Interpretation happens at the level of the mind, but it is our individual souls that are conditioned by experience, and through that memory of past experience the soul influences our choices and interpretations in life.
These tiny kernels or seeds of memory build up in the individual soul over a lifetime, and this combination of memory and imagination based on experience is called karma.
Karma accumulates in the personal part of the soul, the wave at the core of our being, and colors it. This personal soul governs the conscience and provides a template for the kind of person each of us will turn out to be. In addition, the actions we take can affect this personal soul, and change our karma, for better or worse.
The universal, nonlocal part of the soul is not touched by our actions, but is connected to a spirit that is pure and unchanging. In fact, the definition of enlightenment is “the recognition that I am an infinite being seeing and seen from, observing and observed from, a particular and localized point of view.”
Whatever else we are, no matter how much of a mess we may have made of our lives, it is always possible to tap into the part of the soul that is universal, the infinite field of pure potential, and change the course of our destiny.
So the seeds of memory built by experience, our karma, help determine who we are. But the individuality of our personal soul is shaped by more than karma; our relationships also play an important role in the construction of the soul.
Adapted from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press).