life/death/destruction- q & a 4 the discerning rea

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    This arrived in my mailbox & offers an explanation for ALL the ups 'n' downs of life. All life forces.

    Most was written by Judge & a little by Blavatsky & is based on Theosophy.

    Q. If all beings of every grade are affected by the dynamic power of
    human thought and feeling, we, as human beings, must a the lower
    kingdoms which constitute the earth upon which we live?

    A. Such is the teaching. Cataclysms of nature are brought about by the
    separative and destructive effects of selfish and wrong thinking by
    human beings.

    A cataclysm may be traced to a physical cause such as
    internal fire and atmospheric disturbance, but these have been brought
    on by the disturbance created by the dynamic power of human thought.

    Q. Do all human beings have to suffer in such cataclysms?

    A. No. Egos who have no Karmic connection with a portion of the globe
    where a cataclysm is coming on, are kept without the latter's
    operation in two ways:

    (a) by repulsion acting on their inner nature which induces them to
    move elsewhere, or
    (b) by being warned by those who watch the progress
    of the world.


    Q. How can the actions of men produce convulsions of nature?

    A. Through their cumulative effect upon the psychic nature of
    elemental beings. Karma is the key-note of all conditions, for it
    governs the smallest atom as well as the highest spiritual being. The
    elementals of the mineral kingdom, and of the kingdoms below that (the
    elementals proper) are psychic embryos."

    Every thought of man upon being evolved passes into
    the inner world, and becomes an active
    entity by coalescing with an elemental-that is to say, with one of the
    semi-conscious forces of the kingdoms. It survives as an active
    intelligence-a creature of the mind's begetting. Thus a good thought
    is perpetuated as an active, beneficent power; an evil one as a
    maleficent demon.

    The automatically acting brain stores up only brute
    energies, and begets correlations that are unfruitful of benefit, at
    last bringing about convulsions in nature. It is analogous to
    combinations of chemicals produced by scientific minds-antagonistic
    elements held in leash, which at last a spark suffices to release and
    bring about terrific explosions.


    Q. And similarly, man's actions or Karma can bring about beneficial
    effects in the lower kingdoms of nature?

    A. It is man who is the real motive and directing power in this
    universe, for he is at the head, being self-conscious, with the power
    of acquiring qualities, of understanding the natures of all beings,
    and of manipulating the lower natures. It devolves on him so to use
    those natures as to bring about the best results for all the beings
    concerned in the stream of evolution which makes up this earth and
    solar system.

    Man has produced many combinations and transformations
    in the lower kingdoms, not possible to them of their un aided powers,
    which are beneficent.


    Q. Is then man is a creator in a far wider sense than we are accustomed
    to think?

    A. Undoubtedly. The impulse to action in the lower kingdoms originally
    proceeds from him. The conscious action of the lower kingdoms all
    proceeds from man. After the action there is always the reaction. The
    elements, the "air, water, fire and earth," or any portion or
    combination of these, all have their reactions upon us. We experience
    those reactions from the elements because of our attitude towards them
    and use of them, for we are the ones who induce them to act whether in
    a beneficent or maleficent way.

    Tornadoes, earthquakes, sufferings of any kind such as wars or strife,
    either in the elements or amongst men, are all produced by man.


    Q. There would seem to be no limit to any one's responsibility

    A. There isn't. Whenever and whatever any one thinks or does, he
    cannot do so without affecting other beings, whether human beings or
    beings below or above, as every action is felt throughout the whole of
    the universe in some degree. He gets the reaction in his own moral
    nature from the lines of his mental action; and at the same time he
    will he physically acting along the same lines, affecting others for
    good or evil both on the inner and the outer planes of action; then he
    gets the physical reaction.


    Q. Then there is never any injustice?

    A. There is no injustice. What we see as apparent injustice seems so
    because we do not see the causes which have produced the present ill

    If we have no knowledge of our own real nature and the Law of
    Karma that is inherent in it, then the feeling can only be that we
    have received injustice, and we harbor hatred and resentments. What
    prevents our understanding these things is mainly that we do not know
    what we are here for.

