Karma Accelerator

After enlightenment, my karma unwound with breathtaking speed. I also noticed that I catalyzed the karma of those close to me.

Finished. Done. Nothing Left. These were the overriding feelings after the jaw dropping novelty of the first few weeks settled in. It wasn’t a decision, it was an inescapable observation. This world held nothing for me. And it never did, I just didn’t know it until now. Because prior to now, I believed I was a “me”. When you have a “me” at the dead center of your experience, of your consciousness, then the way you perceive the world is organized around that “me”. That mistaken self has a lot of skin in the game, lots to accomplish and do and become and gain (or lose).

Even the idea of happiness, which we all aspire to, was no longer available to me. We want to achieve certain things, build a certain kind of life, improve ourselves, become enlightened or spiritual…and we believe that it will make us happy, that there is a happy life, if only we can find or create it. The thing is, I was happy. I had created a nice life and I was quite content in it. After waking up from the dream of self, even this happiness, the desire to build on that happiness and defend that happiness disappeared.

There is no way to explain the feeling of completion, that there is absolutely nothing in this world for me to do or achieve or experience. It’s like walking into a giant emporium of newborn infant clothing, a vast complex that would take you decades to traverse…only you have suddenly realized that you live in a world with no more infants.

The idea of karma is really confusing to people. Perhaps it is even more mixed up for people who were not raised in a culture and religion/philosophy where karma is a native concept. I’m not going to try to unravel this beast here. I only ask you not to get too wrapped up in any definition of karma and roll with it for now. We don’t have to make any decisions about what it is or isn’t at this moment, so I’m going to use the term loosely today.

Even though I was finished, had seen through the elaborate traps of happiness, progress and the like, when I looked around me, I saw all that I had built. Monuments to self. Fortresses of happiness. Treasuries of accomplishments. While the self, the happiness and the accomplishments were ephemeral, the structures built for and around them were anything but. They were solid, dense and very complex. A marriage, a business, friendships, properties, a social life, with all kinds of agreements and agendas and promises and founding myths…based on beliefs that were no longer true. It’s as if the person inhabiting my life vanished in the space of a second, but the life was still there, expectant, demanding.

Then, the epic collapse. All that I had built around and for the self-that-was-no-more started unwinding, unraveling at the seams. Here, today, I’m going to call all these structures karma. Suddenly I was no longer adding onto or building up these structures, and more importantly, I was not doing daily maintenance on them. There is so much effort we put into keeping the show going. We don’t want to see the cracks, the creeping mold, the actual motivations that make up the foundations of the cherished edifices of our lives. We diligently maintain them so that others won’t see the flaws, but even more importantly, so that we don’t have to look at them directly.

The karma would have burned through itself anyway. As it does for everyone, not just for enlightened people. Karma smolders and burns and you’ll see people go through long and short cycles of this. Some call them Saturn returns or transits. Some call them midlife crises, or seven year cycles. Even when the structures remain, there is some point where the damage (or change) is too much and it has to be let go or rebuilt in a different way. For me, it was as though an accelerant had been added to this process, and the results were spectacular. Nothing like seeing your whole life become one enormous bonfire.

All the surfaces cracked. And since I wasn’t smoothing them over anymore, those cracks got uglier and deeper. People around me became so transparent. All the niceties were gone. It’s as though everyone in my life decided all at once to scream, “This is what I’m really like, underneath the good manners and charming exterior. Just beneath the surface, this is what I am!”

And not just people close to me, but everyone. Neighbors, employees, you name it.

In the space of about two years, what took my lifetime to build was gone. What would have taken the rest of my life to unravel was consumed and transmuted by this insatiable fire. At the very end, I realized my husband was only alive because he was siphoning off my lifeforce, and I energetically closed that line of support. Twelve days later he, an otherwise healthy man in his 40s, dropped dead of a brain aneurysm.

