Dec 13, 1999 08:34 PM
----- Original Message -----
> From: Bart Lidofsky <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> The major reason why karma is mentioned in the Theosophical writings
> that it teaches right and wrong in a much broader sense. When one acts
> in a selfish manner, one creates karma.
Unfortunately this is very simplistic. People will always do what they
want to do most. Like Grigor acquired a number of important degrees
because the State told he he must do that. As, presumably, the
consequences of refusal would have been more unpleasant that acceptance,
I should think that Grigor *wanted* to get those degrees in order to
protect himself. We can call this "selfish" if we want to. Other
possibilities are that "survival" = "selfish."
In a battle, a soldier will be told to shoot and kill someone else. If
he refuses, *he* will be shot. He will *want* to pull the trigger very
much (probably). He *could* choose his own execution, of course. His
"karma" depends upon his "choice" - except that everything that has
happened in his life up to and including the moment of decision will
most likely make his decision inevitable, whichever way it goes.
> One has no control over how it
> comes back, and nobody can guess what form it will take (for example,
> they cannot say, "That man is a slave, so it is his karma to be a
> slave"; after all, his karma could very well be that he will be freed
> from slavery). That makes it damned difficult to detect, and why it
> takes so many lifetimes to learn, and even then a little prodding here
> and there is required (possibly the major purpose of the Theosophical
> Society is to provide that prodding).
The absence of control of this alleged "karma" or consequence is fair
comment in my scenario above, but it does *not* require reincarnation
for its result to manifest. The result is that one out of the two
people involved gets killed. What happens next is open to question, and
I, like many others, question it.
The logic of the classical theosophical argument as summarized in your
post is that after a great many sequential lives on earth (acceptng
linear time as a fact) everyone "evolves" and becomes a "better person."
The human race has been around long enough now for us to take a
reasonably objective look at this idea, and it doesn't figure. In the
main, human beings are much the same as they have ever been; only the
technology has changed. From the Israelite invasion of Canaan through
the various genocides in history such as the holocaust, and more
recently the Kosovars, the Kurds, and now the Chechens, human brutality
is, if anything, worse.
And note - all this brutality, wherever it occurs, derives for the most
part - if not all - from "religion" or "religious principles." The TS
motto, "There is no religion higher than Truth" doesn't really mean
anything if we examine it seriously, for no one can define "Truth" as
any kind of absolute. One up for Pontius Pilate.
Theosophy regularly tells people, "Theosophy is not a religion." Then
it goes on to say, "Theosophy IS religion."
TS societies should maybe issue a health warning. Let us hope, and in
extremis, pray, that the conversion of the world to theosophy *as taught
by the TS organisations* never comes about. The "karma" would be too
horrible to behold. "Esoteric Sections" in touch with "Masters" would
be de facto dictatorships, and to question the words of the "Master"
would be regarded not just as a heresy, but as insanity. People who did
not agree would probably, as happened in the former Soviet Union, be
sent to psychiatric institutions "for the sake of their health." Or
sent to labour camps in inhospitable parts of the world, there to work
out their "bad karma."
Theosophy as "God-wisdom" or - to avoid the impossible attempt to agree
on a definition of "God" - spiritual insight into spiritual realities
can only make sense if applied as an empirical and pragmatic road to
take. And even then we still have to agree on definitions of
"spiritual" and "wisdom."
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