Cutting the Ties of Karma: Understanding the Patchwork of Your Past Lives

Cutting the Ties of Karma: Understanding the Patchwork of Your Past Lives

by Phyllis Krystal

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609255664
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
Publication date: 05/01/2001
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 681 KB

About the Author

Phyllis Krystal, born in England, was a practicing psychotherapist who developed a unique approach to therapy using symbols and visualization techniques to help clients detach from external authority figures and patterns. She taught people to rely on their own Higher Consciousness as guide and teacher. Phyllis lectured in the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Tazmania, and was also a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, the worldrenowned avatar living in India, whose teachings and personal influence offer her inspiration in her own work. Phyllis was the author of several bestselling books. She passed away in 2016.

Read an Excerpt


Understanding the Patchwork of Your Past Lives

By Phyllis Krystal

Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC

Copyright © 2001 Phyllis Krystal
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60925-566-4


What Is a patchwork quilt?

When the outline for this book first came to my mind it was a real surprise. The insight I received was that we are all born into each new life wearing a patchwork quilt that is composed of many different pieces, all brought over from past lives. I was intrigued with this idea, yet I questioned its validity. Only after much pondering on my part was I able to understand its significance.

Patchwork, according to Webster's dictionary, is "anything formed of irregular, incongruous, odd or miscellaneous parts, such as a quilt made of odd patches of cloth sewn together at the edge." This definition took me back to childhood memories of growing up in England around the beginning of the 20th century. I remember hearing about groups of women who met regularly for quilting "bees." These gatherings usually took place during the daytime while children were in school. They served as a social function, for the women could chat, exchange recipes, enjoy tea and pastries, and above all, relax from the daily role of wife and mother.

Originally, quilts were fashioned from small scraps of material salvaged from old clothing. The material used for the patches had, at some previous time, been part of some article of clothing. But over the years the cloth disintegrates with wear and cleaning, and is obviously worn out. The wear and tear is usually more pronounced in some areas of a piece of clothing than in other parts. Only those parts that are still usable are salvaged when the garment can no longer be worn. These "still good" parts are combined with other pieces to make a quilt that can be used to cover a bed and keep someone warm at night.

In the past people didn't have as much clothing as we have today, and it was the custom to find new uses for clothes that were no longer wearable. People were far more conscious of waste than is now the case. In many families, clothes had already been patched and darned to extend their "life," or they were cut down to a smaller size to fit younger family members. When I attended school in England, girls were required to take classes to learn sewing, knitting, and dressmaking. In addition, we learned how to patch and darn to prolong the life of clothing showing signs of wear. This practice was taken for granted, and no one looked down on anyone wearing mended clothes. In fact, mothers were applauded for being frugal.

Nowadays there is such a proliferation of merchandise available that people are tempted to buy whatever they see displayed in stores, or advertised in the media, particularly on television and the Internet, whether they need new clothes or not. Obsolescence is accepted because it allows people to indulge in shopping for something new and different without considering whether they really need it, or even if they can afford it. People are also seduced into discarding the old and investing in ever-new clothes in order to "keep up with the Jones's," who are busy doing the same thing themselves, either to impress others or to gain a false sense of security by wearing only the very latest fashions.

So our patchwork quilt originated from a frugal practice. When the old garment was ready to be discarded, the good pieces of cloth were cut into small pieces and saved until there was enough to fit and sew together to make a quilt. The work involved fitting all the pieces together and making an attractive pattern. It was both time-consuming and tedious when undertaken alone, so the "quilting bee" came into being. An added advantage to the social function was that some of the women could exchange cloth, which provided more variety for each of their quilts.

Only the pieces of cloth that still had some "life" left in them were used for the quilt. And, symbolically, we can imagine that each human being wears a patchwork quilt composed of many small irregularly shaped parts, each one salvaged from the many worn-out "garments" representing various personalities from past lives. Each small piece (or personality part) has been brought over from the past as a remnant that still has some "life" in it. But each piece is now being used differently, as it is only a small part of a new quilt, rather than being a whole article.

