Universal Brotherhood Path – February 1902


Of the things which happen to us, some are obviously due to our own conduct, and others are not so easily explainable. In the latter case we may find it necessary to introduce a Deity or Providence to account for our lot.

For example: If I am ill from over-eating, I blame myself; but if I am ill from birth up, I blame God.

Or again: If I jump off a cliff and break my leg, it is my fault; but if a shingle falls on my head as I walk along the street, it is God's inscrutable will; or, perhaps I may prefer to say it is Chance's inscrutable will.

Doubtless one could find some events that would be on the border-line between these two categories, and where it would be difficult to decide whether to blame God or one's self.

There is no valid reason for thus partially using Providence by bringing him into some of the affairs of our life and leaving him out of others. He must be involved in all or in none. Man's destiny is as much a part of his belongings as are his character and his clothes. He spins and weaves that destiny as he goes along, like a spider with its web. This fact is generally admitted in the case of many events; but surely, if it is true at all, it must be true throughout and must apply even to the smallest detail, such as the falling of a brick on one's head.

There may be no apparent connection between the trivial and so-called "casual" incidents of life and their causes in ourselves; but then our knowledge of the universe is extremely limited. When we consider what vast realms of nature remain yet unexplored, and what huge gaps there are in our knowledge, we shall not wonder that many things remain unexplained.

Many Theosophists have a general belief in the law of Karma, but that is not the same thing as understanding the machinery by which that law works out its operations.

Nevertheless it is beyond question that advancing knowledge will reveal more and more of the subtle links that unite character to destiny, and thus leave ever less and less to be assigned to the inscrutable will of Chance or to blind Providence.

Theosophical University Press Online Edition