January 26, 2013

Karma Through The Django Movie Lens.


Photo: Youtube

Quentin Tarantino hit it out of the park again with Django.

This western is an unapologetic revenge film, and completely wails, if that’s the term I’m after.

Dharma Mittra Photo: Youtube

Once at a weekend retreat at Omega, Dharma Mittra spoke to us for some time about Karma. He told us to accept or dismiss the idea of karma, but first, to check it out. He was very pointed about that, his position being that karma explained so much, that dwelling on the idea brings much understanding.

When we watch Django, and see the conflict, challenge, resolution and deep satisfaction in the conclusion, we are checking out karma.  See this film for your spiritual evolution. Like the unbelievably liberating view of human beings as illusionary distractions in The Matrix, or the cast of double crossing assassins in Quentin’s Kill Bill, the bad guys in Django are, well, karmically ready to die. They are cogs in the slavery machine, willing oppressors for whom death is a funny form of mercy.

Is that ever okay? Is a bullet in the heart ever called for, or correct?

Obviously yes, it sometimes is, if your view of life is that when something happens, that is the irrefutable proof that it was supposed to happen. How releasing, to let go of this very normal onus to judge and decree 24/7, to constantly attempt to fathom events through a propriety filter. Karma is not fixed of declared. It is a moving event cloud.

This video touches on that: “This Arises, That Becomes.” Alan Watts on Karma.

He’d kinda like folks to stop seeing the universe as a fragmented process of conflict.



“What happened, what is the effect of that?” David Nichtern on Karma. A good case for awakening.

He sets up the “being triggered” at the end, with a brilliant question about what our state of being is when we are fighting with loved ones.

Part of karma is the idea that everything is constantly fluid, moving. We do get what we deserve, yet in every single moment of life, we write that. We create what we have coming to us: moment to moment. All of it constantly 100 percent changeable. Creatable. And so much of the game is becoming receptive. “You get triggered, then you come back to the open receptivity.”

Pema on “We are All in the Same Boat”


After a very funny opening regarding a poem title, she hands out compassion and basic goodness on a silver platter here.

Sometimes, our basic goodness is what certain perspectives might label “bad.” Fuck ’em.

And a form of trust in all aspects of ourselves, the unconditional friendship Pema speaks of, is so essential to who we are. Seeing and making friends with that part of ourselves we feel some judgmental push to be ashamed of.

And there are degrees. I don’t know what your shame is, but I know what compassion looks like.

It is lovingly smiling at yourself when you walk away from a friendship that no longer serves you.

It is breathing quietly and with deep satisfaction after standing up to a bully.

And if Quentin is to be believed, (I’m a believer) sometimes, it is getting on your horse, and riding away from an evil plantation, post blood bath, with your dignity and life force intact.


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Ed: Kate Bartolotta

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