Karma as volition memory

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JamesNewell
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Karma as volition memory

Postby JamesNewell » 05 Mar 2014, 20:01

The original question I asked myself was whether or not there are any known psychological processes which would act in a karmic way. It took me a number of years to find one, although it was sitting there all the time waiting, staring me in the face.

In formal psychological research, the term is "conation". However, for some reason, that is the kind of word which it is difficult to feel the meaning of. Therefore, I will use the word "volition", which has a clearer meaning.

Volition is the trigger of a behavior. For example, one might wish to pick up a glass of water. The volition is the first impulse which gets the muscles moving to pick up the glass, and there may then be some other volitions to keep the movement on track. But the volition isn't the movements of the muscles themselves, nor the specific nerve impulses which are activating the muscles. Volitions are subjective in consciousness and trigger the nerve impulse patterns which cause the muscle movements.

Now I make an assumption pretty much based on data, but I don't have proof that it really does always happen, though always happening is a property of natural processes. I assume that any psychological process leaves behind a memory. Therefore, whenever we use volition, that leaves behind a volition memory.

Memories usually stay in the unconscious mind, but from time to time, they emerge into consciousness. They can do things like join together with other similar memories, and so forth.

Now, when a volition memory emerges into consciousness, it is going to act somewhat differently from other memories, because it is a very property of a volition to cause behavior to happen. Therefore, a volition memory will try to cause behavior to happen.

Psychological processes aren't all that rigid, so what a volition memory tries to cause to happen would often be similar to the original behavior, but not quite the same. Like a schema, the volition memory will adapt to the new situation when it emerges into consciousness again. Thus, it will tend to cause an individual to do something similar to what he or she did with the original volition. Thus, if one stole money, or kept knowledge away from someone, the volition memory will try to cause a theft, or a blocking of knowledge. If one gave someone a physical gift, or gave someone knowledge, the volition memory will try to give a physical gift or give knowledge.

Now part of a karma related volition is that it is strongly associated with the self which does the behavior, and the other self which was the recipient of the behavior. However, when the volition memory emerges, he other self which was the recipient of the behavior will usually no longer be in the vicinity. The only self who will still be nearby is the self who did the original behavior.

Since the volition memory will have to be directed towards a self, because that was the situation when the original volition occurred, it is ones own self which will be immediately available to serve as the recipient of the behavior, and will be more strongly present than any other selves nearby. Therefore, the volition memory will turn and try to cause the original behavior towards one's own self this time.

Again, adaptation will be required. If one stole money, the volition memory might notice a nearby thief, and cause one to go over to the thief and make it possible for the thief to steal something of one's own. For example, one might park and leave the keys in the car. If one gave a gift, the volition memory would try to get one in a situation in which one would receive something. And so forth.

This is a very general theory at the moment. There are many details that could be learned from additional research.

Jim

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