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When we react mechanically to the process of cause and effect, we feed the cycle, and it repeats.

When a situation occurs that brings out our anger, and we become angry, and act from anger, we feed the anger and invest more energy into the situation, which gives it longevity and the potential to repeat.

When we feed lust, it grows stronger, and wants to repeat the sensations it enjoys.

When we feed our envy, it grows stronger, and repeatedly demands to be fed.

Our mind is filled with an incredible number of subjective psychological formations. Each formation is a mechanical structure: a machine with limited functionality, that can only repeat itself.

For example, remember a situation where you felt that you looked bad to others; perhaps you were embarrassed by your clothes, your accent, your lack of education, or something like that. You reacted, feeling shame, and attempted to cover your shame by doing something to boost your pride. Perhaps you attacked the one who embarrassed you. Afterward, you told yourself that you were justified. This scenario was unconscious action that will rise again when the conditions allow. It will repeat. The trapped energy will emerge, and if we respond as usual, we will strengthen it.

Death does not end the repetition of desires, events, scenes... The energy of cause and effect must be settled, so we are reborn, to repeat once more the cycles of our desires. As circumstances allow, the cycles will repeat. If at age 25 we submitted to our lust, in our next life, the same event will repeat. If we repeat it unconsciously again, we make it stronger.

This is the law of recurrence.

Impregnated within all those formations are the conditions of their creation, conditions that will repeat themselves mechanically, over and over and over. What happened in one life will happen in the next, in exactly the same way and at exactly the same time, in the next life, and it will continue from life to life, as long as we continue reacting in the same way.

Observe yourself, and you will see that in situation after situation you react in the same way, all the time, because of inner pressures, inner pain, inner urges, anger, fear, envy... and there is maybe a feeling that you can escape the situation, or that you are justified in acting this way... The sad truth is that repetition of circumstance will continue as long as we repeat our reactions. We spin the wheel ourselves.

If you react with anger every time you are confronted with anger, then you are spinning the wheel onward. You are feeding it, and condemning yourself to repetition. And because we are all doing this, because we are all reacting to inner cravings and inner aversions, and we are doing this back and forth, you and me, repeating situations together, we are karmically tied and will continue meeting and repeating situations, deepening our troubles.

If Greg and I find ourselves in a situation where his pride needs to be superior to me, and he reacts to that, and makes sure that he looks better than me, and I am hurt by it, my pride is hurt, and my anger is engaged, and both of us are reacting to the quiet urgings of the mind, then we are creating formations in our individual minds, and we are creating a karmic link: the formations in my mind are linked to him, and his to me. And so, not only will his pride become stronger and seek to feed itself again, but it will do so in the same way, at the same time, with me, in the next life. Naturally, this is complicated, and if I am not reborn or some other circumstance overrides it, then it will change. But this is the tendency. Thus you can see, that karmic links are deep and subtle, and we are all in the midst of a vast and complex web of interrelations, all of which depends upon unconsciousness, or mechanical reactions to the mind and to external circumstances.

The repeating events manifest in a myriad of ways: but if there is karma to be paid, the event will be inverted: if we killed, then we will be killed.

“All those events of repeated existences are always accompanied by good and bad consequences, in accordance with the law of cause and effect.

“The murderer will return to see himself in the horrifying occasion of murdering, but he will be murdered; the thief will once again see himself with the same opportunity of stealing, but will be thrown in jail; the bandit will feel the same desire of running, of using his legs for crime, but he will not have legs, he will be born invalid or will lose them in some tragedy. The blind person will want from birth to see the things of life, those that possibly led him to cruelty, but he will not be able to see. The woman will love the same husband of her previous life, he whom she possibly abandoned on the sick bed to go off with any other person, but now the drama will be repeated inversely and the object of her love will leave with another woman, abandoning her...” - Samael Aun Weor, Yes, There is a Hell, a Devil, and Karma

Many people, seduced by their own need for love, rush into relationships, feeling that “this is the one!” “I feel like I have known him forever!” “We were made for each other.” We believe we have found our soul mate, when in truth, in most cases, we have found a karmic relationship, one that intoxicates us with a sense of belonging and familiarity, but which will later prove to be a vehicle of karma that we must pay.

This does not mean that we should avoid relationships: it means that we need to become conscious of them. We need a spouse, yet we need to be with the spouse that our Being chooses for us.

If I am trying to awaken, and I am not reacting to the urgings of my mind, then I can choose what to do. If I am married, and a woman shows up who entices me, and seems like a better partner to me, my “soul mate,” I may have enough consciousness awakened to see that she there because of recurrence: a repeated cycle of karmic tendencies. I may see that she has come to me again and again, from life to life, and each time, I chose to go with her, and each time I did that I fed the cause of the situation, and deepened the karmic link. This knowledge helps me to avoid deepening the suffering of everyone involved.

“The life of each of one of us is a living film, which at death we carry with us to eternity.

“Each of us carries his film with him, and returns with it, to project it once again on the screen of a new existence.

“The repetition of dramas, comedies, and tragedies is a fundamental axiom of the law of Recurrence.

“In each new existence, the same circumstances are always repeated. The actors in these recurring scenes are those people who live within us, the “I’s.”

“If we disintegrate those actors, those “I’s” which originate the ever-repeated scenes of our life, then the repetition of such circumstances becomes more than impossible.

“Obviously, without actors there cannot be scenes; this is irrefutable, undeniable. Thus, we can liberate ourselves from the laws of Return and Recurrence; thus we can truly free ourselves.” —Samael Aun Weor, Revolutionary Psychology

The way out of this is conscious action, right action. If you can observe yourself, and really become aware of the motivations in your heart, the fear in your thinking, the hatred in your mind, then you can stop reacting, and you can choose to act consciously. You can take responsibility for the situation, and act properly.

The Wheel of Life is a map of all of this. Upon the Wheel we see not only the root of all of life and death, the Three Poisons of hatred, ignorance and desire, but we see the chain of causality, and we see an inner ring of humans rising and falling, passing from life to death and back again... becoming more conscious or less conscious, and thus passing between levels of existence. All the while, we are trapped in a web of karmic bonds, pushed by elements that want to express themselves through our minds, hearts and actions, elements that want to repeat their inner nature through recurrence. Even when we die, those elements remain with us, and their combined weight pushes us into another life.