THEOSOPHY, Vol. 21, No. 3, January, 1933
(Pages 112-115; Size: 12K)
(Number 13 of a 57-part series)
STUDIES IN KARMA
ATLANTO-AMERICA -- AND THE "MASH-MAK"
THE individual soldier on a field of battle knows nothing but noise, smoke, blood, dust, and confusion. His personal world is a chaos beyond unraveling for the time being. But the general on the hilltop beholds the working out of a plan to its inevitable conclusion; a plan in which each unknowing and seemingly lost element on the field below takes its place in a preordained mosaic. To those enmeshed in them, the gigantic ebb and flow of Karmic forces through history have always looked like pure chance, or the "will of God."
The life of present-day America looks to the individual emotionally involved therein like a confusion, not only of forces, but of new and incalculable forces. But the Theosophist has been handed a map of the stricken field. Wherever and whenever he finds a quiet spot to sit in the turmoil, usually atop the carcass of a fallen internal enemy, and concentrates attentively upon the bloodstained sheet, the confusion speedily resolves itself into the orderly fusion of unbalanced forces adjusting themselves; forces not new, but literally older than the hills; forces internal and external; forces good and evil, but all, all coming irresistibly to a head with the momentum of a million years of scattering and suppression.
Thus studying, he is able to orient himself on the field with some surety; ascertain the extent of his own success or non-success, and not infrequently to point out the objective to some comrade dazed, perhaps wounded, driven adrift by the chaotic turmoil. And year by year he can see the mighty mature features of Great Atlantis taking shape behind this international nursery of precocious but spoiled children called America.
The determined greed for power, mechanical and physical, which is a keynote of America, is peculiar to that land. Other races and other nations have been content with conquest, or with ease and luxury. Disdaining mastery over nations as a petty thing, the American stretches out for the unreachable, studies the unknowable, seeks the unattainable. An unbreakable faith in the ability of man to master every force in the physical world is at the bottom of American mechanical progress. But there is no effect without a cause. What is the cause of this faith? It is memory. It is memory of a conquest won and lost millions of years ago. This memory is returning in due cyclic course, expressing itself as an inchoate urge, a formless longing, which could take rise in no officially historical experience of the race; and it communicates its fever to other nations. America, Atlantis reincarnate, is hell-bent to recover her lost glories. And in the midst of her passion for recovery, is exhibiting, so that he who runs may read, all the Karmic qualities which explain the loss of ancient power.
The world is in chaos, men are starving, the race facing vast social problems because of too much power fallen into universally unready hands. And scientists of high repute, considered the flower of the race, are working night and day to "liberate the power of the atom," for the "benefit of humanity."
The world is suffering the deadly effects -- effects not to be outworn for generations -- of a war fought with the scientific arts and devices of fifteen years ago. And all over the world men called patriots, men of science, are developing new arts and devices in an atmosphere more pregnant than ever with international fear and hatred; in a social environment where conscience has broken down; while every new mechanical device is turned to swell the profits of the rich and crush the poor. Every new power further enslaves the unfortunate to the fortunate; every new weapon arms the criminal against the honest man. And lovers of humanity seek to develop new powers for the benefit of the mighty; honest men build new weapons for the criminal! There is a note of madness in the race-mind indeed; it is as though the taste of power, the vision of personal fame and glory aroused in men a moral insanity destroying all discrimination.
It is inevitable that the nation should sooner or later come into its ancient heritage. It is to be seen in numerous Mahatmic letters, in the sayings of the Secret Doctrine, in all the writings of Blavatsky and Judge, that from the first it must be a touch-and-go race between the stirring of these buried memories and the arousal of that ancient spiritual wisdom which alone can enable mankind to cope with their effects.
