Articles and Interviews
Past Life Integration… Can Be Subtle
from Dream Network Journal
Vol. 25 No. 1
The integration of inner figures and emerging new data from the unconscious depth is a psychologist’s daily bread. The word “to integrate” comes from Latin “integrare”, meaning “to restore, to reunite.” Everything that surfaces from the unconscious must be reunited with the conscious self before it can be transformed into self-knowledge. The ego’s role is crucial here. It has to be strong and flexible enough to assimilate the incoming information without becoming overwhelmed by it or identified with it.
Past life material differs from other unconscious material in significant ways. Contrary to archetypes and other figures of the unconscious, past life selves are personalized, have a life story of their own, and exist within a historical context. Before they can be integrated, the trauma and guilt that they carry must be resolved, since both these conditions make it more difficult for the ego to accept and emotionally digest the past life material. Yet the extent of past life trauma and guilt can only be accurately assessed within the geographical and historical context in which they occurred. This makes the integration of past life material a multifaceted operation consisting of trauma resolution, spiritual counseling, and historical background research – They all have a part to play in this process.
Regarding trauma, the unconscious will sometimes set a spontaneous dream trauma healing process into motion. Dream trauma healing processes have been observed by psychologists who treated British shell-shock sufferers after the Second World War and American veterans after the Vietnam War. I experienced a dream healing process myself in response to a devastating past life trauma, which must have been accompanied by soul loss. I had been informedby a highly accurate past life readerin Zurich that in a 16th century life in London I had been an upper class prostitute who was wrongly accused of theft. Without a trial, I was thrown into a dungeon on the bottom of the Tower of London where I had languished for what seemed like an eternity before I went insane and was eaten alive by rats. For three months after that, I fought with a rat in my dreams, gradually gaining the upper hand in the struggle until I managed to kill it.
Unfortunately, not everyone’s trauma is healed by an act of grace in the dream state. If left untreated most trauma victims get stuck with the repetitive, never-changingnightmares that are typical of the PTSD syndrome. Psychologists have tried to explain why some people are luckier than others in this regard. According to them, it is repeated trauma which prevents the dream trauma healing process from occurring. In other words, if you were traumatized before the new traumatizing event no spontaneous self healing in the dream statewill occur. Although re-traumatizationmay be one of the determining factors in the equation, it certainly is not the only one. I am a living proof of that. I have been traumatized over and overin this life AND in other lives, andI still received the full benefit of the dream trauma healing process, even after a car accident I had a few years ago. I personally believe that all self healing processes depend on the strength of the healer archetype in the psyche, which in turn depends on how many lifetimes a person has spent in the healing professions. There are now a number of different trauma resolution therapies in existence, with Peter Levine's somatic experiencing being perhaps the most well known and most effective one. Personally, I work with the Photron on past life trauma. This is a strobic color light instrument, which is equipped with a small computer box, that allows me to induce and monitor altered brainwave states by means of entrainment. After regressing my clients to the moment of traumatization I use the combined healing power of color and light to help them through re-empowerment to resolve it.
Trauma is easier dealt with than guilt, in my experience. Guilt seems to be more damaging to the soul than trauma, if only because of the negative karma it carries. A few years ago I was informed in a download the dream state that I had been a Lord Chancellor of England during the War of the Roses who had condemnedpolitical prisoners to uncommonly cruel torture procedures. I was deeply shocked by this revelation, because I like to think of myself as a compassionate person. On the other hand, I could not deny that my position as a law giver in that life dovetailed with the rest of my past life history: I have a prominent male bloodline in both law and governance that goes all the way back to the Roman Republic. Yet my soul ancestor in Ancient Rome was known as a pillar of rectitude. So how did I end up in this depraved state, abusing the legal system for political or selfish ends? I read all the historical plays of Shakespeare again in order to understand the social climate and the political pressures under which such monstrosities could grow and thrive. Thanks to my backgroundreading, it did not take me years to forgive myself for these old transgressions. Besides, when I looked at my lives in chronological order it became instantly clear that I had paid for the Lord Chancellor’s evil deeds in two subsequent incarnations by becoming a victim of miscarriedjustice myself. The forgiveness of guilt is an act of compassion that we owe to ourselves as much as to others. No secular or ecclesiastic authority has the power to absolve us from our sins, unless we absolve ourselves.