    We look at things from a one-life basis, and
    finding ourselves in this life we imagine it is something we had
    nothing to do with. Seeing others, according to our view, more
    fortunate than ourselves, we want to know why, and no answer being
    possible on the basis we have assumed, we assume that we are receiving

    If Karma is the doctrine of responsibility, Reincarnation
    is the doctrine of hope. The two go together. The reason we are on
    earth, according to the Occult teaching: we are not here because of
    our virtues; we are here because of our defects.

    The "personality" is really the working off of defects. If we do not
    learn what the object of life is, and don't do the work, then we
    are only creating more defects to adjust, and more trouble for


    Q. What does it mean to be Karma-less?

    A. All that is Karma-less is that in us which lives and thinks, the
    Perceiver, the Real Man. He is the institutor and the experiencer of
    all Karma.

    There is no Karma unless he makes it. He is not changed by
    Karma, neither made greater nor less; but while attached to action
    (Karma) or in a body and circumstances created by him, he experiences
    all that flows from the actions to which he is attached, until he
    ceases from the attachment to that kind of action. He gets whatever
    experiences his actions in that body bring him.


    Q. What really is the cause of Karma?

    A. Karma is first, last and all the time, action; and we cannot
    understand Karma until we grasp the idea that the whole of the
    universe is intelligence, expressing itself in myriads of forms and in
    many ways. It is the action of intelligence that produces all the
    effects perceived on this plane of existence.


    Q. How does that statement apply to the individual?

    A. Individually each one is Karma, for he is both the actor and the
    one who receives the results that proceed from his action. Karma is
    never an outside force, nor any being nor beings; it is the collective
    actions of beings with which we have placed ourselves in some
    relation, but that relation is wholly individual on our part.

    We set certain causes in motion and are bound to experience the results
    that flow from those causes, for every motion in the universe affects
    other beings in every direction, and there is always the reaction upon the
    point of disturbance. We must of necessity be the adjuster.

    Q. Are any beings free from Karma?

    A. None whatever; Karma operates on all things and all beings from the
    minutest conceivable atom up to the highest being. No spot in the
    manifested universe is exempt from its sway, for manifestation means
    action, and action brings its exact results. Karma is the inherent law
    of power to act in every being of every grade; in each case the power
    to act is exercised according to the degree of intelligence acquired.
    The Universe is embodied Consciousness.


    Q. Race-Karma, National Karma, and Family Karma have been spoken
    about; what do these terms mean?

    A. As all beings are the same in kind-that is, spiritual in essence
    and source-all are connected on inner planes, and each one affects all
    the rest in a helpful or hindering way. Race Karma influences each
    unit in the race through this law of cause and effect by distribution.

    National Karma operates on the members of a nation through the same
    law more concentrated.

    Family Karma governs only with a nation where
    the families have been kept pure and distinct; for in any nation where
    there is a mixture of family-as obtains in every Kali Yuga
    period-family karma is in general distributed over a nation. All men,
    displaying the same principles as constituents of their nature, are
    connected by both inner and outer principles of their being; they
    therefore affect each other in subtle and unperceived ways, as well as
    by the external ways which are ordinarily perceived.


    Q How is the Johnstown disaster to be interpreted =
    from the point of view of Karma?

    An imperfect view of Karma is held by many Theosophists. Karma
    is thought to relate only to human beings, and when it is spoken of as 93the law
    of ethical causation, application of it is made solely to man. This
    not only leaves us without any law to account for the numerous operations
    and effects in the natural world, but raises grave difficulties in the
    presence of such a calamity as the Johnstown flood.

    Another wrong view frequently taken is the looking upon Karma as
    punishment only, whereas Karma works alike in reward and punishment. A pleasant
    life is due to Karma as much as one that is full of woe.

