While the Law of Karma can be interpreted several ways, based on who’s interpreting it and their level of spiritual knowledge regarding the universal laws that all life faithfully operates according to, the most basic way of looking at it in the practical sense is as the Law of Cause and Effect. Every action, no matter how great or small, produces an equal or greater reaction as a direct correspondence. This means the effect produced is of a similar nature and idea as what caused it. You can determine the cause of something by studying the effect it served to produce, because they’re always of the same nature. All life functions through rudimentary patterns that are whole ideas. An action of any kind is a form of expression that sets a whole pattern in motion, where whatever we ‘put out’, either immediately or eventually returns to us, where we experience it as ‘happening to us’ by another or through a set of what appears to be natural circumstances. It may not come in the form of an action directed toward us by another, or as a direct or immediate response to us, but more as the ‘same type of experience’, which touches on and brings alive in us the same feelings and issues that motivated our initial actions.
One of the ways to understand this in the basic sense, is by realizing that thought and feelings are always coupled, and combined act to generate equivalent emotions in response to them, where one acts to stimulate and bring forth the other, and ‘vibrate in harmony’ with each other as a ‘sensational idea’ that elicits an urge to express it. We shape an idea in our imagination as a possible experience, and the way we present the idea to ourselves generates a corresponding emotion in response to it, and the emotion becomes the motivational force for expressing the idea to form an experience of it. When we act based on an impulse or emotional trigger, the ‘automatic reaction’ is formed out of a behavioral pattern inherent in a memory of some kind that was formed initially out of the same emotion that’s being stimulated in us. Emotion, which is the ‘motivating force’ of the material world, is always directly associated to a memory of some kind that was formed while we were experiencing the ‘same emotion’. The emotion we’re being stimulated with is what serves as the activating mechanism for an automatic (unconscious) reaction. The emotion instantly ‘references’ an associated memory by saying “this is the same as that”, and whatever memory is attached to the emotion becomes the ‘pattern’ for producing an instantaneous experience of the same nature and type.
When we live out of our emotional states and emotional triggers as a normal way of being, where we allow our emotions to run freely and determine what we focus on, think about, and what memories we replay over and over in our mind as the scenarios and dramas produced by the emotions, we live in the ‘past’ by using the same group of memories as mental filters for producing more of the same type of experiences in the present. Whatever patterns from the past we continue to run in the present, form the basis for the future. All past events that had a ‘significant emotional impact on us’ formed the basis of our initial conditioning as our complexes and ‘issues’. These behavioral dynamics play out as life dramas that we continue to act out in a repetitious manner through semi-unconscious states. Once these patterns are formed and become habitual, we usually spend the rest of our life trying to get over them. This is how our karmic patterns become established and continue to operate in a self-perpetuating manner, becoming a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.
When something happens that’s of an emotionally intense nature or that traumatizes us somehow, our mind literally fragments into what becomes disjointed parts. The traumatizing elements become disparate in terms of seeming foreign to us in the most basic sense, and as a result we don’t know how to integrate them back into mind in a healthy, meaningful way. As we refuse to express them, we eventually come to disown them completely and over time lose awareness of them altogether. When we hold back parts of ourselves by refusing to outwardly express them in our everyday life, they stay alive within us, and continue to play out subliminally. Whatever we can’t seem to express in a healthy way, we disassociate from the memory itself while maintaining the emotion connected to the memory. The emotional aspect being maintained remains active within us and continues to express in ways that are not directly associated with what caused them, making them even more difficult to recognize. The emotion then acts as a “trigger” for setting an unconscious pattern in motion as an automatic reaction or a dynamic we play out without a direct awareness of what we’re doing or why. It continues to play out internally through self-talk formed as a kind of continuous ‘story’ that we’re always in the process of telling ourselves as a means of creating how we experience things, and eventually becomes such a natural part of us that we lose our ability to “see it clearly”.
