Friday, September 14, 2012

Yes, another explanation

Can you explain how karma works?

All we can say is that every action, or expenditure of energy, generates a chain of effects, which sooner or later will return, by magnetic affinity, to the point of origin, in the form of appropriate consequences.

In other words, like begets like. Karma is an automatic, unerring process; it is simply the way nature operates, an expression of the inherent tendency towards equilibrium and harmony.

As for evolution in general, absolute chance plays no role here either.

Evolution on our planet largely follows the patterns laid down in former cycles of activity, which, in turn, largely followed the grooves laid down in even earlier cycles of activity, and so on, into the eternity of the past, for there was never an absolute beginning to evolution.

Absolutely random genetic mutations – even with ‘natural selection’ to weed out non-adaptive ones – could hardly bring about the incredible diversity and complexity of life we see around us.

Some scientists might invoke special ‘laws of nature’ or ‘organizing principles’.

Laws of nature are merely general rules that scientists have formulated to simplify their description of natural phenomena.

‘Laws’ and ‘principles’ in no way help to explain the regularity and purposiveness we see in nature.

Theosophically, they are catchwords for the habits, the instinctual activities, of a whole spectrum of nonphysical energies and entities, ranging from elemental nature-forces to spiritual intelligences.

Every entity, from atom to human to star, is formed and organized and guided mainly from within outwards, from inner levels of its constitution.

This inner guidance may be active and selfconscious, as in our acts of free will, or it may be automatic and passive, as seen in our habits and instincts, our automatic bodily functions (breathing, the beating of the heart, growth, etc.), and in the orderly, lawlike behaviour of nature in general.

Is karma the decree of God?

No, karma is not ordained by any sort of ‘god’, whether finite or infinite, intra-cosmic or extra-cosmic.

The idea of an infinite ‘god’ outside the boundless universe is absurd; there’s no room for two infinitudes.

The ‘God’ of traditional theology is supposed to be all-powerful and all-wise, and to have miraculously created everything – including himself perhaps – out of nothing.

But for some reason he made us so feeble and imperfect that most of us succumb to all sorts of temptations, for which we are punished by being consigned to eternal damnation in hell – another of his creations.

Such a being must be either a monstrous fiend or a blundering idiot!

Either way, he would have to be extremely limited and imperfect or cruel and unjust, and would hardly be worthy of our adoration.

It makes much more sense to take the pantheistic view that divinity is infinite nature itself, which – in its illimitable totality – is an abstraction, not an entity which thinks and acts, or designs and creates.

In addition, in any particular world-system, those beings that have advanced beyond the human stage are relatively speaking ‘spirits’ or ‘gods’.

But there is no god so high that there is none higher.

All beings are woven from the one divine essence, and it is their evolutionary duty and destiny to unfold their divine potential.

But even when we have reached the pinnacle of evolutionary development in any particular hierarchy, there are always higher worlds beyond in which to become selfconscious masters of life.

Karma clearly implies reincarnation, but can reincarnation be proved?

Although most people don’t possess the clairvoyant powers necessary to prove the truth of reincarnation for themselves, there is nevertheless an impressive body of evidence for it.

Especially where people (usually children) have memories of a past life that are verifiable, and that shed light on their physical and psychological characteristics in their present life.

Only the twin doctrines of reincarnation and karma can make sense of the apparent injustices of life.

The misfortunes that befall us are either the karmic consequences of past actions, or they are pure chance, or they are the ‘will of God’ – in which case God must be pretty screwed up.

And reincarnation of course implies the existence of a reincarnating, relatively immortal entity or soul, composed of finer grades of spirit-substance than our physical body.

The prevailing scientific view is that our basic character is determined by heredity.

Yes, materialists would say that our basic characters are determined by the genes or DNA we inherit from our parents, and by which of these genes are activated in our bodies.

If asked why we have the parents we do have, and what determines which genes are active and which are recessive, they would no doubt answer: chance – which basically means they haven’t got a clue!

DNA is vastly overrated by materialistic scientists.

The DNA code certainly regulates the production of proteins, the basic building blocks of our bodies, but it does not explain how these proteins then manage to arrange themselves into tissues and organs and complex living beings, and there is certainly no evidence that physical DNA determines our basic patterns of thought and behaviour.

Efforts to reduce the wonders of life and mind to random physical and chemical interactions are grossly inadequate and unconvincing.

According to the teaching of reincarnation, our basic habits and tendencies are a sort of memory of our choices and experiences, our achievements and failures, in past lives.

A reincarnating soul is attracted automatically to the parents who can provide it with the body and family environment best suited to its karmic needs.

So rather than inheriting our characteristics from our parents, we actually inherit them through our parents from ourselves – from our own past.

In other words, heredity is karma, and it operates not just at the physical level, but also at the astral, mental, and spiritual levels.

David Pratt

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