THEOSOPHY, Vol. 18, No. 2, December, 1929
(Pages 82-83; Size: 7K)

HOW TO APPLY THE LAW(1)

YOU have asked me for comment on the questions sent in by our English brother; particularly, that "Karma is 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, and that it 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 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 or moral world as well. Karma simply means "action" and its consequent "re-action." There is no "Karma" unless there is a being to make it or feel its effects; and 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, it will not flee from us, but comes again; but if we accept all as just and right, then the "evil" flees. But we must not apply Karma only to what we call good and evil in physical life. The world rolls on in its orbit, carried further and further by the Sun in his greater orbit; grows old through the cycles; changes its appearance, and comes under states of matter undreamed of by us. It is the Karma of the world. Soon or late, even while revolving in its orbit, it will slowly move its poles and carry the cold band of ice to where are now summer scenes -- the Karma of the world 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? Karma is Mercy itself, for do we not know that nothing can prevent us or any other from obtaining what is his by law -- exact and unerring?

Remember that there are many unexpended remnants of past Karma -- "mental deposits," Patanjali calls them -- that you have called for, in order to balance up your account. They have come and they will come. Be careful not to incur new indebtedness, and thus delay the final settlement. You know the difficulties and should fortify yourself to pass over them. No one can do this for you, as you well know.

We should know that Karma does not castigate; it simply affords the opportunity for adjustment. No one can precipitate our Karma upon us, nor would anyone wish to do so; so whatever happens we might well remember that it was caused by ourselves, precipitated by ourselves, can be met by ourselves. So we must assure ourselves that nothing can possibly overwhelm us. It is better to assume a cheerful attitude and cultivate in one's self a feeling of confidence, and endeavor to impart it to our nearest. Our anxiety and inner fears, as well as our outward expression of them, may go a great way in depressing those who love us and whom we love. The principal effect of Karma is mental and psychical. There is one thing that should be remembered in the midst of all difficulties; it is this: "When the lesson is learned the necessity ceases."


COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:

PLEASURE IN DUTY

The very first step towards being positive and self-centered is in the cheerful performance of duty. Try to take pleasure in doing what is your duty, and especially in the little duties of life. When doing any duty put your whole heart into it. There is much in this life that is bright if we would open our eyes to it. If we recognize this then we can bear the troubles that come to us calmly and patiently, for we know that they will pass away.--W.Q.J.


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(1) From the writings of Robert Crosbie.
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