THEOSOPHY, Vol. 22, No. 1, November, 1933
(Pages 28-31; Size: 13K)
(Number 22 of a 57-part series)
STUDIES IN KARMA
"MY luck changes every seven years" is a phrase heard from the "man in the street" time and again. Little does he know that in so saying he has partly, dimly, read a psycho-physiological synopsis, an abbreviation in living tissue and living thought, of age-lasting cycles of the past.
Sleep is a recapitulation of the reincarnation cycle of man; it is also a recapitulation of the whole planetary cycle of his existence. Likewise is the physical life of man a recapitulation of his past experiences in descending from immateriality to materiality. In less degree also is that history compressed into the "seven-year" period -- which frequently varies widely from an exact seven years.
A man's natural life span is predetermined by what Mr. Judge called the "tensile strength" of the cohesive forces within the principles and between the principles. From the moment man is born, the solar, cosmic, karmic forces beat upon and tear at the subtleties which hold his physical and astral principles together, and upon the bonds between the forces and particles constituting each of these within itself. The end is sure and the limit of the course determined.
The limiting span of the cohesive forces of each principle is determined not only by causes set up in last life, but throughout many such lives, by the attitude and relationship toward matter, life, and duty, held by the individual when the traits of those particular forms of matter were being built up as the globe itself emerged from Pralaya. Nor can we well stop short of a less distance in our search for the forces governing the alterations taking place during life, in the qualities and inter-relationships of our principles. We may take for granted that the predetermined span of a man's life is divided into seven periods; all of which are retrospective as to past "Rounds", half of which are prophetic as to his future course -- unless altered by deliberate effort of will. Could one correctly interpret the relationship in the tendencies, the impulses, the external relationships, which arise at various periods of his life, he would have before him an index of what he has to encounter in future corresponding races and ages. In small he could do the same thing here and now. Certainly we know that the fourth of every evolutionary series is the fulcrum, the balance, the lowest material point attained before the reascent. The lowest hell to which human life can descend in a Mahamanvantara, then, is the fourth family race of the fourth sub-race of the fourth Great Race on the fourth globe of the fourth "Round".
That, for us, happened in the fourth sub-race of Atlantis. The correspondingly low point possible in the Fifth, or Aryan, Root-race, must occur somewhere in the family races of the fourth Aryan sub-race: in other words, in that stock which predominantly populates Europe; America seemingly being largely fifth sub-race, which accounts for the amazing difference of outlook. For the fifth sub-race of the Aryan race represents the maximum development of the Kama-Manas, the lower mind, possible in this Round; it is mental-passional in contrast to the more purely passional of the fourth stock, and tends toward extreme material creativeness rather than blind animal desire. The man himself, could he know his limiting life-span, could predict with much accuracy the rise during his life of the corresponding tendencies. If the actual average life span of today were fifty years -- which in America is nearly the case -- then the "seven years" would be literally true. Certainly the first few years of struggling progress of the Ego toward material expression, corresponds to the first "Globe," the first "Round," the first Race, and so on. The second period bears a close analogy to the devachanic, formative period of the Second race; and the third period at its central point represents the division into sexes and the appearance of physical creative power, with a full-blown mind now tending toward either creative or sensual desires -- in other words, the Third Race, the Lemurians.