In dreams, clothes often represent attitudes or behavior, so we could think of our individual patchwork quilt as a coat of many colors, just like the one Joseph had in the biblical story, much to his brothers' distaste and envy. Our patchwork quilts are the sum total of many attitudes and behaviors we bring with us from the past.

Some of the "coats" we wear are attractive and cause others to be envious, while others are so tattered and torn that their wearer is despised and dismissed as being worthless. But we have been taught in this reverie work that neither the outer garment nor the body is the true identity. Whether or not it appears to be ugly or beautiful, it merely represents the package or container, the house or temple containing the Real Self.

To take this idea further: in order to produce cloth the material is woven on some kind of a loom. According to the encyclopedia, "weaving is the art of forming fabric by interlacing at right angles two sets of yarn or other material. The loom is a frame, usually made of wood on which the warp threads are firmly secured. A shuttle carries the woof and is used to pass the thread in and out of the warp to form the fabric."

So each patch is composed of two sets of threads woven at right angles to one another to form the cloth. The warp can be likened to all the past tendencies, actions, habits, and reactions that still contain energy or life. The woof would be all the conditions, family, friends, and experiences that are magnetically drawn to each of us. They can enable us in the present life to work out whatever is needed to expend the energy that still remains in each patch from the past. When the woof is removed, the warp falls away. When the task is accomplished, the patch can be discarded. When the lesson is learned, the situation that was necessary to teach it is removed.

We all tend to follow old patterns. We often continue to fear the worst and thus attract to us the gloom and doom we expect. In this way, once such a habit is established, a vicious circle continues to operate. This book is about discovering the habits that we can change, and we can use the exercises mentioned in the text to help us remove habits we want to replace.


Who or What Is the Hi C?

I will be using the term Hi C to refer to High Self or Higher Consciousness throughout this book. I am often asked, "What is the Hi C?" Actually, there is no definitive answer. We cannot pin down such an abstract concept in a futile effort to render it more tangible or understandable as we would pin down a butterfly in order to examine it. It will always be as a will-of-the-wisp—just out of reach and beyond our control.

Over the centuries, the Hi C has been compared to a flame or a lamp hidden deep within every living creature. A diamond or pearl, or other precious stones, as well as gold, have also been used to refer to It. It has been called the Christ Self, the Buddha Self, the Atma, the Baba Self, the High Self or Higher Consciousness. The latter was the inspiration for the term Hi C that I use in my work, being the initials for Higher Consciousness.

But all of these words are merely different appellations referring to the same entity, which remains out of reach of any name or attempted description. So how can we define the Hi C?

In my work I have been taught to withdraw my attention from the outer scene and direct it within myself to be taught by the Hi C which is available within every living person. It is that part of each one of us that never dies. It is eternal and cannot be damaged or affected in any way. It is the Real Self that incarnates during each sojourn on Earth by entering a baby's body that has been prepared as Its temporary home or residence for this lifetime. It is fully aware of what still needs to be learned and how each new birth presents an opportunity to do so.

It has gathered around itself—during numerous entries into physical form—many attributes, some positive, but many negative. In so doing, a separation has occurred, as the body/mind/ego/personality sheath assumes control and acts apart from the direction of the Hi C, even to the extent of being completely unaware of Its existence, and identifying solely with the container. I distinctly recall one time when my late husband and I were called for an interview by Sathya Sai Baba. As we were all seated on the floor waiting for him to enter the interview room, he glided into the room with a big smile at what he was about to say. He then announced to the gathering, "Did you know that you are all walking temples?" We were all highly amused and I, for one, realized that I had never thought of such an apt description, but recognized at once how very pertinent it was. Of course, the body/mind complex is the temple in which resides the God Self which is our Reality. So we need to make sure that our temple is kept clean, both inside and outside, to provide a suitable place to worship the Real Self and eventually merge with It.

