This set of notes states pretty much how this “diligent student” has come to see Reality …….
Karma and its effects are the reality of our DNA encoded existence, but the good news is that the DNA encoded existence we experience is NOT ultimate reality….. we CAN experience our existence from a “deeper level” which sees this physical world for what it is….. …… so here is my attempt to make this clear, without making it more muddy…….
When we see all levels of our “human existence” as one level, nothing seems to make sense. Everything seems to be confusing…. we are like lost sheep…..
But if we realize that our “existence” is in a sense, made of many levels, then this can bring a conceptual understanding necessary for our limited mind to “let go”, and flow instead of being stuck on what the mind sees as inconsistencies and problematic issues.
…. (these levels are not actual strata, but conceptual levels, with each having their “rules of operation”. This is just a way for the human mind to visualize it, in order to be willing to let it go and move on…..)
Our basic nature IS “buddha-nature” (one name for it). It is like “Level 0” …. Everything that we see with our physical eyes “arises” from Buddha-nature. But Buddha-nature is not a “thing” which can be “affected” by karma, as karma does not exist in this Level 0 except in “concept”. All “things” in the “world of things” are there because they exist as “concepts” in Level 0. No concept, no thing……
As such, Buddha-nature is the “essence” of everything, the root of everything…. yet it cannot be classed as “a substance”. I like to think of Buddha-nature as Infinity, because of how the human brain tries to visualize things……
Our “existence” as humans, is like a multi-strata existence, “ranging” from our core of Buddha-nature and extending into the temporary DNA coded world we call physical existence….. there seems to be a constant cycling in this process….
So, Karma (and entropy) are like a “rules of operation” in the DNA coded world, in which our body and 5 senses “exist” for a time.
Buddha-nature can be seen as “ultimate reality” (which we participate in), and the DNA coded world can be seen as “a limited and impermanent reality arising from Buddha-nature” bringing with it a sense of a “separate I” while we are in it (i.e. for a lifetime).
The DNA coded world IS limited….. and in this world of things, there is cause and effect. This cause and effect is sometimes called karma. Like billiard balls bouncing and hitting each other. But there is no such process happening in our basic nature. Karma does not touch Buddha-nature.
Our “selves” as Buddha-nature, exist in a world where everything is in a state of potentiality…… like the concept of billiard balls exists, but the “physical” balls do not exist yet, so in the concept of billiard balls, it might be imagined that one ball hit another, but it is like “it hasn’t happened yet”, so there was no actual cause and effect of a physical ball hitting another.
One main difference in the way folks look at Reality, is that normally, the DNA coded world of things is generally seen as the “most real”, while the world of potentiality is “less real”.
It seems that in the process of “enlightenment” or “awakening”, the world of potentiality is shown to be “true reality”, while it becomes clear that physical existence is a “limited and impermanent reality”…..(I know that the term DNA coded is not a perfect analogy, but i am using this term for speaking of the world of “this and that”)
Karma, while being a “rule of operation” in this physical world, does not touch us in our deepest reality…… Reading the story of Dogen and the Shogun is very clear in this respect.
The effect of my personal “beginning to see Reality in this way” has been a far more active and participatory “role” in this experience of “life”. There is no waiting for something in the future, there is just NOW….. pure and unadorned –