Burning Away Karma
So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:26-28)
We have spoken previously about various aspects of the ideal, karma, and the manner in which the energy of the ideal “burns” away karma. Understand that the language used is a representation of the process on a spiritual level, a purification process, like a refining fire that burns away the excess, or fire that burns away impurities. Here we will provide a more extensive description of the ways that the ideal functions in the human being while moving toward the full realization of God.
To gain an idea of context, we remind you that ignorance—as we have defined it as the false understanding that the physical body (or the senses) is the real entity—leads to many problems or errors that can result in the accumulation of karma. There are two types of ignorance: pure and conditional. Pure ignorance does not result in Stage Two or Stage Three Karma except in one circumstance explained here: pure ignorance is not the fault of the being initially, especially in cases where the being is not exposed to correct knowledge. The consequences of this ignorance remain neutral until the person gains the knowledge or wisdom to choose differently, and then also has the opportunity to acknowledge the lack of understanding. Once a being knows the consequences of personal ignorance, and the error of ignorance, karma accumulates in the usual ways—through thoughts, actions, and non-action—and accumulates in Stage Two sheaths, or even in Stage Three sheaths. Even these forms of karma can be overcome quickly by repentance (the turning of the full being toward God). Much of karma at Stage One is from pure ignorance that is a result of family training, exposure to the free will of other beings and the constellation of self-perceptions that form the ego.
Conditional ignorance is chosen by the being in response to life circumstances with the full knowledge that the correct knowledge and wisdom are available to the being. The repetitive choices of the being result in a “conditioned entity” which we can describe as an ego- controlled being. Fears or other internal circumstances of the person, and the responses generated or controlled by the ego, create a response inside of the person that sometimes is described as a “lack of will power.” Another conditioned response is a feeling or sense of attachment to someone, something, or some result. Attachments are the result of memories of events that were signified as pleasurable by the ego. Any stimulus to the system that instigates the memory results in conditioned behavior that is used to acquire, or attempt to acquire the same pleasure or the same results.
The ego will sometimes use the intellect to build this system of conditioned response or the ego will use this same conditional system to defend itself and hide from the higher consciousness and awareness of the being (symbolized by Adam and Eve hiding from God in the Garden of Eden). A helpful example to consider is how, as a child, we encounter “unfairness.” The intellect recognizes a set of false assumptions or sees duplicity and says, “That’s unfair.” Based on the self-knowledge and understanding that have been created in the being—some of it by the ego—the ego expresses what it needs and wants, sometimes using a self- derived concept of what is equitable. The ego “co-opts” the intellect and often congratulates itself on recognizing whatever form of injustice has occurred, especially if the appeal of “unfairness” results in a reward that feeds the ego what was previously “unfairly” withheld. If the situation is based on a “spiritual” circumstance, even better for the ego, because it hides within a construction of social justice or civil rights or personal suffering that shelters the ego and at the same time fights to acquire more power to fulfill its own selfish needs.
Keep these things in your conscious awareness: Ignorance is at the root of the ego’s control. Ignorance, functioning through the ego, leads to attachments that are born out of desire and the memory of pleasure. Sometimes these errors are overcome by the intellect if it helps the being recognize false assumptions or duplicity, but the ego can use the intellect to hide, even in the guise of spiritual knowledge.
The introduction of the ideal into this process has the potential to alter the being’s response to the ego and the ability to change the karmic patterns associated with ignorance. First, the ideal—even if it is a flawed concept of perfection during the early stages of understanding and use— moves the mind toward God consciousness; it is attracted to higher consciousness within the human system. The ideal functions in this way because it exposes the material and sensory-based understanding of knowledge, and it exposes the fear-based responses for the illusions that they help persist (“Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known.” Luke 12:2). The ideal is formed out of a spiritual understanding of the true nature of a human being. When the ideal is present in the consciousness of the being, it is situated in contrast to the alternative construction of the ego. This “pattern” of consciousness brings to the physically awake being alternatives to the behaviors and ideas favored by the ego. Since the ideal is connected to the eternal, any fear-based, ego-influenced responses become unnecessary. The potential and awareness found in God—even in small portions— change the alternative responses available to the being.