Genotype, Phenotype and Ancestral Karma
“Karma is nothing but the Law of Cause and Effect operating in the realm of human life and bringing about adjustments between an individual and other individuals whom he has affected by his thoughts, emotions and actions.” ~I. K. Taimni
In genetics, we generally use the term genotype to name trends that we carry in our genes for certain diseases and behaviors; and phenotype, to denote the role of the environment in our final behavior.
As always , we begin our journey between two columns: one that one that represents our baggage, a reservoir of information and traits stored on our memory cells ( genotype ) and the other that represents material we have collected gradually from infancy and childhood ( phenotype ), such as characteristics from the country we are born, with its peculiarities of wealth or poverty, education, culture and types of food, the religious and moral constraints to which we are subjected to, from our families, belief system related social classes , economic situation, etc.
“Like gravity, karma is so basic we often don’t even notice it.”
The Dynamics of Two Strands of Karma
Genotype Karma is totally related to other existences. Phenotype Karma is only partially related to the past, and mostly will be built in the day to day interactions we have with ourselves and our environment through the choices we are constantly making. We can relate the phenotype type of karma, as the ones specified by the Jainism traditions as the non-harming category or aghatiya karmas. They are responsible for the re-born soul’s physical and mental circumstances, longevity, spiritual potential and experience of pleasant and unpleasant sensations. These non-harming karmas are: nama (body determining karma), ayu (life span determining karma), gotra (status determining karma) and vedanaya (feeling producing karma) respectively.