    The word Karma means action, and, in its larger sense, the
    action of the
    great unmanifested, whether that be called God or the Absolute. The
    moment the unmanifested begins to make itself manifest in creation or
    evolution, then its action and Karma begin. Hence, every circumstance great or
    small, every manifestation of life, every created thing and all of the facts
    and circumstances of mans life are under the law of Karma.
    The three sorts of Karma are:

    That which we are experiencing; that which we are making for the next =
    and that which we have made, but which is held over unfelt until some =
    other life or lives.

    This division applies throughout nature.

    By what means does Karma have its operation? By means of the apparatus
    fit to carry it out into view and exhaust it; when this is furnished, the
    appropriate Karma is felt or seen.

    Having all this in view we see that the Karma of the material world (so
    called), as it now exists, is its Karma left over from a previous
    manvantara or period of manifestation, working out in the fit apparatus which we
    call the world. And it may be that there is some World-Karma left over
    to be felt or seen in the next cycle or manvantara.

    Under these laws it is possible that many individuals may congregate at
    just such a place as Johnstown, who possess such physical, mental, and
    psychical apparatus as tends to bring out at some one period many accumulated
    weights of Karma; and in such a case they will feel the effects as seen in the
    flood sweeping them away.

    But to say that such a catastrophe is to be called evil Karma in every
    case cannot be right. Some were killed, and for them we may not say it was
    not a benefit; others doubtless will suffer through their lives; and still
    moremay be benefited through the circumstances which brought about a
    complete change in life.

    We must also remember that during any one hour of the day as many as
    people die in various spots of the earth. Hence we have accumulated and
    felt at any hour the Karma which brings death about for that number of


    Q. On the basis that man is a spiritual being and can always change
    his course, I do not see how Masters could work out cycles unless people
    necessarily act very much alike.

    A. They figure out cycles according to the average of the mass of
    not on the basis of the individual position in regard to the cycle.
    An individual may take a very different position from that of the mass
    toward some cycle, but none the less he moves with it and is bound to that
    he has to move with that race, either above it or below it. No one can
    escape from the race to which he belongs.

    The effect of cycles upon us, however, or the use of the cyclic return,
    depends upon the individual. Should there be, let us say, a revolution
    all over the world, all forms upset, all ideas of valuation and property
    destroyed, how would men be affected?

    Some would be affected terribly; others, very little. It would depend
    altogether on the individuals on the measure of their attachment to
    the results brought about by such a course of events. Freedom comes from
    lack of self interest in the results of anything we do. If we work with things
    ,not for things, for the best of all, without being attached to either
    success or failure, then we are not struck by such catastrophes They cannot touch
    us.We are interested in their effects upon others and not upon ourselves.

    Q. Then masses of people must learn as the individual must, to act
    regardless of self-interest?

    A. That is the position. If every man did all that he could for every
    other man, then no one would suffer. There would he no poverty of any kind.

    Q. But the watchword of the French Revolution was Liberty, Equality,
    and Fraternity

    A. Yes; that very watchword was taken to help bring about revolution and
    bloodshed used for destructive purposes, rather than in line with the
    spiritual constructive basis which the words truly represent. An
    interesting parallel might be observable in this country.

    As early as 1886 Mr. Judge said that this great and glorious country
    will not long be at rest, that the people will rise for what, who can tell?
    He said that if our legislators knew what was coming about and could bring
    about contravening effects, they would do so; but that no legislation
    and no efforts of any patriots would avail when the hour strikes, when Karmic
    readjustments among the people have to take place.


