The follies and the so-called sins of people are really things that are sure to come to nothing if we treat them right. We must not be so prone as are the people of the day, of whom we are some, to criticize others and forget the beam in our own eye. The Bhagavad Gîtâ and Jesus are right in that they both show us how to do our own duty and not go into that of others. Every time we think that someone else has done wrong we should ask ourselves two questions:
(1) Am I the judge in this matter who is entitled to try this person?
(2) Am I any better in my way? Do I, or do I not offend in some other way just as much as they do in this?
This will settle the matter, I think. And in . . . there ought to be no judgments and no criticism. If some offend, then let us ask what is to be done, but only when the offence is against the whole. When an offence is against us, then let it go. This is thought by some to be "goody-goody," but I tell you the heart, the soul, and the bowels of compassion are of more consequence than intellectuality.
- LETTERS THAT HAVE HELPED ME
If we look at the subject (Karma) only from the point of view of the person who knows not of Theosophy and of the nature of man, nor of the forces Theosophy knows to be operating all the time, then the reply to the question will be just the same as the everyday man makes. That is, that he has certain rights he must and will and ought to protect; that he has property he will and may keep and use any way he pleases; and if a man injure him he ought to and will resent it; that if he is insulted by word or deed he will at once fly not only to administer punishment on the offender, but also try to reform, to admonish, and very often to give that offender up to the arm of the law; that if he knows of a criminal he will denounce him to the police and see that he has meted out to him the punishment provided by the law of man. Thus in everything he will proceed as is the custom and as is thought to be the right way by those who live under the Mosaic retaliatory law.
The untheosophical view is based on separation, the Theosophical upon unity absolute and actual. Of course if Theosophists talk of unity but as a dream or a mere metaphysical thing, then they will cease to be Theosophists, and be mere professors, as the Christian world is today, of a code not followed. If we are separate one from the other the world is right and resistance is a duty, and the failure to condemn those who offend is a distinct breach of propriety, of law, and of duty. But if we are all united as a physical and psychical fact, then the act of condemning, the fact of resistance, the insistance upon rights on all occasions - all of which means the entire lack of charity and mercy - will bring consequences as certain as the rising of the sun tomorrow.
What are those consequences, and why are they?
They are simply this, that the real man, the entity, the thinker, will react back on you just exactly in proportion to the way you act to him, and this reaction will be in another life, if not now, and even if now felt will still return in the next life.
The fact that the person whom you condemn, or oppose, or judge seems now in this life to deserve it for his acts in this life, does not alter the other fact that his nature will react against you when the time comes. The reaction is a law not subject to nor
altered by any sentiment on your part. He may have, truly, offended you and even hurt you, and done that which in the eye of man is blameworthy, but all this does not have anything to do with the dynamic fact that if you arouse his enmity by your condemnation or judgment there will be a reaction on you, and consequently on the whole of society in any century when the reaction takes place. This is the law and the fact as given by the Adepts, as told by all sages, as reported by those who have seen the inner side of nature, as taught by our philosophy and easily provable by anyone who will take the trouble to examine carefully. Logic and small facts of one day or one life, or arguments on lines laid down by men of the world who do not know the real power and place of thought nor the real nature of man cannot sweep this away. After all argument and logic it will remain.
The Master "K. H.," once writing to Mr. Sinnett in the Occult World, and speaking for his whole order and not for himself only, distinctly wrote that the man who goes to denounce a criminal or an offender works not with nature and harmony but against both, and that such act tends to destruction instead of construction. Whether the act be large or small, whether it be the denunciation of a criminal, or only your own insistence on rules or laws or rights, does not alter the matter or take it out of the rule laid down by that Adept. For the only difference between the acts mentioned is a difference of degree alone; the act is the same in kind as the violent denunciation of a criminal. Either this Adept was right or wrong. If wrong, why do we follow the philosophy laid down by him and his messenger, and concurred in by all the sages and teachers of the past? If right, why this swimming in an adverse current, as he said himself, why this attempt to show that we can set aside karma and act as we please without consequences following us to the end of time? I know not. I prefer to follow the Adept, and especially so when I see that what he says is in line with facts in nature and is a certain conclusion from the system of philosophy I have found in Theosophy.
- MEN KARMIC AGENTS
I dare not declare that any one thing or course is evil in another. For me it may be evil. I am not wise enough to know what it is for another. Only the Supreme knows, for He only can read the heart, the mind, the soul of each. "Thou shalt not judge," saith the sacred writing.
My duty is clear in many places, but in the performing of it I may neither act as a judge or hold animosity, anger, or disgust.
Were a man to abuse an animal, surely I must interfere to prevent suffering to the helpless, dumb and weak, for so we are ajoined. This done, my duty lies in helping my brother, for he knew not what he did.
My aim is to find Wisdom, and my duty, to do away with ignorance wherever it is encountered. His act was caused by ignorance. . . . my duty lies toward the man, not in condemnation, but seeking the cause that makes him unwise, strive to alleviate - if not free him from it. He also is my brother.
- AM I MY BROTHER'S KEEPER?