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Reincarnation & Karma

Jul 30, 1996 11:03 AM
by wichm

Hi Martin (Euser),
You asked me for my views on karma and reincarnation.
Half a century ago they were absolute Theosophic truths to me. In my youth I 
couldn't understand why not everyone saw the simple logic in these just laws 
of nature, which could explain so much.
Since then I have grown wiser to the extent that I do not believe in 
anything anymore. Like in science I hold on to working hypotheses until a 
better one comes forward. 
We have to realise that with our "simple" brain structure we cannot behold 
the complete truth. There is always a truth behind a truth, as seen from 
another perspective/dimension. We miss the instrument yet to access it.
Another matter is that we cannot comprehend concepts unless we have 
analogies. For instance the hermetic truth "So above, so below", could be 
better understood by analogy after the invention of holography in which the 
smallest particle reflects the whole. 
We often forget that our reasoning is based on a far vaster store of 
knowledge than the ancients. Ancient wisdom, apart from its wealth of 
psychological/spiritual insight,  was based on speculation  when it came to 
details. Important facts were unknown, for instance the influence  of 
genetics on our development, and let them to unfounded conclusions.
In a former contribution to this discussiongroup on 12 July, I have stated 
that the idea that nature renders justice by a law of KARMA seems more a 
wish than based on facts.
One can also see it another way. Every act/thought of man ties him to a 
pattern of behaviour. He enters into and becomes part of  a state of mind 
that is reflected in his behaviour. He is attracted and absorbed by a world 
in which such acts and desires are natural. If that person wishes to free 
himself of his fixation, he will find that the way back is relentlessly 
harsh. To start acting and thinking on another level will prove to be  a 
heavy burden. To undo previous actions/desires will appear like a punishment 
and an arduous trail. But this is not a law of KARMA, it is plain 
Admittedly, interrelationships between individuals and groups give rise to 
ties/links that may work in mysterious ways/synchronisms, but it cannot be 
compared to a law of nature. 
In short the concept of Karma reflects the nineteenth century way of 
thinking that all could be explained by discovering the mechanisms of 
nature. The fallacy lies in the word "all".

I find a similar simplicity and naivity in the concept of REINCARNATION. 
Without going into speculative divisions of the nature of man, we come to 
the first simple question: what reincarnates? However ghastly it may sound 
to a Theosophists' ear: man appears to be  the product of his genes, 
education, environment, time,  fate, and, may be, something else. The nature 
and extent of  the last intangible part is  open to discussion.
We know how a person is handicapped when his memory function is impaired. 
What is left of a person stripped of all earthly attainments?
Next to the identity question is that of the proliferation of the human 
race. The only way out of explaining the ever-increasing number of human 
souls is of animal souls being upgraded.
True enough there are instances of children remembering vividly previous 
lives, be it that it is more the exception than the rule. About the validity 
of experiences of returning to previous lives under suggestion/hypnosis an 
endless debate is going on.

There is another angle of approach. Living creatures tune in to similar 
forms of life instinctively or otherwise. We have no idea how much we 
ourselves are in tune with a kindred spirit(s) elsewhere in space and time. 
Returning to a previous incarnation may be explained by tuning in to a being 
whose state of mind is/was in tune with ours. 
Against this supposition it may be argued that seldomly 'a return' to a 
person still alive is being experienced. Although that may be excused  by 
supposing that the mind flinches from such an unexpected encounter.

In favour of reincarnation is nature's tendency to use already existent 
structures in evolution. Using the set-up of mind of a deceased person for 
structuring a new baby could fit into this noted property of nature. A 
baby's unconscious mind in development may grope for information and align 
itself with a mind similar to its own. 

The above are all reflections that come to mind when thinking of reincarnation. 
I have a strong feeling that we are missing in our knowledge important 
clues/analogies that might throw an entirely new light on this matter.
That's why I advocate an open mind - a creative fission of new facts and not 
a dull lip-service of what people, with far less knowledge than we, came up 
with for an explanation in olden times, with due respect to their 
intelligence and spirituality.

GROUP-PSYCHOLOGY. In the discussions matters of  expelling  unfaithful 
members etc. were brought up. In my opinion this is all part of 
group-psychology within spiritual movements, Theosophy not exempted, on 
which I have written a paper to be found under:
Your opinion will be valued.


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