Karma, Samskharas, and the completion process

Karma means ‘action’ (verb).
Samskhara means ‘imprint/engram’ (noun).

In colloquial usage though, karma and samskharas are used interchangeably.

The mind in its clear pure state is like a clear mirror,
Where it simply reflects reality exactly the way it is.
Now, imagine a mirror that holds memory.
Suppose you go on a trip and carry the mirror to various places.
On returning home, you would be seeing colorings/ghosts of the past all over the mirror image, right?

This is the nature of a mind loaded with samskharas (impressions/imprints from the past).
The completion process (samskhara dahana kriya) is about thinning out these imprints, so that you can eventually see clearly through them.

One good visualization to imagine this is:
Imagine you are holding a ‘color checker board’ in front of you.

Color checker board, the thinning of the color pieces.

If the color slots on the checker board are totally opaque, then, you can only see the color and nothing through it.
If the color in the piece is made more and more transparent (decreasing opacity), you would gradually start to see what is behind the color piece more and more.
After reducing the opacity i.e. thinning the color to a certain point, you would be able to easily see through it even if there is a bit of coloring still present, right?
This is what is done in the completion process.

Generally in psychology, when the light of your consciousness shines through the color pieces in the checkerboard, it is known as ‘projection’.
# If the color piece is totally opaque, then there is ‘total projection’.
That is, you are entirely seeing your past imprint and nothing of the actual reality in front of you. Total projection completely obscures reality.
# If the color checker board has no colors and if all the colors are replaced with clear glass pieces, then there is no projection at all, and you are directly seeing what is in front of you with no coloring. There is then 0 projection.
So essentially, the spectrum is like this:
Projection(0% transparency) ——- (50% transparency)——- Reality(100% transparency)

For most of us, there is a wide spectrum of opacity variation for these color pieces.
It is neither 0% nor 100% transparent but somewhere in the middle.
Positive colored pieces make us see life through positive colorings (seeing through rose tinted glasses). This is commonly referred to as good karma.
Negative colored pieces make us see life through negative colorings/lenses (seeing through a hell bent mind). This is commonly referred to as bad karma.

The very process of living exhausts karma (colloquial usage).
The main difference between a regular person and spiritual seeker is that the spiritual seeker exhausts the karma at a much higher intensity.
Exhausting karma here means thinning the colors out.
All samskharas in a way are partially unlived or undigested experiences.
That is why they continue to color our present experience.
To digest all these imprints is therefore the goal of the completion process.
In a way, these positive coloring and negative coloring set of lenses are what you call your identity (that is, the combination of our specific likes-dislikes).
So in the completion process, you are also thinning your identity out and eventually merging with the actual reality.

Consider the experience of eating physical food from a plate.
At first we have a more intense experience of it in our tongue,
And then we experience the more subtle experience of the consumed food getting digested, right?
Then what follows is, the nutrients are extracted and the remaining food is sent out.
Karma is food for the gods/soul.
Digestion of karma (the completion process), enriches the soul with wisdom which are the nutrients in this case.

A tool for understanding your environment

What is the environment you are living in right now?
Environment/situation/surroundings/condition/circumstance/atmosphere (ESSCCA)

Examine these dimensions in your surroundings:
# The physical-sensory ESSCCA
# The emotional-relational-connection ESSCCA
# The mental-interests ESSCCA
# The philosophical-abstract ESSCCA
# The energy ESSCCA

Accordingly, what food are you consuming in these dimensions?
# Physical food
# Emotional/Relational food
# Mental food
# Philosophical-abstract food
# Energy food

Insight on food transformations

By adding sugar, jaggery, milk, chocolate, butter, and mixing/roasting/frying,
Almost any neutral food can be transformed into an attractive sweet dish.
Even foods like bitter gourd can be made into a candy that kids can like.
Alternatively, even if a drop of poison or venom is added to a food,
The whole thing becomes instantly inedible.

This kind of food transformation power has interesting parallels with our lives too.
Some people are great at sugar coating everything, giving solace, pacifying and calming others down.
They probably developed that skill though, by living their early life in an environment surrounded by opposite kinds of people, who were full of rigidity and who would create violence, destruction, and disastrous conflagrations on a dime.
Conversely, some others are great at destroying others’ self-esteem, like how a drop of poison ruins an entire dish.

Another interesting aspect is the sheer difference in power of the positive and negative substances.
For instance it takes just a drop of poison or venom to ruin an entire food dish.
While on the other hand, to transform a neutral raw food into something palatable takes a lot of care and work.

I have always wondered about this, regarding why in existence the destructive forces are millions of times more potent than their positive counterparts.
One explanation for this could be, maybe we have not yet discovered the elixirs which are the true counterparts to what we call poison and venom.

Another explanation could be that maybe we are not in a balanced neutral plane of existence on earth.
Probably this is a feature of this planet/realm, where the potential strength of the destructive powers outweighs that of the positive by a million.
Maybe to balance this inherent power differential, destructive forces like poison and venom occur much more rarely.

My feeling is one day we might probably discover or synthesize the positive equivalents of those substances.
But as of now, this is the way it is, in my understanding.

Figuring out my diet is like playing minesweeper


The more empty I keep myself,
And the more mindfully I consume,
The less I eat,
The simpler I eat,
And the more I clearly notice the whole experience,
I can see that food and drugs are the same thing.
Everything alters experience.

