28 July 2015

WHAT REINCARNATES?

Examining the Immortal
Dimension of Consciousness

Robert Crosbie



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Robert Crosbie (1849-1919)
founded the United Lodge of
Theosophists in 1909. The following
text is reproduced from his book “The
Friendly Philosopher”, Theosophy Co.,
Los Angeles, 416 pp., 2008, pp. 234-239.
We add two footnotes.

(CCA)

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What reincarnates is a mystery to many minds because they find a difficulty in understanding such a permanency as must stand behind repeated incarnations. They know that the body is born and dies and is dissolved, but their minds are so identified with the body in its relations and surroundings that they are unable to dissociate themselves from it. They think of themselves as persons, as bodies of a physical nature, and hence cannot see where in them may reside that power of incarnating from life to life.

Theosophy presents a larger view in showing that man is not his body, because the body is continually changing; that man is not his mind, because he is constantly changing his mind; that there is in man a permanency which is the identity throughout all kinds of embodiments.

There has been no change in our identity from childhood up to the present day. The body has changed; the surroundings have changed; but the identity remains the same and will not change from now on through all changes of body or mind or circumstance. That in us which is itself unchanging is the only real. Nothing is real that changes. It is only the real that perceives change. Change cannot see change. Only that which is constant perceives change; only the permanent can perceive impermanence. However dimly we may perceive it, there is that in us which is eternal and changeless.

This unchanging, constant, and immortal something in us is not absent from any particle or any being whatever. There is only one Life in the world to which we, as well as all other beings, pertain. We all proceeded from the same one Source - not many - and we are proceeding on the same path to the same great goal. The ancients said that the Divine Self is in all beings, but in all it does not shine forth. The real is within, and may be realized by any human being in himself. Everyone needs that realization that he may shine forth and express the God within, which all beings but partially express.

If then the Source is the same - the One Spirit - in all beings, why so many forms, so many personalities, so many individualizations? All, again Theosophy shows, are developments. In that great Ocean of Life, which is at the same time Consciousness and Spirit, we move and live and have our being. That ocean is separable into its constituent drops and the separation is effected through the great course of evolution. Even in the kingdoms below us, which are from the same Source, the tendency to separate into drops of individualized consciousness goes on in ever-increasing degree. In the animal kingdom, those species that are nearest to us make an approach to self-consciousness; but we as human beings have arrived at that stage where each is a constituent drop of the great ocean of Consciousness. As with an ocean of water each drop of it contains all the elements of the great body, so each constituent drop of humanity - a human being - contains within its range every element of the great universe.

The same power exists in all of us, yet where we stand on the ladder of being we see many below us and others greater than we above us. Humanity now is building the bridge of thought, the bridge of ideas that connects the lower with the higher.

The whole purpose of incarnation, or our descent into matter, was not only to gain further knowledge of matter, but to impel the lower kingdoms to come up to where we are. We stand as gods to the lower kingdoms. It is our impulsion that brings them weal or woe. It is our misconception of the aim of life that makes Nature so hard; that causes all the distress and disasters which afflict us in cyclones, tornadoes [1], diseases, pestilences of every kind. All are our own doing; and why? Because there is a sublimation of mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms in our bodies, which are lives in themselves.

Every cell in our bodies has its birth, youth, manhood, decay and death, and its reincarnation. We are impelling each one of those lives according to whatever thought, will, or feeling we may have, whether for help or injury to others. These lives go out from us for good or evil, back into their kingdoms with good or evil. So by our lack of understanding of our own true natures, without a comprehension of universal brotherhood, we are imperfectly performing our duties on this plane and are imperfectly helping the evolution of the lower kingdoms.

We shall realize our responsibility to them only as we see that every being is on his way upward; that all above man have been men at one time; that all below man will some time reach man’s estate, when we have gone on further; that all forms, all beings, all individualizations are but aspects of the One Spirit. Granted, then, that this one unchanging Spirit is in all - the cause of all evolutionary development, the cause of all incarnations - where, we may ask, do we carry the power to see and know from life to life? How is continuity of knowledge, gained by observation and experience, preserved? How is the individual maintained as such?