To further impress this message more deeply, in another interview, Baba informed us that we are not sinners but gods. He then turned to me, and with an intense and penetrating gaze and stern voice, said, "Mrs. Krystal, say 'I am God.'" I was not only startled, but positively horrified! I had been brought up in the Church of England tradition and would have been severely punished had I dared to utter what would have been deemed a sacrilege. So all I managed to say was, "I cannot." But Baba would not accept that and persisted by saying, "Say it." So I tried to obey, but all that came out of my mouth was a mere whisper that did not satisfy him, so he again demanded that I say it. I finally summoned up enough courage to say the frightening words, only to be told, "Louder," so I repeated them several times until he was satisfied. By insisting in this way, Baba was trying to teach me my true identity, and at the same time, demonstrate to the others in the interview the same lesson, that we are all God and will finally merge with that Real Self when we have allowed It to use us as Its instruments so that our will and Its will are one and the same, and not separate.

It is as if It projects Itself outside of Itself to experience the world, and, in so doing, becomes more aware of Itself. But many people ask how they can get in touch with the Hi C once they have accepted Its existence. To make contact with It, I offer the Maypole Exercise.


To practice the Maypole Exercise, visualize or imagine a maypole consisting of a long pole set upright in front of you. To the top of it are attached many ribbons of all the colors of a rainbow, hanging down all around it. Each ribbon can be used as a telephone connection to the Hi C, which is visualized at the top of the maypole. The Hi C (or superconscious) is projected up high and above the conscious mind, as opposed to the subconscious, which is below or beneath the level of conscious thought.

Imagine you are taking a ribbon of any color that appeals to you and using it as you would a telephone. Ask the Hi C to supply you with whatever It knows you need, since It knows better than you do exactly what that is. Place your hands in your lap (open like bowls) ready to receive from the Hi C.

Many people complain of feeling tense and nervous, so ask to be given relaxing energy via your ribbon. Breathe it in and let go of tension as you breathe out. Ask for healing energy, which you then inhale; and exhale any condition that causes you unease or distress, whether physical, mental, or emotional. Next, ask for cleansing energy to remove any negative thoughts, feelings, or memories as you allow them to flow out with your breath. Many people say that they want to do something, but they cannot seem to summon up sufficient strength to follow through with action. So breathe in strengthening energy, and exhale any weakness you are willing to release. Lastly, ask for the special kind of love that can be supplied only by the Hi C. This love is not limited or selfish as human love so often tends to be. Breathe in this completely fulfilling love—deeply but gently—and breathe out any obstacles to receiving it, such as guilt, a low self-image, or anything else that could prevent you from accepting it. It is your birthright, which you do not have to deserve or earn, but merely request and breathe in.

As it begins to circulate within you, open your heart to receive it. It is completely safe to do so, as it will never cause you pain or rejection, but can fulfill your deepest need. To make it easier to open your heart, imagine a flower in your heart. Check it to see if it is open or closed in a tight bud. If the latter is the case, command it to open up sufficiently to allow the love from the Hi C to penetrate it, just as an actual flower opens up to receive the sunlight.

Imagine the love flowing in to fill all the empty spaces so many of us carry with us all our lives. To keep the love flowing it needs an outlet. If you clutch it too tightly and selfishly, it will gradually have a negative and opposite effect and will also block the flow from the Hi C. To prevent this from happening, invite anyone who comes to your mind who needs this love, to share it. Those people who are difficult or negative, or those with whom you have a problem or an unpleasant relationship are in great need of this kind of love, or they would not be so negative. So make sure you invite them with the rest of the invisible guests. In order to send love to others, simply place your palms together (with fingers extended) and point them to each person you have invited to participate. You do not have to love or even like these people, but you will find that if you practice this exercise regularly, the most difficult relationships will improve.

Many people feel helpless as individuals to bring about even very obvious and essential changes in the world situation. This need not be the case, for people can join with an ever-increasing number of others in numerous countries, who are practicing this way by directing love to other parts of the world where it is lacking.

To join this growing multitude, extend this love to groups of people who are lonely, sick, depressed, or acutely in need of help, such as the inhabitants of prisons, insane asylums, orphanages, hospitals, senior citizens' homes, refugee camps, and any other group that comes to your mind when you ask to be shown where you can direct it. Then it should be sent to those countries where there is warfare, famine, sickness, hunger, oppression, torture, or other conditions that create suffering for those caught in such misery. In addition, the heads of the various countries certainly need to be more loving in their positions of authority over the peoples' lives, so send love to them, too, for they can then bring about necessary changes.

