Karma and Growth

The Karma Series: What Is Karma? | Karma and Growth | Karma Doesn’t Explain Anything

Previously I wrote about karma as a process of growth and evolution. Now I will take a closer look at the growth process itself. My intention is to use an example of growth in complex systems to shed light on why patterns in our personality are pervasive, deeply embedded and difficult to change.

Our personality is a complex system (irony intended). It is the product of many forms of conditioning. Reactive emotional patterns established in our physical, emotional, family, educational and cultural development play a significant role. How do these patterns come about?

For our example, we will take the pattern of a fern leaf.

  Diagram #1: A very simple form: four lines that meet at a point. Imagine that the bottom line is the stem and that the other three lines that branch out are growing branches. Growth takes place through repetition: each of the three growing branches repeats (is replaced by) a scaled-down version of the original form of the four lines.



  Diagram #2: The darker lines show the repeated forms with the original form in lighter lines. The straight lines in diagram #1 are transformed into the darker forms in #2. The original form is duplicated on a smaller scale. What happens when this process is repeated over and over again?  
  Diagram #3: The result: a fern-like structure has formed. The lines of the original form are shown but the actual pattern is a fern. How different from the original generator!   Diagram #4: This is a small part of Diagram #3 magnified about 50 times. The magnified section has exactly the same structure as the fern-leaf pattern. We could magnify any part of the pattern as much as we want and it would still look like a fern-leaf.  


Could something along these lines be taking place in us? My own experience leads me to say, “Yes, probably.”

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