We should remember that we were self-conscious beings when this planet began; some even were self-conscious when this solar system began; for there is a difference in degree of development among human beings.

If the planet or solar system began in a state of primordial substance, or nebulous matter, as Science calls it, then we must have had bodies of that state of substance. In that finest substance are all the possibilities of every grade of matter, and hence it is that within the true body of primordial matter all the changes of coarser and coarser substance have been brought about; and within that body is all experience. Our birth is within that body. Everything that occurs to us is within that body - a body of a nature which does not change throughout the whole Manvantara.[2] Each one has such a body of finest substance, of the inner nature, which is the real container for the individual. In it he lives and moves and has his being, and yet even the great glory and fineness of that body is not the man; it is merely the highest vesture of the Soul. The Real Man we are is the Man that was, that is, and that ever shall be, for whom the hour will never strike - Man, the thinker; Man, the perceiver - always thinking, continually acting.

Life is one. Spirit is one. Consciousness is one. These three are one - a trinity- and we are that trinity. All the changes of substance and form are brought about by Spirit and Consciousness and expressed in various forms of life. We are that One Spirit, each standing in a vast assemblage of beings in this great universe, seeing and knowing what he can through the instruments he has. We are the Trinity - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; or, in theosophical parlance, we are Atma, Buddhi, and Manas. Atma is the One Spirit, not belonging to anyone, but to all. Buddhi is the sublimated experience of all the past.  Manas is the thinking power, the thinker, the man, the immortal man. There is no man without the Spirit, and no man without that experience of the past; but the mind is the realm of creation, of ideas; and the Spirit itself, with all its power, acts according to the ideas that are in the mind.

“The Voice of the Silence” says, “Mind is like a mirror. It gathers dust while it reflects.” It needs soul-wisdom to brush away the dust. This mind of ours, or that which we call the mind, is merely the reflector, which presents as we train it, different pictures. The Spirit acts in accord with the ideas seen, for good or for evil. Is there evil in the world? It is the power of Spirit that caused it. Is there good in the world? It is the power of Spirit that caused it. For there is only one power. The misdirection of that power brings evil; its right direction brings good.

We must give up the idea that we are poor, weak, miserable creatures who can never do anything for ourselves; for as long as we hold that idea, so long will we never do anything. We must get the other idea - that we are Spirit, that we are immortal - and when we come to realize what that means, the power of it will flow directly in and through us, unrestricted in any direction, save by the instruments which we ourselves caused to be imperfect.  So let us get away from the idea that we are this poor, miserable, defective physical body over which we have so little control. We cannot stop a heartbeat; we cannot stop the breath without destroying the body; we cannot stop the constant dissociation of matter that goes on in it, nor prevent its final dissolution. Some people talk of “demonstrating” against death, but we might as well try to demonstrate against the trees shedding their leaves when the winter blasts come. Death will always be, and there is a great advantage in it. If we could not change our bodies, how would there be any chance for advancement? Are we so well pleased with the bodies now ours that we would desire no change? Certainly not.

There is only one thing in this life that can be retained permanently, and that is the spiritual nature, and the great divine compassion which we may translate by the word “love”.

We are the reincarnating Egos who will continue to incarnate until the great task which we undertook is completed. That task is the raising up of the whole of humanity to the highest possible stage of perfection on an earth of this kind.

We incarnate from age to age for the preservation of the just, the destruction of wickedness, and the establishment of righteousness. That is what we are here for, whether we know it or not, and we must come to a recognition of the immortality of our own natures before we shall ever relieve ourselves from the distresses that afflict humanity everywhere. We have to bring ourselves in touch and tune with the whole great purpose of Nature which is the evolution of Soul, and for which alone all the universe exists.

