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Karma, Law, Justice

C. J. Ducasse    Nature, Mind and Death

Each of us that is old enough to view the course of his life in perspective can see that again and again his aptitudes, his habits, his tastes or interests, his virtues or his vices, brought about, not by plan but automatically, changes in his material or social circumstances, in his associates, in his opportunities and so on; and that these changes in turn, quite as much as those due to purely external causes, contributed to shape for the better or the worse what he then became.

Huston Smith   The Religions of Man

The present condition of each individual's interior life --how happy he is, how confused or serene, how much he can see-- is an exact product of what he has wanted and got in the past; and equally, his present thoughts and decisions are determining his future states.

F. M. Cornford   From Religion to Philosophy

This life, which is perpetually renewed, is reborn out of that opposite state, called "death," in which, at the other end of its arc, it passes again.

Charles Johnston   The Upanishads   (Hindu Scriptures)

According as were his works and walks in [another] life, so he becomes.  He that does righteously becomes righteous.  He that does  evil becomes evil.  He becomes holy through holy works and evil through evil . . . . Man verily is formed of desire; as his desire is, so is his will; as his will is, so he works; and whatever work he does, in the likeness of it he grows. . .

The Panchatantra   The Banana Peel

. . . a proud Brahmin --one noble in name-- came upon a banana peel in his path.  He communed with himself, saying "every man reaps in the future the fruits of all his acts.  If, therefore, I take this peel from the pathway, I shall have done a deed of merit, and be rewarded by karma in my next life."  So mused the Brahmin, and he carefully removed the peel.  For this crafty thought of self, the proud Brahmin was born in a lower caste in his next life.

Sankaracharya   Three Lectures on the Vedanta Philosophy  --Max Muller

If a man feels that what, without any fault of his own, he suffers in this life can only be the result of some of his former acts, he will bear his sufferings with more resignation, like a debtor who is paying off an old debt.

Hermann Keyserling   Travel Diary of a Philosopher

Every action entails, according to the law of karma, its natural and inevitable consequences; every one must bear these for himself, no merciful Providence can remove them . . .

D. T. Suzuki   Self the Unattainable

Without self there would be no individual; without no individual there will be no responsibility.  Without the idea of responsibility morality ceases to exist . . . human community becomes impossible.

Sir Edwin Arnold            The Light of Asia
The Law knows not wrath nor pardon; utter true
Its measures meet, its faultless balance weighs;
Times are as naught, tomorrow will judge,
Or after many days.
By this the slayer's knife did stab himself;
The unjust judge hath lost his own defender;
The false tongue dooms its lie; the creeping thief
And spoiler rob, to render.

Lafcadio Hearn    Japan  -An Attempt at Interpretation

. . . Painful indeed the loss of your child; but this loss is the consequence of having, in some former life, refused affection where affection was due.

Dalai Lama    New York Times (Nov. 12, 1967)

. . . The chain of causes that will eventually undermine it [ Chinese rule ], must already by lengthening, even if it cannot be seen.

H. P. Blavatsky    The Book of Golden Precepts

In the "Great Journey," causes sown each hour bear each its harvest of effects, for rigid Justice rules the World.  With mighty sweep of never erring action, it brings to mortals lives of weal or woe, the karmic progeny of all our former thoughts and deeds.

Shea and Troyer    The Dabistan

The imperfectly good migrate from one body to another, until, by the efficacy of good works and actions, they are finally emancipated from matte and gain a higher rank.

Richard Wilhelm    Reincarnation

. . . the fact is irrefutable that in one and the same family more and less advanced souls are born.  It is karmic law undoubtedly that plays the most decisive part.

Porphyry    The Enneads

. . . in the choice of lives [that individual] is the more accurate judge who has obtained an experience of both [the better and the worst kind of life], then he who has only experienced on ot them . . . .

Giordano Bruno    The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast

. . . by virtue of the High Justice that presides over all things . . . [the hero and divinity in man] must not expect the government and administration of a better dwelling when it has badly guided itself in the rule of another . . . . By decree of Eternal Law, it is sanctioned that the most powerful be most powerfully compressed and bound . . .