My story demonstrates the crucial role that historical background research plays in the integration work. I always encourage those of my clients who have past life dreams to read biographies, historical overviews, and cultural and ethnological studies about the personality, century and country they have been dreaming about. Apart from deepening the dreamer’s understanding of a particular lifetime, it stimulates the unconscious to produce more dreams about it. Thus inner and outer sources of information can work together to bring the past life back to life. In this re-vitalized state it can be more easily integrated.
Once a past life is fully integrated, the talents, knowledge, and life experience of the past life personality areat our conscious disposal. Using simple techniques, such as the Jungian active imagination, we can dialogue with him or her and even ask for advice. For example: during the 19th century I was a prominent Jewish banker, a world class businessman and a philanthropist. Unfortunately, none of his expertise and experience in the mysterious world of finance has been handed down to me. This time around, I am the opposite: a mathematical analphabet and a number dyslexic. But just before the stock market crashed in 2001 I started to worry about minor savingsI had invested in the stock market. Instinctively distrustful of my financialadvisor’sargumentthat I was “in it for the long haul”, I turned to the Jewish banker in me for advice. “Get out of the stock market at once!” he ordered. Sensinghis exasperation, I immediately closed my account. Thanks to his highly developed business instincts, I came away with only a few scrapes.
Past life dream processes take time, but it is time well spent. I have always been impressed by the fact that no matter how dark and disturbing the past life material may be, people always feel wonderfully enriched by it once it has been integrated; they have looked into their own soul and have discovered a depth there they had never known before. A perceptive colleague after working with me on her past life dreams for over a year once said: “integration can be subtle”. This puts the nature of this work in a nutshell. Because past life integration is subtle, things can go wrong in the course of it . As we are trying to assimilate ego-dystonic material along with good or bad karma created in another lifetime we may end up with a positive or negative inflation which can be difficult to break. On the positive side of the inflation people may use the fame of a soul ancestor to prop up their egos and compensate for poor performance, lack of success or social insignificance in their present lives. These people only rarely find their way into a therapist's office because the positive inflation makes them feel important. They are much more likely to meet on the internet with other aspirantsfor past life fame and will be posting photos of themselves side by side with those of their past life look-alikes. A negative inflation, whichblows one's feelings of worthlessness out of proportion can be the result of discovering a depraved or psychopathic past life in one's soul history. To deal with a problem of this magnitude requires patience, but it can be resolved through past life integration work. Over the years I have worked with two individuals who were suffering from a negative past life inflation. Both of them had incarnations in Nazi Germany as active members of the party. The first case of a male client is described in great detail in my book in the chapter entitled "In the Shadows of Dachau." It took five years of therapy and 47 dreams before this poor man could allow himself to be in a loving relationship with another human being.
This interview was part of the 2018 Dreamwork Summit a free online event featuring some of the top experts, educators, and practitioners in the field. For more information, please visit https://thedreamworksummit.com. This recording is a copyright of The Shift Network. All rights reserved.
The Phenomenology of Past Life Dreams
from Dreamtime Magazine, International Association for the Study of Dreams, Winter 2005
The topic of this paper must seem like a wild card in a familiar deck of cards to the reader. And a wild card it is. Those who have put this card on the table within the Jungian school have often been treated like outcasts by their colleagues. Thus it speaks well for the adventurous spirit and the psychological open-mindedness of the IASD to allow me to publish this material In Dream Time.
The suppression of past life dreams started about forty years ago when Jung in his old age had found evidence for the existence of reincarnation in his dreams. Honest empiricist that he was, he had written extensively about it in his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections. However, his family and his editors had prevailed on him to alter it in the interest of his professional reputation, so the original version of the chapter “On Life after Death” ended up in a glass case in the family mansion in Kuesnacht, while the following edited version of it went into print:
“The question of karma is obscure to me, as is also the problem of personal rebirth of of the transmigration of the souls. ‘With a free and open mind’ I listened attentively to the Indian doctrine of rebirth, and looked around in the world of my own experience to see whether somewhere and somehow there is some authentic sign pointing toward reincarnation. Naturally, I do not count the relatively numerous testimonies, here in the West, to the belief in reincarnation. A belief proves to me only the phenomenon of belief, not the content of the belief. This I must see revealed empirically in order to accept it. Until a few years ago I could not discover anything convincing in this respect, although I kept a sharp lookout for any such signs. Recently, however, I observed in myself a series of dreams that would seem to describe the process of reincarnation on a deceased person of my acquaintance. But I have never come across any such dreams in other persons, and therefore have no basis for comparison. Since this observation is subjective and unique, I prefer only to mention its existence and not to go into it any further. I must confess, however, that after this experience I view the problem of reincarnation with somewhat different eyes, though without being in a position to assert a definite opinion.”
