The Theosophical Forum – Spetember 1938

HEALTH AND THE KARMAN OF ILL-HEALTH — Reata Pedersen

(From a Student's Note-Book)

The subject of Health in connexion with our teachings is one to which the Theosophists endeavoring to answer the question of inquirers should give thought. In the process of giving thought to it, let us ask ourselves certain very pertinent questions:

How much of the "wholeness" which is health, have we experienced?

Can we bear witness to any degree of "healing" which we feel has resulted from exercising the highest powers of each of our seven principles?

Do we think our karman can be modified in this present life, or do we think right living can affect only the future bodies the Reincarnating Ego will use?

The students of G. de P. have been reminded again, just lately, that the words whole and health have the same root, and we shall find in the dictionary the first definition of Whole, given thus: "Being in a state of health and soundness; well; hence, healed." Does it not seem then quite possible that by living in all the parts of ourselves, as the chela should live, we shall have the wholeness which is health?

We know that which is possible for one is possible for all. We know there are no isolated miracles and indeed that the seeming miracle is but the observance of the working of the universal operation, when that operation has not been interfered with by the action of another part of the universe. In other words, if we ourselves have not offered the obstruction the miracle of harmony is observed, for we and the universe are indeed one.

In bearing witness to any degree of healing, it is meant only that from knowledge of such healing in ourselves, and evidence of it in others, we act as witnesses of the truth of the teaching that "self-directed evolution" is possible and that the result of it is to gain for manhood an approximation of godhood.

In bearing witness, it is not suggested that we say these things aloud, but only that we know them of ourselves. There may be opportunity, when with our teachers or our fellow students, to bring forward the knowledge we have gained, but an account of personal experiences cannot always be relied upon to help the inquirer. However, great help can be given to inquirers and fellow students alike by our certainty of the truth of our teachings. Also our voicing of the knowledge we have come into sometimes gives the teacher an opportunity to enlarge the explanations of these teachings as formerly given; for we understand, do we not, that until we are ready for them there are certain parts of the teachings that are touched upon very lightly? By our questions and sometimes halting accounts of what we have come to know, our teachers have evidence of our progress. We have been told we cannot form our questions without having the answers to them within our knowledge. It is then we are given certain ground upon which to stand, for in answering our questions the teacher cultivates the soil of our inward knowledge, that the plant of our growing knowledge may have no restriction in growth.

In seeking evidence of our spiritual growth, our enlightenment, let us not mistake the experiences common to all who have known what may be called a "Spiritual Awakening."

These experiences fall into two classes — Dreams and Hallucinations. It is the hallucinations which must be guarded against, for, while we are able to attribute the dreams to unwise eating or overtired bodies, we are apt to say of the hallucinations that we experienced them with our eyes wide open. We see lights, or hear our names called, hear music different from any ever listened to, are "told" where things are we have lost, see a scene from a past life or have a fore-knowledge of a future event.

Even if these things could be proven true and not hallucinations, the way of health and wholeness does not lie here. Health is not necessarily manifest by what we may call a motor automatism, as when our bodies lose heaviness and feel light and untiring. Into all these things, hallucinations and motor automatisms, our personality enters. Our emotions, reactions to the emotions of others, the effect of beauty or ugliness upon our sensibilities enter, and health is not found through exercise of the personality of the student. Wholeness is oneness, and personality is separateness.

Orderly growth, but hastened growth, through aspiring action without the desire for "fruit" of such action — this is the way to health. Effort to absorb the teachings that we may have health as a result of our effort is not of much avail. Our main business is to "live the life" that we may broaden the path for those who follow after us. If we will attend to our business of living Theosophy we shall come to know a harmony with all the manifesting universe which will result in the manifestation of health in our various bodies.

When we speak of one body, and mean by that the physical alone, we are forgetting that life-atoms form bodies, or vehicles, for each of the seven principles of man's constitution. All these bodies must be sound, well, whole, healthful, before the life-atoms forming the physical body of man will manifest health. All these bodies must be saturated with the nature of Atma-Buddhi, for man is rooted in his god-nature; he grows from it and can only bring forth flower from the seed of him, from the root of him, as does every other growing thing.

Health is virtue; it is an active quality or power. It is a transforming energy. With this energy, with this virtue, with this quality, the life-atoms heretofore unconsciously impressed by you and your way of life can be impressed with a radiance that is the infilling of them with the Central Kosmic Spiritual Fire. The atoms then are not just sparks of that central fire, but become the continuous manifesting flame of that fire. Each of them becomes wholly at one with its own essence.

Can we think that we impress these life-atoms that make up, in their aggregate, our physical bodies only in isolated spots? We say of our finger prints and the whorls on feet and hands that they are different from that of any other person. Well, certainly they are, but can we truly think of this impression of our self upon these few physical atoms as being the only impression we can make upon this private physical body of ours? Since we cannot, how then think that we do not impress the man we are, upon all the life-atoms which make up the several bodies of man?

If man, through anger, can release into his blood stream the substance from certain glands (adrenal), can we not think of him as releasing into his blood stream a substance which is called forth by calmness and gentleness? May it not be that same gland, or another, has dual substances to be used as the nature of our living calls upon it for use, for co-operation?

Living without strife and anger, living the grand way, living in the highest parts of each of our principles, despising not the lower nature, but raising it, which we can do by a noble giving of ourselves to the work of the Masters — surely this is possible to Theosophists.

Man has holy loves, aspirations, hope and vision. These belong to the spirit which is immortal and deathless and are transmitted through the intermediate nature, or human soul, which human beings ordinarily call "I," much as the sunlight streams through the pane of glass in the window. — Golden Precepts of Esotericism, pp. 78-9

Can we think of sunshine even through glass as not bringing light into a room? How then think of the things of the spirit as not light-bringing? Enlightened, we learn to give instead of to expect gifts. With our giving we grow into wholeness. With wholeness we have health. Yes even if our karman — our choice of action in other lives, and the reactions of our choice — has fashioned for us unhealthy bodies. By such realized virtue, we have BECOME the whole, and in that sense have neither modified nor changed karman, but have lived many incarnations in this life, expending in that living the accumulated karman. We are becoming the god, and to the extent of our unselfish living are the god.


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