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Re: Buddhism & Non-Dualism (Comments on Karma)

Oct 19, 1995 06:50 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker


I'm offering my reply to your comments to another writer.

>My question would be, Whence Mind? ... Since Mind or
>Universal Mind is an emination or differentiation of the Absolute in
>Theosophy, the question must be asked ...

Each of our principles emanates in serial order: Atman, then Buddhi,
then Manas, etc. down to the physical. They are brought into manifest
existence *from within*, emerging through an initial point or laya center
(which is another way of considering Atman itself).

As the principle is brought forth, it clothes itself in its respective
life-atoms or Skandhas, taken from the corresponding universal principles.
We draw, for instance, our Manas from Mahat and our Prana from Jiva.

Manas does not come directly from the absolute, but is emanated from
within after Buddhi has been enmanated, and the "mind stuff" that belongs
to us is regathered from the mental storehouse of nature, Mahat.

>I would also argue the point regarding Karma originating in Mind. The
>manifested universe and all its principles arose from causes producing
>their effects according to Law (Karma).

Law does not tie causes to their effects. The effects are inherent in the
causes, and need no "glue" to tie the two together. Both cause and effect
are aspects of the same action. The cause is what is done in this moment,
and the effect is the resulting change in us and others.

When we speak of laws, we're talking about the *behavior* of living things.
Everything is alive. All that we see is an expression of living things.
When we speak of the laws of nature, for instance, we're talking about the
observed and often predictible behavior of material things (beings).

In order to make personal karma, there needs to be a sense of volition,
a sense of premeditation, a element of mind. The *personal* actions that we
take both create karma and affect our minds and sense of personal identity.
This is the making of personal karma.

Karma, I'd say, is "stored in" Buddhi. It cannot be realized in Atman,
where there is no longer any perception of ourselves as distinct from other
beings. Buddhi is the highest principle in which there is a sense of "others",
although the action of mind (Manas) has not yet entered to create a sense
of personal identity. Buddhi involves a perception of others where we are
unaware of a subject/object distinction, where we are involved in pure
relationship. And it is in these living relationships, these dynamic links
between us and others, that karma is stored. Karma is not something physical
like a quantity of force, but rather is the *content* of that living link.
And I'd suggest that our living links with others are just as real as our
Egos or senses of personal identity.

>It seems that Karma is the highest aspect of an Absolute Principle
>of which Atman is a radiance, about which HPB says both are unknowable, only
>perceivable in their effects.

Karma, I'd say, is as knowable as any part of us -- through self-knowledge.
We can be aware of the outer effects of our actions on others, just as we
are aware of outer changes in our lives. How deep that awareness goes depends
upon our spiritual practice.

Karma is not an abstraction, nor something externally applied to us, but
resides in our relationships with other living beings. Those relationships
come into existence as we and they enter the manifest world. The content
of those relationships is itself the Buddhic aspect of our Skandhas, the
aspect of pure connectedness.

We and others *cocreate* the world. How do we do this? From the highest
standpoint, of Atman, there is just the universe per se, and no sense of
individual beings. From Buddhi, we enter into relationship with others,
we become aware of the sense of relationship or cocreation. Then with Manas,
we take on the sense of egoity and create the objective universe as the
action of mind creates the subject/object distinction.

>... Karma is action, motion, and motion is one of the aspects of the Absolute

Karma is not, I'd suggest, action or motion, but rather the dynamic
content of our interrelatedness with others. Any action has the effects
inseparably part of it. There is not a moment of time between action and
effect. Where we see a delay in time is the *reaction* of others affected
by us, and that reaction is due to their freewill and not the result of
our having created karma. Their reaction is naturally in response to us,
and may not be immediate, but is governed by *their will*.

I would not describe karma in terms of our taking an action, then *waiting*
for the punishment/reward/effects to come to us at some future time.
The effects are immediate, and the *reaction* (which is not the same thing
as the effects) depends upon the other that has been affected by us.
Karma is the *dynamic content* of the living link between us and others,
and not a delayed effect, according to some external law, due to an
action that we've taken.

-- Eldon

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