Thermodynamical interpretation of karma

I’m posting parts of my private conversation with Robin, which, I think, would be a welcome change from all the politics and economy. 🙂


Robin wrote:

Ok. The past few weeks break have been quite good for me since I was feeling quite clouded towards the end of last year and managed to clean myself up and achieve some clarity. I dissolved the lesser superficial desires which were clouding my mind and channelled all desire energy into desire for perception into the true nature of reality. Basically I’m focusing on seeing true nature of everything, without attachments and with clear vision. This is my goal at the moment. The thing I realized about worldly desires is that it’s a trap and a source of vulnerability where all sorts of shit from the global astral field can enter into the system. I’m not even talking about craving for worldly pleasure, it can be an innocent desire like: I need to replace my car or I need xyz. It doesn’t matter how small it is, the global astral will use it to bind, deplete, contaminate me and then leave me empty handed and ruined.

This is where both Hinduism and Buddhism got it wrong, and I think I know why.
They correctly perceived that attachment is the problem, but they thought that the soul itself generates it; somehow, it likes the world and what it’s offering, due to ignorance or immaturity, and as it matures, it learns to let go of attachment and, ultimately, attain liberation/enlightenment.
This is not completely false (the souls actually do react to the world), but it’s actually the opposite of what seems to be going on; it’s like saying that you are caught in a massive object’s gravitational field because you feel attachment. Well, you feel attachment alright, but it’s being generated by the object, not yourself. The mass curves the spacetime and unless you achieve escape velocity, you’re caught in a trap. My guess as to why nobody got this is that it’s both a very difficult hypothesis to test (you would need to be in a state of complete purity and detachment in order to perceive the forces neutrally and objectively), and the corollaries are highly unpleasant, because you have to get rid of the assumption that the world is inherently good because it has been created by a good God, and everything that’s wrong is essentially your fault, which empowers you to solve problems. If the world is a sophisticated mouse trap, it’s a highly unpleasant and depressing thing to consider, because the possibility that you’re fucked is much greater than the possibility that you’ll make it out safe, which would be likely if it were indeed a test or a school or something else created by a benevolent being for a constructive purpose. However, I managed to actually test this hypothesis personally, several times, when I was in a completely pure and detached state, after having finished writing a book; I was feeling an active external world-based force trying to very aggressively cause desires for something worldly (which felt quite silly because it was iteratively testing things on me), and if it wasn’t working it would try harder and act quite hysterically. After the second or third time it happened, I mapped it quite precisely and I now have no doubts about the way it works and the motivations behind its actions. Now, I’m not even taking desires seriously; I see them as something trivial that will always happen while I’m here, but I can let it all go instantly once the guys up there have mercy on me and let me out. 🙂
It’s not completely true, though; I did have, and probably still do to some extent, something I might not be willing to let go of quite easily, and that’s basically responsibility for my family, because I would not feel good if I had to just leave them here in some desperately bad situation, so I’m perhaps trying to take care of them too hard. That’s why I got a warning, or you can call it a slap on the wrist recently, when I got sick – I was trying to micro-manage everything and give them both resources and knowledge in order to keep them from making mistakes, and it was only when I was incapacitated by the flu and I literally couldn’t do it anymore that I perceived the pattern, and I understood that I should let them go make their own mistakes and learn.

Robin wrote:

So this world can go to hell, give me nettle brew, I don’t need anything from it 🙂 . I don’t think I removed the roots of desire completely, so this requires constant vigilance on my part so my mind does not focus on new shiny things. I feel contaminated from even the tiniest investments into worldly pursuits, so the only solution is to channel all mental energy into perception of the true reality of things and have no worldly goals what so ever.

I can’t say attachment can be unequivocally reduced to desire; in my case, for instance, it translates better as “duty” or “responsibility”. I would need to know that I’m not leaving other souls in a mess, or at least that I’m not expected to fix the mess, and it’s here for a good reason and will ultimately serve a good purpose. However, there’s a trap in it, of course. If I don’t care about getting a better car for myself, I can be persuaded to get one for my son, and I spend the better part of the last year thinking about it on some level, checking the options, budgeting for it etc., so it’s obviously some form of desire by proxy attached to me through the concepts of duty and responsibility for others. I don’t think it would be healthy to cut those things off completely because there are actual realities that can’t be ignored, such as there being an actual family I’m taking care of, and neglecting duties would have severe consequences, all of them bad. However, it is possible to “overachieve”, to go beyond the necessary and even reasonable, into the area of unhealthy obsession, which I was caught doing, so one obviously has to be very careful about it. Excess of a normally good thing is a bad thing.

Robin wrote:

After experiencing some contaminations last year, I’ve been thinking about astral pressure, external karmic influences, opposing spiritual vectors and inner vulnerabilities. This is best asked by postulating some possible situations. For instance, lets say you took a soul which was completely pure and that it absorbs a karmic mass from an impure soul which consists of a strong desire for fulfillment through the world. So this karmic fragment contains a vector which is opposite to the vector of the pure soul which is transcendence of the world and fulfilment in God. In this situation, what would the pure soul experience? Because the pure soul has no desire, weakness, compatible spiritual substance or point of resonance with the karmic mass it is absorbing, will it temporarily experience desire for fulfillment through the world and then experience pain and remorse as it releases the impurity as something incompatible with its core karmic mass or will it not experience the emotional content at all because there is no point of resonance? If it does experience the emotional content of the karmic mass, does this mean that the pure soul contained some vulnerability/ weakness/ misunderstanding which the impure karmic substance resonated with and was able to express itself through or was the magnitude of the pure souls spiritual vector not strong enough and consequently weakened by the opposing vector? When you absorb an impure karmic mass into yourself, what do you feel? Do you identify with the content and consequently feel that you have sinned and experience the resulting pain and remorse or do you disidentify with the karmic substance seeing it as something alien that does not belong to you and thus observe and transform it from a detached vantage point or do you simply experience generic pain as the substance breaks apart? Since there is no identification in the second approach, one would not experience any remorse as there is recognition that the sin was not ones own to begin with. In the Jewel, you wrote that in order to dissolve a karmic structure, one has to extract ones identity from it, if that’s always the case, how can one experience remorse?

