Love: the Solutio
The anti-dote to Karma and its endless cycle of Rebirth has to be love.
Waterhouse, Psyche Opening the Door into Cupid's Garden 1904
After all, St. Paul tells us (in 1Corinthians) that love is patient, kind, protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres and rejoices with the truth. It does not envy, boast, dishonor others, and is not proud, self-seeking, or easily angered; above all (and here comes the release-clause from all that otherwise hard-sets karma) it keeps no record of wrongs nor delights in evil (which approximates the feeling of epicaricary or Schadenfreude † , if one is to get a hands-on sense of this emotion curiously wide-spread – throughout all of time - unique to human beings).
We are told, love never fails. Perhaps we must think of Love with a big L before we can really settle on that, but I think it is safe to assess that Karma and emotion are pretty much joined at the hip. Indeed, I would like to consider all our emotions only significant as the signifiers of Karma, the sign-posts to what (biographical) karma-event is taking place for you in the moment. For just as love is only as good as it is in the making (a capitalised Love), so Karma can only work (itself out) in the present continuous; for the rest it stays old, dead, in the past. Until it has been revived, brought out into life (with emotion) it can only pin you down into a traditional, genetic and otherwise pre-determined identitiy.
Waterhouse , Psyche Opening the Golden Box 1903
Not a massive fan of pschyological analysis (providing, from a holistic, spiritual perspective, a fairly fragmented picture of the truth), you'll hear me repeat that there is not an awful lot of benefit to staying in therapy to work through your issues; but neither will following the urgent directives of most religious-spiritual practices to curb or eliminate emotion promise full absolution.
There is a limit to the effect probing has. One's wings cannot soar to the realms of Knowing Absolutely. One is fortunate to catch glimpses but also eagles must land.
Adopting a dogmatic or ascetic life-style has its perks: it may proffer a calm, passive, unperturbed life, which will be easier to manage than one that is more erratic and fancy-free. One is accident and incident prone without any (self-)control and insufficient executive life-skills in one's tool belt. However, a dictated, disciplined life cannot possibly be the foolproof equivalent to equanimity. You too can sense the far-reaching difference between an elegant solution and a forced one.
In opposites there is room for love.
How does one know balance without disbalance? Life comes with enough wriggle room to enable transformation (change). It is inconvenient that we are mostly fond of our homeostatic system that exists to ensure survival of the physical body. What would the equivalent be for a soul-spirit body? How does one level out a disciplined mind with a sure heart? We may rest assured it is going to be hard (constant) work. For the rest it may well be mainly about learning to live a waking dream.
An Anthroposophic persepective further notes: how the heart (the seat of love) is place at the centre, in the middle of the two plols of thinking and wiling (metabolic-limb system).
The Art of Transformation
There are many (folk) legends of builders as demons. Incredible feats of (early gothic) architecture could not be explained otherwise, and I rather like the idea. It all depends, I will grant you, what nasty feeling you get thinking about demons, but I am one who reckons the brilliant invention of the printing press amongst an Ahrimanic (demon) impulse and am delighted by it. (Oops, torn by the delight in evil and the love of books here!) One way to comprehend how valuable the darker side of life is (to help us cultivate a Greater Love) is to see ourselves carrying our stones (sins, errors) all the way up the mountain to build a temple. This is more than to roll a Sisyphean boulder endlessly up the hill. It is constructive, and depends on deconstruction. Every block or brick in a building is a fragment of something already solidified to make a mountain or plateau: cosmic material delivered for our convenience - to make something out of our worldly playground. Far from a conventional Gnostic myself, I remain to be convinced that the Cosmos or our Creator God is all-perfect. Good is absolute as definition, but in man it is to be made as such by converting raw Will and unpolished Feeling into a Jewel in the Crown of our highest, clear Thinking.
Resolved Karma means, ultimately, to have freed oneself from Fate; to have cleared one’s horoscope (astrology, astrality, inherited destiny). Finally one becomes a being able to do in accord with one’s own Will. This is not so lightly granted – in fact it can never be “earned” as such, but only developed – for (non-)reasons one can easily appreciate: clearly, to have that much self-determination comes with tremendous causal consequences.
Waterhouse, Pandora 1896
All in all, the Karma Business on this Earth, today, seems to be stalling and is sinking into a crisis. People tend to live for today and hope not to have to pick up the tab (with the pains) till tomorrow. But we seem to have slid into the Harbour of Mañana inperceptibly, and there is little space left for anything else but Karma. New, Free thinking is hard come by even on the most occult niche market.
One cannot take a machette to the overgrown jungle of World Karma. It is about undoing the tangled webs we have woven (in previous generations/lives) knot by knot. To some extent, psychotherapy is called for, but it is said (by certain spiritual research) that the time has come for us to take matters of freeing oneself into one’s own hands by changing the very way one thinks, which is no longer in the black and white of thoughts (incl. emotions) but in the light and darkness of the soul life.
This is also known as becoming free of thinking (as we know it and value it today). This is not to deny intelligence but it is to strip it of emotion (which is only linked to old-incoming, remember). It is to take a new look at the world and oneself with an intuition that has been inspired by a vivid picture of who the I Am That I Am really is.
The Crystal Tarot
- Convert the fire of impatience (and zeal) into the Patience of true aspiration and Loving Kindness (the deeds done in love).
- Consider your troubles as flaws and fill yourself with enough love to transmute them into divine strengths.
- Meditate on Tarot cards 8 and 11.
- Check your progress on the 8-fold Path.
(Hieronymus) Bosch Tarot
† Now we’ve mentioned Schadefreude, go on, have a laugh: Men’s Health. After all laughter is healthy; but I am not sure it will make you live forever (it is after all only an emotion).
- Solutio constitutes one of seven major alchemical operations. “Dissolve and coagulate.”
For the alchemist, solutio often meant the return of differentiated matter to its original undifferentiated statethat is, to prima materia. Water was thought of as the womb and solutio as a return to the womb for rebirth.
The fixed, static aspects of the personality allow for no change. They are established and sure of their rightness. For transformation to proceed, these fixed aspects must first be dissolved or reduced to prima materia. This is done by the analytic process, which examines the products of the unconscious and puts the established ego attitudes into question.
An immature ego may find it pleasant to surrender to containment in a blissful regression; however, at a later stage of development the prospect of solutio will generate great anxiety because the hard won state of ego autonomy is being threatened with dissolution.
WARNING: A blissful solutio is the most dangerous one.
For further "recipes" (spade required)