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While the memory of the actual event isn’t always clear to us, the feeling and emotion we experienced at the time it occurred remains active and continues to run the ‘pattern inherent’ in the memory as a behavioral dynamic, while also acting as a mental filter for giving us an instant interpretation of any current events that are of a similar nature, connected of course, by the emotion those events stimulate in us, producing an ‘automated effect’ that resides just below the level of awareness. So, the unconscious emotional pattern continues to operate subliminally in our everyday life as a normal way of being and seeing the world, creating more of the same type of experiences over and over which develops over time into what becomes our ‘life story’. This occurs without us being aware of what we’re actually doing or the fact that we’re the one ‘doing it to ourselves’ by continuing to act out habitual patterns as emotional dramas. Because we remain pretty much unaware of what we’re doing in terms of the thematic patterns playing out and the natural behaviors involved, we form an experience of them as ‘being done to us’ by others, and over time begin forming generalized beliefs about the ‘way the world is’. Once we deny these memories to the point where they become beliefs formed into general categories that we apply across the board as a means of interpreting all our experiences to ‘mean’ the same thing, they form the basis for our ‘life theme’ as the ‘storyline’ that we continuously tell ourselves as a means of forming our ‘identity’. Our identity is formed by how we associate with our own self-produced experiences.
We’re always creating ‘how we experience’ the world around us from both conscious, self-aware aspects of ourselves, where we think and act intentionally, and unconscious, repressed aspects of ourselves playing out subliminally below the level of awareness, where they exist more as habitual feelings and emotions that run our thoughts and play out in an automatic, natural fashion, without a direct awareness of them or the fact that we can actually control and regulate them. We let our habitual emotions determine what we focus on, think about, and what thematic memories we play over and over in our mind, determining our mood in forming the same type of experiences throughout the day. We live primarily out of an unconscious state of reverie where we keep ourselves tuned to the same ideas as a vibratory frequency that we act to both transmit and receive from everything in our environment. We continue to create the same thematic patterns of our past in the present, setting the premise for future experiences of the same kind.
Karmic Patterns as Our Vibratory Signature
Naturally, all patterns are formed in our imagination as a ‘thoughtform’, shaped internally as a possible experience that brings it alive with sensations. As we form an idea in our mind as an internal experience, it acts to generate correlating emotions, forming what’s called our soul’s “signature frequency”. This frequency, formed by how we use our mind to shape our experiences, is constantly interacting with everything around us through a ‘mental signal’ we’re simultaneously transmitting and acting to receive. We ‘tune ourselves’ to a particular frequency through the patterns inherent in our own emotional thoughts. While we tend to say that all vibration has a pattern and a self-organizing mechanism inherent in it, we can think of this more accurately as forming an idea (pattern) on the inner planes of the mind as a ‘sensory reality’ that serves as a kind of archetype or ‘metaphorical theme’, which simultaneously generates correlating emotions in response to it, causing it to ‘vibrate’. We infuse it with our own lie-power. The imaginary thoughtform is the pattern, and the emotion generated is the active force that couples with it and interacts with the material world to ‘assemble it’ into a corresponding outer reality through sympathetic resonance, allowing us to ‘experience it’.
As we vibrate at a particular frequency formed by our own thoughts, both emitting and conceiving that frequency, we act to simultaneously attract those functioning through the same frequency as a life-theme, while repelling anyone of a particularly different pattern-frequency. This is generally experienced as having “chemistry” with some people and activities, while being virtually unaffected by other people. When you come into a new situation, certain people immediately stand out and you notice them above others, some people sort of stand out as a secondary thought, and others you look right past without really noticing them. You gravitate towards the people who really stand out, interacting with them further, and the more you interact with them, the more you either feel an affinity towards them, or you lose interest and feel like you don’t have much in common. Occasionally you really feel stimulated by someone and begin building a relationship with them, or you feel an intense connection with someone and become infatuated with them. All of this occurs in a completely natural way, because it’s all being conducted subliminally by the energetic make-up of everyone involved.
We naturally gravitate towards and end up in a relationship with those who vibrate at a similar frequency, and who have been engrained with corresponding life-patterns and live out of similar emotional states. When they come together, they feel like they already “know” each other because there’s a distinct sense of familiarity and they instantly relate to each other. This experience of vibrating in harmony with someone comes as a feeling of euphoria that fills us with a kind of instant love for them. This is what we often refer to as having chemistry with someone, or “love at first sight”, where an immediate connection is both felt and recognized as a strange kind of affinity with someone we hardly know.
This is the basis for karmic relationships, where we congruently act out the same life-patterns with each other, propelled into motion and maintained by the same group of emotions that correlate to the patterns. They become a co-star in our movie, where they play a complementary role in telling the same type of story, and we become one in theirs. This is easily recognized, especially as you get older and have more life experiences where patterns become self-evident, by becoming aware in all relationships that a dynamic immediately begins taking shape as the relationship steadily becomes established. The dynamic that naturally takes shape allows each person to “play out” their conditioned tendencies as all their repressed, disowned, unconscious issues. Each person immediately begins taking on a complementary role in playing out the same drama together.
