THEOSOPHY, Vol. 86, No. 7, May, 1998
(Pages 198-199; Size: 5K)
THE FOUNDATION OF ETHICS
(Collated from the writings of William Q. Judge)
NO NEW ETHICS are presented by Theosophy, as it is held that right ethics are forever the same. But in the doctrines of Theosophy are to be found the philosophical and reasonable basis for ethics and the natural enforcement of them in practice.
What is wanted is true knowledge of the spiritual condition of man, his aim and destiny. Those who must begin the reform are those who are so fortunate as to be placed in the world where they can see and think out the problems all are endeavoring to solve, even if they know that the great day may not come until after their death.
The future, for each, will come from each present moment. As we use the moment, so we shift the future up or down for good or ill. As to the broader scope of the work, that comes from united effort of the whole mass of units. The race is, as a whole, in a transition state, and many of its units are kept back by the condition of the whole. The only way we can alter it is by such action now as makes of each one a center for good, a force that makes "for righteousness," and that is guided by wisdom.
Intellectual study only of our Theosophy will not speedily better the world. We should do as Buddha taught his disciples: preach, practice, promulgate, and illustrate our doctrines. He spoke to the meanest of men with effect, although having a deeper doctrine for greater and more learned minds. Let us, then, acquire the art of practical exposition of ethics based on our theories and enforced by the fact of Universal Brotherhood.
The practical theosophist will do well if he follows the advice of the Masters to spread, explain, and illustrate the laws of Karma and Reincarnation so that they may enter the lives of the people. Men's thoughts must be affected, and this can only be done by giving them these two great laws. They not only explain many things, but they have also an inherent power due to their truth and their intimate connection with man, to compel attention.
With Reincarnation the doctrine of Karma explains the misery and suffering of the world and no room is left to accuse Nature of injustice. The scientific and self-compelling basis for right ethics is found in these and in no other doctrines. For if right ethics are to be practiced merely for themselves, men will not see why, and never have been able to see why, for that reason, they should do right.
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:
The fundamental doctrines of Theosophy are of no value unless they are applied in daily life. Mere intellectual grasp may result in spiritual pride, while the living doctrine becomes an entity through the mystic power of the human soul.
--William Q. Judge
THE FOUNDATION OF RELIGION
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