Man is his own star; and the soul that can Render an honest and a perfect man, Commands all light, all influence, all fate; Nothing to him falls early or too late. Our acts our angels are, of good or ill, Our fatal shadows that walk by us still. — Francis Beaumont & John Fletcher
Upheld through Eternity, Karman decrees harmony across the Universe. Immutable laws cannot arise, since they are eternal and uncreated, propelled in the Eternity, and that God himself, if such a thing existed, could never have the power of stopping them. . . . we recognise but one law in the Universe, the law of harmony, of perfect EQUILIBRIUM.
Karman is action and, therefore, cause. Since Altruism is at the heart of the universe, Karman follows its behests and manifests as the Law of ethical causation. Karma is a word of many meanings, and has a special term for almost every one of its aspects. It means, as a synonym of sin, the performance of some action for the attainment of an object of worldly, hence selfish, desire, which cannot fail to be hurtful to somebody else. Karman is action, the Cause; and Karma again is “the law of ethical causation”; 3 the effect of an act produced egotistically, when the great law of harmony depends on altruism.
It is the ONE LAW that governs the World of Being, The ONE LIFE is closely related to the one law which governs the World of Being — KARMA. . . . at the first flutter of renascent life, Svabhava, “the mutable radiance of the Immutable Darkness unconscious in Eternity,” passes, at every new rebirth of Kosmos, from an inactive state into one of intense activity; that it differentiates, and then begins its work through that differentiation. This work is KARMA.
Impartially, to Cosmos, Man and Angel alike. For, instead of remaining a mere blind, functioning medium, impelled and guided by fathomless LAW, the “rebellious” Angel claimed and enforced his right of independent judgement and will, his right of free-agency and responsibility, since man and angel are alike under Karmic Law.
Karman proceeds from one Eternity to another, plunging Spirit deeper and deeper into Matter before redeeming it through the flesh. Furthermore, the one absolute, ever-acting and never-erring law, which proceeds on the same lines from one eternity (or Manvantara) to the other — ever furnishing an ascending scale for the manifested, or that which we call the great Illusion (Maha-Maya), but plunging Spirit deeper and deeper into materiality on the one hand, and then redeeming it through flesh and liberating it — this law, we say, uses for these purposes the Beings from other and higher planes, men, or Minds (Manus), in accordance with their Karmic exigencies.
Karman is action itself. This Law — whether Conscious or Unconscious — predestines nothing and no one. It exists from and in Eternity truly, for it is ETERNITY itself; and as such, since no act can be coequal with eternity, it cannot be said to act, for it is ACTION itself. It is not the Wave which 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 motion.
By fostering responsibility and self-reliance, Karman frees man from the servitude of religion and idol worship. There is one eternal Law 4 in nature, one that always tends to adjust contraries and to produce final harmony. It is owing to this law of spiritual development superseding the physical and purely intellectual, that mankind will become freed from its false gods, and find itself finally — SELF-REDEEMED.
When you begin to act from within, helping everything that lives, you will grow to be your own Saviour, Therefore, if anyone is helpless before these immutable laws, it is not ourselves, the artificers of our destinies, but rather those angels, the guardians of harmony. Karma-Nemesis is no more than the (spiritual) dynamical effect of causes produced and forces awakened into activity by our own actions. . . . This state will last till man’s spiritual intuitions are fully opened, which will not happen before we fairly cast off our thick coats of matter; until we begin acting from within, instead of ever following impulses from without; namely, those produced by our physical senses and gross selfish body. Until then the only palliative to the evils of life is union and harmony — a Brotherhood IN ACTU, and altruism not simply in name.1 The suppression of one single bad cause will suppress not one, but a variety of bad effects. And if a Brotherhood or even a number of Brotherhoods may not be able to prevent nations from occasionally cutting each other’s throats — still unity in thought and action, and philosophical research into the mysteries of being, will always prevent some, while trying to comprehend that which has hitherto remained to them a riddle, from creating additional causes in a world already so full of woe and evil. Knowledge of Karma gives the conviction that if
“ . . . virtue in distress, and vice in triumph Make atheists of mankind,”
it is only because that mankind has ever shut its eyes to the great truth that man is himself his own saviour as his own destroyer, that he need not accuse Heaven and the gods, Fates and Providence,3 of the apparent injustice that reigns in the midst of humanity. But let him rather remember and repeat this bit of Grecian wisdom, which warns man to forbear accusing That which —
“Just, though mysterious, leads us on unerring Through ways unmark’d from guilt to punishment . . . ”
— which are now the ways and the high road on which move onward the great European nations.
With Truthfulness and unswerving faith in the law of Karman, . . . independent of any power in nature that could interfere: a law whose course is not to be obstructed by any agency, not to be caused to deviate by prayer or propitiatory exoteric ceremonies.
And without blaming the Law or your Brother for your own failings. Chrysippus, one of the firmest pillars of the Porch, taught that “the soul sins only by the impulse of its own will, and therefore that the blame of its errors should not be put upon destiny.”
When by the purity of the Psychic, the Spiritual merges back to its Universal Self, you might get a glimpse of Truth Eternal. This [ever-present] spirit alone is immutable, and therefore the forces of the universe, cause and effect, are ever in perfect harmony with this one great Immutable Law. Spiritual Life is the one primordial principle above; Physical Life is the Primordial principle below, but they are one under their dual aspect.5 When the Spirit is completely untrammelled from the fetters of correlation, and its essence has become so purified as to be reunited with its CAUSE, it may — and yet who can tell whether it really will — have a glimpse of the Eternal Truth. Till then, let us not build ourselves idols in our own image, and accept the shadow for the Eternal Light.
And now a last and parting word. . . . My words may and will pass and be forgotten, but certain sentences from letters written by the Masters will never pass, because they are the embodiment of the highest practical Theosophy. I must translate them for you:
“ . . . Let not the fruits of good Karma be your motive; for your Karma, good or bad, being one and the common property of all mankind, nothing good or bad can happen to you that is not shared by many others. Hence your motive, being selfish, can only generate a double effect, good and bad, and will either nullify your good action, or turn it to another man’s profit.”. . .
“There is no happiness for one who is ever thinking of Self and forgetting all other Selves.”
“The Universe groans under the weight of such action (Karma), and none other than self-sacrificial Karma relieves it . . . How many of you have helped humanity to carry its smallest burden, that you should all regard yourselves as Theosophists. Oh, men of the West, who would play at being the Saviours of mankind before they even spare the life of a mosquito whose sting threatens them, would you be partakers of Divine Wisdom or true Theosophists? Then do as the gods when incarnated do. Feel yourselves the vehicles of the whole humanity, mankind as part of yourselves, and act accordingly . . . ”
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