Reincarnation & Karma
Jul 30, 1996 11:03 AM
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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