Though Jung could not bring himself to deny his experience altogether, he marginalized it by making it look like something merely subjective. It is also not true that he had never come across past life material in any other person. In 1950, seven years before he started writing his autobiography, he had discussed past life dreams and flashbacks with one of his patients, Erlo van Waveren. During the session, Jung had called the past life personalities in van Waveren’s dreams “ancestral components”, “psychic ancestors”, and “ancestral souls”. Unfortunately, after this open discussion, Jung had sent his wife, Emma, after van Waveren to make him promise to keep their exchange confidential. Van Waveren kept his promise for 17 years after his analyst’s death, when he disclosed it within the context of writing about his personal experiences with past life dreams and flashbacks. He published this in a small volume, entitled Pilgrimage to the Rebirth, with fear and trepidation , knowing full well that it could backfire on him. However, as a patron of the Zurich Jung Institute, who lived and practiced in New York van Waveren had really nothing to fear. They even sold his book in the secretary’s office of the Jung Institute, where I purchased a copy of it myself. Others were less fortunate, however. When Dr. Elisabeth Ruef - a senior training analyst of the Institute and coeditor of Jung’s Collected Works - gave a series of public lectures on past life dreams in 1978 - the same year that van Waveren’s book was published - she became the target of professional persecution and ridicule. Probably because of the vicious attacks on her she never took her research any further. And nine years later, when the Zurich trained Jungian analyst Dr. Roger Woolger published his book, Past Lives, Present Selves, on past life regression and therapy, he found himself professionally isolated and all his Jungian speaking engagements were cancelled. Therefore, while I was writing my long overdue book on past life dreams, Bloodlines of the Soul, (later republished under the title Past Life Dreamwork) I was preparing myself for the same kind of treatment. This did not deter me, however. I had collected so much empirical evidence in the course of 29 years - evidence that Jung either thought he did not have or pretended not to have - that I felt under a moral obligation to leave a record of it.
I had my first past life dream in 1976, at a time when I was neither philosophically nor psychologically prepared for such an experience. I was then in my early forties and had never given reincarnation or an afterlife any thought. As a matter of fact, I had more than enough on my plate trying to make sense of my present life, which had not been easy. Childhood trauma from air raids in Berlin during the Second World War, a nervous breakdown while I was working on my doctoral thesis in Heidelberg, and a crippling psychosomatic illness that had developed while I was teaching at Reading University in England, had brought me into a Jungian analysis in London, which lasted five years. During this time I was flooded with dreams and kept a meticulous dream record. Since my analyst - whose background was in psychiatry - did not know how to interpret dreams, I was forced to learn to do it myself. Difficult as that was, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because it saved me from being indoctrinated into a particular dream theory, and gave me the opportunity to find the “royal road to the unconscious” all by myself. So when the past life dream struck me out of the blue in 1976, during the last year of my London analysis, I was familiar enough with my inner figures - shadow aspects, animus figures and universal archetypes - to be able to instantly recognize it as something completely different:
I am a man. I am standing with my back against a barn door in a medieval European town while an angry mob is throwing stones at me. I am terrified and in pain. In order to get away from my tormentors, I say I have to urinate. They let me step inside the barn so that I can relieve myself. I am aware of taking my penis out of my pants. Then there is a blank.
Next I am being driven on an oxcart through cobblestoned streets. I have collapsed on the wagon floor and am sobbing uncontrollably, while feeling deeply ashamed of my lack of composure. I am painfully aware that I had been a celebrity in this town before the public mood had turned against me. I ask the red-robed priest who accompanies me on this probably final journey, “My God, is it still like that? And he replies, “Yes, it is.”
