RE: Theos-World Karma
Oct 16, 2001 01:25 PM
by Peter Merriott
Dear Mic, Dal, Jerry & Louis (the list is getting longer!)
I agree with much of what you have all said. However I would like to add
some further points. Two in fact. First, I think that generally speaking
we tend to use the term "Karma" in two different ways, and its important to
distiguish between them.
One way to use the term "Karma" is when we are referring to the "Law of
Karma" ie that law of harmony which adjusts cause and effect.
The other way we use the term is when we are referring to the pending
effects of those causes we have set in motion in the past/present; or those
effects acting in the present as a result of past causes set in motion by
ourselves. This is what we call our personal or collective Karma. (In a
sense, our present personality is a bundle of our current Karma.)
HPB uses both meanings of the term Karma in the following passage:
"Karma is simply action, a contatenation of causes and effects. That which
adjusts each effect to its direct cause, that which guides invisibly and as
unerringly these effects to choose, as the field of their operation, the
right person in the right place, is what we call Karmic Law." (CW XI 144)
But she goes on to point out that Karmic Law is not God dishing out rewards
and punishments. As far as 'personal Karma' is concerned this impersonal
law is driven and guided by our own actions.
S.D. I 304-5 :
"This Law--whether conscious or unconscious--presdetines nothing and no one.
It exists from and in Eternity, truly, for it is ETRNITY itself ; and as
such, as no act can be co-equal with eternity, it cannot be said to act, for
it is ACTION itself."
"it is not the wave that drowns a man, but the personal action of the
wretch, who goes deliberately and places himself under the impersonal action
of the laws that govern the ocean's motions "
"Karma creates nothing, nor does it design. It is the man that plans and
creates causes, and the karmic Law adjusts the effects ; which adjustment is
not an act, but universal harmony, tending ever to resume its original
postion, like a bough, which bent down too forcibly, rebounds with
corrresponding vigour. It it dislocates the arm that tried to bend it out of
its natural position, shall we say that it is the bough that broke our arm,
or our own folly has brought us to grief ?"
The second thought I would like to suggest is that we mustn't limit our
understanding of the Law of Karma to the level of personality. In other
words, it may be true to say that potentially it is possible to act without
creating 'personal Karma' ('good' or 'bad') if we can act altuistically but
that does not mean that the Law of Karma ceases to exist or that there is
not other kinds of Karma besides the 'personal' kind.
In the Mahatma Letters we find the Mahatma KH writing:
"We have several sorts of Karma and Nirvana in their various applications --
to the Universe, the world, Devas, Buddhas, Bodhisatwas, men and animals --
the second including its seven kingdoms. Karma and Nirvana are but two of
the seven great MYSTERIES of Buddhist metaphysics; and but four of the seven
are known to the best orientalists, and that very imperfectly." (Letter No.
We might well assume that Devas and especially Buddhas do not have
personalities, as such. The personality and its sense of seperateness
having been destroyed by those who have attain Buddhahood.
In the Secret Doctrine we find that even the Dhyan Chohans, the Planetary
Spirits are subject to Karma. (Interestingly, the Mahatma also point out in
another letter that when Gautama first reached Nirvana and attained the
highest Adeptship attainable on this planet he became a Planetary Spirit.
The Mahatma also refers in general terms to the Karma of Planetary Spirits
when He writes:
"....after the completion of the great cycle: either a long Nirvana of Bliss
(unconscious though it be in the, and according to, your crude conceptions);
after which -- life as a Dhyan Chohan for a whole Manvantara, or else
"Avitchi Nirvana" and a Manvantara of misery and Horror as a ---- you must
not hear the word nor I -- pronounce or write it. But "those" have nought to
do with the mortals who pass through the seven spheres. The collective Karma
of a future Planetary is as lovely as the collective Karma of a ---- is
terrible. Enough. I have said too much already."
Letter No. 23b
I think the Karma we talk of (ie the so called 'good' or 'bad') in relation
to the personality is important yet quite exoteric. It is far more complex
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