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Re: Theos-World Karma Paradox

Oct 09, 2001 09:08 PM
by Eldon B Tucker

At 08:30 PM 10/8/01 -0700, you wrote:

Theosophy teaches that we must be truly altruistic and
unselfish so that we may prevent bad karma for
ourselves. But is this not, in itself, being selfish?

When we want to change our behavior, there are various
things we can use to motivate ourselves. There can be
fear of bad things happening to us, like the idea of
karma as punisher of wrong-doers. There can be desire
for personal gain, like the idea of karma as the reward
of accumulated merit.

I don't thing it really matters at first what we use
to get ourselves going. When it's time to change for
the better, we should try whatever works for us. If
we're truly focusing on the spiritual, our outlook and
motivations will naturally transform into something
noble. This may take time, but it'll come about without
our having to knowingly make an effort in that direction.

I'd say: try to be better and use whatever incentives
reinforce being good. Even if you pretend to be better
that you currently are, and live it out, you'll eventually
find that the pretending fades away into genuine altruism.

Being selfless does not mean, I think, always doing
things that benefit others, whatever the cost to you.
It means doing what is right, best for *everyone* (including
yourself), without the thought of self or "what's in it
for me" biasing your experience. Although the ultimate
good is always clearly seen and respected, there are times
when you take care of yourself and your personal needs,
just as there are times when you've totally given yourself
to working for others without thought of reward.

-- Eldon

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