Karma: Why We Have It and How To Resolve It

In Sogyal Rimpoche's The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, we find this passage about karma:

"In the second watch of the night when Buddha attained enlightenment, he gained another kind of knowledge, which complemented his knowledge of rebirth: that of karma, the natural law of cause and effect.

With the heavenly eye, purified and beyond the range of human vision, I saw how beings vanish and come to be again. I saw high and low, brilliant and insignificant, and how each obtained acording to his karma a favorable or painful rebirth.

The truth and the driving force behind rebirth is what is called karma. Karma is often totally misunderstood in the West as fate or predestination; it is best thought of as the infallible law of cause and effect that governs the universe. The word karma literally means "action", and karma is both the power latent within actions, and the results our actions bring."

For many years, the concept of karma has eluded me when it came to the practical application of the concept. What are the mechanisms of karma? How do you recognize karma at work? Can you eliminate karma without acting it out? How do you do this? These and others questions remained unanswered. Clearly, something was at work here, but I didn't understand the psychology of karma. Not that I have now answered all my questions , but at least I have some opinions about the phenomenology of karma.

What is Karma?

My current concept of karma is that karma is the manifestation of the dynamic (cause and effect) of emotional energy in action or will in movement. Emotions are an often vaguely understood phenomenon. It is my observation that emotions are the internal perception of changed activity in the energy centers called chakras (sanskrit: wheels). It is precisely at the location of the chakras that emotions are experienced. We often place our hands on the chakra locations when expressing some emotion, the most common being placing our hands on our heart.

Root-cause emotional response patterns (the cause) are initially set by intense and significant experiences, either bearing a positive or negative polarity (experienced as intense pleasure or pain in the physical plane.) That initial emotional charge will set the emotional response patterns in memory and create a flag or address for that memory. Activating this flag or address, in interaction with other individuals' karmic programs, will create and attract the same or similar situations and events to our awareness (the effect.) This pattern (program) will remain loaded and active until the emotional response pattern has been acted out, suppressed or resolved.

There are also cognitive aspects of karma represented as judgments, vows of revenge, poverty, chastity, undying love, and unanswered questions. The release of the emotional component of the pattern does not necessarily release the cognitive memory of circumstances surrounding the situation or event. You must also release and forgive any judgments or vows and obtain anwers to fundamental unawered questions to release the cognitive pattern associated with the root-cause. Once these patterns of thinking (judgments/attitudes/vows/questions) have been released, new patterns may be chosen if the event had established a negative cognitive response pattern.

Group Karma and Shared Karma

The concept of group or national karma is to some degree based upon the sharing of certain group or national habitual patterns of emotional and cognitive judgments as to what is culturally valuable and what is not. Some of these group patterns are inherent in the group genetic pool and represent adaptations to various environmental and cultural events. Others are the result of denied or lost emotionally traumatic experiences. Prior group traumatic experiences such as those that occur in war, famine, national disasters, and self-inflicted disasters can leave intense root cause emotional patterns that are common to a group.

One of the group karmic patterns that has been frequently observed are memories of experiences of the last days of Atlantis, especially for the group that were responsible for making the decision to destroy that civilization rather than have it utilized as a vehicle of control and power. The individuals that either strongly believed in that decision or those that strongly opposed it often have intense unresolved emotions, judgments and questions about the efficacy of that decision. This unresolved group karmic pattern is still influencing their attitudes and actions in this life.

Some national group patterns are the reflections of events that set in motion national archetypes. For instance, in the first century A.D. a group of Jewish Zealots defended their fortress at Masada against a Roman Legion to the death of the last man, woman and child. Over three hundred persons committed suicide rather than be taken captive by the Romans. To this date, Israeli soldiers are sworn in with the vow of "never again Masada." This lessons of this archetype that chose death rather than loss of freedom and dishonor, still serves as a potent impetus for Israeli uncomprimising reactions to threats to their national freedom . They have vowed to never let themselves be caught in the situation of Masada or the holocaust again.

Small group karmic patterns are often found around such issues as perceptions of being involved in someone's wrongful death; failure to be able to help loved ones, such as during plagues and famines; the holding of slaves, especially slaves/prisoners sacrificed for amusement in such activities as gladitorial combat or using humans as live fodder for animals; the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the crusades and the holocaust.

Resolving Karma

I have recently come to believe that the physical acting out of karmic patterns is no longer the necessity, because the pattern of karmic resolution in the earth plane has been accelerated. Rapid solutions to the resolution of karma are being offered through many newly introduced techniques, such as CRST, La Methode Relacher Francais, One Brain, Holotropic Breath Work, Alchemical Hypnotherapy, Time-Line, Focusing, etc.

The resolution of karma is possible during the processes of meditation, but some situations seem to need to be acted out because of agreed upon obligations to act out certain dramas. When the enlightened masters remind us that we take on the karma of those with with we have close emotional relationships, we are entering into this kind of obligation. We choose to participate in the karmic (emotional/cognitive) dramas of that person and vice-versa. Exactly why certain karmic dramas require acting out and others can be cleared though an insight oriented technique is one of those questions that I have not answered for my self satisfactorily.

As has been demonstrated by many masters from different traditions, it is possible to escape the wheel of karma. Either through the processes of meditation or through one of the karmic releasing processes mentioned above. The karmic journey takes patience, but once begun, the sub-conscious and super-conscious mind will assist and create the dramas for you to clear as quickly as you are willing to do so. This process usually takes an average of 11-13 years of concentrated meditative effort in this life experience and untold previous life preparation to get to the point where it possible to begin. I estimate that with the new technologies, a concentrated effort over 2 years can achieve the same results. Of course, you must also learn to not set any new patterns in this lifetime and therefore increase the burden of resolution.

Once you have gotten free of the emotional/cognitive wheel, then you are free to act in the moment and co-create your own reality. Many persons will choose to continue to remain active in this plane of existence and assist others to escape the wheel. Others will choose to go on to higher realities and lessons yet conceived.

Written by James M. Price, MSW, MPA


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