NOTES:

[1] “It is our misconception of the aim of life that makes Nature so hard; that causes all the distress and disasters which afflict us in cyclones, tornadoes…”. Robert Crosbie here mentions the direct relation between mankind’s thoughts and the geo-ecological cycles of our planet. Humanity is responsible, in a way, for the mental life of the planet. Each time the life on the planet decays on the plane of human mind, geological life also decays. The process is regulated by the law of cycles. All levels of consciousness are karmically linked to each other and interact among them. (CCA)

[2] Manvantara: a period of manifestation of the Universe, or of a Solar System.  Each Manvantara is followed by a Pralaya, a period of rest, before another Manvantara emerges.  (CCA)

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On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.  


Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.

On Facebook, see the pages The Aquarian Theosophist,   Helena Blavatsky and  E-Theosophy.



In order to have access to a daily study of theosophy, visit the page of  E-Theosophy e-group in YahooGroups and join it directly from there.

The link to the e-group is - https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info. You can also write to   lutbr@terra.com.br and ask for information on E-Theosophy

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26 July 2015

STOICISM IN THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY

What Theosophists Have
In Common With Ancient Stoics


Carlos Cardoso Aveline 

Marcus Aurelius and Robert Crosbie



The Yoga aphorisms of Patanjali say that desire and aversion are among the main “kleshas” or afflictions which challenge every candidate to divine wisdom.

Desire, say the Aphorisms, is the dwelling upon pleasure. Aversion is the dwelling upon pain. And the best way to eliminate the roots of these two kleshas is to create a mental state opposite to each of them, and to meditate upon eternal truth. [1]  

Indifference to pain and pleasure is also recommended by most classical thinkers in Western philosophy. And those ancient-time sages had the habit to live what they taught, and to teach what they lived.

Tradition holds that before being freed and becoming a philosopher on his own,  the Greek slave Epictetus (55-135 C.E.) was physically hurt to the point of being permanently lamed by his Roman master. According to Celsus, when his master was twisting his leg, Epictetus only smiled and said, “You will break it”. And when the leg was finally broken his calm commentary was:

“I told you so.”

Stoicism, Platonism and other schools teach that happiness has no relation to pleasure. Instead, they say that happiness derives from having no anxiety, no fear and no ambition in the soul. As to pleasure, it is defined as having the same illusory substance as pain or suffering. 

Epictetus the Stoic taught:

“It is not poverty which produces sorrow, but desire; nor does wealth release from fear, but reason (the power of reasoning). If then you acquire this power of reasoning, you will neither desire wealth nor complain of poverty.” [2]

Porphyry, the neoplatonist, wrote that “the true philosopher (…), following nature and not vain opinions,  is self-sufficing in all things”. But he had to admit that - “no fool is satisfied with what he possesses”.[3]  

Students of philosophy must not expect outer reality to follow the track of their own desires and expectations. Effective learners accept things as they are and do their best, regardless of what may happen. They put their confidence on the law of Karma and Retribution. They are not led by appearances. They see all human beings as their brothers and sisters, and for them there is no difference between a prince and a beggar. One of the Raja Yogis who inspired the creation of the theosophical movement wrote, in a letter to a lay disciple:

“... In our sight an honest boot-black [is] as good as an honest king, and an immoral sweeper far higher and more excusable than an immoral Emperor...” 

As to the main idea of Stoicism, which recommends that we should act in a correct way regardless of personal pleasure or pain, the Mahatma wrote in the same letter:

“... Remember that the first requisite in even a simple fakir, is that he should have trained himself to remain as indifferent to moral pain as to physical suffering. Nothing can give US personal pain or pleasure.” [4]

There are good reasons for aspirants to the esoteric wisdom to develop a reasonable amount of indifference toward comfortable and uncomfortable conditions of life, and we can see that the work of H. P. Blavatsky in the 19th century was not an exception to this general rule.

