Action, thought, motive and knowledge are the immediate or remote causes which produce all physical results.
|Vol. 7||SEPTEMBER, 1908.||No. 6|
|Copyright, 1908, by H. W. PERCIVAL.|
THERE are four kinds of karma. There is the karma of knowledge or spiritual karma; mental or thought karma; psychic or desire karma; and physical or sex karma. Though each karma is distinct in itself, all are related to each other. The karma of knowledge, or spiritual karma, applies to the spiritual man in his spiritual zodiac.¹ This is the karma of knowledge, cancer-capricorn (♋︎–♑︎). Mental or thought karma applies to the mental man in his mental zodiac and is of leo-sagittary (♌︎–♐︎). Psychic or desire karma applies to the psychic man in his psychic zodiac and is of virgo-scorpio (♍︎–♏︎). Physical or sex karma applies to the physical man of sex in his physical zodiac and is of libra (♎︎).
Spiritual karma has to do with the karmic record which an individual, as well as the world, has brought over from the previous to the present manifestation, together with all that pertains to man in his spiritual nature. It covers the entire period and the series of reincarnations in the present world system until he, as an immortal individuality, has freed himself from all thoughts, actions, results of and attachments to action in every one of the manifested worlds. A man’s spiritual karma begins at the sign cancer (♋︎), where he appears as a breath in the world system and begins to act according to his past knowledge; this spiritual karma ends at the sign capricorn (♑︎), when he has attained his full and complete individuality after having earned his freedom from and risen above the law of karma by fulfilling all its requirements.
Mental karma is that which applies to the development of the mind of man and to the uses which he makes of his mind. Mental karma begins in the ocean of life, leo (♌︎), with which the mind acts, and ends with the complete thought, sagittary (♐︎), which is born of the mind.
Mental karma is related to the lower, physical world by desire and to the spiritual world by man’s aspiration. The mental world, is the world in which man really lives and from which his karma is generated.
Psychic or desire karma extends through the world of forms and desires, virgo-scorpio (♍︎–♏︎). In this world are contained the subtle forms, which give rise to and furnish the impulses which cause all physical action. Here are concealed the underlying tendencies and habits which urge the repetition of physical actions and here are determined the feelings, sentiments, emotions, desires, lusts and passions which are the movers to physical action.
Physical karma is directly related to the physical body of man as a man of sex, libra (♎︎). In the physical body are concentrated the dregs of the other three kinds of karma. It is the balance in which the accounts of past actions are worked out and adjusted. Physical karma applies to and affects man as to his birth and family connections, the health or ailments, the span of the life and the manner of the death of the body. Physical karma limits the action and prescribes the tendencies and mode of action of a man, his business, social or other positions and relations, and at the same time the physical karma offers the means by which the tendencies are changed, the mode of action improved and the dregs of life revivified and transubstantiated by the one who is the actor in the physical body and who consciously or unconsciously adjusts and balances the scales of life in his body of sex.
Let us examine more particularly into the workings of the four kinds of karma.
Physical karma begins with birth into this physical world; the race, country, environment, family and the sex, are determined entirely by the previous thoughts and actions of the ego who incarnates. The parents of whom it is born may be old friends or bitter enemies. Whether its birth be attended by much rejoicing or opposed even with preventatives, the ego comes into and inherits its body to work out old antagonisms and to renew old friendships and assist and be assisted by old friends.
Birth into uncongenial, galling surroundings, such as are attended by obscurity, poverty or squalor, is the result of past oppression of others, of having subjected them to or suffered them to be in like conditions, or of laziness of body, indolence of thought and slothfulness in action; or such a birth is the result of the necessity to live under adverse conditions by the overcoming and mastery of which alone strength of mind, of character and of purpose, is attained. Usually those who are born in what are called good or bad conditions are suited to the conditions and surroundings.
