[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]


Sep 15, 2004 08:53 PM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck

Sept 15 2004 


A couple of days ago this subject concerning the Karma we receive and which
we create arose.

Here is a valuable article on the subject, well worth reading as it solves a
number of difficult questions.

Best wishes,




That view of one's Karma which leads to a bewailing of the unkind fate which
has kept advantages in life away from us, is a mistaken estimate of what is
good and what is not good for the soul. It is quite true that we may often
find persons surrounded with great advantages but who make no corresponding
use of them or pay but little regard to them. 

But this very fact in itself goes to show that the so-called advantageous
position in life is really not good nor fortunate in the true and inner
meaning of those words. 

The fortunate one has money and teachers, ability, and means to travel and
fill the surroundings with works of art, with music and with ease. But these
are like the tropical airs that enervate the body; these enervate the
character instead of building it up. They do not in themselves tend to the
acquirement of any virtue whatever but rather to the opposite by reason of
the constant steeping of the senses in the subtle essences of the sensuous
world. They are like sweet things which, being swallowed in quantities, turn
to acids in the inside of the body. Thus they can be seen to be the opposite
of good Karma.

What then is good Karma and what bad? The all embracing and sufficient
answer is this:

Good Karma is that kind which the Ego desires and requires; bad, that which
the Ego neither desires nor requires.

And in this the Ego, being guided and controlled by law, by justice, by the
necessities of upward evolution, and not by fancy or selfishness or revenge
or ambition, is sure to choose the earthly habitation that is most likely,
out of all possible of selection, to give a Karma for the real advantage in
the end. In this light then, even the lazy, indifferent life of one born
rich as well as that of one born low and wicked is right.

When we, from this plane, inquire into the matter, we see that the
"advantages" which one would seek were he looking for the strengthening of
character, the unloosing of soul force and energy, would be called by the
selfish and personal world "disadvantages." 

Struggle is needed for the gaining of strength; buffeting adverse eras is
for the gaining of depth; meagre opportunities may be used for acquiring
fortitude; poverty should breed generosity.

The middle ground in all this, and not the extreme, is what we speak of. To
be born with the disadvantage of drunken, diseased parents, in the criminal
portion of the community, is a punishment which constitutes a wait on the
road of evolution. It is a necessity generally because the Ego has drawn
about itself in a former life some tendencies which cannot be eliminated in
any other way. 

But we should not forget that sometimes, often in the grand total, a pure,
powerful Ego incarnates in just such awful surroundings, remaining good and
pure all the time, and staying there for the purpose of uplifting and
helping others.

But to be born in extreme poverty is not a disadvantage. Jesus said well
when, repeating what many a sage had said before, he described the
difficulty experienced by the rich man in entering heaven. 

If we look at life from the narrow point of view of those who say there is
but one earth and after it either eternal heaven or hell, then poverty will
be regarded as a great disadvantage and something to be avoided. But seeing
that we have many lives to live, and that they will give us all needed
opportunity for building up character, we must admit that poverty is not, in
itself, necessarily bad Karma. Poverty has no natural tendency to engender
selfishness, but wealth requires it.

A sojourn for everyone in a body born to all the pains, deprivations and
miseries of modern poverty, is good and just. Inasmuch as the present state
of civilization with all its horrors of poverty, of crime, of disease, of
wrong relations almost everywhere, has grown out of the past, in which we
were workers, it is just that we should experience it all at some point in
our career. 

If some person who now pays no heed to the misery of men and women should
next life be plunged into one of the slums of our cities for rebirth, it
would imprint on the soul the misery of such a situation. This would lead
later on to compassion and care for others. For, unless we experience the
effects of a state of life we cannot understand or appreciate it from a mere
description. The personal part involved in this may not like it as a future
prospect, but if the Ego decides that the next personality shall be there
then all will be an advantage and not a disadvantage.

If we look at the field of operation in us of the so-called advantages of
opportunity, money, travel and teachers we see at once that it all has to do
with the brain and nothing else. 

Languages, archeology, music, satiating sight with beauty, eating the finest
food, wearing the best clothes, traveling to many places and thus infinitely
varying impressions on ear and eye; all these begin and end in the brain and
not in the soul or character. 

As the brain is a portion of the unstable, fleeting body the whole
phantasmagoria disappears from view and use when the note of death sends its
awful vibration through the physical form and drives out the inhabitant. The
wonderful central master-ganglion disintegrates, and nothing at all is left
but some faint aromas here and there depending on the actual love within for
any one pursuit or image or sensation. Nothing left of it all but a few
tendencies-- skandhas, not of the very best. 

The advantages then turn out in the end to be disadvantages altogether. But
imagine the same brain and body not in places of ease, struggling for a good
part of life, doing their duty and not in a position to please the senses:
this experience will burn in, stamp upon, carve into the character, more
energy, more power and more fortitude. It is thus through the ages that
great characters are made. The other mode is the mode of the humdrum average
which is nothing after all, as yet, but an animal.

WILLIAM Q. JUDGE Path , July, 1895



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application