The Old Lady had the stuff of a Stoic. She did not look for the easy way.  Perhaps we might see an example about that. In a letter written in October 1884, an Adept-Teacher tells his lay disciple Alfred P. Sinnett that the enemies of the theosophical movement - with active support from dugpas and liars - aim at presenting false letters to attack the main founder of the movement. The Master says that these texts are “pretended letters alleged to have come from H.P.B.’s laboratory”, and they consist of “forged documents showing and confessing fraud and planning to repeat it”.  The Adept-teacher explains that the false texts were made with an “enthusiastic help from the Dugpas - in Bhootan and the Vatican!” [5]

More false texts were created and used after HPB’s death, when Mr. Vsevolod Solovyov published a new generation of libels against the founder of the esoteric movement.  Surprisingly, those old absurd forgeries have been published as authentic in 2003 by Mr. John Algeo, who then was one of the main leaders of the Adyar Theosophical Society in the USA. In 2013, “The Aquarian Theosophist” published the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”. The volume defends the original teachings and shows the lack of ethics and the falsehood of the editorial work developed by pseudo-esotericism.[6]

Being attacked was naturally no exclusive privilege of HPB’s.

Regardless of time and place, every truth-seeker has been and will be tested in one way or another, in proportion to his own degree of learning. The Mahatma explains:  

“It has ever been thus. Those who have watched mankind through the centuries of this cycle, have constantly seen the details of this death-struggle between Truth and Error repeating themselves. Some of you Theosophists are now only wounded in your ‘honour’ or your purses, but those who held the lamp in preceding generations paid the penalty of  their lives for their knowledge.” [7]

An active loyalty to his teachers and co-workers, a courage to defend them, a respect for Truth and the growing development of Vairagya or detachment are essential landmarks for the learner - along the road to occult knowledge. 

Detachment delivers the truth-seeker from wishful-thinking. The absence of personal desire, aversion, ambition and fear, liberates our attention from all kinds of conscious or unconscious, pleasant or unpleasant expectations. That allows us to live each moment as a complete event, and to use it as an opportunity to plant better karmic conditions for the future.  

Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius (121-180 C.E.) wrote in his Meditations:   

“If thou workest at that which is before thee, following right reason seriously, vigorously, calmly, without allowing anything else to distract thee, but keeping thy divine part pure, as if thou shouldst be bound to give it back immediately; if thou holdest to this, expecting nothing, fearing nothing, but satisfied with thy present activity according to nature, and with heroic truth in every word and sound which thou utterest, thou wilt live happy. And there is no man who is able to prevent this.” [8]

In a modern version of Epictetus’ discourses, made by Sharon Lebell, we can read:

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.”

And a few paragraphs later: 

“Keep your attention focused entirely on what is truly your own concern, and be clear that what belongs to others is their business and none of yours.  If you do this, you will be impervious to coercion and no one can ever hold you back.” [9]

Each time we pay too much attention to things which do not depend on us, we abandon those things and realities which actually need our action.  We must keep to our task and not worry about other people’s doings. But how can we decide what to do and what not to do, if the Roman thinker Terence correctly taught that “All things human concern me”? 

In fact, Terence was right in the sense that each thing in the universe is connected to everything else. One of the Mahatmas wrote: “Nature has linked all parts of her Empire together by subtle threads of magnetic sympathy.” [10] We are linked to all human beings and to the whole universe.  We interact with all of it, but not all of it is under our direct responsibility. Seeing, defining and fulfilling our direct duty is of utmost importance. This duty - our karma and dharma -   is both local and global. It has short term and long term dimensions. If we call ourselves theosophists, our dharma includes building the nucleus of a universal brotherhood which must have a sincere respect for the teachings and the teachers of the Eternal Wisdom.    