A fine piece of Chinese embroidery may be simple to look at and distinct in the outlines of its objects and colors, yet when one comes to look more closely into the details, he begins to marvel at the intricate windings of the threads which form the design, and at the delicate blending of the colors. Only after patient study he may follow the windings of the threads according to the design and be able to appreciate differences in the shades of the color scheme by which contrasting colors and tints are brought together and made to show harmonies and proportions of color and form. So we see the world and its people, nature in her many active forms, the physical appearance of men, their actions and habits, all seeming natural enough; but upon examination into the factors which make up race, environment, features, habits and appetites of a single man, we find that like the piece of embroidery, he seems natural enough as a whole, but wonderful and mysterious as to the manner in which all these factors are worked together and harmonized in the formation of a thought, the windings of many thoughts, and the consequent actions which determined the sex, form, features, habits, appetites and birth of a physical body into the family, country and environment in which it appears. It would be difficult to follow all the windings of the threads of thought and the delicate shadings and colorings of the motives which gave character to the thoughts and actions and produced healthy, diseased or deformed bodies, bodies with peculiar, striking, or ordinary features, bodies tall, short, broad, or slender, or bodies limp, mushy, heavy, sluggish, hard, brutish, well rounded, angular, fulsome, attractive, repulsive, magnetic, active, elastic, awkward, or graceful, with wheezy, piping, shrill or full, deep-toned and sonorous voices. While all the causes producing any or several of these results may not be seen or understood at once, yet the principles and rules of thought and action which produce such results may be.
Physical actions produce physical results. Physical actions are caused by habits of thought and modes of thinking. Habits of thought and modes of thinking are caused either by the instinctual promptings of desire, or by the study of systems of thought, or by the presence of the divine. As to which mode of thinking is operative is determined by one’s motive.
Motive is caused by the far-reaching, deep-seated knowledge of the ego. Spiritual or worldly knowledge are the causes of motive. Motive gives direction to one’s thought. Thought decides actions, and actions produce physical results. Action, thought, motive, and knowledge are the immediate or remote causes which produce all physical results. Nothing exists in the domain of nature that is not the effect of these causes. They are simple in themselves and easily followed where all of the principles involved work harmoniously to produce a given physical result; but with the varying degrees of ignorance prevalent, immediate harmony does not prevail, and all the principles involved do not work harmoniously together; hence the difficulty in tracing from a physical result all the factors and conflicting causes to their sources.
The birth of a human physical body into this physical world is the balance sheet of the indwelling ego as it is brought over from the previous life. It is his physical karma. It represents the physical balance due him in the karmic bank and the bills outstanding against his physical account. This applies to all things pertaining to physical life. The physical body is the concentrated deposits of past actions which bring health or disease, with moral or immoral inclinations. What is called heredity of the body is only the medium, the soil, or coin, through which and by which the physical karma is produced and paid. The birth of a child is at once like the cashing of a check due the parents, and a draft presented to them in the charge of their child. Birth of the body is the budget of credit and debit accounts of karma. The manner in which this budget of karma will be dealt with depends on the indwelling ego, the maker of the budget, who may carry along or change the accounts during the life of that body. A physical life may be led in accordance with the tendencies due to birth and environment, in which case the indweller honors the requirements of family, position and race, uses the credit which these give him and extends the accounts and contracts for similar continuing conditions; or one may change the conditions and cash all the credit which birth and position give him as the result of past works and at the same time refuse to honor the claims of birth, position and race. This explains the apparent contradictions where men seem ill-suited to their positions, where they are born in uncongenial surroundings, or are deprived of what their birth and position calls for.
Birth of a congenital idiot is the balancing of the accounts of the past actions of many lives, where there are only physical indulgences of the appetites and wrong action of the body. The idiot is the balance of an account of physical actions which are all debts and no credit. The congenital idiot has no bank account to draw on because all physical credits have been used up and abused; the result is the total loss of the body. There is no indwelling self-conscious I am I, ego, in the body of a congenital idiot, as the ego which should have owned the body has lost and failed in the business of life and has no physical capital to work with, having wasted and abused his capital and credit.
An idiot who becomes such after birth may not have become entirely cut off and separated from its ego; but whether or not such is the case, one who becomes an idiot after birth arrives at that state as the result of former lives of carelessness, sense-indulgence, love of pleasure, and dissipation, and where the care and cultivation of the mind in connection with the principles of right living have been omitted. Such anomalies, as idiots who have some one faculty abnormally developed as, for instance, one who is idiotic in everything in life other than, say, mathematics, is one who, as a mathematician, has neglected all bodily laws, indulged in the senses, and developed some abnormal tendency of the sex, but who has carried on his study and devoted himself to mathematics. The musical idiot is one whose lives have been given up similarly to the senses, but some of whose time has been employed nevertheless in the study of music.
