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How Should We Treat Others?

Feb 04, 1996 12:02 PM
by Nicholas Weeks


         The subject relates to our conduct toward and treatment of
    our fellows, including in that term all people with whom we have
    any dealings. No particular mode of treatment is given by
    Theosophy. It simply lays down the law that governs us in all our
    acts, and declares the consequences of those acts. It is for us
    to follow the line of action which shall result first in harmony
    now and forever, and second, in the reduction of the general sum
    of hate and opposition in thought or act which now darkens the

         The great law which Theosophy first speaks of is the law of
    karma, and this is the one which must be held in view in
    considering the question. Karma is called by some the "law of
    ethical causation," but it is also the law of action and
    reaction; and in all departments of nature the reaction is equal
    to the action, and sometimes the reaction from the unseen but
    permanent world seems to be much greater than the physical act or
    word would appear to warrant on the physical plane. This is
    because the hidden force on the unseen plane was just as strong
    and powerful as the reaction is seen by us to be. The ordinary
    view takes in but half of the facts in any such case and judges
    wholly by superficial observation.

         If we look at the subject only from the point of view of the
    person who knows not of Theosophy and of the nature of man, nor
    of the forces Theosophy knows to be operating all the time, then
    the reply to the question will be just the same as the everyday
    man makes. That is, that he has certain rights he must and will
    and ought to protect; that he has property he will and may keep
    and use any way he pleases; and if a man injure him he ought to
    and will resent it; that if he is insulted by word or deed he
    will at once fly not only to administer punishment on the
    offender, but also try to reform, to admonish, and very often to
    give that offender up to the arm of the law; that if he knows of
    a criminal he will denounce him to the police and see that he has
    meted out to him the punishment provided by the law of man. Thus
    in everything he will proceed as is the custom and as is thought
    to be the right way by those who live under the Mosaic
    retaliatory law.

         But if we are to inquire into the subject as Theosophists,
    and as Theosophists who know certain laws and who insist on the
    absolute sway of karma, and as people who know what the real
    constitution of man is, then the whole matter takes on, or ought
    to take on, a wholly different aspect.

         The untheosophical view is based on separation, the
    Theosophical upon unity absolute and actual. Of course if
    Theosophists talk of unity but as a dream or a mere metaphysical
    thing, then they will cease to be Theosophists, and be mere
    professors, as the Christian world is today, of a code not
    followed. If we are separate one from the other the world is
    right and resistance is a duty, and the failure to condemn those
    who offend is a distinct breach of propriety, of law, and of duty.
    But if we are all united as a physical and psychical fact, then
    the act of condemning, the fact of resistance, the insistance
    upon rights on all occasions -- all of which means the entire
    lack of charity and mercy -- will bring consequences as certain
    as the rising of the sun tomorrow.

         What are those consequences, and why are they?

         They are simply this, that the real man, the entity, the
    thinker, will react back on you just exactly in proportion to the
    way you act to him, and this reaction will be in another life, if
    not now, and even if now felt will still return in the next life.

         The fact that the person whom you condemn, or oppose, or
    judge seems now in this life to deserve it for his acts in this
    life, does not alter the other fact that his nature will react
    against you when the time comes. The reaction is a law not
    subject to nor altered by any sentiment on your part. He may have,
    truly, offended you and even hurt you, and done that which in the
    eye of man is blameworthy, but all this does not have anything to
    do with the dynamic fact that if you arouse his enmity by your
    condemnation or judgment there will be a reaction on you, and
    consequently on the whole of society in any century when the
    reaction takes place. This is the law and the fact as given by
    the Adepts, as told by all sages, as re-ported by those who have
    seen the inner side of nature, as taught by our philosophy and
    easily provable by anyone who will take the trouble to examine
    carefully. Logic and small facts of one day or one life, or
    arguments on lines laid down by men of the world who do not know
    the real power and place of thought nor the real nature of man
    cannot sweep this away. After all argument and all logic it will
    remain. The logic used against it is always lacking in certain
    premises based on facts, and while seeming to be good logic,
    because the missing facts are unknown to the logician, it is
    false logic. Hence an appeal to logic that ignores facts which we
    know are certain is of no use in this inquiry. And the ordinary
    argument always uses a number of assumptions which are destroyed
    by the actual inner facts about thought, about karma, about the
    reaction by the inner man.