Here, I mercifully awoke. Not even Jung himself could have convinced me that the man I was in my dream was simply an archetype, the template of the animus, a woman’s inner male. He was too personalized for that. While in his body, I had been keenly aware of his sensitivity, the complexity of his feelings, and his overwhelming sense of shame, which was rendered all the more poignant by his social position in town. At first, I did not know what the priest’s red robe signified, but later I found out that red robes were worn by priests of the Inquisition. So this probably meant that I was being taken to an auto-da-fe, accused of heresy. This dated the event in the Middle Ages or during the Counter Reformation.
Although, after this dream, reincarnation became a living reality for me, it is only in retrospect, and through comparison with other past life dreams, that I am able to identify this as a classic past life dream. I have encountered four different types of past life dream in my own and my client’s material: the classic type, the metaphysical type, the informative type, and the hybrid type. a classic past life dream, like the one I just quoted, is easy to recognize, because it feels more like a memory than a dream. It is set apart from other dreams through its realism and its lack of symbolic content; in addition, it has often the trappings of a different century or country. The dreamer is either identified with the main character, as I was in this dream, or he or she is present only as an observer. The observer role of the dreamer is characteristic of many past life dreams and can actually help to identify them as such. Psychologically speaking, the observer position represents a form of dissociation, which protects the dreamer from getting re-traumatized by the re-enactment of a disturbing past life event. The perspective from which the past life event is observed is often an unusual one. Most of the time, the dreamer looks on from the bird’s eye perspective, but he can also be watching from another strange vantage point. In one of my past life dreams, for instance, I saw a young woman take her own life by drowning herself in a river. I was observing the suicide from the bottom of the river. Typical of the observer position is the inner conflict the dreamer feels. He gets emotionally involved, would like to stop the course of events, but knows at the same time that any such attempt would be futile. The following dream, which illustrates this quite well, is taken from one of the case studies in my book, the story of a Christian Brother with a celibacy problem who fainted whenever he dad to stand in line for a mass vaccination:
A little girl was to be be executed with four men. I didn’t know what her offense had been, but I was impressed that it was so serious as to warrant this kind of execution. As she was loaded into a chamber that looked like the exoskeleton of a beetle, she was crying pitifully. The chamber had a small window. Gas was released inside. After the chamber was loaded, it was turned on its side and the door was shut. When it was tipped, the gas was released. I looked through the window just far enough to see a jet of gas shooting inside the chamber, but I did not look so far so see anyone inside. The whimpering of the little girl stopped. The executioner, wearing a gas mask, then went to open the chamber.
I felt pity and compassion for the little girl. Wish there had been some way to save her.
Another form of self-protection against becoming re-traumatized by a past life dream is to the let the curtain fall just in time. My past life dream was a good example of this. The flow of images stopped for the first time after I had gone into the barn to urinate. And then again when I was on the way to the auto-da-fe. To face the Inquisitor, endure the interrogation, the public humiliation that proceeded the execution, and then the execution itself, would have been too much for me to bear. So my unconscious made sure that I never arrived at my destination.
It was clear to me after this dream that my past life ordeal was associatively connected with a current event in my life, which was yet another example of collective victimization. Although the similarity between the two situations , past and present, was not compelling, the feeling tone that accompanied was. It was, in fact, strong enough to bring this disturbing past life memory to the surface. Having worked with hundreds of past life dreams since then, I know this to be the rule: past life dreams are almost always triggered by a related event in the present. To find this trigger is therapeutically important, because it helps to integrate the past life experience.
I didn’t have another past life dream after that until I started training at the Jung Institute in Zurich a year later. It was synchronistic that I arrived just in time to attend Dr. Ruef’s before-mentioned lecture series on past life dream. Because of the professional ridicule she subsequently had to endure, that lecture series was never repeated, although the auditorium had always been packed. For me, her lectures became an important turning point in my process, because they gave me permission to have these dreams. All of a sudden, I was having one past life dream after another, and when I sent them to Dr. Ruef through the mail, she used them to flesh out her lectures. The night of the first lecture I had a dream that gave a panoramic overview over my soul history, past, present, and future. Today, I would call it a metaphysical past life dream. A metaphysical past life dream shows how reincarnation works; by doing so it adds a facet to the hologram of the archetype of reincarnation, which, despite some individual variations, shows basic commonalities in all our dreams.
I am rising up in cosmic space until the crown of my head touches God; then I start to fall. On my descent I pass through different layers of atmosphere; one of them is turbulent and fraught with danger. But an invisible guide appears at my side and coaches me safely through it. At the end of my journey through outer space I plunge headlong into the World Ocean.
