Ives wrote:I’d be curious to know what you think, Web.
Well let's take it as a given that whatever I think is going to be less than what is. But that never stopped me before, so why start now?
Okay, so if negative karma is pain, what is positive karma?
What are the “rewards for being good”?
There are no rewards, or for that matter punishments. There is only cause and effect. The concept of good karma and bad karma are the judgments of an ego based perspective. Generally those that accept the concept of karma, label emotionally painful experiences as bad karma, and pleasant experiences (if given karmic credit at all) as good karma. But like most Truths in life, karma is simpler than the mind can accept, so it divides it into an acceptable complexity. And as the mind likewise loves both being a victim and having enemies to condemn, seeing karma as predominately "bad" makes for a useful tool to maintain separation.
Karma, like any aspect of life, just is. Whatever is done through the guise of ego or mind expresses energy. This energy has certain qualities that creates an atmosphere surrounding the ego that expressed it. The more a certain energy is expressed the stronger the atmosphere becomes. In the case of the coarser energies (anger, depression, deceit, etc), the ego being the great denier, disowns the origins of these energies and pushes them out of direct awareness, thus creating the painbody.
"Good" karma works in the same way. Certain benevolent actions create its own unique atmosphere, drawing to itself harmonious energies.
Knowing this allows one to manage ones life by preferable mental focus and creating the atmosphere of choice. This is the "secret" of so many self-help and new age technologies of making ones self a better, more pleasant life.
But it is all still ego/mind stuff and is not the "point"
of the Tolle teachings. Clear presence-awareness does not make judgments on good or bad karma. It accepts what is, while remaining clear that all content of the moment is legitament, in that it is the unfolding of the diversity of life.
Could it be therefore that the reward is greater awareness.
You could look at it as a reward, but I think that would be relative to an ego perspective of reward and punishment. Awareness is our Essential Identity. We need but recognize those concepts that distort our clarity to reclaim our inherent vision.
So that in terms of spiritual evolution over the course of lifetimes, there is the possibility of an accumulation of Presence. The (effortless) efforts made to be in the now are not lost at death.
That would explain why some people take to these ideas immediately, why some never get it, and why some shift into an awakened state for no apparent reason. The ‘work’ has been done in previous incarnations.
I think this perspective has merrit, but again from an ego/mind point of view. Multiple lifetimes may well exist and function as you say. There may be heavens and levels of heavens, but even this would be content within the Infinity of Being. It's all speculation of coarse, the meanderings of the mind contemplating its own existance. Pure Awareness has no such illusions. It just observes in wonderment the Kingdom at hand.