Karma and Thought Patterns
This article is from the August 1921 Theosophist, interesting in its approach to how our mental patterns can box in even the highest teachings.
“If, over the gateway of Century I. of our era, fatally glowed the ominous words ‘the Karma of Israel’ over the portals of our own, the future seer may discern other words, that will point to the Karma for cunningly made-up History, for events purposely perverted, and for great characters slandered by posterity, mangled out of recognition, between the two cars of Jagan-natha—Bigotry and Materialism—one accepting too much, the other denying all. Wise is he who holds to the golden mid-point, who believes in the eternal justice of things.”
Are we not all Sons and daughters of “the Karma of Israel” when we closely consider what are the difficulties with which we battle?
Ingrained in the race-mind are the ideas of heaven and hell, reward and punishment, God and devil—the one who can save, the other who may ruin. As the true and devoted student takes up diligently the study of Theosophy, unless he discerns well, the black shadows of the cloak of religion will o’erspread him and he will silently remold his ideas on that old and more deeply hidden basis—bedecked in a new garment of names and terms.
The Heaven Idea
Does the sincere student as he goes on find himself wishing to “get” into a more favorable environment, physical or metaphysical; to evade or avoid the present conditions or circumstances in which he now finds himself and in which alone he can learn those lessons that shall enable him to travel further ?
The Hell Idea
Does despair or despondency or the thought of “failure” or loss, terrify him and stay his effort—when he should know that so as he wills to continue there can be no “failure”?
The Vicarious Atonement Idea
Is he inclined to depend upon others for his “learning” and progress, thinking that some other or others may push or pull him one step along the Path ?—.
The Reward-and-Punishment Idea Does he imagine some other or others capable of depriving him in the least degree of that which is his, or of preventing him receiving his just dues?
Thus is it not true that when even the sincere student of the Eternal Verities places his ideas under the limelight of impartial scrutiny he may discern—perhaps to his surprise—that his battles are yet with the shadows of this cloak of religion of his forefathers?
Under the guise of true ideas these monstrous incongruities of thought—shapen by priesthood and craft—live within us and subtly mold the inner current of our lives. “Beware lest too soon you think yourself apart from the mass.”
The mission of the true Theosophic student is to raise up the Buddhi and the Manas of the race. How can he do this except by clarifying and purifying his own mental perceptions and conceptions; thus growing naturally into those unassailable convictions that come from proving each step by taking it in his habitual daily living?
The Foundational Idea of Theosophy is that Man is the Self; THAT THOU ART. If this attitude is to be taken, this position held, it can only be done by becoming aware and ever more truly aware, of what is going on within the sphere of our own activity—within and without.
To assume the position of the Spectator, the Perceiver—that “Awareness of the Soul” itself—is to become constantly more consciously alert as to our motives, our intentions, our thoughts and actions, until at last the scrutiny is unvarying and continuous. Let us take the attitude lest, even while thinking our selves benefactors of mankind, we pervert and demean that true and sacred LINE LAID DOWN by Those who live but to benefit mankind.