Reincarnation and Karma
… At the present stage of human existence, there is no other way to durable spiritual development than through physical embodiments. The total sum of its varied experiences offer us the chance at first to learn and thus to progress, and later to overcome ourselves and thus to attain spiritual awareness…
That part of man which is within the physical world, the ego, must in the end come to recognize and revere his higher individuality, unseen and unknown though it may be. This requires a growth through time, through many rebirths.
… What we have done or desired in former incarnations predetermines a large part of the picture of our present one. Yet, the connection between this cause and this effect is unseen by us until someone else, a master of insight, shows it to us…
… What is the use of taking a few small sections of the past, such as childhood or adolescence, and attempting to deal with them only, when the true past of the ego contains innumerable subconscious memories of former lives on earth and numerous tendencies which arise from episodes belonging to that vanished history…?
The ego inherits the tendencies, the affinities, and the antagonisms which have shaped themselves in a long series of births behind the present one.
Heredity can answer for a man´s face and form and nervous type but it cannot answer for his genius. Here it is necessary to bring in something quite different — the development of his talent through repeated earth lives.
… I am unwittingly remembering and using again my own capabilities from a former birth. This is possible only because I am mind. Mind alone can continue itself. Capacities in any field cannot appear out of nothing. The individual who shows them forth is repeating them out of his own deeper memory…
The traits and tendencies which a man receives from the preceding births constitute in their totality the personal self which he knows as ”I.”
As the full meaning of reincarnation and of karma sinks deeper and deeper into his mind, a generous tolerance will rise higher and higher in his feelings. He will begin to see that every wrong-doer is what he is because of his past experience and present mentality and has to act in the way he does and cannot act in any other way…
… He cannot behave differently from the way he does–that is, if he is not on the quest and therefore not struggling to rise beyond himself. His own past–and it stretches back farther than he knows–created the thoughts, the acts, and the conditions of the present.
… He must refuse to follow the common error and identify himself with this one physical body of the present incarnation. Rather, he must identify himself with his mental being and feel this as something immortal, something reappearing on earth time after time and coming closer and closer, with each appearance, to the goal…
Where a wrong is done us by someone generally we may be sure that the experience represents the expiation of a wrong which we have done to someone in a past incarnation. It is useless to cry out against the injustice of the injury when the cause lies deep within our own history. It is best to put aside the natural feeling of resentment and, understanding as well as we may what it is we are expiating, take its lessons to heart.
If the teaching favourably commends itself to any individual from the first contact as being requisite to his needs, this is often a sign that he has followed it in earlier existences.
He who has had the good fortune to have a loving companion in marriage should not rail at Destiny when this helpmate is taken away. The same karma which brought the two together has also severed the relationship. But this is only temporary. There is really no loss, as mind speaks to mind in silent moments. Love and companionship of high quality will act as an attractive force to bring them together again somewhere, sometime. Many feel this in the inner understanding.
Just because most people appear to have superficial interests and are not yet ready for the deeper thoughts of philosophy does not necessarily mean that they are not making spiritual progress. On the contrary, they may be doing very well on their own particular levels of development. It will simply be necessary for them to incarnate many more times before they are capable of understanding the more advanced truths.
The spiritual instinct may appear to be totally dormant in a man but it is never killed. In another birth, and after other experiences, it will return.
The man who finds his mind suddenly illuminated, but does not know why it came about, may find his answer in the doctrine of ”tendencies”–prenatal and karmic–reappearing from former lives and held hitherto in the deeper mental levels.
His conduct while alive will contribute to the kind of body and environment he gets next time, his thought and feelings too. We earn from life and pass up higher or go down lower like pupils in graded school.
… The karma made in past births is like a shot from a gun; we cannot recall it and must endure the consequences. But once we have surrendered ourself to the Spiritual Preceptor, he guides our hands and prevents us from shooting out further bad karma.
… These new ideas will assume the characteristics of seeds, which under the water of the student’s own aspiration and the sunshine of visible and invisible forces, will grow gradually into fruitful understanding and deeds. For the karmic consequence of such interest will be one day birth into a family where every opportunity for advancement will be found.
We come back to this earth of ours and not to some other earth because it is here that we sow the seeds of thought, of feeling, and of action, and therefore it is here that we must reap their harvest. Nature is orderly and just, consistent and continuous.
All men come back to bodily life again if they leave a residue of karma. All karma that is not brought to an end by bringing the mind’s bondage to the ego-thought to an end, makes reincarnation inescapable.
Greeks who believed strongly in the idea of rebirth were not only the initiates of the Orphic Mysteries, but also among the most celebrated thinkers, especially Plato.
The wheel of life does not stop for long–soon it will turn again and pass from the point of death to the point of life.
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