Life in the body has a double purpose: it is a nursery for baby egos and a school for the more advanced. As a nursery for the infant mind, it offers means by which the mind may experience the conditions and vicissitudes of life in the world. In this nursery the classes are graded from the stupid, dull and indolent, born in a suitable environment, to the sensitive, light-hearted, vivacious, quick-witted, pleasure-loving, idlers of society. All grades of the nursery are passed through; each affords its pleasures and its pains, its joys and its sufferings, its loves and hatreds, its true and its false, and all sought after and inherited by the inexperienced mind as a result of its works.
As a school for the more advanced, life in the world is more complicated, and, therefore, more factors enter into the requirements of birth of the more advanced than in the case of the simple-minded. There are many requirements of birth in the school of knowledge. These are determined by the particular work of the present life, which is a continuation or completion of the work of the past. Birth by obscure parents in an out of the way place, where the necessities of life are obtained with great difficulties and much effort, birth in an influential family, well stationed and near a large city, birth under conditions which from the start throw the ego on its own resources, or birth where the ego enjoys a life of ease and afterwards meets with reverses of fortune requiring it to develop latent strength of character or latent faculties will provide the opportunities and offer the means necessary for the work in the world which the ego of that body has to perform. Birth, either in the school of knowledge or in the nursery department, is a payment received and an opportunity to be used.
The kind of the body which is born is the kind of body the ego has earned and which is the result of the past works. As to whether the new body is diseased or healthy depends on the abuse or care which was given to the ego’s past body. If the body inherited is healthy it means that the rules of physical health have not been disobeyed. A healthy body is the result of obedience to the laws of health. If the body is sickly or diseased, that is the result of disobedience to or of an attempt to break the laws of physical nature.
A healthy or diseased body is primarily and ultimately due to the use or abuse of the sex function. The lawful use of sex produces a healthy body of sex (♎︎). The abuse of sex produces a body with disease determined by the nature of the abuse. Other causes of health and disease are the proper or improper use made of food, water, air, light, exercise, sleep and habits of living. So, for instance, constipation is caused by lack of exercise, laziness of body, inattention to proper alimentation; consumption is caused by such vegetable foods as cannot be digested and assimilated by the body and which cause yeasty deposits and fermentation, by cramping and not exercising the lungs, and by exhaustion of the vital force; kidney and liver, stomach and bowel diseases are also caused by abnormal desires and appetites, by improper foods, lack of exercise and the not drinking of enough water between meals to irrigate and cleanse the organs. If tendencies to these disorders exist when life is ended, they are brought into or appear later in the new life. All such affections of the body as soft bones, bad teeth, imperfect sight with drooping, heavy or diseased eyes, cancerous growths, are due to the causes mentioned which were generated either in the present or in a former life and are manifested in the present body either from birth or develop later on in life.
Physical traits, habits, features and inclinations, may be clearly those of one’s parents and especially so in early youth, but primarily all these are due to and expressive of the thoughts and inclinations of one’s previous lives. Though these thoughts and inclinations may be modified or accentuated by the tendencies or inclinations of the parents, and though sometimes close association causes the features of two or more persons to resemble each other, yet all is regulated by one’s karma. In proportion to the strength of character and individuality the features and expression will be one’s own.
The features and form of the body are true records of the character which made them. Lines, curves and angles in their relation to each other are the written words which the thoughts and actions have made. Each line is a letter, each feature a word, each organ a sentence, each part a paragraph, all of which make up the story of the past as written by the thoughts in the language of the mind and expressed in the human body. The lines and features are changed as the mode of thinking and action changes.
All forms of grace and beauty as well as those which are grim, ghastly, disgusting and hideous are the results of thought put into action. For instance, beauty is expressed in a flower, in the coloring and form of a bird or tree, or a girl. The forms of nature are the physical expressions and results of thought, thought acting on the life matter of the world gives form to the otherwise formless matter, as sound causes fine particles of dust to become grouped in definite, harmonious forms.