One fully understanding these hidden cycles, with their infinitely complex overlays and complex influences, could even trace in the individual the recrudescence of major events; of great deeds, crucial choices for good or evil. Could he see the nature of the inner sub-planes most affected, even the root, sub- or family race, in which these things occurred, might be understood; and so on and so on until even the lost individuality, the exact name, place, and history, might be traced through these mathematical psycho-physics, without recourse at all to the visions in the "astral light" as they are conceived of by most. Is it not patent that one possessed of all these keys, would need know but little of man's nature to be able to work out the combination to his character, and to prevision what circumstances, what dates and influences, what temptations or affinities, would cause the tumblers to click into place and leave to the core of his nature a road open to anyone who chose to enter? Well indeed said H.P.B.:The danger was this: Doctrines such as the planetary chain, or the seven races, at once give a clue to the seven-fold nature of man, for each principle is correlated to a plane, a planet, and a race; and the human principles are, on every plane, correlated to seven-fold occult forces -- those of the higher planes being of tremendous power.... the abuse of which would cause incalculable evil to humanity. A clue, which is, perhaps, no clue to the present generation -- especially the Westerns -- protected as they are by their very blindness and ignorant materialistic disbelief in the occult; but a clue which would, nevertheless, have been very real in the early centuries of the Christian era, to people fully convinced of the reality of occultism, and entering a cycle of degradation, which made them ripe for abuse of occult powers and sorcery of the worst description. -- (Secret Doctrine, 1888, I, xxxv).Thus, much as has been revealed, all that has been said in Theosophy still leaves missing essential links, even blinds and transpositions, which ensure rapid destruction for any who might try practically to erect structures of black magic upon the teachings, while at the same time opening the road of inner understanding to the wise.
It will be noted that the quite natural sevening process of cycling and recapitulation, with its correlation between periods and characteristics, produces not only an infinitely complex inter-relationship of forces, but a striking pyramiding or intensification of tendencies at definite dates and points; precisely as sun and moon now counteract one another, being on opposite sides of the earth, and again pull together and reinforce each other, being on the same side. Thus in a seventh sub-race of a fourth root-race, the fourth character is dominant, but softened and ameliorated by the activity of the seventh influence in the sub-race. But in the fourth sub-race, both the major and the minor effect are in line and produce a tremendous intensification of the fourth principle. If likewise the manvantaric influences are also present, as in Atlantis, the utmost disaster may result. Going to the opposite pole, a seventh sub-race of a seventh root-race in a seventh round means -- attained Divinity. This alternate piling up and neutralization of tendencies, conditioned by the Karmic influences of definite thoughts and deeds of the past, brings about violent fluctuations in deeds and character. The down-trodden often repine at the sight of evil men enjoying health, happiness, fortune. But what they see in such case is the reliving, the recapitulation of some mighty cycle of atavism, of primitive violence unhampered by a conscience not yet awake; some Chaka or Lobengula of African veldts, or some Jenghis Khan of Asian plains, drawn out of time and place to our midst by our own evil Karma, and living there according to his nature, a tiger uncaged. The dark cycle will run its course from triumph to ruin; we see the star of the evil one ascendant, but know not in this life the swamps of its setting, though often enough do we see others of a forgotten past, fallen to earth. Few men can penetrate the secrets of the cycles, but he who retains a firm footing, self-watchful, balanced vigilantly against impact from all sides, need fear no voice of evil from the past; need never miss unheedingly any bugle-call of past spiritual glories.
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
TRUE PROGRESS WHILE ALIVE AND AWAKE
Question: When we go to sleep at night, we go into deeper states -- the states of our real being. Why, then, should we need to go into the devachanic state on the death of the body?
Answer: Every night we go, as well into our real being, through the intermediate states of kamaloka and devachan, in an intensified degree. It is an intermission for the Ego from earthly perceptions, but nevertheless the Ego is still connected with earth-life and the physical body. The effort during physical life is that of the Ego. The progress gained is the harvest of the Ego. It is in earth-life he establishes his chain of causes. The personality is merely the field in which the Ego works. During life, there is an intermittent coming and going through the states of sleep for the Ego, but on the death of the body, there is a long period which represents a general cleaning up, so to say, of all of the personal states of the life last lived, and a limitation to effect states. The personal thoughts have to be worked out, and not until devachan is exhausted does the Ego again enter into its own state and know what is to come from what has been. In life, every night he enters that spiritual state, his own true nature. Connection between Lower and Higher Manas must be made during life in a body; it can not be made at any other time. After death, it is only the effects naturally ensuing from the life last lived that must be worked out to their residuum, and in these the Ego is detained from his own true nature, which, however, before returning to earth-life, he resumes for a time. --Robert Crosbie
STUDIES IN KARMA
ROADS OF AGGREGATION
(Part 23 of a 57-part series)
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