Well, to continue, what are some ways out of our cages, as you put it in pt.1, and what are the results?
Let's focus on the basics like remembrance as a practice. Ultimately, this isn't a mental practice, rather an invitation or invocation to higher influence, though one may begin with an intention plus a creative imagination, a mental image, as a starting point.
And this results in what?
The you as ego-mind that expects results actually has nothing to do with it.
OK, but doesn't that leave me out in the cold? What am I left to function through in that case?
Admittedly what we're left with seems like a blind leap of faith, but a faith that only ego-mind is blind to. Actually, for something new to kick into gear, there has to be a base of operation, of experiencing, that's independent of ego-mind's clutches.
And how would that come about?
The bottom line is practice, trial and error, maybe especially error. Back to remembrance; through remembering the Beloved, the one Self in all, we can begin to forget ourselves as separate beings, activating the influence of a higher intelligence . Then imprints of our conditioned mind can get reconfigured, roasted or vaporized as the case may be.
And that leads to?
Their mutually assured destruction. Then every situation we're in or interaction we have becomes transformed into an opportunity. Erosion of the mass of the mental burden we carry could be described as a form of guidance. And what true response to this could we have but gratitude?
If karma is what we have to work out or work through, what might its relation be to our conditioned mind?
You could call conditioned mind's imprints the haze or soup that we all stew in, that limit consciousness. If you zoom out from that and see the pattern they form, that could be called karma or a kind of determined destiny, though likely flexible in its intractable grip.
Both flexible and intractable?
Imagine you have a choice over three or four predetermined courses of action.....
Sounds like a small choice, or hardly any real choice.
I think eventually we truly tire of our small choices and are drawn to a potential way out of our respective cages. Then we get interested in spirituality, awakening and the like, to the possibilities of greater freedom of consciousness beyond the limits of our usual ego-mind's activities.
And that marks the beginning of more choices, larger ones?
Rather the beginning of having only one consistent choice, namely whatever best serves the end of ego-mind's domination.