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Jun 05, 2006 07:08 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
6/5/2006 7:06 AM Dear Carlos: May I offer for consideration: FATE, LUCK AND KARMA ======================= All that we are is the result of what we have thought, founded on our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain pursues him, as the wheel of the wagon follows the hoof of the ox that draws it. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness pursues him like his shadow that never leaves him. -- Buddha: DHAMMAPADA, p. 1. ----------------------------------- "Fate" or "Luck" ? Fate comes from fatum: an "oracle," in Latin. The principle, determining cause or will, by which things in general are supposed to come to be as they are or events happen as they do. The lot of man as decreed. Among the Greeks there were THREE FATES, Goddesses: Clotho - who spins the thread of life; Lachesis - who determines its length, and Atropos - who cuts it off; chance; fortune. Karma - A Universal Law of Cause / Effect With these definitions we can see why it is said in Theosophy that Karma is the universal law of retributive justice, and its ultimate law. Unerringly, it adjusts effects to causes on the physical, mental and spiritual planes of being. Though itself unknowable, its action is perceivable. We do not know the ultimate Cause. Karma is one with that Unknowable, of which it is an agent. It cannot be considered an entity. Its effects are absolute and unerring equity, wisdom and intelligence -- an unfailing redresser of human injustice, and of all the failures of nature; a stern adjuster of wrongs; a retributive law which rewards and punishes with equal impartiality. It is no respecter of persons. It can neither be propitiated nor turned aside by prayer. A stone falls into the water and creates disturbing waves, oscillating until at last they are brought to rest. Similarly all action, on every plane, produces disturbance in the balanced harmony of the Universe. Since each disturbance starts from some particular point, it is clear that equilibrium and harmony can only be restored by the reconverging to that same point of all the forces which were put into motion from it. The consequences of a man's deeds, thoughts, etc., must all react upon himself with the same force with which they were set in motion. To consider these two: fate, and karma, which some hold to be antagonists and others believe are co-workers in Nature we should perhaps start with their accepted meanings. Karma is a Sanskrit word, and physically it means "action." Metaphysically it is called the "Law of Retribution," or, "the Law of Cause and Effect," or, "Ethical Causation." It has been likened to Nemesis only in the sense of "bad" karma. It is a power that controls all things, the resultant of moral action, or the moral effect of an act committed for the attainment of something which gratifies a personal desire. Karma neither punishes nor rewards. There is the karma of merit and of demerit. It is the one universal LAW which guides unerringly, and, so to say, blindly, all other laws along the grooves of their respective causations. Why is there a Universe? What, then, is the universe for? And for what final purpose is man the immortal thinker here in evolution ? It is all for the experience and emancipation of the soul (mind), for the purpose of raising the entire mass of manifested matter up to the stature, nature and dignity of conscious godhood. The great aim is to reach self-consciousness [the man-stage]. Nothing is to be left out. The aim for present man is his initiation into complete knowledge. This is evolution carried to its highest power, and gives to every part of nature the possibility of being one day the same. Every atom is alive and has the germ of self-consciousness. Fatalism The ancients rejected fatalism, for fatalism implies a blind course of some still blinder power. They believed in destiny, which from birth to death every man is weaving thread by thread around himself. And this destiny is guided either by that Presence, termed by some the "guardian angel," or our more intimate astral inner man, who is but too often the evil genius of the man of flesh. "Good" and "harmony," and "evil" and "disharmony," are synonymous. All pain and all suffering are the results of want of harmony; and that the one terrible and only cause of the disturbance of harmony is selfishness in some form or another. Hence karma gives back to every man the actual consequences of his actions. He will be made to atone for all sufferings which he has caused, just as he will reap in joy and gladness the fruits of all the happiness and harmony he has helped to produce. Choices have Consequences We have made ourselves what we are by former actions, and are building our future eternity by present actions. There is no salvation or condemnation except what we ourselves bring about, karma offers no shelter for culpable actions and necessitates a sterling manliness. It is karma, or our old acts, that draws us back into earthly life. Our present lives and circumstances are the direct result of our own deeds and thoughts in lives that are past. But we, who are not seers or initiates, cannot know anything about the details of them. Moral content of the Universe and of Living Karma, thus, signifies the law of ethical causation ("Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall be also reap"), and, the balance or excess of merit or demerit in any individual determines also the main experiences of joy and sorrow in each incarnation. "Luck" is in reality "desert;" desert acquired in past experience. It is the force that will make men pursue in fact the ethics they have in theory. "Spiritual Man" is the "Real Man" The "Higher Triad" (or man's Spirit-Soul) are:-- Manas (soul, or mind), Buddhi (the accumulated wisdom of past experiences, discrimination, intuition, the "Voice of Conscience"), and, Atma (Spirit, the eternal, immovable "Witness," or "Perceiver") in every human being, they are the real man. They are the immortal part of us. This should be firmly grasped by the mind, for upon its clear understanding depends the comprehension of the entire doctrine. "I am the Ego which is seated in the heart of all beings." - Krishna ( GITA X, p. 73 ) This was symbolized in the old Jewish teaching about the Heavenly Man, who stands with his head (Spirit-Soul) in 'heaven,' and his feet (body) in 'hell.' This is the real meaning of "the Word made flesh." And out of this comes the idea of 'crucifixion.' Manas (the thinker-soul) is thus crucified (in all humanity), for the purpose of "raising the thief to paradise" (the body made up of gross matter, which is to be purified). Nature intends us to use the matter which comes into our body for the purpose, among others, of benefiting it by the impress it gets from association with the human ego (Soul-Mind). Free Will Will is not