In a paragraph showing the common ground between Stoicism and Esoteric Philosophy, Robert Crosbie writes:

‘We meet our karma in our daily duties’, is a good saying to bear in mind, and in the performance of those duties come our tests. We should therefore do what we have to do, simply as duties, regardless of whether that performance brings us praise or blame. All the energy would, then, be expended in the performance of duties, and there would be nothing left for the personal idea to subsist upon.” [11]

Epictetus says:

“Things themselves don’t hurt or hinder us. Nor do other people. How we view these things is another matter. It is our attitudes and reactions that give us trouble. Therefore even death is no big deal in and of itself. It is our notion of death, our idea that is terrible, that terrifies us. (...) We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.” [12]   

And Robert Crosbie adds, striking the same chord: 

“All you can do is the best you can under existing circumstances, and that is the very thing you should do, dismissing from your mind all thought of those things which are not as you would have them. Your studies and your efforts are futile if you are disturbed inwardly. The first thing then is to get calmness, and that can be reached by taking the firm position that nothing can really injure you, and that you are brave enough and strong enough to endure anything; also that all is necessary for your training.”

According to Crosbie, the theosophical work invites us to go beyond our personalities:

“…One has to grow into that state where he seeks nothing for himself, but takes whatever comes to pass as the thing he most desired. There is no room for personal desire in this.”  [13]

Among the daily tools for the development of indifference toward personal pain or pleasure are:

* philosophical studies;

* meditation on universal truths;

* self-observation from the point of view of the higher self;

* altruistic work and efforts.

While facing challenges, one must keep “a constant eye to the ideal of human progression and perfection, which the secret science depicts”. One of the best-known passages in the Mahatma Letters, which perhaps can be seen as “the discipleship in a nutshell”, has a strong Stoic flavour in it:

“... My first duty is to my Master. And duty, let me tell you, is for us, stronger than any friendship or even love; as without this abiding principle which is the indestructible cement that has held together for so many milleniums, the scattered custodians of nature’s grand secrets - our Brotherhood, nay, our doctrine itself - would have crumbled long ago into unrecognizable atoms.” [14]

And a few sentences later the Master recommends some fundamental principles which students could well read once and again as if they were part of a poem:

“A great design has never been snatched at once. You were told, however, that the path to Occult Sciences has to be trodden laboriously and crossed at the danger of life; that every new step in it leading to the final goal, is surrounded by pit-falls and cruel thorns; that  the pilgrim who ventures upon it is made first to confront and conquer the thousand and one furies [15] who keep watch over its adamantine gates and entrance -  furies called Doubt, Skepticism, Scorn, Ridicule, Envy and finally Temptation - especially the latter; and that he, who would see beyond had to first destroy this living wall; that he must be possessed of a heart and soul clad in steel, and of an iron, never failing determination  and yet be meek and gentle, humble and have shut out from his heart every human passion, that leads to evil.”

As the years and decades pass by in the lives of practical students, worldly illusions gradually lose their power to control consciousness.  Then students can really devote their lives to lay discipleship. Yet one of the first lessons they will learn consists of seeing how difficult it is to take each new step ahead.

And there are hundreds, thousands of steps to take. Each of them brings about one or several unexpected tests which have to be faced and conquered. But there is nothing wrong about the difficulties: a great design has never been snatched at once.

The practical student gradually liberates himself from both laziness and hurry, from tamas and rajas.  Across millenia, his inner decision to Learn will be transferred from one body to another, from one lifetime to the next. He will be able to feel, think, and see long term. And this will render him more and more indifferent to outer or personal pleasure and pain.

NOTES:

[1]The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali”, an interpretation by William Q. Judge, Theosophy Co., India, reprinted 1984, 74 pp., see pages 21-22, aphorisms II-3 through II-11.

[2]Enchiridion”, Epictetus, Dover Thrift Editions, USA, 2004, 56 pp., see aphorism XXV, p. 28. As to the episode of Epictetus’ life when he was still a slave, see “Lucretius, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius”, Great Books of the Western World, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., Chicago-London-Toronto-Tokyo, 1952-1978, 310 pp., p. 101.

[3]Porphyry’s Letter to his Wife Marcella”, translated by Alice Zimmern, Phanes Press, Grand Rapids, USA, 1986, 59 pp.,  see p. 55.

[4]The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett”, facsimile edition, Theosophical University Press, Pasadena, California, USA, 1992, 493 pp. and plus, see Letter XXIX. These two sentences are respectively on pages 223 and 224. 

