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How does the mind work? | Role of Karma in life

Do you believe Mind creates your reality?

Advaita Vedanta promulgates this idea that whatever is within, is experienced without. Since our mind is continuously weaving thoughts, emotions, concepts and ideas through its artillery of subconscious and unconscious mental energies, our life manifests unknown levels of relative realities that we are forced into believing, that we never asked for all this and yet it is on our plate. One needs to understand the mechanism of how the mind works and creates life situations. There are a lot of factors that contribute towards the life that we are leading today. It is also important that the western concept of Creative Visualization cannot be confused with the perfect philosophy of Vedanta. Today Creative Visualization is being promoted as a valid technique to attain whatever we desire. The Truth cannot be further away than this, although the understanding of Creative Visualization is losely and yet poorly based on the knowledge of the Vedas.

We need to understand the mechanics of the mind, how thoughts are produced and the scientific basis of how Karma affects reality. Karma decides most of our life. It includes latent impressions of the mind, subconscious affirmations, negative biases and a host of mental processes which are performed by our thinking faculties that create Samskaras (Click the links to find out more Part-1, Part-2) which decide the manifestation of our realities. This reality that we experience is of temporary nature. When the power of intention and its fruit is exhausted, that temporary reality, as experienced by our senses also vanishes with passing time. The experience of an event, circumstance or experience is again consumed by us just as the cow regurgitates the cud and there is an endless loop of cause and effect which manufactures an endless set of situational bogies getting successively attached to the engine of the mind. Thus our life becomes an expression of our own unknown and untraced aspects of subconscious and unconscious tendencies. What the mind fears or believes, it shall manifest, now or sometime in the future. We shall discuss in short, the various factors that contribute towards our reality and what does not.

(1) Karmas of Past Lives

This is a great aspect for our consideration when it comes to our current reality. Our current bodies are a result of whatever good, bad or neutral activities that we may have performed through earlier bodies that we would have attained in past lifetimes. If we would have been thinking of a woman at the time of death, we would have got a woman’s body in the current life. If our mental tendencies in earlier lifetimes would be of being dependent on others, this trend would spill over to the current lifetime and we would still be dependent on someone, moving around with battered confidence even during the course of this lifetime. Our entire life situations in the current lifetime is just a carry-over from the past life. However since we have a human body, a lot of possibilities also lie within us that can transform the way we currently exist

(2) Our Current Life impressions

Our current life from the start, namely our childhood, the way our character is built, our childhood circumstances, influence of society on us during our growing years, our associations and a host of other external factors shape our perspective. These perspectives can make or distort the way, future graduates to the present. The Past sows the seed, the present can either roast the seed and make it ineffective or remove old seeds and sow new ones. Along with this, through our present actions, we can water the seeds, either the present or past ones which remain untouched by us. Thus the trees of the future can be shaped by our actions in the present. This is by resorting to the right actions and right approach and correcting our own mindset through deliberation and accepting our flaws in all humility.

(3) Less of Creative Visualization

Creative Visualizing is more or less a western concept. This is today, perhaps the most lucrative market that sells ideas to create or  re-create our future. However one major factor that it discounts is Karma and aspects of our current-lifestyle, our intentions and actions that are deep-rooted, that governs even our dreams and behavior. Creative Visualization just focuses on meditating on expected results by stoking misplaced greed, the (unfounded) desire to be well-off, better off. It gives you some “scientific looking techniques” that includes affirmations, writing goal statements, rehearsing the outcomes and a host of other so-called “assumed” techniques. But if the ground is hard or if the soil is infertile, can the seeds be sown? Can simply imagining a healthy lifestyle give results? Never. Points 1 and 2 have to be looked into and spiritual practices have to be undertaken so as to eliminate the hard-coded conditioning of our ageless minds. One has to first get rid of the show-stoppers before feeding into it, the so-called positive stuff. On a wrong base, which does not have a strong foundation, a sky-scrapper can never be built.

(4) An expression of who we are

If we are people who are motivated by money, greed, ambition and so many things related to fair and unfair business over a protracted period of time, naturally we shall find ourselves surrounded by people of the same mentality. This is a clear facet of mental projection, done unconsciously but repeatedly over for a long stretch of time. Our aims and ambitions shall revolve around profits and loses, on schemes and plans to earn money. We shall face good and bad times in business. All said, our focus till our very end shall be fixated on earning and creating profits. What is the scope here? All our experiences shall majorly be business-related. I am trying to make a strong point. If we infuse and soak the mind in a certain aspect of life, our whole life experience shall be colored with that aspect of life alone. In this case, we shall see our children as future investments. We shall be more inclined to “use” relatives and friends to further our unconsciously created business attitude only. We even fail to appreciate that we are being read by the world and have been stripped naked. We, even do not care, worry or even unconscious about what the world feels about us. We are only chasing profits. This shall reduce us to the status of automatons; we shall be viewed as pre-programmed unintelligent machines, which cannot treat a situation according to its merit. Our whole consciousness is hijacked. Life which is available to us as infinitum, is reduced to a piece of rotten pie.

