Degeneration and Aging

Posted to Subscribers on 22 March 2012


Dear Subscribers,

It's a little hard to remember when first told about kaya kalpa by a colleague who later proposed I write a book about it. In any event, for the last three years, I have stolen a moment here and there to bring myself up to speed on the numerous issues surrounding aging.

Let's however go back several more decades and look at the time I put my toes in the water and embarked upon the path I have been exploring for the last four decades. The preliminary questions were:

  1. What is illness?
  2. What is health?
  3. What causes illness?
  4. What restores health?
  5. What are the signatures of particular illnesses?
  6. What shifts the outcome?
  7. Does anything we do actually make a difference?

You can see that such a list could go on and on.

However, our inherited literature is full of quaint and controversial statements about illness. In the East, everything is due to karma. Even if we accept this, we have to ask how the karma was set in motion and whether we were victims or perpetrators.

In the West, the doctrine of karma and reincarnation was officially made to disappear by council, aka committee decision and intrigue, during the reign of Justinian in Constantinople. If we think politics has changed over the years, I would simply invite you to ask how bills are legislated and who writes them and who reads them and who votes for them. Issues of right and wrong can become ferocious points for debate but if power prevails, we can more or less see the outcome.

So, what is called karma in the East came to be understood as sin in the West. Instead of having compassion for suffering, we attached blame to what seemed to be divine wrath and retribution. I could cite countless sources to substantiate this comment, but suffice it to say that it took me a couple of decades to unfetter my mind and seek the truth in another way. This was an immensely interesting but difficult task.

Those who have subscribed to my list for a while know that I do not hold Pasteur in high regard but the germ theory of disease pushed the blame for illness onto neutral parties that allowed for science to take up a position that is fundamentally at odds with metaphysics and probably most historic religious views. Aside from this outcome, I think the germ theory and the treatments that ensued as a result of embracing the theory are merely digressions in thought, interim beliefs that will be displaced in the future by something more coherent. However, the raising of this concept to its current level of acceptance allowed medicine to function somewhat independently of both religion and superstition. This, in turn, has permitted some progress in the responsibility society assumes for the seeming capriciousness of bacteria and viruses.



The concept of karma is based on the idea that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If one tosses a rock into a pond, we see ripples moving outwards and then the motion seems to reverse and subside. Nechung Rinpoche, one of my teachers many years ago, used to divide karma into four distinct parts, suggesting that there is subintentional karma for which we are accountable but the consequences are not as serious as when the motivation itself is unjust. In such cases, the repercussions address both the deed and the motive for the deed. In my opinion, this theory supports a higher level of personal and social ethics but, as you will see, there are some caveats.

The fact is that in all the past life recalls I have had as well as those that I facilitated for others, there has never been any evidence to support either the notion of sin or karma. This is a huge statement, and, of course, it flies in the face of much that most of us accept as truth, at least on some level or another. What I have seen that is relevant to health is that the incarnate being exists simultaneously in many dimensions. Most likely, we could argue that the parts that are not third dimensional also exist simultaneously in many eras or perhaps they simply exist in Eternity itself.

The part of us that is evolving is the capacity to express the relationship between spirit and matter or what I prefer to call Essence and Space. Essence is radiatory and stimulating. It seeks a response from Space. If it receives a response, it begins to anchor and ground. From the perspective of Space, this encounter with Essence either feels good or bad so Space qualifies each experience according to how it feels. Whatever is traumatizing establishes a sort of sore spot and this persists until enough qualitatively different experiences overwrite the earlier memory. In short, what we refer to as karma is memory, a memory that has, shall we say, infectious components.

In my very early days of facilitating recall, I found that someone sustained injuries to more or less the same parts of the body in one lifetime after another. Examples always serve to make points clear. One person — in a lifetime in the distant past — did penance and crawled on her knees to a sacred place. This injured her knees. The motivation may have been pious but the physical self is affected by physical experiences, not piety. In another lifetime, she was shot in the knee by a poisoned arrow, and in this lifetime, she developed melanoma in same spot as had been wounded by the arrow. To heal, it was necessary to bring these incidents to the attention of the conscious mind which could then set in motion appropriate measures to reassure the physical body that the damage was now recognized and would be tenderly nursed until healed.

In this example, we do not see anything at all that would suggest wrong motivation much less sin. Perhaps we could argue that putting the body through such an ordeal was ill-conceived so while piously motivated, the effect on the body was harmful. For the same reason, self-flagellation and self-immolation are disrespectful of the physical body which is then made to suffer from ignorant behavior on the part of our incarnate existence that is deluded by what it regards as important. The point is simply that the physical body is a victim of foolish ideas held by the mind. Until the mind changes, there will be ongoing risks to the physical body.