    Q. Why do men not listen to warnings of this kind?

    A. Many take the position that, of course, no such thing could occur
    here.They are obsessed with the idea that we are spiritually far advanced
    beyond the times when those conditions were possible. But are we so far
    advanced, as a whole? Are we not, as a whole, seeking self-interest, personal
    greed, personal fame, and possessions of every kind? There is no real
    understanding among men in general, particularly among our politicians and so-called
    men of intelligence, as to what the purpose of life is; consequently,
    there is no application of the only knowledge which would help. What is behind
    the league of nations now in process of establishment? Self-interest on the
    part of each nation. It is absolutely useless to dodge the is sue. We have
    got to see what is the real trouble with mankind. The fact is, we have no real
    ideals; it is every man for himself individualism, self-interest,
    selfishness. Yet we are connected with other individuals, and with other
    nations. What comes upon them we are bound to feel in a greater or less


    Q. If all men held the ideal of Brotherhood, as Theosophy presents it,
    should we see any marked difference in conditions?

    A. Everything depends upon the ideals that men hold. If people as a =
    whole could be brought into the position of listening to the message of =
    Theosophy, and applying it, the misery and suffering and hardship that now exist in =
    the world would practically cease to exist. But it is beyond the reach of =
    any power whatever to get men to listen and to apply. They must first desire =
    and choose to listen.


    Q. What follows the Iron Age?

    A. When the Iron Age has run to the completion of its cycle, then
    follows in regular succession the Golden Age. But that is yet a long time off. We
    have finished only the first five thousand years of Kali Yuga, which leaves
    us something over four hundred thousand years yet to run. Let us say that
    in fifty thousand years all the civilizations of the earth outrun their
    possibilities as such.

    Then comes a great disturbance, such as the geological changes apparent
    on any planet show have taken place. These disturbances are the re-actions
    of the forces that man has restrained so long, and cause a re-distribution
    of continents. Suppose for a moment that a great catastrophe over whelmed
    the earth; that the land went down, as it does in such periods, and lands
    came up where the sea was before; that a remnant of the people escaped and
    settled on those lands.

    Those who survived would be concerned with the first necessities of
    existence food, clothing and shelter. The arts and sciences that had
    existed would have no place, but would become merely a tradition to the children
    born under those conditions. Their children would have a tradition still
    further removed from the ancient arts. Thus an entirely new phase of
    existence would be established. The in coming generations, heavy with
    the burden of sustenance, would learn only those arts and sciences
    applicable to their surroundings, and the cycle of the return of the ancient arts
    would be long in coming.

    Such would he the story of our present Western civilization. All our
    landmarks would he gone in two hundred years or more. Then perhaps in
    some other life, on some other continent risen from the sea, we should he
    wondering what people left this or that small relic of civilization.
    This civilization will go through the same phases as any other; it merely
    presents the embodiments of souls who have come through past
    For we are the second race, the third, and the fourth race; the second
    blended into the third, the third into the fourth, the fourth into the
    fifth, and so the blending into future races must go on. In all those
    races has been the living of life in an age of innocence and purity, followed
    by an age when purity and innocence decreased through the growth of the
    intellect along physical lines, and then the physical rush of
    civilization went on in all its complexity until extinction.



    A Theosophist's Reason For It

    IN our own times we have instances of the disappearance of races, and =
    very often it is attributed to the influence of civilized vices. The
    Hottentots have entirely gone, and the decimation of the Hawaiian Islanders is
    about complete. Similarly the Red Indians of the Continents of North and South
    America have been surely, if slowly, passing away, so that now there is
    only a remnant of them left, and soon after the Spanish conquest the great
    masses of the aboriginal inhabitants had faded away.

    The Hottentots had reached almost the acme of decline when we knew them,
    but the Aztecs, Toltecs, and other South Americans had not reached such a
    pitch when they encountered the Spanish. The Red Indians had gone down between
    thetwo, while the Hawaiians were still below the Indians. It has always
    seemed to me that the claim that these races were destroyed by taking up our
    vices is not well founded. It is pleasant, perhaps, to the pessimist who
    dislikes this civilization, but it will not agree with all the facts.

