we can truly affect and change and work on.

> I think we can leave "levels of consciousness" out of astrology as it 
> adds nothing, and approach karma very, very cautiously.if at all.

Probably so.



Date: Sat, 5 Apr 97 13:45 EST
From: Mary Downing
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V2 #19

Fran wrote:

 "The idea of "levels" implies some sort
of hierarchy of consciousness, and usually also implies that being
at a higher level is somehow desirable (there are a number of
spiritual traditions that do not see the game as being a quest for
"higher consciousness"). To expand on the idea of it's use as a
put-down, it seems more specifically to be a moral judgment hiding
in code. That is, I can call you a an unrepentant bastard while
pretending that it has something to do solely with spirituality and
not my emotions."

I agree. If I am aware, really truly aware, of all aspects and nuances in my environment, then I am "conscious". In Zen terms I am "mindful". I would savor every flavor in a grain of rice, my emotional, visceral systems be so still I would be perfectly intune with the flow of the universe. I would pierce through all illusion. Needless to say, if Id achieved such a breakthrough I wouldnt now be concerned about defining philosophic terms. Id be rhapsodic over a clover leaf.

We spend a life-time unlearning by experiencing. As Fran says later on, some of the clearest minds Ive met were very close to the earth. If I mentioned the Akashic Records theyd want to know who recorded on that label. Absolutely nothing will teach you about people more than living by your wits. Ancient wisdoms may hint at a direction, but they cant give us a pabulum philosophy. Well never digest what isnt "in our gut" --because thats been tested or experienced in real time and is a part of us forever. That is our food for consciousness, not vicarious enlightenment.

Most of us realize our political communities are simply convenient constructs, all patriotism and flag-waving. We are less likely to question the parts of our assumed identities that are learned at mothers knee and least likely of all to question "truth" we learn as adults, much of which reflects "something" that feels right. Something pointing at a road we should have traveled but didnt.

So, if I have to vet someones level of consciousness, Im making profound judgmental assumptions. The first is that I have pertinent awareness/knowledge they dont. Who says? What authority? How do you KNOW, not do you "believe"?

I can "believe" anything not in my immediate experience: angels, karma, Santa Claus, hang-gliding. Once Ive done it, though, I "know". How many male readers "know" childbirth? If one could confer that knowledge, Planned Parenthood would be out of business in a week.

Karma is a nice catch phrase. Its a concept that appeals to us. The evil that men do should live after them and in them, to paraphrase Shakespeare. Same concept as purgatory. Burn off the guilt. Its also a lovely way to explain all our failings and others success. Takes away the responsibility. Again there are lots of assumptions: objective good and evil for starters. If we cant objectively know good and evil, we cant incur Karma. If its subjective good/evil, then it cant last past the life span of the subject, can it, because its relative to that specific entity complete with its unique awareness and judgment system? My sin isnt yours.

Define "the good". Take any action and try to make it "universally" good. Preserve life? Of yourself, certainly a biological imperative until something makes it onerous like untreatable cancer, and gives you a choice between two equal "goods" life and freedom from pain. Of someone whos trying to kill you? Of Hitler? Of a chicken? Of a turnip? -- OK, that eliminates the food chain and we run right back into our initial biological imperative. We cant even define life as a universal good, or the taking of it as an universal evil unless were going to be pretty tricky about what constitutes "life", such as subset human. See what I mean? What karma?

--Mary Downing


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