When one sees a woman whose face or figure is beautiful it does not mean that her thought is as beautiful as her form. It is oftentimes quite the reverse. The beauty of most women is the elemental beauty of nature which is not the result of the direct action of the indwelling mind. When the individuality of the mind does not oppose nature in the building up and coloring of the form the lines are well rounded and graceful, the form is beautiful to look at, and the features are even and well adjusted as the particles which are grouped together in symmetrical regularity by the sound. This is the elemental beauty. It is the beauty of the flower, the lily or rose. This elemental beauty is to be distinguished from the beauty caused by an intelligent and virtuous mind.
The beauty of the lily or rose is elemental. It does not in itself express intelligence, neither does the face of an innocent girl. This is to be distinguished from beauty as the result of a strong, intelligent and virtuous mind. Such are seldom seen. Between the two extremes of the beauty of elemental innocence and of wisdom are faces and forms of innumerable grades of homeliness, strength and beauty. When the mind is used and cultivated the elemental beauty of face and figure is lost. The lines become harder and more angular. Thus we see the difference between the features of man and woman. When woman begins to use the mind the soft and graceful lines are lost. The lines of the face become more severe and this continues during the process of the training of her mind, but when the mind is at last under control and its forces are wielded skillfully, the severe lines are again changed, softened and express the beauty of peace which comes as the result of a cultured and refined mind.
Peculiarly formed heads and features are the results immediate or remote of the action and use of the mind. Bumps, bulges, abnormal distortions, angles, and features expressing fierce hatred, lamblike frolic, morbid or a natural love, cupidity and guile, craft and cunning, miserly secretiveness and inquisitiveness, are all the result of the thought of the ego put into physical actions. Features, form, and the health or disease of the body, is inherited as the physical karma which is the result of one’s own physical action. They are continued or changed as the result of action.
The environment in which one is born is due to the desires and ambitions and ideals which he has worked for in the past, or is the result of that which he has forced upon others and which it is necessary for him to understand, or it is a means for the beginning of a new line of effort which his past actions have led up to. Environment is one of the factors by which physical conditions of life are brought about. Environment is not a cause in itself. It is an effect, but, as an effect, environment often gives rise to causes of action. Environment controls animal and vegetable life. At best, it can only affect human life; it does not control it. The human body born amidst a certain environment is there born because the environment furnishes the conditions and factors necessary for the ego and body to work in or through. Whereas, environment controls the animals, the human being changes his environment according to the power of his mind and will.
The physical body of the infant grows through childhood and develops into youth. Its manner of life, habits of body, breeding and the education it receives, are inherited as the karma of its works and are the capital with which to work in the present life. It enters into business, the professions, trades or politics, according to the tendencies of the past, and all of this physical karma is its destiny. Not the destiny arranged for it by some arbitrary power, being, or by force of circumstances, but the destiny which is the sum of some of its past works, thoughts and motives and is presented to it in the present.
Physical destiny is not irrevocable or unalterable. Physical destiny is only the field of action planned by one’s self and prescribed by one’s works. The work engaged in must be finished before the worker can be freed from it. Physical destiny is changed by a changing of one’s thoughts according to a new or enlarged plan of action, and in working out the destiny already provided.
While physical action must be performed in order to produce physical karma, yet inaction at a time for action is equal to evil action, for by the omission of duties and the refusal to act when one should, one brings about unfavorable conditions which are the penalties of inaction. No one is nor can be in an environment or position where certain work is inevitable or natural, unless physical work has been done or left undone, which produced the environment and position.
Physical action is always preceded by thought, though it is not necessary that a like action must instantly follow a thought. For instance, one cannot murder, or steal, or commit any dishonest action without having had thoughts of murder, planned to steal or harbored dishonest thoughts. One who thinks of murder or theft or of lust will find a way to put his thoughts into action. If too cowardly or cautious a nature, he will become a prey to others’ thoughts, or to the invisible inimical influences which may, even against his wish, possess him at some critical time and compel him to perform the kind of act which he had thought of as desirable but was too timid to execute. An action may be the result of thoughts impressed on the mind years before and will be done when the opportunity is offered; or an act may be performed in sleep as the result of long thought, for instance, a somnambulist may have thought of climbing along the eaves of a house, or along a narrow ledge of wall, or precipice, to obtain some coveted object, but, knowing the danger attending the physical action, he refrained from so doing. Days or years may pass before the conditions are ready, but the thought so impressed on the somnambulist may cause him, when in the sleep-walking state, to put the thought into action and climb dizzy heights and expose the body to dangers which ordinarily he would not have risked.
