I remember reading Nisargadatta talking about two types of karma. Someone was asking, is it true that all the karma of a sage is burnt up? Nisargardatta said “There are two kinds of karma. There is the karma that’s dispelled with spiritual insight, and is dispelled by awakening and spiritual maturity. There is the other kind of karma that’s not dispelled and you have to live it out and reap the benefits or detriments thereof.”
That was the end of the conversation. That sounds clean until it comes to your life. Living through pieces of your karma is not as clean as it may sound. Often, people will have it at some point after their shift, especially when it seems that life is pretty easy, when there is not a whole lot of inner disturbance.
About that time, strangely enough, is often when a huge chunk of subterranean conditioning breaks off and raises into your conscious level. It’s almost like, “OK, now you have enough light, now you have enough stability, now you have enough presence, now you can deal with this. We hid this from you because it would have completely put you under water before, but now you are ready for it.” But “ready for it” doesn’t mean it’s purified and transformed and let go.
“Ready” means you are ready to come as close to the insane asylum as you will ever come as this piece of darkness comes through your system. You can now be tormented in a way that you never imagined you could withstand.– Adyashanti
I am not sure what Nisargaradatta referred to when he spoke about the two types of karma. At first, it sounds like the first is the karma of conditioning, and the second is the – to us – more mysterious karma of events.
Adya seems to understand this in a slightly different way.
I wonder if what he means is that some conditioning and issues are seen through and resolve relatively easily as part of the awakening process. They fall away almost without us noticing.
With other conditioning, it’s not so easily. This is the one we, to some extent, have to live out. This may be deeper emotional issues, trauma, and conditioning that needs to come to the surface to be seen, felt, loved, recognized as the divine, and so on. It be a far more tumultuous, confusing, overwhelming, and painful process.
I see them more as parts of the same spectrum than two different things.
In our healing and awakening journey, things in us needs to come up to be met, seen, felt, loved, and recognized as who and what we are. Sometimes, this is relatively easy and even enjoyable. Other times, it can be extreme and beyond anything we thought we would ever experience.
And as Adya suggests, the more extreme version of this seems to often follow a deepening in the awakening. A more open heart and mind means it’s also more open to all the things in us that has been exiled. It’s open to what it previously was closed to.
When that surfaces, it can feel overwhelming and terrifying and it can seem as if it will never end and there is no light on the other side of the tunnel.
This is one of the dark nights we can go through on a healing and awakening journey. I have come to think of it as a dark night of trauma, a period of processing deep individual, ancestral, cultural, and universal trauma.
It’s a necessary part of the healing and awakening process. It clears out parts of us still operating from separation consciousness so they can operate more from reality and oneness.
And it’s a part of the process I have been intimately familiar with over the last several years. It’s been far more challenging than anything I thought I would ever experience. It’s deeply humbling, in a good – and often painful – way. It’s a deeply human process. Since the parts of us surfacing live within separation consciousness and are, in a sense, insane, it can feel like we are going insane.
And, in the bigger picture, it’s an amazing blessing.