directly free elsewhere in nature; the law of karma adjusts the encroachments of matter on the flow of the will, which is the "power of Spirit." Only in the human kingdom, with the birth of intelligence, will becomes free; and, thus, at last, karma finds the aid of an agent independent of itself, instead of a passive instrument for its compensating operations. Thus, even the "Law of Laws" offers itself to become the servant of man. Karma, as strict impartial justice, can, therefore, have neither wrath not mercy, only absolute equity, which leaves every cause, great or small, to work out its inevitable effects. "With what measure you mete it shall be measured to you again," (Math. vii, 2) points to no hope of future mercy or salvation-by-proxy, no vicarious atonement, nor is there the possibility of the remission of the smallest sin by any "God." Recognizing, in our philosophy, the justice of this statement, we strongly recommend mercy, charity, and forgiveness of mutual offenses, in view of the implacability of karmic law. For man to take the law into his own hands is a sacrilegious presumption: "use restrictive, not punitive measures." A man who revenges himself and refuses to forgive every injury, thereby rendering good for evil, is a criminal, and only hurts himself by seeking to inflict additional punishment on his enemy. National Fate and Free Will The aggregate of individual karma becomes that of the nation to which those individuals belong. The sum total of national karma is that of the World. It is upon this broad line that interdependence lies, that the law of karma finds its legitimate and equable issue. The interdependence of humanity is the cause of what is called "distributive karma." We know that the guiding mind and real character of each are not the result of a body and brain, but are peculiar to the Ego (soul-mind) in its essential life as an immortal being. Why Suffering? As suffering comes to nearly all, it is objected to that reincarnation is unjust, because we suffer for the wrong done by some other person in another life, which, is based on the false notion that the person in the other life was someone else ! When we come again, we do not take up the body of someone else, nor another's deeds, but are like an actor who plays many parts--for the great life of the soul is a drama--all through it we are the self-same person. In no other manner could justice be preserved. Good and Evil The whole mass of detail of life is preserved in the inner nature to be one day fully brought back to the conscious memory in some other life when we are perfected. But all now are subject to the limitations imposed upon the Ego (Soul) by the new brain in each life. By living according to the dictates of the Soul, the brain may at last be made porous to the Soul's recollections. If the contrary sort of life is led, then more and more will clouds obscure that reminiscence. We should be very miserable if the deeds and scenes of our former lives were not hidden from our view until, by discipline, we become able to bear a knowledge of them. Heredity and Character While heredity has something to do with the differences in character as to force or morale, swaying the soul and mind a little, and, furnishing the appropriate place of receiving reward and punishment, it is not the cause for the essential nature shown by everyone. One short human life gives no ground for the production of its inner nature. It is needful that each Soul have all possible experience and one life cannot give this even under the best conditions. So the Soul has to be reborn until it has ceased to set in motion the causes of rebirth, after having developed character up to its highest possible limit. When every experience has been passed through, and not until all of truth that can be known has been acquired will this process come to an end, man having acquired 'perfection,' (inasmuch as this world provides). Reincarnation a Cyclic Fact We come back to earth because on it, and with the beings upon it, our deeds were performed. Because it is the only proper place where punishment and reward cane be justly meted out. It is the only natural spot in which to continue the struggle towards perfection, the development of the faculties we have, and the destruction of the wickedness in us. Justice to ourselves and to all other beings demands it, for we cannot live for ourselves, and it would be unjust to permit some of us to escape. Belief in karma is the highest reason for reconcilement to one's lot in this life, and the very strongest incentive towards effort to better the succeeding rebirth. Both of these would be destroyed it we supposed that our lot was the result of anything but strict law, or that destiny was in any other hands than our own. We do not administer the law, it administers itself. In the light of karma and reincarnation, evolution becomes the logic of what must be: the synthesis of occult science as wisdom and as an art. DTB =================== Note: These ideas for the article have been drawn from the writings of H. P. Blavatsky and W. Q. Judge. Some of the sources include: The Theosophical Glossary, p. 173; The Key to Theosophy, pp. 198 201 205 206 206-7 209 215 216-7; Isis Unveiled, II 593; The Ocean of Theosophy, pp. 60-1 65 68 70 73 76 80-82 84; An Epitome of Theosophy, pp. 23-4; The Synthesis of Occult Science; Studies in "The Secret Doctrine" p. 129. ================== Best wishes Dallas -------------------------------------------------- -----Original Message----- From: Carlos Paterson, Sent: Friday, June 02, 2006 4:08 PM To: Subject: Carlos Aveline´s e-mails Dear Carlos Aveline, The three e-mails send to you ("THOMAS TAYLOR DRINKS WATER"(a), "H.P.B. ON FORESTS"(b) and "OUR RESPONSIBILITY"(c)) are, in my modest point of view, related to the FATE of civilization in our Earth Planet, particularly with our relationship with this FATE. To initialize a healthy debate about this theme (Our relationship with the civilizationŽs fate), it would be of great help trying define what do you intend to say with the denomination "DIRECT KNOWLEDGE"? (your e-mail:(a)) Again, in your e-mail (b), you seem to be strongly inclined to contemplate this not defined knowledge, when you relate the fact that there is a supposed "actual knowledge" in opposition to a mere hearsay information. This "actual knowledge" has any similarity with you have called "DIRECT KNOWLEDGE"? Are they the same thing? What are they? And, once again, in your e-mail (c) (forgive me the insistence), you emphasize something called "sacred wisdom"... Is it another completely different thing or not? What do you want to say with it? It is clear that a series of affirmations and conclusions were inferred from theses not yet defined terms or phrases, so it is of vital importance the understanding of them. Finally, valued friend: What do you understand by the word "FATE"? If possible, define it better. Thank your for all.