As I touched on in The Subconscious, the residues of our long past’s incomplete experiences leave latent impressions and desires. We experience subconscious impulses from our unknown past that over-ride our normal sense. While these are drivers seeking a way to find completion, they can show up as unhealthy or inappropriate actions that cause us trouble.
Not knowing from where these arise and wanting the security of a sense of control, the ego makes a story about our behavior. “Oh, I’m just bad with money” or “I never did understand men.” When the observing witness comes on-line and we become more aware of the constant internal slogans, it can be both amusing and horrifying.
For example, a soul may have had the experience of starving to death. In the current time, remaining unresolved trauma from this plays out as food issues – perhaps excess, trying to control, and so forth. But it can be much more convoluted. We can have the original impulse, a crude later adaptation, an old slogan about it, a story to cover the slogan, resistance to the story, a story to cover the story, and so forth.
This is why people describe the unwinding like peeling layers of an onion.
Also at play, the experiences are unresolved because they where painful. Rather than face the pain, we learned ways to suppress it and hide it from ourselves. This is a useful strategy at peak times but held long term is trouble. The resulting story elements can point away from us, placing blame on others or circumstances. “Money is evil” or “Bosses can’t be trusted.”
Most people run their lives thinking their stories are more-or-less true and stay oblivious to their core impulses. And yet these stories mask our honest experience of life and happiness. The suppression also takes an incredible amount of energy to contain. Yet because it’s our usual experience, we consider it “normal”.
The funny thing is, all the suppression and covering actually gives us more pain than what we’ve been trying to avoid. The old stuff has become like a boogey-man under the bed.
Seeing another nuance of this, I did some brief research into the life lineages of a few other souls. I saw examples like this:
A woman has serious anger problems. She flies into uncontrollable rages for little reason and becomes afraid of herself. In a later life, she is born a man who has a deep fear of women.
The original driver of her anger was shattered expectations. But this wasn’t conscious. She just felt hollow. This drove an unknown need to make changes but when she tried, she was met with resistance from others. She came to feel unsupported, impotent, and unable to fulfill her dreams. (see how the layers are building?) But none of this was fully conscious because of various existing repressions. And thus it built to a boiling point.
Stated like this, it can seem obvious. But it was not at all to the man fearful of women. And of course, he would then tend to build on that, thrashing around trying to “fix” himself, making stories and moods but not resolving the original issue. This is the wheel of karma in motion. It is the story of suffering.
And it is the normal experience of the vast majority of the world in this time. A life not founded in spacious peace and bliss is a life buffeted by change and difficulties.
It’s also worth noting that such stories and slogans are often anything but logical. Some are quite silly when seen consciously. Like how a 2-year-old adapts to an alcoholic parent. Young children experience the world as revolving around them. When authority figures behave irrationally, children will tend to blame themselves. Even the death of a parent is often taken as self-caused. Yet those early adaptations are often carried forward throughout our life and sometimes into those that follow.
When there’s a strong charge behind it, we can hold to positions even in the face of strong contradictory evidence.
But if we’re able to gradually make these dynamics conscious and release them, all that energy used for suppression becomes available, our burden is lifted, we reduce our karmic load, inner happiness becomes a little more available, and so on.
The only reason we choose this is because we don’t know better. Once we do, we begin winding down faster than we’re building up.
Winding down the tales of our past can take time. Be patient with yourself. You’ve been building this edifice for lifetimes. But now the castle can come down. What’s behind the walls? The treasures of life you’ve been looking for.