Updating the Concept of KARMA

diffusing guilt, anxiety, depression, shame and etc.

"...we have to regard the universe as an undivided and unbroken whole. Division into particles, or into particles and fields, is only a crude abstraction and approximation...Thus we could come to the germ of a new notion of unbroken wholeness, in which consciousness is no longer to be fundamentally separated from matter."[i]

That was written by the physicist David Bohm in his book, "Wholeness and the Implicate Order." Not only is it one of our favorite books, it inspired us to come up with the term "karmentum," which was derived from our adding the word karma to the word momentum.

We do this for a reason.

See, Karma is hard to understand, in spite of our sense the users of the word were, and still are, on to something.

Momentum on the other hand is easy to understand (in spite a long and curious history extending as far back as a Persian polymath named Ibn Sina, whose Book of Healing was a standard text around one thousand years ago.

Momentum is mass times velocity (p=mv), at least when talking about a unitary point, or particle.

Karmentum is mass times evolution (k=me),* at least until we can come up with better terms. It’s also the quickest way we can think of for developing compassion within ourselves (if one should want to do that, that is.)


Well, think of it like this.

Most everyone agrees that change is constant, and that change involves both energy and mass (or for our purposes, impulse and form). However, not everyone agrees on whether we have a choice in how energy and form are manipulated in the process of the changes taking place in our lives, in ourselves. That is to say, are we in control of our destiny? Do we have free will? Do we have a choice? (you can read about nomological determinism if you’d rather, or counterfactual definiteness.)

For some, this is a fundamental question.

Actually, for just about everyone.

See, if we are free in life to make choices, then we must accept some degree of responsibility for the choices we have made, i.e., who we are at the time of observation, observation being the moment we are having the conversation about, or reflecting over, choice, or our choices. This normally means some expression of satisfaction and some expression of dissatisfaction with how our lives have turned out. Remember we can only measure the past from the perspective of the future.

If you are reading this, it may be the latter, a sense of failure with the way your life has turned out, or perhaps a feeling of disappointment and maybe depression or anxiety over the choices that have lead you to this exact moment, when we are discussing our lives (our, because we are always in this together), and or also, a measure of anxiety about how it’s all going ultimately to turn out, that being in part to how it has turned out so far.

In any case, in any choice, are at least three things we can easily identify - time, content and potential.


We cannot control that it is a certain year and month and day and hour and minute and second as we read this, or rather, either alter the consensus regarding how the world institutionalizes time, or time itself. We cannot stop, slow down, speed up or reverse time as we experience it regardless of how we institutionalize it (unless of course we travel at or near the speed of light, or change our distance from the earth's center of gravity, and then return, or travel near a black hole and return etc). And we have never been able to control whatever time it has been since we were born.


We have no control over the content of our experience in time and space to any moment at the time an observation is made, i.e., the history of the interaction of impulse and form that finds us at this second together, me sitting in one country getting ready to depart for the airport to catch a flight to another, and you wherever you are. We created neither country, nor where we are, nor the vehicles that carry us between them, nor any other identifiable component or players in the process of having evolved from where it all supposedly began 13.7bya to being born where and how we were to getting from one place to another in that process, including that there are places, and other places, and that we either need or want to get between them.



At any given moment, including the first moments of our formation - conception - and onward through delivery, we only ever represent the most recent state of what appears to be us in the evolution of the universe, or in easier to conceptualize size, our kinetic and potential energy in time as it progresses, or doesn't progress, or does whatever time does, which we are not sure of yet (spin?). It's just that clocks keep ticking, things go from hot to cold, disequilibrium to equilibrium, and it seems we can't remember as much of the future as we do the past (more about this later). Oh and also, things tend to go from order to disorder if left alone long enough.

In that sense, in the sense of time (opportunity) manifesting content and potential (substance), all choice is informed, that is to say has a complete history, is already fully imbued with mass and meaning and other participants = karmentum.

It's important to remember we are not alone in the universe.

We are not free of it, or other participants in it.

We are the universe, said Neil deGrass Tyson, and the universe is us.

In other words, form preceded our arrival on the scene.

Form always precedes our arrival on the scene.

The real question here is not whether we are free to make choices or not in life, but,

1 - what's {free}?

2 - and, what's this {we} free of?

What are {we} but the form time, content and potential has unfolded?

Including the form of language used to describe it all.

Including the form of {I}.

Think of it like this.

We know, at least from certain research, that the part we identify as the decision maker, often called our conscious is about 100 to 300 milliseconds behind a part of our ourselves we often call the subconscious for certain self initiated actions we make, like moving a finger. That is to say, it takes a certain amount of time for a decision we make in the subconscious to reach conscious awareness, leading us to ask if we made the decision or the decision made us.

In these and later experiments we are talking about time scales between 100 to 300 milliseconds, which might seem small, but are enormous compared to how small we can actually divide a second up, at least if nothing else, conceptualize our ability to understand temporal intervals of change, or how much can be contained in how little.