    The decrease of [the native] population in the Hawaiian Islands cannot be
    justly attributed to rum and social evils taken over from us, although a
    great deal of injury no doubt arose from those abuses. About the
    Hottentots we may feel pretty sure, because their degradation was almost complete
    when they were discovered, and the Mexicans and South American people had no
    time to adopt Spanish vices, nor did such exist in a degree to kill off the


    The theory outlined by H. P. Blavatsky is that when the Egos inhabiting
    any race have reached the limit of experience possible in it, they begin to
    desert that race environment and seek for another, which, in the sure
    processes of natures evolution, is certain to be in existence elsewhere
    on the globe. The Egos then having left the old families, the latter begin
    to die out through sterility attacking the females, so that fewer and fewer
    bodies are made for inhabitancy. This goes on from century to century
    pari passu with mental decay.


    And this mental deterioration arises from the fact that the small stock
    of what we might call the retarded Egos who come in during the process have
    not had the experience and training in that particular environment which had
    been gone through by those who have deserted to another race, and
    hence--on the theosophical theory that brain is not the producer of mind--the
    whole personnel of the old race rushes down in the scale, sooner or later
    presenting the sad spectacle of a dying race. Final extinction is the
    result when the process has gone far enough.

    At the time when the first steps toward old age and decrepitude are
    taken by such a race, the eternal cyclic laws that always bring about a universal
    correspondence between the affairs of man and the operations of cosmos
    cause cataclysms to happen, and even in the seeming height of a nation's power
    great numbers of bodies are destroyed. Some indications of this may be
    seen in our own day in the great destruction of human life that has begun to
    overtake the older portions of the Chinese nation.

    These are finger posts that declare the beginning of the exodus of the
    Egos who have had such a long experience in that race environment that they
    have begun to emigrate elsewhere because their experience has wrought in their
    character changes which unfit them for dealing with the old bodies, and
    those are left for the starting of other less progressed men. After the
    lapse of more years the natural cataclysms will increase in violence and
    extent, engulfing more and more millions of bodies and preparing for other

    We may suppose that the Red Indians predecessors went through similar
    experiences, for there are in the Americas evidences of great
    convulsions such as upheavals from below and overflowing by water that deposited great
    masses of mud. In one of the States there was lately found good evidence
    that animals had been thus buried for ages. The men, having reason to
    guidethem, removed themselves to other parts to carry out the sad decrees of
    Karma which had ordered their demise.

    And under the suggestion made above, the egos untried in that
    environment only occupied the racial body for the sake of the experience which might
    be gained during the time that is left. Now our civilization with weapons
    and other means is completing the work, as it on its part fulfils the law by
    creating on the old soil an entirely new race in which the experience
    gained by the mind in prior cycles of existence may show itself forth.

    This process is almost exactly that which happens in families.
    Reincarnating egos continue in families that suit their mental progress just so long
    as is needed; and if no more egos are in the cycle of rebirth exactly fitted
    to the physical, psychical, and mental state of the family, it begins to
    die out. And it even exhibits often in its own small way the phenomena of
    natural cataclysm, for we know that sudden ruin and quick extinction
    often carry off an entire family, leaving not even a descendant in the very
    remotest degree.

    Hence I conclude that, like families, Races disappear when they are of
    no further use in the gaining of experience by the great pilgrim soul.


    Q. With regard to the persistence of savagery; are those in savage
    tribes souls of lesser experience?

    A. In the nature of evolution an unfolding from within
    outwards there must be souls of lesser experience, whose bodies and environment correspond
    to their so-far acquired nature. On the other hand there are diminishing
    physical tribes of which the Australian aborigines are an example, where
    the more advanced egos have incarnated in other races, leaving the use of
    that physical line to the less advanced. As the latter in due course leave =
    the physical race, those remaining, being less capable, cause the physical
    strain to deteriorate, so that only the lowest class of intelligences of
    that tribe or race occupy such bodies. Finally, the physical race dies
    out through sterility, the egos connected with it having incarnated in other


