Among the different types of karma, we can further distinguish propelling karma and completing karma.
Propelling karma, as its name suggests, propels one into a state of existence, whatever that may be.
Completing karma determines the specific circumstances within that state of existence; it fills in the basic outline produced by the propelling karma.
These two types of karma can combine so that
" ... if the karma propelling a certain mode of existence were positive and the completing karma that fills in the particulars were negative, we may take birth in a higher state of consciousness, but we would experience unpleasant conditions in that lifetime. For example, although we might take birth as a human, we would be poor.
Conversely, a negative propelling karma associated with a positive completing karma would cause us to take birth in a lower-realm existence in which we would enjoy good circumstances. For example, we might be born in the West as a domestic animal that had very privileged living conditions."
Khyabje Kalu Rinpoche (d.1989) discussed two forms of karma in Luminous Mind, (Wisdom Publications:)