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A person who’s insecure, for example, will naturally attract and establish a relationship with someone who makes them feel insecure and accentuates their dominant insecurities. Likewise, someone who doesn’t “feel good enough” for some reason, will attract and enter into relationships with those who continue to feed and bring out their feelings of not being good enough, and so on. While, at the same time, switching roles in the same dynamic and giving the other person back the same treatment. For example, someone who’s sensitive to being criticized, will not only unknowingly display the attitude and behaviors that cause them to be criticized, but also criticizes others in the same way they’re criticized, or they act hurt and sulk, causing the other person to feel guilty. It all depends on what the actual dynamic is they share in common. While all dynamics follow universal themes, they all have their own unique twist based on the situations and the type of dynamics they were developed in.
Whatever pattern is shared between two people, becomes the nature of the emotional drama and dynamic played out by how they naturally interact, where each person plays a complementary role in acting out the same pattern. We attract and feel attracted to those who have been conditioned with the similar issues, beliefs, behavioral tendencies, and family dynamics, as a ‘thematic pattern’ that establishes and maintains the relationship. These are called ‘karmic relationships’, which involve any and all relationships that are maintained for any period of time. The problem usually stems from us not knowing that all our relationships provide us with the basis for acting out unconscious tendencies formed through our initial conditioning, which is providing us with the opportunity to begin realizing what they are and the role we’re playing in producing and keeping them alive.
If we fail to “wake up” in the midst of our own dream, where we gain insight into our own unconscious patterns being acted out through impulses, then we continue to act them out faithfully through our very nature, attitude, natural behaviors, habitual emotional states and the thought processes that result from them. We tend to stay locked into the thematic patterns formed out of the memories of our childhood conditioning, which become the themes we build our identity around, and as a result, we become prisoners of our own unconscious creation. If, however, we can gain insights into our own unconscious tendencies, where we become self-aware and momentarily realize what’s actually happening and what our part is in creating it, we can begin prying open the door to greater and more profound forms of self-awareness, where we can begin consciously employing our ability to create our own life in a more intentional and deliberate way. We can act within our own life to change our part in the habitual patterns we consistently play out unknowingly with others, breaking our own self-induced trance.
Karma as the Basis for Healing and Self-Development
Another way of understanding the value and power of karma, comes by realizing it’s only the people we love and care deeply for that have the ability to “drag us through the mud”, so to speak. It’s in caring enough about another that we are emotionally compelled and set an intention to help them through difficult times and bad situations, without getting discouraged or giving up. As we help them through a bad situation, we simultaneously work through the same issues ‘we have’ in relation to their problem and develop the character traits necessary for staying with the process long enough to help them make it through. It’s only when we care enough about someone that we’re willing to walk through the fire with them and do whatever it takes, that we also develop correlated aspects of our own character.
For example, when we don’t have a drug problem or addiction ourselves, yet someone we love does, helping them through their addiction and the relapses that commonly take place along the way, can require us to exercise extreme forms of patience, perseverance, moral strength of will, hope, mental endurance, understanding, and compassion. It’s only when we care enough that we stay with the process through all its ups and downs, long enough to accomplish it with the other person, while simultaneously going through our own issues in regard to it. Such as feeling scared, not knowing what to do, feeling disappointed, lied to, betrayed, let down, losing hope, feeling stressed, and disillusioned in the most basic sense. As we go through a gamut of unruly emotions and struggle through the process necessary to push through the low points, we develop certain parts of our character to a new level. The very issues and traits that arise in us while working to help them, are the same ones related to their weaknesses and that are needed to overcome their addiction.
As we relate to them in understanding the problem they’re facing, it automatically stimulates and calls forth the same traits in us. This allows us to consciously work on developing those traits within ourselves in relation to them, and as we develop them into strengths by embodying them, we simultaneously strengthen those same traits ‘in them’. Whatever we ‘demonstrate’ through our presence, mindset, and outward actions, is ‘causal’ in nature, and works energetically to stimulate, bring alive, and call forth the same traits and way of being in the other person. We’re always teaching whatever it is we consistently demonstrate through our presence and how we’re being. Our presence is an ‘energetic state’ formed out of our state of mind as our character, and acts ‘on’ everything around us to stimulate and call forth the same internal qualities. People learn in the most basic sense by ‘imitating’ what’s being modeled for them by another.