At first I go all the way under, tasting the salty seawater. When I come to the surface again, I find myself adrift on the ocean waves, feeling small and insignificant like a piece of cork. But soon enough, pulled by an irresistible force, I dive deeply into the ocean again, only to resurface a little later. As this in-and-out movement continues, my body becomes increasingly lighter and my immersion into the ocean less deep. In the end, I do not go under anymore, and my aimless drifting has stopped altogether. Instead, I am leaping and dancing across the surface of the ocean, which is now smooth and shiny like a mirror. At the same time, I feel a pull from above, drawing me back to where I had come from - back to the source, back to God.
That’s what Buddhists would call the journey towards liberation. Metaphysical past life dreams - like other visionary dreams - are rich in symbolism. They don’t happen very often, and only to people who are desperately searching for answers. I was to have three more of these metaphysical dreams before my personal past life dream recall started in earnest. And later on one of my clients - a Christian monk - had even more metaphysical past life dreams than I. His were of biblical grandeur.
After a metaphysical past life dream one is never quite the same. It has a profound effect on one’s belief system. Thus the monk who, due to Church doctrine, had mental reservations against reincarnation gave up his resistance after a number of these dreams. In one of them, he tried to find out where these dreams were coming from. This is indeed a pertinent question. For if the brain decomposes after death, where are past life memories stored? According to the symbolism of the monk’s dream, they are located deep down in the river of life, in a “qualitative different white-light zone”, which cannot be physically entered by us. But a round jellyfish with a luminous core can swim back and forth and act as a messenger between the two worlds. At the end of this dream the dreamer almost did not make it back to firm ground. This is typical of dreams in which we get close to the nebulous realm, which is our past life memory bank. Often there is risk involved in this proximity, but there is always something unusual about it. In one of my own dreams, I had to climb up two sets of rickety stairs to a loft above the loft, to meet my past life ancestors. Since the loft above the loft - like the monk’s white-light zone - was nonphysical in nature, I could not physically enter it. So, like the monk, I had to wait at the threshold until my soul ancestors came forward to meet me. Intrigued by the image of the loft above the loft, I wondered if it would translate into a real place. Since the loft symbolizes the mind and sometimes the head, I was thinking of a place above my head. But what was there above my head? I had no idea until I spoke to a yoga teacher. She knew very well what is up there. According to yogic teachings, an eighth, non-physical chakra is situated in this very spot - a few inches above the head. The eighth chakra is said to coordinate the seven physical chakras and t act as the mediator between the mind and higher consciousness.
The inca shamans know about this eighth chakra too, according to Alberto Villoldo. They call it wiracocha. According to the Incas, this is the place where the “ancestors” live, exactly as they did in my dream. At the moment of death the wiracocha absorbs all the information from the seven physical chakras and preserves it for the next incarnation. For shamans who are able to see energies, the wirachocha looks round and luminous, just like the jellyfish in the monk’s dream. Thus in metaphorical form, metaphysical past life dream offer very precise information. All one has to do is work with the image.
From what I can tell, the pathway to the wiracocha gets strengthened through past life work. Thus after an extended period of working with past life dreams some people receive direct information from the non-physical eighth chakra in the dream state. I call these informatory past life dreams, although they are not dreams in the sense of conveying visual/narrative experience. Rather, the dreamer is being informed - not verbally but telepathically - that he was such and such a person at such and such a time and did such things. The monk, for instance, after a year, learned in the dream state that he had been a revolutionary in Russia in 1917, who shot and killed innocent people, including a woman in white. I was informed in the dream state that I had been the Lord Chancellor of England after the War of the Roses and had condemned people to unusually cruel torture procedures. Although we were both deeply shocked by these revelations, it did not occur to either of us to question their accuracy, “knowing” that the information came from a highly reliable source.
While the previously discussed past life dreams - the classic type, the metaphysical type, and the information type - are not everyday fare, the fourth type is more common, but can easily be taken for something else. It combines realistic with symbolical elements and could therefore by called a hybrid past life dream. I will again use one of my own dreams as an example. This dream has two parts. While the first part is strictly realistic, in the second part symbols are woven into the otherwise realistic fabric of the dream. It is typical of hybrids that they only disclose their full meaning if the symbols in them are properly understood.