I noticed the people closest to me also had their karma accelerated. Life situations flared dramatically and quickly to climax proportions that couldn’t be ignored or pasted over. There seemed no more room for business as usual, no matter how much that was preferred. What would have taken years to come to a head presented as immediate crises, things were revealed that could not be unknown, could not be shoved back into the locked box.

I have no idea how or why this occurred in the lives closest to me. Did the fire spill over somehow? It wasn’t physical proximity, because one of my closest friends lived on the other side of the country.

Was this a bad thing? Many people describe their life just prior to awakening as bleak or terrible or even suicidal. Mine was anything but. I was happy, that rare state that people even envied me for. Just prior to waking up, I was having the best dream ever. I know it seems so stark when I say it like this, describe all that was apparently stripped away. But if it were even possible to dream again, and to have that sweet and happy dream, no less, I would choose this uncompromising lucidity, this clarity that allows no comfort, no faith, no artifice and no hope.

image: taken in Bologna, Italy


  1. Maury Lee says:

    I can relate to this. The completeness here feels like an okayness. Bad things happen, but you know it couldn’t be any other way, so there is no position from which to grieve. In my case the stripping away of happiness, hope, faith, etc., was progressive. There was a time in my late thirties when I had intense feelings of dying. It wasn’t a physcial death, but the death of me. But the death of me, paradoxically, was the becoming of everyone.

    Apparently entlightenment happened, but the unfolding, or actualization, or Karma, has been spread out. In the last couple years it has speeded up again.

    I reached retirement age. I could have retired, but it wasn’t my choice. I had no sense that I should, or should not retire. I could do my job fairly easily, but it was boring much of the time. But there was no me to decide, now is the time. Retirement was on my mind, and I just let it sit there. Two weeks ago, around 9 AM my boss was called into the VP’s office. Fifteen minutes later, he walked by my cube on the way out the door, and whispered over the cubicle wall, “It happened, I got laid off.”

    I quickly packed my stuff in some spare grocery bags and waited. Then I was called in and let go. I told the VP I was expecting it. I was told I would get half a year’s pay as severence. If I had retired on my own, I would have received nothing. This seems to me that the lack of motivation to quit or stay, to decide, brought a Karmic response I can only appreciate. I did not have to take responsibility for quiting, but leaving came to me, and with money to make the transition into retirement fine.

    Do I know what I am going to do now? No. Does it matter? No. Is there someone to do anything about it? No. There is just this dream doing its thing. I am just watching.

  2. Opalfire says:

    Wow! Stumbled upon your site and this post. A fire has come and burned my whole village, universe, and parts of me….I have no desires, motivation, reason, etc. Quit job (that at one point I really loved), sold home. In Hermit Cave mode and HATING it. I’m bored stiff. Before the spiritual openings I had such a passion for life and my life had meaning and now I have no juiceing of anything and nothing to look forward to. All this has been going on for two years and my suicidal thoughts are increasing (not going to do it but pray for death all the time). I say, Why be here? I have no responsibility such as caring for kids or partner, thank,gosh. No goals, dreams/passions. Lol it’s really quite disappointing to live with no juicing/reason, or motive. Just exist? If I don’t die, this is going to have to be good enough. But I feel that being in this zone is NOT good enough. At the present time I’m hating every part of this. I have read enough to know it’s normal. I don’t even have desires to do mind numbing things like watch TV or read. I just wish I had some joy. A reason to live and go on. Or at least could use ‘time’ doing things that could keep me busy such as go to the gym to work out, but why? For what? Just to go? Yeah why not?
    I wish the “me filter” would totally die out so I could live with some peace or better yet, ACCEPTANCE. I see that living with this filter, although it already feels dead, is causing this problem. I cannot make the filter go away, do you think it will burn out on its own accord like everything else????
    Otherwise, I’m in limbo zone…all fell away and I get to sit here and feel the LOSS and try to cope with it. I’m not about making a new life or story, I just would like to be okay with being alive with NOTHING!

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