According to the Buddhist tradition, the karmic situation evolved right at the beginning of the birth of ego. Karma arises when basic bewilderment develops. That basic bewilderment is there when a sense of separateness, a sense of me and the other, develops. And at that very moment, the volitional action of karma is created. The analogy for the creation of karma is a pot being made on a potter’s wheel. The wheel is continually turning, and when you put clay on the wheel, the clay becomes a pot. The constant struggle of trying to maintain oneself is like the rotating potter’s wheel. Trying to solidify our actions for the purpose of maintaining security is like throwing the clay onto the potter’s wheel. When the pot is made, we have created our own coffin. We have created our own heaven or hell–whatever world we create.
From The Future Is Open: Good Karma, Bad Karma and Beyond Karma, page 17.