The Theosophical Forum – January 1939


The statement has been repeatedly made in our Theosophical literature that Ethics or Morals are not mere conventions, but that they rest on the eternal verities; are inherent in the life and fabric of the Universe. The laws governing them are as scientific as those governing mechanics, electricity, or any other of the so-called powers of nature, and the reaction against the violation of the principles of Ethics is as inevitable as the results of the application of a lighted match to gunpowder. There is absolutely no escaping this.

How could it be otherwise? The Universe in manifestation is a composite unit, for it has grown to be what it is, as a tree has grown to be such from a seedling. If it were not thus knit together, if there were not one purpose instead of divergent interests, one Law permeating its entire system, it would collapse or destroy itself. All that exists is part of it inevitably, and as it is an organism, every disturbance of its harmonious balance reacts upon the Whole as unerringly as a disorder in any part of the human body reacts upon the whole body, and then upon the mind controlling that body. For instance, suppose a poison has invaded some part of the human organism from an external source. Instantly the news is carried over the system, and its protectors, the white cells of the blood, rush to the scene of danger — automatically, we say in our ignorance, but really because the whole and the part are one. The disturbance is also flashed to the mind like lightning, because it is, in a larger sense, the same organism. Here the reaction can generally be met by initiating means to restore harmony, for surface disturbances are the least serious. But if this is not accomplished, the mind itself can become gravely involved. Reverse the process, however, and follow the confusion that must result from a discordant mind, working on a far more plastic, subtle plane than that of the body, on a plane where forces are inevitably more closely interwoven and intermingled. Picture the effect of hate, envy, jealousy, the will to dominate for a selfish end, on other minds tuned to similar vibrations. Imagine the reaction which must follow there in addition to the certain effect, sooner or later, lower down, as currents normally and constantly flow from any mind to its body. It would be well for Theosophists to ponder over some statements in William Q. Judge's Culture of Concentration, as to the effect of anger on the ethereal body. But one does not have to be an occultist to know that hate breeds hate; that anger produces an atmosphere of storm; that selfishness eventually isolates itself — the poor mind, given over to this disease, finding itself at long last, hated, alone, and dreaded as a moral leper.

Fortunately, kind Nature generally forestalls these extremes by its reactions, so that gradually the unevolved human soul learns its lessons and obligations. To be sure, Theosophy teaches that these lessons may or may not follow in the same life which called them forth, but this in no wise interferes with the beneficent result. For whether the human part of a man remembers his sins or not, they have altered his character, which he has himself molded, and which he carries over from life to life, and it is that character which must bring upon itself sometime, somewhere, somehow, society's reaction.

Theosophical University Press Online Edition