THEOSOPHY, Vol. 20, No. 4, February, 1932
(Pages 171-173; Size: 9K)
[Article number (16) in this Q&A Department]
HOW is it possible for Masters to prognosticate events, if men have free will and can set other causes in motion, so that these events may not "come off"?
Anyone with a knowledge of past history can prognosticate that certain causes will lead to certain results. The moral degeneration that overtook the Roman Empire lead inevitably to its downfall, and those who see similar degeneration among modern nations can reasonably prognosticate similar decay of the nation. Men have free will, it is true, but choosing consistently in selfish direction and beyond a certain point will lead to certain inevitable results -- results far from desirable if you have profited from past experiences and read the signs of the times. The Masters see these signs and whither they are leading, but they are forced to sadly watch the working of Law when the people ignorantly go forward to harvest the results of their own actions:The cycles must run their rounds. Periods of mental and moral light and darkness succeed each other as day does night. The major and minor yugas must be accomplished according to the established order of things. And we, borne along the mighty tide, can only modify and direct some of its minor currents. (The Ocean of Theosophy, page 5).If the soul makes its impress even upon the physical body, how does it happen that such great criminals as the Borgias should have had such beautiful bodies?
Karma works out on different planes -- the physical, mental, and astral. It is quite possible to develop on one of those planes to the detriment of the others. Evidently the Borgias had certain beneficent Karma in store for them along the line of physical attractiveness, but it was coupled with moral and spiritual retrogression. They did not put their beautiful bodies to any good use, and that line of Karma being expended they will have to meet the results of their wickedness without good physical Karma to help them out. The misuse of their attractions will be paid for, with interest. The physical plane is the lowest, mental and psychical Karma working down to that plane as a last result; so, doubtless, the Borgia egos will not always continue to have beautiful bodies. Some people ought to take notice that beautiful bodies do not necessarily imply spiritual and mental quality.
Apollonius, Simon Magus and Ammonius Saccas, according to the records, all performed miracles. Apollonius is said to have raised a young girl from the dead. Could H.P.B. do things like that?
(a) There are many things, such as levitation and the passing of solid objects through solid objects, which seem miraculous to us but which are perfectly in accord with law -- albeit laws of which we in our present stage of evolution are ignorant. H.P.B. the Messenger and Teacher, could perform things which seem phenomenal to us. She had higher powers, but she never exploited them. Mr. Judge, her trusted friend, said that he was permitted to watch an exhibition of many acts far more wonderful than those shown to the general public, but H.P.B. performed some acts in public only to prove her point that there are unexplained powers latent in man which may by right living be developed. However, these powers if forced unnaturally will lead to the destruction of the developer. If H.P.B. had performed all of which she was capable she would have been worshipped as a god by some and persecuted as a devil by others, so she had to be judicious in her exhibitions.
(b) Miracles, in the accepted meaning of the term, are not admitted by Theosophy. The wonders known to us as "miracles" are brought about by a knowledge of laws of which most men are ignorant. To attempt to measure, by the miraculous achievements recorded, the powers of H.P.B. as compared to the powers of the adepts mentioned, is futile. Not only is it futile, but it is needless, for throughout the teaching runs the statement that occult or psychic powers are entirely secondary to spiritual knowledge and devotion. Powers come naturally to those who are confirmed in spiritual knowledge and just because they have not been used in a sensational way is no reason for us to believe that they do not exist. When we think of the vast scope of The Secret Doctrine, and of the tremendous effect it has had on the race mind, we realize that it exhibits occult power to an extent beyond our present comprehension. The coming of H.P.B. marked the intersection of three great cycles and her importance looms far above the incidental performance of so-called "miracles," although these, indeed, must have had a purpose in connection with her mission.
The Indians bring rain with dances and ceremonies. What is the explanation?
First we must bear in mind that there are two opposite poles in man -- the passive and active. Also, there are semi-intelligent forces in nature called elementals, which are invisible to the physical man, yet operate continually to bring about the common phenomena which we see about us every day. The Ocean of Theosophy, pages 151-2, calls attention tothe existence in the astral light of beings not using bodies like ours, but not human in their nature, having powers, faculties, and a sort of consciousness of their own; these include the elemental forces or nature sprites divided into many degrees, and which have to do with every operation of Nature and every motion of the mind of man.One who understands the laws which operate to produce rain, winds, etc., and who knows the nature of these elements, by an act of the will, with knowledge, will command these beings, to do and bring about the necessary effect. On the other hand, there are men who know that such elementals exist, but who have no knowledge of the laws of nature. Desiring power, they contact these elementals and become enslaved by them. Those who have the knowledge of nature's laws and use it beneficently are called Adepts, Mahatmas; the others, those who enslave themselves by selfish use are Black Adepts.
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:
GEOMETRY IN NATURE
... Nature geometrizes universally in all her manifestations. There is an inherent law -- not only in the primordial, but also in the manifested matter of our phenomenal plane -- by which Nature correlates her geometrical forms, and later, also, her compound elements; and in which there is no place for accident or chance. It is a fundamental law in Occultism, that there is no rest or cessation of motion in Nature. That which seems rest is only the change of one form into another; the change of substance going hand in hand with that of form -- as we are taught in Occult physics, which thus seems to have anticipated the discovery of the "Conservation of matter" by a considerable time.--S.D. I, p. 97.
[Article number (17) in this Q&A Department]
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