    In order to demonstrate that the notions which the
    ancients entertained about dividing human history into cycles were not utterly
    devoid of a philosophical basis, we will close this chapter by introducing to
    the reader one of the oldest traditions of antiquity as to the evolution of
    our planet.
    At the close of each "great year," called by Aristotle
    according to Censorinus the greatest, and which consists of six sars * our planet
    is subjected to a thorough physical revolution. The polar and equatorial
    climates gradually exchange places; the former moving slowly toward the
    Line, and the tropical zone, with its exuberant vegetation and swarming
    animal life, replacing the forbidding wastes of the icy poles. This
    change of climate is necessarily attended by cataclysms, earthquakes, and other
    cosmical throes.*

    * Webster declares very erroneously that the Chaldeans called saros, the
    cycle of eclipses, a period of about 6,586 years, "the time of revolution of
    the moon's node." Berosus, himself a Chaldean astrologer, at the Temple
    of Belus, at Babylon, gives the duration of the sar, or sarus, 3,600 years;
    a neros 600; and a sossus 60. (See, Berosus from Abydenus, "Of the
    Chaldaean )


    This year was called the Heliacal by the Greeks; but no one outside the
    sanctuary knew anything certain either as to its duration or
    particulars. The winter of this year was called the Cataclysm or the Deluge, the
    Summer, the Ecpyrosis.

    The popular traditions taught that at these alternate seasons the world
    was in turn burned and deluged. ....

    The Neroses, the Vrihaspati, or the periods called yugas or kalpas, are
    life-problems to solve. The Satya-yug and Buddhistic cycles of
    chronology would make a mathematician stand aghast at the array of ciphers. The
    Maha-kalpa embraces an untold number of periods far
    * Before scientists reject such a theory traditional as it is it
    would be in order for them to demonstrate why, at the end of the tertiary
    period, the Northern Hemisphere had undergone such a reduction of temperature as
    to utterly change the torrid zone to a Siberian climate? Let us bear in
    mind that the heliocentric system came to us from upper India; and that the
    germs of all great astronomical truths were brought thence by Pythagoras
    back in the antediluvian ages. Their system comprises a kalpa or grand
    period of 4,320,000,000 years, which they divide into four lesser yugas,
    running as follows:

    1st. Satya yug . . . . 1,728,000 years.
    2d. Tretya yug. . . . 1,296,000
    3d. Dvapara yug. . . .864,000
    4th. Kali yug . . . . 432,000
    which make one divine age or Maha-yug; seventy-one Maha-yugs make
    306,720,000 years, to which is added a sandhi (or the time when day and
    night border on each other, morning and evening twilight), equal to a
    Satya-yug, 1,728,000, make a manwantara of 308,448,000 years; *
    fourteen manwantaras make 4,318,272,000 years; to which must be added a
    sandhi to begin the kalpa, 1,728,000 years, making the kalpa or grand
    period of 4,320,000,000 of years.

    As we are now only in the Kali-yug of the twenty-eighth age of the
    seventh manwantara of 308,448,000 years, we have yet sufficient time before us
    to wait before we reach even half of the time allotted to the world.

    These ciphers are not fanciful, but founded upon actual astronomical
    calculations, Bunsen has demonstrated that the Egyptian priests, who
    made the cyclic notations, kept them always in the profoundest mystery.
    Perhaps their difficulty arose from the fact that the calculations of the
    ancients applied equally to the spiritual progress of humanity as to the
    physical. It will not be difficult to understand the close correspondence drawn by
    the ancients between the cycles of nature and of mankind, if we keep in mind
    their belief in the constant and all-potent influences of the planets
    upon the fortunes of humanity.

    Higgins justly believed that the cycle of the Indian system, of 432,000,
    is the true key of the secret cycle. But his failure in trying to decipher
    it was made apparent; for as it pertained to the mystery of the creation,
    this cycle was the most inviolable of all. It was repeated in symbolic
    figures only in the Chaldean Book of Numbers, the original of which, if now
    extant, is certainly not to be found in libraries, as it formed one of the most
    ancient Books of Hermes,* the number of which is at present undetermined.

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