An atomic, or cesium clock, divides a second into over 9 billion smaller units (9,192,631,770 to be exact.)[ii] This means that during the second or fractions thereof we either make a choice or not, or speak about making a choice, 9 billion ticks of an atomic clock have passed, or one could also say, 9 billion observable changes have taken place in just one kind of atom all over the universe.

That is to say, a second is actually 9,192,631,770 smaller moments of time (or technically, periods of the electromagnetic radiation emitted or absorbed by the ground state hyperfine transition of the cesium atom.)[iii]

That is to say, the choice I make now,




Even better.

What does {now} mean if in just one second 9 billion changes have taken place in just one atom of many in the universe, including maybe in the 10 ìg of stable cesium per day I swallow, and the 0.025 ìg per day I breathe?[iv]

I don't even know what that means to be honest.

Are the cesium atoms in my body experiencing phase changes in energy levels too, 9,192,631,770 times each second?

What about all the other atoms in my body?

And that's just the whole point.

What am I?

Multitudes. I am multitudes.[v]

{I1} am 7 billion-billion-billion atoms,[vi]

{I2} am 37.2 trillion cells,[vii]

{I3} am 70,000 to 90,000 protein parts in every cell,[viii]

{I4} am 10 million biochemical processes happening every second, in each of the 37.2 trillion cells,[ix]

{I5} am 100 trillion bacteria,[x]

For every gene, {I6} am 100 bacteria genes,[xi]

{I7} am more microbe than human.

Who / am / I?

What? Where? When?

"I AM THAT I AM."[xii]

Think of it like this.

I make a "choice." Prior to that choice were 9 billion measurable ticks of the clock (periods of oscillation of an undisturbed cesium atom)[xiii] and in every one of those 9 billionths of a second is contained the entire history of the entire universe, the momentum of all time, of all space, of all {I}s.

Therefore I must ask (given time and space are both fundamental quantities and inseparable),

- in which of those billionths of a second of history and form, of karmentum, am I independent of the billionth before?

- in which of those billionths of a second does my moment of not being a product of the billionth before - my free will - occur?

- in which of those 7 billion-billion-billion atoms am I found?

- in which of those 32.7 trillion cells?

- in which of those 70,000 to 90,000 protein parts?

- in which of those 100 trillion bacteria?

- in which of those 10 million things happening in each trillion during that billionth, am I free of the trillionth before?

In the billionth trillionth of me, is the whole universe found.

"We are the universe said one famous physicist.[xiv]"[xv]

If I am the universe, then in which billionth trillionth am I guilty of failing?

In which billionth trillionth have I succeeded?

Where am I?

Where do I begin?

In the inseparability of all of us from any of us, from all of what we have indissolubly historically been becoming, are we not all conventional?

Inseparable from ourselves and each other?

Are we all just not participants in the grand re-formation of being?

Of the super-resonance?

For the Buddhists there is no beginning to the number of our births. We cannot be counted, or uncounted, quantified, or not. We have been everyone who has ever lived. "All forms," as Ibn Arabi wrote.[xvi]

I see no agents in any of these processes, only participants. I see only temporary forms derived through a series of interactions throughout the evolution of the universe. In no way therefore can I see myself as either complete or ordained, but as simply another evanescent and unwitting participant in the grand re-formation of being.

The unity is said to be the mystery,

Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders.[xvii]

I can neither take credit for who (or what) I am, nor punish myself for failing to be anything other than who (or what) I am, i.e., whom I'm not (but could have been had I done something differently.) This is what we mean by karmentum, and another reason we created the word.

In that sense, k = me.

Be free.


[i] Wholeness and the Implicate Order (1980:250)

[ii] http://www.wired.com/2014/04/nist-atomic-clock/

[iii] http://www.npl.co.uk/educate-explore/what-is-time/how-do-atomic-clocks-work

[iv] http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/PHS/PHS.asp?id=575&tid=107

[v] http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/s_z/whitman/song.htm

[vi] http://education.jlab.org/qa/mathatom_04.html

[vii] http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/there-are-372-trillion-cells-in-your-body-4941473/?no-ist

[viii] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjj0xVM4x1I

[ix] can't remember where I heard this but it sounds great.

[x] http://discovermagazine.com/galleries/zen-photo/m/microbiome

[xi] http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/strange-but-true-humans-carry-more-bacterial-cells-than-human-ones/

[xii] From the Old Testament somewhere. My internet is down and I can't check it now.

[xiii] http://www.wired.com/2014/04/nist-atomic-clock/

[xiv] Neil deGrasse Tyson, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier

[xv] That same physicist I quoted above, but now I'm confused because I'm quoting myself quoting someone else. Is that possible?

[xvi] http://www.ibnarabisociety.org/articles/treasureofcompassion.html

[xvii] http://www.taoism.net/ttc/chapters/chap01.htm

*obviously we are having a little fun here. God forbid. Inshallah.