2020-05-31

125: Guided by Karma

This is Wolverine's third appearance. The first was in #36, where Wolverine was avoiding first-person pronouns because, she claimed, "No-self has appeared." The second was in #114 regarding the meaning (or possibility) of hiding.

The Zen story, "Baizhang and the Fox" (Gateless Gate #2) makes the point that, on the one hand, an enlightened person does not fall under the law of cause and effect (i.e., is not tangled in the laws of karma), and, on the other hand, such a person is attentive to cause and effect (is not free of karmic law).

Our causes and conditions push and pull us in various ways. Among the causes and conditions may be, if we're lucky, the capacity to step back from causes and conditions, identify and evaluate them -- and thereby engage a more awakened self with the situation.

Case
Wolverine wandered by again and positioned herself in the tall grass just outside the circle.
"I don't know why I'm here," she said, with a rather far-away look in her eyes. "I guess my karma brought me."
Raven asked, "Don't you have a say-so?"
Wolverine said, "I just let myself be guided."
Raven said, "How about when a hunter trails meat to a trap?"
Wolverine put her head on her paws.
Verse
Intention arises, sometimes, dispelling aimlessness.
Maybe it clarifies into a trumpet
of compelling and bold mission.
Who blows that rally horn?
Whence the source of its call --
Or my answering march?
When the brass beckoning of grace sounds
There is no resistance --
Or none not overwhelmed --
Which means this too is
following the path of least.
Case adapted from Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon
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