It was no coincidence that the first American to seize the wand of practical power was contemporary with H.P.B., and had an indirect Karmic connection with her; that the discovery of "Keely's Force" was preceded by the most intensive and far-reaching campaign of spiritual education ever inaugurated by the Masters even in Theosophical history. The uprush of psychic phenomena in last century was but one of the symptoms of the new grasping for power.
H.P.B. stated that Keely's discovery was several thousand, rather several hundred thousand, years premature. More eloquent than her words was Karma; a Karma to be understood in all its significance only by those who have noted the infinite care with which Mahatmas avoid interference with the free will of the individual except in dire emergency. Some Karma blocked the use of Keely's Force. The inevitable consequence was disgrace and misery to Keely and his associates. So imposing had been the proofs that important investments had been made; and like a medium whose real powers fail, the group had recourse to the trickery which was mercilessly exposed by the Scientific American.
The wall between old memories and realization of old powers is very thin. How many times that wall has leaked, and been barely stopped during the intervening years -- who knows? But again and again, under various guises, sometimes biological, sometimes mechanical, has the Power, the lost Atlantean "Mash-Mak," shown its face. Now as "Keely's Dynaspheric Force," now as the "Garabed" of Giragossian; again as "Abrams Electronic Treatment"; once more as the killing sound-wave of Drs. Gaines and Chambers; the German anti-magnetic ray; the weapon of Lester P. Barlow, allegedly just sold to Russia, and which resembles by description the incinerating phase of Keely's force; magnetic rays; sound-waves, "rays" and "forces" in endless variety. Some of these have been all too real, and humanity has stood -- stands today -- in deadly danger. Some have been mere dreams of the past giving rise to illusions, and sometimes frauds of the present.
Undoubtedly these "leaks," where real, have been permitted; for the Guard which keeps watch on the "Astral Light" never sleeps. But why permitted? All the forces of nature are dual in aspect; the greater the power for good, the greater the danger; the greater the potential ill, the greater the possible benefit. Thus always there must have been either possibility of beneficial use, or karmic right too strong to be interfered with. But always the transmitting medium has proven unfit. Keely, a well-meaning man, but knowing neither himself nor the powers he invoked; a babe in the woods in commercial matters, and a deadly peril when under the control of commercial-minded men: his name, in that strange borderland world between material science and the Occult, is Legion. Giragossian, well-meaning also, but victim to a combination of war-madness and commercialism, laying his offering on the knees of Mars. Gaines and Chambers, so far having found no practical application except the humble one of sterilizing milk. Abrams, a healer, a lover of humanity, but having his spiritual perceptions inhibited, seeing darkly as through a red glass; and his discovery, fortunately never mechanized, dribbling itself away through relatively innocuous channels, slipping mysteriously through the hands of its users. And others upon others, each presenting the most imposing proofs, each when put to final test crumbling, or having the interest of mankind mysteriously damped, diverted.
Each time the wand of power has proven to be the wand of madness in unready hands. Powers intended to be used in secrecy and silence have been blazoned to the skies; powers whose very essence is poisoned by commercialism have been bought and sold on prospectuses; powers deadly except in select and almost impossibly rare hands, have been sold to every man who came with a price; powers unsafe except in the hands of men without vanity and without lust of power have fallen into the hands of men easily made mad, deaf, dumb, and blind, by the vision of themselves as saviors of humanity; by that peculiarly deadly combination of vanity and altruism has destroyed many a Theosophist immune from all other forms of temptation.
The "Guardian Wall," which shields humanity from "other and far greater evils (than yet experienced)" is no myth or poetic fiction; and Theosophists who know it realize all too well what those "evils" might be as they behold the child-like scientist playing at the Cosmic switchboard. Sooner or later, perhaps, must Atlantis, arriving at its majority in the new incarnation, learn by bitter Karma the power of these things; the leaks will open wider, and remain open longer, than before. Fortunate the Theosophist wise enough to behold cause and effect!
STUDIES IN KARMA
THE SECRET HALL OF IMAGES
(Part 14 of a 57-part series)
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