I am repeatedly being informed of the small miracles that are becoming an almost daily occurrence in many parts of the world, wherever people are using this simple daily ritual. For instance, in Russia a regular program has been launched whereby those who have been exposed to this technique put aside a few minutes every Thursday evening at seven o'clock Russian time, to direct the love wherever people are in need of it. They report that it first begins to bring about a change in their own attitude, then in their family members, in their co-workers and out into their own country and to the rest of the world. It is a very simple exercise that requires only a small expenditure of time to practice, but it can have a worldwide effect.

Since the problems in the world all stem from the same primary cause—the absence of heart and the expression of love—both aspects of yin, or feminine, receptive energy, we want to help bring about a balance between yin and yang (the more aggressive masculine energy which is so dominant in the world). By being willing to direct this love to all with whom we come in contact, and all who are suffering from lack of it, we can make a difference.


Who Are You? Who Am I?

I have been taught that at the Hi C level, we are all one—and furthermore—we are all equal. No one is either better or less worthy than anyone else. So why is there such disparity between people and what causes the apparent inequality? We have also been taught that each personality is the sum total of many different influences, not only in this present life but also brought over from many lifetimes in the past.

It reminds me of the way identical diamonds could be wrapped in different packages, some of which are very beautiful, others unattractive. Are the diamonds in the drab packages any less valuable than those in the more colorful wrappings? All are of equal value. We are deceived only by the outer package. No one can guess what is inside a parcel until the outer covering is removed and the contents revealed. Some packages are tightly wrapped, even hermetically sealed, and it may involve hard work to open them up to discover the contents. The same is true for each of us. We have been programmed to identify with the outer package or container, composed of the body-mind-ego-personality and we often overlook the fact that concealed within this container is the Hi C. However, we need these containers or receptacles to enable us to live in the world and to learn how to break the karma we have all set in motion. Only when we enter a new physical body at birth are we given another chance to detach from old inappropriate behavior and learn new ways of interacting with others whom we meet along the way on our journey from birth to death. Whatever we sent out into the world or to other people at any time can only be adjusted while we are in a physical body living in the world. Then we can remedy past mistakes and learn necessary lessons. The encouraging fact is that we have brought with us into each new life exactly what we need to help us to undertake the task for which we have re-entered the world.

Excerpted from CUTTING THE TIES OF KARMA by Phyllis Krystal. Copyright © 2001 Phyllis Krystal. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents





Part I KARMA AND YOU          

1 What Is a Patchwork Quilt?          

2 Who or What Is the Hi C?          

3 Who Are You? Who Am I?          

4 Myths          

5 How Dreams Can Indicate Patches          


6 The Theory of Karma          

7 A Personal Example of How Karma Works          

8 How Patches Help Us Remove Karma          

9 How to Deactivate Patches          

10 Past Control and Its Present Effect          

11 The People in Our Lives          

12 Learning When to Say "No"          

13 Physical Problems and Illnesses as Patches          

14 Blood Types as Patches or Magnets          

Part III ROLES AND KARMA          

15 Roles as Patches          

16 The Doormat Role          

17 The Controller Role          

Part IV FAMILY KARMA          

18 The Family Atmosphere          

19 About Money          

20 About Food and Drink          

21 Time and Punctuality          

22 Work Atmosphere          

23 Health and Sickness          

24 Religious Atmosphere          

25 Sexual Attitudes          

26 Roles in Marriage and Partnership          

27 Childbirth          

28 Parenting          

29 Skeletons in the Closet          

30 Playfulness and Fun          

31 Prejudice as a Family Pattern          

32 Possessions          

33 Clothes and Fashion          

34 Anger and Violence          

35 Patience          

Part V PATCHES OF KARMA          

36 Pride and Vanity as Patches          

37 Jealousy and Envy as Patches          

38 Greed as a Patch          

39 Anger as a Patch          

40 Fear as a Patch          



About the Author          

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