What is meant by the Cycle of Necessity?
In the Secret Doctrine (Vol I., p. 17) the Cycle of Necessity is given as synonymous with the Cycle of Incarnation. It is also stated that the pilgrimage of the Soul is obligatory, this pilgrimage or cycle of incarnation being through all forms of manifestation, the soul gaining experience in and passing through all successive stages of existence until finally it attains the highest.
The expression "cycle of necessity" seems to convey preeminently the idea that all life is under law, that in coming into manifested existence we do but carry out the law of our own being. Having once started forth on its journey, the Soul is bound to the wheel of existence until it shall have accomplished its whole course. But in no sense is this necessity laid upon the Soul by any extraneous power, but is the expression of its own nature and its own inner purposes, and however much to the personal man it may at times seem as though he were here without his own volition or against his will, yet if he will look deep enough he will find that the will to live is within himself and that, in fact, it is his own inner will that keeps him in life.
If this can be thoroughly realized, then we can begin to look around and within to discover the method and the purpose of existence and we shall begin to find that while bound, we yet are free — free, because of the existence and controlling power of law. By every thought, by every act, we weave for ourselves a small or great cycle of necessity, for we thereby sow the seed of which we must reap the harvest. We are free in that we can sow either good or bad seed and can thus hasten or retard our progress in the great Cycle of Necessity. And herein is one of the great secrets of Life, that being bound by reason of his own nature and will to the wheel of existence he can make that existence what he will. At each moment the two paths are open to him, either to live for self or for others. — J. H. F.
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Is conscience an infallible guide?
It would be strange if it were not. Consider it as spiritual instinct, standing to man as physiological instinct stands to the animal. The whole series of acts in the life of an animal tends to the preservation of his powers. Nature works in (or as) him for her own evolution.
Physiological evolution made man possible; through him can spiritual nature henceforth sound her note of guidance along the further path of evolution, as through the animal speaks the wise voice of his physical nature. And both voices are perfect guides, each on its own plane.
It is the habit of man, on the one hand, to make subtle, half-conscious, and most skilful misinterpretations of the divine voice (when not openly flouting it); and on the other to mistake for it the distillations and rarefied vapours of his own desires. — G. N.
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