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Above the Vapors

Jan 14, 1995 07:48 AM
by Dara Eklund

John Mead -- >>The Theosophical view point must be one which
places the decision upon the woman, and her child, and *their*
Karma.  Otherwise *we* are interfering with an individual's
natural course of evolution and personal soul devolopement.  This
is not good Karma for the "outsider" to accept upon themself.
Unless we are in a true state of Universal Consciousness there is
no way we can judge what is truly happening and is "Good".

Nicholas Weeks -- >There are no "outsiders".  Nor are there any
totally independent beings on this globe.  Mutual dependence is,
in fact, the rule.

JRC> Or is it mutual *interdependence*, a _very_ different thing
than dependence.

Yes, quite different JRC.  May I call you J? As a matter of fact
"mutual interdependence" is an idea way beyond me.  But I wrote
"mutual dependence", not dependence.  According to the dictionary
interdependence is defined as "mutual dependence."

JRC> And the whole argument depends on which scale you wish to

No J, that remark had nothing to do with "scale".  It had to do
with separateness and karma being only individual, not group.
Mr.  Mead's words sounded as if he thought karma was mass of
parallel lines, with each individual doing their own thing
untouched by others.

JRC> Since I am simply not able to claim universal awareness, nor
am I able to claim perfect knowledge of anyone else's motives,
intentions, past, or karmic web...nor do I, or can I, have
perfect knowledge of the totality of anyone's current life, or
what they perceive as their current life, I therefore would never
presume to judge the actions of that other person that do not
affect me, and I claim the right to work out my own understanding
of the nature of the good without *the imposition* of anyone
else's opinions.

Your and my lack of omniscience is taken for granted J.  Are the
laws of karma and rebirth impositions on the personality? Of
course they are.  Our lower principles had no, and will never
have any choice in the matter.  Is our Higher Self a dictator
then? Or is it the civil laws and conventions that impose upon
you? Is the simple *presence* of a person, law, or tradition that
J does not believe in, an imposition on J and those of like mind?
Where do you draw the line between imposition and irritation?

JRC> I have no problem discoursing with people...attempting to
make a strong case for my ideas, and listening to strong cases
made by others...and I am occaisionally compelled by a powerfull
argument to make fundamental changes in my perspectives of
issues...BUT! that is different than *involuntary* changes in
behaviour imposed by an outside source.

All of our ancestors were as we are, somewhat befuddled by life.
However, when they discovered their vast ignorance, they chose
not to cherish it, but to seek Truth wherever they could find it;
even if it lay outside their precious self.  If their personal
candle cast too pale a glow to walk by, then why not accept the
"authority of the torches" held by others? If you believe in
universal brotherhood, if you think we are all rooted in the One,
then why prefer *your* ideas over traditional values expressed by
*others*.  Note I wrote expressed not imposed.  Do you really
think traditional virtues survived for these many ages only
because some authoritarian religion or state keeps imposing them?
I don't follow your next paragraph.  The one following, on your
beloved *imposition*, has nothing to do with what I said or
believe -- so I will pass on that.

NW>Theosophy and its ethical standards (which virtually all
cultures share) were tested and found true and beneficial aeons
ago.  Who are we to look askance at millenniums of spiritual
progress, for individuals and societies, based on those
traditional virtues? Whence comes this craving for each person to
reinvent the ethical wheel?

JRC> And you are alledging that one side of the abortion debate
is fully in line with the apparently universal virtues, whilst
the other is an affront to millenniums of spiritual progress?

Nope.  Motive is all -- as the saying goes.  Those followers of
*any* noble cause whose motives are colored by great anger,
desire, pride etc.  will vitiate most of the karmic merit they
would have gained.  The contrary will also be true of course.
Those who back the pro-choice view, (for example) moved by
genuine compassion, grace and gentleness, will mitigate some of
the negative karma accrued.

JRC> That from now on no one should even claim the right to
question, for themselves, what is right and what is wrong, but
should simply behave according to these "traditional" virtues?

Don't be silly J.  Perhaps I'm wrong, but you sound like there
are only two choices for you -- slavish obedience to *them*,
separate from *you*, or utter spiritual and intellectual
self-reliance.  Please consider more closely the nature of self
and Self, maybe that would help.

JRC>Well, did not that spiritual progress *come from* people who
each, in their own time, reinvented the ethical wheel?

Hardly.  Those Avatars and Buddhas came at times (like now) with
such degenerated values that Their teachings only seemed to the
minds of that era as *new*.

JRC>And pray tell, where are these supposed universal virtues you
imply are beyond question?

In many books and too few hearts.

JRC> China, the largest nation in the world, holding close to
one-fifth of the world's population, virtually imposes abortion,
and does so on what it considers the grounds of the "good".

A very modern nation, which, not incidentally, rejected their
Taoist, Confucian and Buddhist roots.

JRC> Even further, tell when in the history of those universal
virtues was there ever a set on conditions where *the exponential
population growth of our species poses a clear and powerful
threat to the vast majority of other life forms on the planet*.
The growth rate of _species extinction_ is higher than the growth
rate of abortions.  This is a situation that *forces* a complete
reavaluation of the ethical standards of the past, because the
underlying assumptions have altered in a literally unprecedented

I would suggest the *causes* for this "problem" lie in the
wholesale spurning of traditional restraints.  "Problem" is in
quotes because if we were all more true to our real selves
numbers would mean little.  The creative potential of the
altruistic mind inspired by the Higher Self would solve any
apparent scarcity easily -- not to mention our concern for our
fellow being would be a tad greater than now, I believe.


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