Do you know this psychological experiment in which someone gets primed with a money symbol, like seeing some Monopoly money lying at the back of a coffee table, and then somebody walks by and "accidentally" drops some pencils. The studies find that those people who have been exposed to the money symbol, on average at least, help less in collecting pencils than those who haven't seen money beforehand. That is, being exposed to the symbol of money makes you more selfish for the moment!
Isn't this result amazing? It it almost as if we don't exist. Completely influenced by our surroundings and the people we hang out with, we get bumped around like a small boat in the big sea. Perhaps you set yourself up subconsciously for all the experiences you go through, all the while your brain finds all the "rational" reasons why this is all your own doing. Personally, I don't think we have much freedom of choice in what we are exposed to, but I do think we have the ability to be mindful of the state we are in, and we certainly can turn the dial again; this time around to our liking.
The Tao traveler is given help to step outside of this movie script. Maybe someone, very much to our surprise says, "don't you want to lend a hand, brother?". Or, we observe that the speed of our thoughts is completely out of tune with the music we are listening to, and we start to look around to synchronize back with life and suddenly see that someone needs our help. So while spiritual travelers are likely as exposed to the wheel of karma as everyone, we teach ourselves to be mindful of the state we are in, and thus in a position to turn the dial the wheel in a direction that brings us back in accordance with the Way.
Relax my friend, just let the wheel of karma spin as it likes. You can be sure that a sister will be standing next to it and remind you smilingly where you are supposed to be.