Re: karma & reincarnation - to Michael Rogge
Aug 01, 1996 08:29 AM
>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.
That seems to be a sensible approach to me.
>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
Indeed, a realization of that makes one a bit more humble.
>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.
That depends on what one's concepts of 'law', 'karma' and 'justice'
>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
This is a part of my concept of 'karma'. I described some
characteristics of 'thought patterns' (inclusive of emotions, desires,
acts) in an article on the web. (I think you've read that already)
I think there is more to it than just that as there seem to be so many
aspects/layers of ourselves that we are hardly aware of.
>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".
A further development of the concept of karma can be found
with GdeP. He says that there *are no laws of nature* in the strict sense
of the word 'law'. Laws are just (collective/individual) behavioural patterns
and patterns of interaction (between the many kingdoms of nature).
Seems plausible to me. In different cultures different behaviours
are acceptible. Standards and notions change over time, so, interaction
patterns may change. Yet, there may be a deeper layer to these 'laws'
when we take the influence of the higher kingdoms of nature into account.
Then other 'laws' may come into effect.
>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.
What about consciousness?
>We know how a person is handicapped when his memory function is impaired.
But he still has a notion of identity, ie ego-ity.
>What is left of a person stripped of all earthly attainments?
Don't you acknowledge the existence of a Self and an individuating
>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.
That's not the only way. The earthly scene may be more popular
to the human monads now, due to the possibilities of accellerated growth
>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.
Yes. That could also be a sensible interpretation of memories
that occur during hypnotic regression sessions.
>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.
But impressions of people still alive may be picked up by others
who take these impressions to be their own, I think.
>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.
That might explain (partly?) the psychic inheritance of family
>The above are all reflections that come to mind when thinking of
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.
Well, Theosophy doesn't provide the particulars of the process
of reincarnation. An open mind is always necessary, certainly in these
>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.
Michael: I've read your essay and found it a sound piece of work.
Regarding Theosophical Societies, I've said before that I perceive a lack
of serious attempts to synthesize new scientific findings with Theosophy.
If we regard Theosophy as a set of coherent working hypotheses, then
there's a need to test these hypotheses in our own life and besides that
relate them to the findings in psychology, physics, biology, etc.
during this century. If that doesn't happen some other Society will make
an effort in this direction (as I think has happened to some degree;
individuals are doing that kind of work too now). This lax attitude has
driven the T.Societies out of the interest of many scientists and others.
But that may be the TSs karma:)
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