The dilemma I face is,
Whatever I eat, has its pros and cons.
Even the super foods work on some days and not on others.
And some stuff feels great one day, and meh on another.
My body is the lab,
And my work is food experimentation,
To find out the best food that is pure bliss.

For now, whatever I put inside me,
When finely finely observed,
Causes some pain or discomfort or the other.
If not immediately, in the following hours.
So it feels like I am playing minesweeper.
I keep trying different controlled experiments,
And mark off all the bomb foods.

Fundamentals of existence: Form maintenance

EARTH: Food -> Poo
# Water -> Pee
# Sexual desire -> Release
AIR: Breathing In -> Breathing out
# Activity/Expression(physical(1c), sexual(2c), verbalizing(3c/5c), perception(4c/6c)) -> Rest/Sleep
# Mental learning -> Dreams; Novelty -> Rest
# Temperature: Hot (Fan) -> Cold (Jacket/Blanket)
HEALTH: Health -> Sickness (not a cycle really but it appears to alternate)
OTHER NEEDS: Clothing, Territory/Shelter
# Toe Nails, Finger Nails, Head Hair, Beard(if male)
# Earth wash, Water wash, Wind wash, Fire wash.
# At least one relationship to tune into (to harmonize the system).
# Relationship Alone time

This is the minimum it takes (acc. to me) to live, in this realm, in this form.
These are the basic requirements of this VR world which one cannot exit out of until its [time is over] or [transcended and mastered].

The cycles frequency(freq) and amplitude(amp) can be heightened or shortened:
# EARTH: If you eat more, you’ll poo more
If you drink more, you’ll pee more
If you indulge more in sexual desire projection and release more often, then it increases freq.
# AIR: If you breathe in more, you’ll breathe out more
If you engage in more activity, then greater the rest period;
More the temperature variations, more the stimulation of metabolism.
Freq of Wash: Earth wash, Water wash (bath), Wind wash (standing in wind, fan), Fire wash
Freq of Hair and nail maintenance: Head hair, toe nails, finger nails, shaving.
Freq and amp(intensity) of: Relationship vs Alone time.
Freq and amp(intensity) of:
# Travel/Novelty vs. Home/Familiarity
# Learning/Exploring vs. Assimilation/Integration.

Our body is of the earth and belongs to the earth

The body has various cycles:
Input cycles:
# Hunger cycles = EARTH ELEMENT
# Thirst cycles = WATER ELEMENT
# Sleep cycles = ETHER ELEMENT
# [Sights, Sounds] consumption cycles = FIRE ELEMENT
# In-breath cycling = AIR ELEMENT
Output cycles:
# Poop cycles = EARTH ELEMENT
# Urine, Sexual cycles = WATER ELEMENT
# Exercise/Activity cycles = FIRE ELEMENT
# Out-breath cycling = AIR ELEMENT
# Waking state awareness cycles = ETHER ELEMENT
The elements part may not be exact, but I used my intuitive feel to arrive at them.

The body belongs to the earth, and is made up of the earth.
It is an organic machine, built from the elements of the earth, and on death, this entire body machine will be returned to the earth (which will cycle the elements back into itself).
The body emerges from the earth, gathers earth elements onto itself and grows, maintains and renews itself periodically from various elemental transactions with the earth, and then once its time is over, the earth reabsorbs the body back into itself.
The mothers womb provides the initial body as a template, that then separates from the mother, gathers on the elements (what we call growth), and then stabilizes itself in transaction with the elements of the earth.
“On death, the earth will take back the body, atom by atom” – Sadhguru
I have heard Sadhguru(Jaggi Vasudev) on Youtube speak about this topic many times, but only now I feel like I understand it more deeply.

So from the body’s perspective:
It cares about: food, water, sleep, sex, breathing, preservation.
Each of these activities give pleasure, but only as per the cycles.
The pleasure from the body is limited to the cycles only.
When you are hungry you can only eat until the hunger is satisfied, only till then will you get pleasure.
The same holds true for thirst, sex, and even the breath.
Breathing in is pleasure until you get full, breathing out is pleasure until you get empty.
Since all of the elemental transactions are in a cycle, neither can you preserve, nor can you indulge.
It is like your breath.
You can’t endlessly breathe in, neither can you endlessly breathe out.

In terms of source energy, the highest tangible conception of that for us, is the “Sun”.
But we can use only a fraction of that energy directly, and we need all its other stored forms available on earth to survive/thrive.
Sun -> Plants
Sun -> Plants -> Animals
Water -> stores the heat energy of the sun (else without the sun it would turn into ice).
And then we further cook the plant/animal material in fire, and then we have “energy and elements” in a form that we can easily consume.
The earth itself maintains its temperature from the sun.
The core of the earth is almost like a micro sun.
Human bodies are like the most developed neurons(brain nerve cells) of the earth.

Also with only one half of the earth facing the sun at any given point of time, and with the earth constantly rotating, it is always cycling through duality.
Though the sun(source) is ever present, ever radiant, it is eclipsed from influence and view during the night.
So I would think that is why, in the microcosm of our bodies too, we have the sleep and waking cycles which is a correlate to this macrocosmic duality.