Q: If I had the intention to do something kind, but it somehow got screwed up so that it was actually unkind, is there anything I can do to help?
NN: Yourself or the other person?
Q: Both. [Laughter]
NN: With regard to karma, it is incomplete because you recognised that the kind motivation went wrong and you felt sorry about that. It is best then to just let it go. There is no point in hanging on to it with feelings of guilt or self-recrimination. If there is something you can do to help the other person that will not compound the situation, then that is always possible.
Q: What is happening when I eat the twentieth chocolate bar and find that I no longer want it or am able to enjoy it?
NN: There is the physiological response of your body, and the ‘wearing out’ of your ability for that object to be a reference point for you.
Q: So does appreciation ‘wear out’?
NN: No. From the non-dual view, appreciation is non-referential. If there is a physiological reaction to the twentieth chocolate bar, non-referential appreciation appreciates the experience of queasiness and disgust. Non-dual appreciation is enthralled by the explosive experience of vomiting [laughter]. When queasiness and vomiting are free of the referentiality of ‘this is a bad thing that shouldn’t be happening to me’, they are just experiences. All experience is simply as it is – we add the extra layer of judgement of good, bad or indifferent.
Q: Does our neurotic patterning change?
NN: Yes, in an ad-hoc way, depending on the associations and reference points of our lives. Experience means that we may have different opinions, our tastes change, some patterns get stronger. Some change, and some disappear. If our perception appears to confirm our expectation, then we strengthen the pattern. But in any moment there is always the possibility of naked direct perception that is free of expectation and preconception.