I am sitting in a restaurant in London at a little round table with a glass top. Next to me on my left sits a six-year old dark haired boy. To his left is a dark haired woman, dressed in the fashion of the Victorian era. She seems stop be the mother of the little boy. We are waiting to be served. Glasses of water are standing next to each table setting, as is customary in Anglo-Saxon countries. While we are making conversation the boy takes a nasty dig at his mother. Infuriated, she raises her left hand to slap him in the face, but misses and hits the water glass that is standing between them. The glass shatters, sending splinters all over the table. Several penetrate the boy’s right eye. Suddenly, there is blood everywhere….
Here I awoke, because the dream had snapped like a film, leaving the rest of the scene in the dark. This happened for my protection, because as I was to discover, the little boy was my son and the woman who had put his eye out my wife. What had followed must have been too traumatic for me to remember. So the dream skipped the next scene and picked up the thread several months later when I was starting to recover from the shock:
I am walking alone through the streets of London. I am on my way to the restaurant that had been the scene of the accident. I am trying to find my yarmulke, which I had lost on that occasion. The little round table where we had sat turns into a Medicine Wheel, and I pray over it. Afterwards I find my yarmulke all crumpled up under one of the chairs. It is black and has colored embroidery.
This visit to the restaurant might actually be something remembered. I might have gone back to the scene of the accident in order to find inner closure. But yarmulke and Medicine Wheel are symbols. On conscious levels only the Medicine Wheel meant something to me: I knew it to be “a cosmic blueprint, a mandala of the Greater Medicine Wheel of the Universe, where everything created has its appropriate place, all things moving inward from the circumference to the Center” (Evelyn Eaton, The Shaman and the Medicine Wheel.) I had also written my diploma thesis for the Jung Institute on this very subject. Of the yarmulke, on the other hand, I knew only that it is worn by Jewish men. But what did it signify? Clearly, the loss of it had meant a great deal to me in that life, whether it had been a literal or only a metaphorical loss, or both. To obtain more information, I phone the local synagogue. Friendly rabbi put me in the picture. The yarmulke, he said, symbolizes respect for God, and a black yarmulke with colored embroidery actually does exist; it is worn by liberal Jews. This helped me to fully understand the second part of the dream: in this nineteenth century life I had been a liberal Jew and a spiritual man. However, I had lost my faith in God when my five-year old son had been seriously injured by his own mother. When I found my faith again many months later, it was not in its original pristine condition anymore. And - according to this dream - I had not even been the Jewish religion that had helped me through this spiritual crisis, but a philosophical acceptance of the wisdom of a greater design that underlies all human existence, symbolized by the Medicine Wheel.
Traditional Jungians would argue here that I took the symbol of the yarmulke from the collective unconscious, rather than from my personal past life memory bank. But what about the rest of the dream? Did I borrow this very specific, tragic story from the collective unconscious too? And what about my male Jewish identity in this dream? How can that be explained with the collective unconscious? That’s where Jung’s theory becomes labored and even creates an obstacle to the understanding of the dream. Not that there is anything wrong with the archetypal theory per se, but - like every theory - it needs to be used with discernment. Jung would be the first one to agree with me, because he made several statements to the effect that there cannot and should not exist any cut and dried dream theory. Thus he wrote:
“When we consider the infinite variety of dreams, it is difficult to conceive that there could ever be a method or technical procedure which would lead to an infallible result. It is, indeed, a good thing that no valid method exists, because otherwise the meaning of the dream would be limited in advance and would loose precisely that virtue which makes dreams so valuable for the therapeutic process - their ability to offer new points of view.”
The fact that hybrid past life dreams, which are in the majority, require a certain amount of symbolic interpretation partly explains why the past life content of dreams has been overlooked for so long. But there are other reasons, too, like the one discussed at the beginning of my presentation - namely peer pressure and the fear of professional ridicule. O the blind spot created by the Christian Church Fathers, who, in their hunger for absolute soul control suppressed the Early Christian belief in reincarnation in the sixth century. And last but not least there is the undeniable fact that we are all caught in habitual and collectively determined ways of thinking. This makes it difficult for us to remain open to a different kind of experience and a new way of seeing. It also makes us resistant to a challenging karmic belief system that would drop the full burden of responsibility for what happens to us in life back into our lap.