First of all, I wouldn’t call the difference in purity a different vector. Rather, I would call it a difference in “karmic temperature”, like the difference between gaseous and liquified form of propane. The gaseous form has kinetic energies of molecules all over the place, going in all kinds of directions and causing collisions, and the liquified form basically had all that kinetic energy extracted in form of heat, and if you go a step further, you can remove even more heat from the liquid and produce a solid, where the molecules are essentially stationary, at least in comparison, although you’d have to cool it all the way to 0K to achieve a complete thermodynamic standstill. But the analogy is quite useful and it answers your dilemma: if complete purity is a supercooled solid, where all the “citta vrtti“, or kinetic energy of the particles of a spiritual system that usually creates mental whirlpools, has been removed, if you add unsophisticated karmic mass to the system, where all kinds of particles are bouncing around at high energy, perceived as highly energetic emotions, passions, attachments etc., the resultant mass would behave exactly as you would expect from a thermodynamic system; depending on how much mass you are starting with and at what temperature, and how much mass you’re adding and at what temperature, entropy would assure that the two mix and produce a larger total mass at mass/volume/temperature average, and you’ll have to apply the same method you originally used to get the original spiritual mass to lower temperature – you need to apply pressure, meaning spiritual control and detachment, in order to remove heat from the system, meaning release the energetic emotional states through kriya, suffering and what not. Basically, suffering/remorse is the way you release excess heat from the system, and if you keep applying the spiritual equivalent of pressure, you again end up with a low-temperature system but of higher mass.

The thermodynamic corollaries are all valid – there is obviously “too much” karmic addition, where you get a very bad result; if you absorb too much karmic mass for the size of your soul, you end up with total mass of too high temperature to be manageable, essentially degrading your spiritual state to the point where you can no longer apply spiritual pressure and remove excess heat, because you lost all control, detachment and ability to see the need for yoga whatsoever. This would be a very undesirable outcome. An analogy with superconductors is valid – there is a range of temperatures in which a material retains superconductivity, where superconductivity is the ability to apply sophisticated high-energy yoga which is able to transform karmic substance and retain control, despite suffering. However, if you absorb too much of the hot stuff, you lose superconductivity of your spiritual mass and it’s all over; the food ate you instead of the other way around.

Robin wrote:

I also wanted to ask something about mirroring. Lets say you took a completely pure soul that had never experienced low human emotions, but at the same time had no boundaries and had extreme empathy. Lets say that the pure soul was placed together with an impure soul which was feeling greed and vanity which were emotions that the pure soul had never known. In that case, what would the pure soul experience? Would the pure soul all of a sudden find itself wondering if it appeared attractive and likable to the impure soul 🙂 ? Or because the spiritual substance of the pure soul was so high, is it simply impossible for its emotional body to even feel the low vibrational emotions of other beings and as a result, the low emotional energy of other beings simply bounces off the pure soul as there is no point of resonance?

Actually, what you’re talking about isn’t purity so much as a lack of experience, and if you lack experience, that means deficiency in spiritual magnitude and it’s not a good thing, because it’s experience that allows you to have detachment, because you have already seen a phenomenon, you know what it is, and you are not deceived. If you see something for the first time, it’s almost a given that you’ll fall for it, unless there’s a sufficiently large similarity with something else that you’ve seen already, but then we’re again talking about experience as a safeguard against attachment and error. Basically, a pure but inexperienced soul is like a child, that has no inherent evils of its own, but can easily be seduced into all of them due to a lack of experience. What you want to be is a wise old man who has seen everything, has a vast experiential basis for judging the quality of things, and his purity isn’t the result of no experience with contaminants, but of vast experience that rejects contaminants because of a strong will to maintain his chosen good path, and the contaminants are properly seen as distractions and detriments.

Robin wrote:

Lastly, about the magnitude of the karmic mass being absorbed. Lets say that you have a pure soul without weakness and it absorbs a karmic mass such as vanity for instance which it has absolutely no point of resonance with and as a result, the karmic mass just breaks apart on impact and is absorbed without much being felt. Now lets say that you increase the magnitude of the karmic mass one thousand fold and repeat the process, would the pure soul notice a difference? If there is complete purity and absence of vulnerability, does magnitude of external karmic mass absorption even matter?

If you see it thermodynamically, it’s mass times temperature, and you can easily determine outcomes. Once the mass is absorbed, the concept of purity is irrelevant; the thing you’re talking about, the boundaries and empathy, play a role in a phase prior to that, where you decide whether to absorb something or to keep away from it. Once you absorb it, the mass times temperature equation determines the outcome, and if the outcome raises your “temperature” above the point where you “lose superconductivity”, essentially where you lose the ability to think clearly in a yogic fashion and apply spiritual pressure in order to remove excess “heat” as suffering, thus lowering your “temperature” back to the thermodynamic zero, well, it’s a case of “don’t try to eat something that’s bigger than you”. 🙂
Obviously, “purity” is not a useful way of thinking about it, because what is perceived as “impurity” is basically kinetic energy of the particles, or, in other words, “heat”. At least if we stay within the Patañjali-friendly metaphor.