When we feel frustrated and want to give up because we feel what we’re doing isn’t working or is a waste of time, it’s the perfect opportunity to exercise new forms of patience, determination, and mental endurance. As soon as we feel hopeless in a situation, we’re able to not only tap into what causes feelings of hopelessness, but also their counterparts needed to reestablish a sense of hope. All character traits have a polar-opposite that can be used to develop them. These are commonly referred to as vices (weaknesses) and virtues (strengths), which are opposite of each other as ‘extremes’ of the same thing as a state of being. Being a coward, for example, is opposed to be courageous, both of which are a possible response to fear (fight or flight). When you feel afraid and want to give up, quit, or run away from what you’re afraid of, and you move into an objective (unemotional) perspective, you can ‘choose’ to be courageous instead, and confront or take action despite the fear, and in doing so, you strengthen and develop an internal sense of courage and mental fortitude. If you set an intention to do this every time you feel afraid, you’ll begin creating more and more experiences of yourself being brave and strong, and they’ll act to gradually transform your fears into feelings of moral strength and confidence. This also causes the tendency to feel easily overwhelmed and intimidated to go away, being replaced with the ability to get a handle on your life and resist cravings, impulses, and weakness that leads to relapsing.
Allow yourself to realize that when you relate to someone in terms of their problems and the issues their dealing with, and you gain rapport with them, that you’re ‘stimulated’ by correlating character traits. By turning inward and becoming aware of what’s becoming active within you, you’re able to realize what the deficiencies are that are facilitating the problem. By working on the internal traits being stimulated in you by another, changing your own vibratory nature in response to them, you simultaneously influence those same traits to become active in them. This is what rapport means. It’s a form of ‘energetic entrainment’ that forms the basis for hypnosis. By working with the same traits and issues in yourself that are being stimulated by another, you impose a direct influence on those same traits in the other person through ‘sympathetic resonance’. When two vibrations of a similar enough nature come in near proximity of each other, they gradually begin vibrating in harmony with each other. The key in this process is to maintain an awareness of what’s happening to you internally in relation with them, so you don’t get pulled into an unconscious state where you take on and begin expressing the same trait and issue, and instead, once rapport is achieved and briefly maintained, begin gradually transforming it in yourself to a more positive expression, and they’ll naturally follow.
All of your karmic interactions, which means the ones that we find particularly stimulating and call forth a reaction of some kind in us, provide us with a window into repressed aspects of our own nature, and the patterns playing out in us at an unconscious, or semi-unconscious level. When we’re aware of this, it also provides us with the ripe opportunity for healing our own conditioned patterns, and the basis for transforming them through a form of conscious self-development. Once we recognize the unconscious patterns activated and set in motion through feelings and emotional triggers, we can begin working with our conscious mind to resolve and transform them into new patterns we design intentionally.
If we realize that going through difficult situations with those we love and care about provides us with the means for also transforming the same traits and issues in ourselves, we become empowered creators in the most basic sense. It helps us understand that the way to help others is by helping ourselves in regard to the same issues and character traits involved in those issues. We can only see and work deliberately with what’s in an ’active state’ and expressing through a correlated life dynamic. As we go through life problems with others, it acts to develop us in the same way and through the same means, strengthening our bond with them and with humanity as a whole. We work to influence the world around us not by acting on it set apart from us, but by connecting with it as an equivalent internal state, recognizing what comes alive inside of us as a part of it, and then working to develop those qualities and character traits to a positive and more empowered level.
Whatever we cultivate within as a fundamental part of our nature, tunes and determines our mental frequency, and when maintained intentionally, influences everything and everyone around us to match our vibration. But we have to be able to hold ourselves to a higher level of development without being pulled back down to a lower level through emotional or sentimental sympathy. The way to heal others is to heal those same issues and traits in ourselves. By doing our healing work diligently, we simultaneously act to heal others and the world at large. The internal world is what forms the vibration for ordering and organizing the outside world into the same pattern and qualities, but we have to be able to maintain a high vibration while being influenced by lower vibrations long enough to begin raising them. If we allow our vibration to drop or begin matching other people’s vibration, then we fall into the same mindset and begin participating in acting out the same dynamics as they are.
Transpersonal Psychologist, Mind-Body Medicine Consultant, and Spiritual Teacher