[5] See “The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett”, Letter LV, p. 322. 

[6]The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, Carlos Cardoso Aveline, The Aquarian Theosophist, Portugal, 2013, 255 pp.

[7]The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett”, same Letter LV, same p. 322. 

[8]The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius”, in “Lucretius, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius”, Great Books of the Western World, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., Chicago-London-Toronto-Tokyo, 1952, 1978, 310 pp., see p. 262, Book Three, paragraph 12.

[9]The Art of Living”, Epictetus, a new interpretation by Sharon Lebell, HarperSanFrancisco, 1995, 113 pp., see pp. 3-4. 

[10]The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett”, transcribed by A. T. Barker, facsimile edition, Theosophical University Press, Pasadena, CA, 1992, 493 pp., see Letter XLV, p. 267.  

[11]The Friendly Philosopher”, Robert Crosbie, The Theosophy Co., Los Angeles, 1945, 415 pp., see p. 22.

[12]The Art of Living”, Epictetus, HarperSanFrancisco, 1995, p. 10. 

[13] The two quotations in the few lines above are from “The Friendly Philosopher”, by Robert Crosbie, pp. 11 and 96, respectively.

[14]The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett”, Letter LXII, pp. 351-352.

[15] Furies: Karmic instruments, especially at the emotional level.  In Roman Classical Mythology, furies are female divinities; the daughters of Gaea who punished crimes at the instigation of the victims; initially there was an indefinite number of them.  

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An initial version of the above article was first published in “The Aquarian Theosophist”, August 2005 edition, supplement, p. 01. You can see the whole collection of “The Aquarian” at www.TheosophyOnline.com 

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On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.  


Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.

On Facebook, see the pages The Aquarian Theosophist,   Helena Blavatsky and  E-Theosophy.



In order to have access to a daily study of theosophy, visit the page of  E-Theosophy e-group in YahooGroups and join it directly from there.

The link to the e-group is - https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info. You can also write to   lutbr@terra.com.br and ask for information on E-Theosophy

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23 July 2015

THE AQUARIAN THEOSOPHIST, JULY 2015

 

The opening motto of the July edition says: 

“Self-control is the natural result of self-knowledge.”

Page one brings a few lines by Stephen G. Post on Unlimited Love. 

The Fourfold Placenta: a Planetary Birth Is Being Prepared” can be read on pages 2-3. “Looking to the Future: the Blessings Hidden Behind an Effort” is a note by Joana Maria Pinho, on pp. 3-4. 

Next comes the text “Some Articles Are Surprisingly Challenging”, by Marco Bufarini, from Italy.  “The Occult Door to Serendipity” is on pp. 6 and 7.

Does humanity deserve some help from above? Between pages 7 and 19 we have “The Observatory of Luxor: a Study in the Western Lodge of Immortal Sages”. 

Pages 20-22 are dedicated to “Thoughts Along the Road”. The 22-page edition includes the  List of New Texts  in our websites.



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You can find the entire collection of The Aquarian Theosophist” at  www.TheosophyOnline.com.

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On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.  


Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.

On Facebook, see the pages The Aquarian Theosophist,   Helena Blavatsky and  E-Theosophy.



In order to have access to a daily study of theosophy, visit the page of  E-Theosophy e-group in YahooGroups and join it directly from there.

The link to the e-group is - https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info. You can also write to   lutbr@terra.com.br and ask for information on E-Theosophy

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MERCY AND THE LAW OF KARMA

A Private Letter on Universal Justice


Robert Crosbie
   


Robert Crosbie (1849-1919)



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An Editorial Note:

The following text - the first part of a
personal letter -, is reproduced from the book
The Friendly Philosopher”, by Robert Crosbie
(Theosophy Company, Los Angeles, 1945 edition,
415 pp.). See pp. 30-32. We add two footnotes.