5 thoughts on “How does the mind work? | Role of Karma in life

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  1. The concept of karma is always intriguing. It’s a topic that is less understood and explained just on the surface level. I like how you’ve linked it to the mind.

    True, our past lives determine our present to some extent but through awareness we can re-write the script.

    What do you think a manifestation of struggle means to someone who’s awake and aware that they create their own reality. Even though it’s just a recent realization but true to the new journey. Might the struggles and trials be from past karma that have come to reality because one has to clear all bad past karma? Is it a process ofshedding off past weight? A phase in the journey and they will eventually subside to create a true intentional reality?

    1. Perfectly understood.. no corrections whatsoever. You may see a sincere man struggling for daily bread while a tyrant may be having all the enjoyment that matter can give, Why? Its Karma. I would say that the sincere man is luckier and I can see him clearing his debts while this unfortunate enjoyer is getting buried under unbearable debt. He shall suffer and suffer relentlessly. Only thing, you may not be there with him when he shall re-pay it. That is why in Sanatana Dharma a man who is sincere and kind although suffering, is praised. Sages say that this man has invited Grace whereby the Lord is making this man clear off his debts so that he shall be relieved of earthly burden. As the burden is released he shall grow spiritually and discover the secrets of Creation. Once that process is completed he shall be liberated by the Will of the Lord.

      1. Thank you for this addition. Many times when going through some struggle in your sincerity and we see tyrants having an easy way we get doubts, and bitterness. We start asking whats the point of it all? But knowing this truth, that the sincerity in suffering is clearing debts while the other is accumulating debt gives it perspective. But does that also mean that the suffering sincere man may have been a tyrant in his past life?

        What happens after one clears their debt and discovered the secrets of creation? After the liberation what comes next?

      2. The answer that Sanatana Dharma gives is very straightforward and my own deepest realization and attainment of this birth. We represent all cosmos. You have existed as a man, woman, beast, bird, greedy man, lusty man and the entire creation all at once in billions and trillions of life times. Thus the Dharma says we have endless incarnations which has no beginning, but it has an end and that is certain. When a man is bound , he has a beginningless past but when he gets enlightened, he has an endless future. All sufferings end when you have “seen”. This seeing makes you a “seer”, a sage. After liberation there are one of two paths and this is not based on faith or belief or trading of religions. It has to be the path of Jnana or the path of Bhakti where Karma Yoga shall support and further your cause. That is why Sanatana Dharma is called the Eternal law, a law that does not consider your religion. You may not even have a religion but still you shall be bound by Dharma just as gravitation holds you whether you are a common man or the Preseident of America. When you are liberated, you simply cannot be liberated and float in space, the Dharma pulls you and sucks you before you even realize it because it is the “Eternal Law”. If one becomes ready, whether you have black skin, white skin or brown skin, you shall be sucked by the Dharma without a choice and will be ejected into the space called “Eternal Freedom” also known as ‘Moksha” or “redemption”. I do not like to use English words here because the language is limited to convey the spirit of the word. When you are near to Moksha you shall be attracted to Bhakti or Jnana, the Dharma will decide that for you, no human can, not even you!! As you start peeling, the scent of the “marga” or way shall open up. Now I do not want to say anything else here. I see you are getting ready. Let the Dharma decide. You need not worry, I do not want to sell concepts or imaginery things to you. When you get sucked into it, some way you shall know, Consciousness will suck you into itself with your (mind’s) consent!

  2. Thank you for this elaborate response. I understand most of what you have said. I’ve heard it said in the western form and maybe lesser definitions but they have helped me understand your explanation.

    True, English is limiting when it comes to communicating what you have just said, I’m glad to learn about this Sanskrit terms terms and for your guidance in my journey.

    I understand to the concept of endless incarnations. That we have to become everything as part of the journey and connecting to source. For the purpose of collecting the experience and taking it back as We move to enlightenment. And that time is a man made construct since everything is now and simultaneous. Your clarification on, no beggining and certain end was much needed. That enlightenment frees us from suffering and hence free, we break from the certain end and continue to an endless future in Moksha.

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