It is only the knowledge of blessed karman with its infinitely just measures of harmony which saves the man of mind and heart from being utterly discouraged. It is this key, to the man of the world when he understands it, which leads him up gentle gradations, upwards with an expanding vision; until finally he sees reality, as much of it as his mind can contain; and he knows that despite all his suffering in the world due to karmic necessity, fundamentally all is well.
Let no man harden his heart at this and think that he need not bestir himself to help others or to extend a helping hand or to give a draught of cooling water to the thirsty. Remember the old law that H. P. B. taught us: Inaction in a deed of pity becomes an action in a sin full of fate for you. You see why?
I wonder how many of us forget our fundamental teaching of Universal Brotherhood? Such simple words! They seem so trite, and yet they contain the doctrine of the gods. They contain, these words, Universal Brotherhood, all the Law and all the Prophets. Remember that knowledge brings not only power but responsibility. What might be excused unto you when you are ignorant, will be counted against you when you know the Law. This is just one of the reasons why the Masters keep the higher teachings of Theosophy, the occult doctrines, (one of the reasons at least) so strictly secret. Much is excused of a man who does not know. Little is excused the man who knows and who remains inactive. Nothing is excused the man who knows, who has power to act, and who lacks the urge to act. He is guilty of a crime against Nature; and the only thing we have to watch, we students of our Ancient Wisdom, is this: let us never so act that we offend a brother or injure him. It matters not how right we may think we may be. It matters not how wrong we are convinced our brother is. Your duty, my duty, is to care for our own dharma. Forgetting our own dharma or duty, and presuming to judge a brother and thereupon acting against him, offending him, is full of danger. The duty, the dharma, of another for you is dangerous. Therefore do not criticize.
Such simple truths, so logical, so clear, so appealing! Our earth would be a heaven if men would but follow them. And yet today men flatter themselves, and they flatter those in high public posts, for the same evil: thinking that struggle, punishment, hate, become a moral duty. Show me one passage by the Saviors of the world that endorses this, one single passage. You will not find it. The secret is to do your own duty wherever you are and at any time. You have a duty to yourself, to your soul. The first duty of all that a man has, is to think uprightly, to think cleanly, to live rightly, never to hurt a brother. Then comes the duty to his family, then the duty to his country; and to certain rare ones there comes a duty to the gods, or demigods. This is all included however in the one statement of a man's universal duty to mankind which includes all. Whether we call this class of "rare ones" just mentioned Mahatmans, or super-Mahatmans, Bodhisattvas or Christs, it matters not.
Do not for a moment imagine that I have uttered contradictions, that there will ever be a struggle between your sense of right to Y or your sense of right to X. There never will be. Impossible! If there is a conflict in your mind, it shows that your mind is not yet clear, that you are hanging on to something. When your mind is crystal clear to the spiritual inspiration, you will have no doubts. Duty will always be clear before you; and I will tell you now that duty never calls for injuring someone else. The difficulty for us Theosophists is sometimes in moments of distress, when we are striving hard to know what is right, to know what is right. That comes of our imperfect spiritual and intellectual growth; and all we can do at such times is to do our best, keeping the principles of the rules before us: never injure another; be loyal to your word, be faithful to your pledge. Be honest, be cleanly in all things; be upright and harmless; wise as serpents, which means adepts; innocent or harmless as doves. The dove was in ancient times an emblem of the chela.
A great European once, when asked what he thought in a conflict of duties the most important to be, answered briefly: Do the duty which is first at hand. Then all others will find their proper places.
Thus, a man who is true to himself will be true to his family; he will be true to his country; and with the enlarging vision that this rule brings, he will be true to all mankind.