         The Master "K.H.," once writing to Mr. Sinnett in the Occult
    World, and speaking for his whole order and not for himself only,
    distinctly wrote that the man who goes to denounce a criminal or
    an offender works not with nature and harmony but against both,
    and that such act tends to destruction instead of construction.
    Whether the act be large or small, whether it be the denunciation
    of a criminal, or only your own insistence on rules or laws or
    rights, does not alter the matter or take it out of the rule laid
    down by that Adept. For the only difference between the acts
    mentioned is a difference of degree alone; the act is the same in
    kind as the violent denunciation of a criminal. Either this Adept
    was right or wrong. If wrong, why do we follow the philosophy
    laid down by him and his messenger, and concurred in by all the
    sages and teachers of the past? If right, why this swimming in an
    adverse current, as he said himself, why this attempt to show
    that we can set aside karma and act as we please without
    consequences following us to the end of time? I know not. I
    prefer to follow the Adept, and especially so when I see that
    what he says is in line with facts in nature and is a certain
    conclusion from the system of philosophy I have found in

         I have never found an insistence on my so-called rights at
    all necessary. They preserve themselves, and it must be true if
    the law of karma is the truth that no man offends against me
    unless I in the past have offended against him.

         In respect to man, karma has no existence without two or
    more persons being considered. You act, another person is
    affected, karma follows. It follows on the thought of each and
    not on the act, for the other person is moved to thought by your
    act. Here are two sorts of karma, yours and his, and both are
    intermixed. There is the karma or effect on you of your own
    thought and act, the result on you of the other person's thought;
    and there is the karma on or with the other person consisting of
    the direct result of your act and his thoughts engendered by your
    act and thought. This is all permanent. As affecting you there
    may be various effects. If you have condemned, for instance, we
    may mention some: (a) the increased tendency in yourself to
    indulge in condemnation, which will remain and increase from life
    to life; (b) this will at last in you change into violence and
    all that anger and condemnation may naturally lead to; (c) an
    opposition to you is set up in the other person, which will
    remain forever until one day both suffer for it, and this may be
    in a tendency in the other person in any subsequent life to do
    you harm and hurt you in the million ways possible in life, and
    often also unconsciously. Thus it may all widen out and affect
    the whole body of society. Hence no matter how justifiable it may
    seem to you to condemn or denounce or punish another, you set up
    cause for sorrow in the whole race that must work out some day.
    And you must feel it.

         The opposite conduct, that is, entire charity, constant
    forgiveness, wipes out the opposition from others, expends the
    old enmity and at the same time makes no new similar causes. Any
    other sort of thought or conduct is sure to increase the sum of
    hate in the world, to make cause for sorrow, to continually keep
    up the crime and misery in the world. Each man can for himself
    decide which of the two ways is the right one to adopt.

         Self-love and what people call self-respect may shrink from
    following the Adept's view I give above, but the Theosophist who
    wishes to follow the law and reduce the general sum of hate will
    know how to act and to think, for he will follow the words of the
    Master of H.P.B. who said: "Do not be ever thinking of yourself
    and forgetting that there are others; for you have no karma of
    your own, but the karma of each one is the karma of all." And
    these words were sent by H.P.B. to the American Section and
    called by her words of wisdom, as they seem also to me to be, for
    they accord with law. They hurt the personality of the nineteenth
    century, but the personality is for a day, and soon it will be
    changed if Theosophists try to follow the law of charity as
    enforced by the inexorable law of karma. We should all constantly
    remember that if we believe in the Masters we should at least try
    to imitate them in the charity they show for our weakness and
    faults. In no other way can we hope to reach their high estate,
    for by beginning thus we set up a tendency which will one day
    perhaps bring us near to their development; by not beginning we
    put off the day forever.

         Path, February, 1896     W.Q. JUDGE

Nicholas <> <> Los Angeles
	Men must learn to love the truth before they thoroughly believe it.
		HP Blavatsky

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