So, this example refers to deeds we perpetrate on ourselves whereas there are also actions and reactions that involve second parties, like the one who shot the arrow into the knee. In this case, both parties incur consequences but only the shooter has the karma of intensely wrong motivation. Of course, we can always go a step further and say that the shooter was a victim of incursions by unwelcome individuals that they wanted to dissuade from further attempts to plunder. Anyone involved in guerilla warfare or resistance movements would have arguments to justify the deeds but there will still be ripples and therefore repercussions.

My present view is, however, that Space is fundamentally innocent. She is always a victim, not a perpetrator. This has to be true because what is magnetic cannot initiate. Therefore, it cannot "cause" and for this reason, it is nearly entirely blameless. Space really has two options: accept or reject. So, theoretically the only mistakes Space can make would be to accept what is ultimately unhealthy or harmful or to reject what might have been valued had the experience been allowed. By intruding our fear of outcome into the projected scenario, we no doubt forfeit certain opportunities to learn and advance.


As you know, one of the most influential healers in my life was a Hawaiian kahuna named Morrnah Simeona. She said whatever does not feel good to the body, the body resists. The context for the comment was massage. The individual wanted the opinion of a lomi-lomi practitioner on Rolfing. I was enthralled by the answer because it not only went straight to the core, but it showed that comparisons and debates were completely unnecessary. The other great lesson from Morrnah was that before healing could take place, the obstacle to cure had to be removed. Most people skip this vital step and go straight into some protocol that was never designed to find the cause much less eliminate it. I feel very fortunate to have been exposed to such important ideas while still relatively young.


What Causes Disease?

So, are disease, degeneration, and death caused by karma or sin? by life style? by microorganisms or fungi? by environmental pollutants? by some vague and mysterious force called aging? Obviously, it would be almost as correct to say "all of the above" as to say "none of the above." Countless scholars engaged in cutting edge science are convinced that the normal life span ought to be 120 years or perhaps 150 years. Others believe we are immortal but haven't yet realized this. When we do, society will have to adjust to the idea that how we live, how we procreate, and how we populate the Planet will be drastically overhauled once our fundamental longevity is recognized and increasing numbers of people employ advanced scientific or metaphysical methods for prolonging life. With the windows we have now, we might say that stem cell technologies or quantum leaps in dealing with free radicals or profound insights into what we call reality would change the game plan for living. In short, none of the most promising strategies for overcoming catastrophic degeneration make even the slightest reference to anything remotely resembling blame for being sick.

Obvious as this might be for some, for the vast majority of people on Earth, accepting this view means dropping thousands of years of religious and medical indoctrination. Thus, for many, getting from where most are now to where most might one day be involves what some would call a paradigm shift. For those who are suffering, such a shift might be an incredible relief. For others, it would be speculative until countless others have proved the potential as something more than beyond where we are now but actually practical and realistic.


What Regenerates?

Personally, I am not quite ready to give up every idea from the past, but I am trying to keep an open mind. Since people die of many causes besides disease, the picture is bigger than that provided by science. There are wars and accidents that destroy people who appear to be in the prime of life. There are "in between" sorts of problems such as famine and exotic technologies that threaten survival. These would include everything from nuclear testing to microwaves to heaven knows what is found in our air, water, and food. There are also interventions that are iatrogenic. To some extent, these are variations of the description of essential innocence that is violated by an external force that is harmful. If this hypothesis seems acceptable, then the first step in healing ought to entail limiting the extent and influence of such exogenous forces.

A few years ago, I mentioned in a post that one of the preparations for rejuvenation involves minimizing the overlay of past on the present. The favored herb for this is bilwa, Aegle marmelos, but practically no one took the bait. I was astonished because if reducing the shadows of the past on the present were as simple as eating some tropical fruit, I would definitely have had a bite. Besides, the fruit is incredibly interesting looking and reminds me of spinning chakras.



Every discipline approaches subjects with the matrices for understanding unique to the discipline. If one is a musician interested in healing, one may look for healing or rejuvenative tones or chords or compositions. My own experience is that the inspiration for the music has more impact than the notes themselves, but then my mind seems to enjoy complexity. In the medical world, there is fascination with DNA, interference with regenerative activities due to infections and free radicals, concepts of pathogenesis based on metabolic anomalies or hormonal disruptors, and the list goes on and on because the industry employs a lot of specialists. Herbalists, of course, like their plants and gemologists prefer stones and minerals, and mystics might want light or blessings or prayers. My belief is that whatever sets right something that is traumatized is precisely what is most likely to work for the individual in question. As a rule, I try to encourage people to use the tools of their own discipline. Healing could come through pet therapy or changing to a job for which one has true passion. Ultimately, our willingness to be in balance and the measures we take to achieve that balance are going to count for a lot.

This is a huge subject. Maybe there should be a sequel.

Many blessings,



Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2012






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Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2012

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