(Carlos Cardoso Aveline)

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You have asked me for comment on the questions sent in by our English brother; particularly, as to “Karma being as merciless as the Bible-God”.  But does he consider that Mercy is not opposed to Justice, and that the fullest justice is the same as the fullest mercy?

Some take the meaning of Mercy to be a permitted escape from the results of wrong-doing; but this would not be Justice, nor would it be merciful to those injured by the wrong-doing. He should remember the definition of Karma: an undeviating and unerring tendency in the Universe to restore equilibrium, which operates incessantly. Karma is inherent law and its operation must therefore be impersonal. Some might take this to be “merciless”, but that would only be because they desire escape from consequences that are unpleasant.

There are just two ways of looking at the question: either the Universe is governed by Law and under Law, or all is Chaos. Our experience in every department of Nature points to the fact that Law reigns everywhere; nothing is done of any kind or anywhere, except under Law. Our control of the elements, our use of the materials in Nature is possible only because the same thing can always be done when the same conditions are present. Having discovered some of the laws of electricity, for instance, we may direct that fluid or force, and use it for many different purposes.

Now as Law reigns in the material world, it can be seen to rule in the mental and moral world as well. Karma simply means “action” and its consequent “re-action”. There is no [individual] Karma unless there is a being to make it or feel its effects [1]; unpleasant effects predicate causes that send forth unpleasantness in the world, affecting others, and finding the restoration of equilibrium at the point of disturbance. There can be, then, but one consideration, and that is, Justice. Why should we desire anything but Justice to be done?

The Bible says, “Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap”, and “Resist not evil and it will flee from you”. What is “evil” but the reaping of effects of wrong done? If we try to avoid the restoration of equilibrium, the evil will not flee from us, but come again. But if we accept all as just and right, then the “evil” flees. We should apply Karma not merely to what we call good and evil in physical life. The earth rolls on in its orbit, carried further and further by the Sun in his greater orbit; it grows old through the cycles; it changes its appearance, and comes under states of matter undreamed of by us. Such is the Karma of the earth. Soon or late, even while revolving in its orbit, our planet will slowly move its poles and carry the cold band of ice to where are now summer scenes - the Karma of the earth and its inhabitants. How, then, shall Karma be restricted in consideration to the details of one life, or judgment passed upon it from that basis? I should say that Karma is Mercy itself, for do I not know that nothing can prevent me nor any other from obtaining what is his by law, exact and unerring?

“It knows not wrath nor pardon; utter true
Its measures mete, its faultless balance weighs;
Times are as naught, tomorrow it will judge,
Or after many days.

“Such is the Law that moves to righteousness,
Which none at last can turn aside or stay;
The heart of it is Love, the end of it
Is Peace and Consummation sweet. Obey!” [2]

He asks if we have changed our “Faith”. Theosophy is not a “Faith”, for “Faiths” may be changed; but, being knowledge which each can make his own, there is no question of change, or fear, or doubt. We know of all the claims of every description that are made by societies and individuals. How is any one to determine as to their respective values - if any? Just this way: if you are asked to accept anything on the statement of another and the means are not at the same time afforded you to see and know for yourself before acceptation, you will be safe to refuse, for you would in that case have surrendered your own judgment and taken that of another in blind faith.

NOTES:

[1] We added the word “individual” in square brackets. The whole universe is in eternal movement and its movement is regulated by the Law of Karma. There is nothing outside the Law. Karmic Law is omnipresent in Manvantaras and Pralayas alike, and it regulates them. However, the existence of individual karma depends on the existence of an individual being. (CCA)

[2] This is a quotation from “The Light of Asia”, by Edwin Arnold, Theosophy Co., see pp. 218-219. (CCA)

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On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.  


Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.

On Facebook, see the pages The Aquarian Theosophist,   Helena Blavatsky and  E-Theosophy.



In order to have access to a daily study of theosophy, visit the page of  E-Theosophy e-group in YahooGroups and join it directly from there.

The link to the e-group is - https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info. You can also write to   lutbr@terra.com.br and ask for information on E-Theosophy

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