Henry More    The Immortality of the Soul

. . . their souls did once subsist in some other state . . . and of their own natures, they undergo several calamities and aspirations of fortune, and sad drudgeries as a punishment inflicted, or a disease attracted from the several obliquities of their apostasy.

Richard Wagner    Letter to Hans Bulow  (Sept. 27, 1858)

I cannot take my life, for the Will to accomplish the Object of Art would draw me back into life again until I realized that object, and so I would only be re-entering this circle of tears and misery.

Edouard    Schuré          Grands Initiés

There is not a word or action which has not its echo in eternity . . . . According to esoteric doctrine, this proverb is literally applied from one life to another.

Gina Cerminara     The World Within

"How deep is this causal law!"  Ananda exclaims.  "How deep it seems! . . ."
And Buddha answered, saying, "Say not so, Ananda, say not so.  Deep indeed is this causal law, and deep it appears to be.  But it is by not knowing, by not understanding, by not penetrating this doctrine that the world of man has become entangled like a ball of twine, unable to pass beyond the Way of Woe and the ceaseless round of rebirth."

Herbert Fingarette     The Self in Transformation

The karmic law is much closer to the old Greek notion of cosmic justice, or to the notion of "poetic justice."  The punishment exactly fits the crime.  But poetic justice must operate within a life, if not this one, then another one.  It cannot be realized if life terminates in an essentially static heaven or hell . . .

. . . we must accept responsibility for the "acts" of . . . [our] other selves, we must see these acts as ours . . . .

. . . I must assume responsibility for the acts and thoughts of those other persons as if they were I.

". . . man dies and is reborn daily and hourly in this present life." (Hindu Scripture)

. . . the widespread desire to keep on living on earth is a powerful motive to "sin" in order to assure rebirth . . . This view is . . . seeing the words of the doctrine rather than its meaning as it functions in the appropriate context . . . .

Christmas Humphreys     Karma and Rebirth

Acting from the highest levels in his being, man is the creating and controlling force in the Universe; acting from the lowest he is the worst enemy of himself and the One Life . . . .

. . . the habit of good deeds will purify the mind, and prepare it for greater  widening of the scope.  A better motive for right living is a wider appreciation of the Law and its relation to the Universe as a whole [ and] the desire to assist all life towards enlightenment . . .

H. P. Blavatsky     Key to Theosophy

. . . no amount of argument based upon exoteric considerations of social morals or expediency, can turn the hearts of the rulers of nations away from selfish war and schemes of conquest.

                              The Secret Doctrine

Stagnation and Death is the future of all that vegetates without change.  And how can there be any change for the better without proportionate suffering during the preceding stage?

Karma is a highly philosophical truth . . . which explains the origin of evil, and ennobles . . . divine immutable Justice . . . instead of degrading [Deity] . . . by making it the whimsical, cruel tyrant which we call Providence . . . .

. . . the only decree of Karma . . . is absolute Harmony in the world of matter as it is in the world of Spirit.

. . . the only palliative to the evils of life is union and harmony -- a Brotherhood IN ACTU, and altruism not simply in name. . . .

The closer the union between the mortal reflection Man, and his [inner divine Self], the less dangerous the external conditions and subsequent reincarnation.

William Q. Judge     The Ocean of Theosophy

. . . karma brings sooner or later all those who loved each other with such a spiritual affection to incarnate once more in the same family group.

Karma is not a being but a law, the universal law of harmony which unerringly restores all disturbance to equi-
librium . . . the ordinary materialistic conception of God . . . has caused thousands to live in fear . . . with the selfish object of obtaining reward and securing escape from his wrath . . .

Reincarnation as a doctrine applying to the real man does not teach transmigration into kingdoms of nature below the human . . . there is the exception of the case where men live bad lives persistently for ages . . . [they] must wind their way upward through the lower kingdoms to the MAN stage again.

Roshi Philip Kapleau        The Wheel of Life and Death

. . . the unending cycle of birth-living-dying-death-rebirth continues unbroken, driven by the volition, instincts, and habit patterns born of craving, anger and delusion  --driven by, in  word, Ego.  The physical body . . . is a composite or crystallization of our deluded, ego-based thoughts.

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