Physical conditions of the body such as blindness, the loss of limbs, lingering diseases producing physical pain, are the physical karma as the result of action or inaction. None of these physical conditions are accidents of birth, nor chance occurrences. They are the result of desire and thought in physical action, which action preceded the result, be it either immediately or remotely.
One whose unrestrained desires goad him into wrong sex action may transfer some terrible or lasting disease as the result of unlawful commerce. Frequently birth, with a body so diseased, is due to having inflicted such a malady on another, although knowing the possible and probable consequences of the action. Such physical result is harmful, but may also be beneficial. The physical body which is injured and has its health impaired, produces suffering and physical pain and distress of mind. The benefits to be derived are, that a lesson may be learned, and, if learned, will prevent future indiscretions for that particular life or for all lives.
The limbs and organs of the body represent organs or instrumentalities of great principles, powers and factors in the greater world. The organ or instrument of a cosmic principle cannot be misused without paying the penalty, for each one has these cosmic organs in order that he may put them to physical use to benefit himself or others. When these organs are used to injure others it is a more serious thing than at first appears: It is an attempt to break the laws and to upset the cosmic purpose or the plan in the universal mind by turning the individual against the whole which is the case when one injures another or himself, an action which is always punished.
The hands are the instruments or organs of the executive power and faculties. When these organs or faculties are misused or abused through physical action so as to seriously interfere with the rights of other members of the body or are used against the bodies or physical interests of others, one is deprived of the use of such a member. For instance, when one uses one of his limbs to abuse a physical body, in cruelly kicking or clubbing another, or in signing of an unjust order, or in unjustly and intentionally breaking, or cutting off another’s arm, or when one subjects a limb or member of his own body to unjust treatment, the limb or member of his body will be lost to him either entirely or he may for a time be deprived of its use.
In the present life the loss of the use of a limb might result from slow paralysis, or in a so-called accident, or through the mistake of a surgeon. The result will be according to the nature of the injury inflicted on one’s own or another’s body. Immediate physical causes are not the real or ultimate causes. They are only the apparent causes. For instance, in the case of one who loses a limb by the unhappy mistake of a surgeon or nurse, the immediate cause of the loss is said to be carelessness or an accident. But the real and underlying cause is some past action of the patient, and it is in just payment for the same that he is deprived of the use of his limb. A surgeon too careless or inattentive of his patients will himself be a patient who suffers at the hands of other surgeons. One who breaks or loses his arm is one who caused another to suffer a like loss. The pain is suffered for the purpose of informing him as to how others have felt under similar conditions, to prevent him from repeating similar actions, and that he may value more the power which may be used through the member.
Blindness in this life may be the result of many causes in former lives such as carelessness, misuse of the sex function, the misuse and exposure to unfavorable influences, or the deprivation of another of his sight. Former inordinate indulgence of sex may produce in this life paralysis of the body or of the optic nerve and parts of the eye. Former misuse or abuse of the eye as by overtaxing it or neglecting it may also produce blindness in the present life. Blindness at birth may be caused by having inflicted others with diseases of the sex or by having willfully or carelessly deprived another of his sight. The loss of sight is a most serious affliction and teaches the blind one the necessity of the care of the organ of sight, causes him to sympathize with others under a like affliction and teaches him to value the sense and power of sight, so as to prevent future afflictions.
Those who are born deaf and dumb are those who have willfully listened to and acted upon lies told by others and who have willfully wronged others by lying against them, by bearing false witness against them and causing them to suffer the consequences of the lie. Dumbness from birth may have its cause in the abuse of sex functions which deprived another of virility and speech. The lesson to be learned is truthfulness and honesty in action.
All deformities of the body are afflictions to teach the indwelling ego to refrain from the thoughts and actions which have produced such results and to make it understand and value the powers and uses to which the parts of the body may be put and to value physical health and physical wholeness of the body, so as to preserve it as a working instrument through which one may learn readily and attain to knowledge.
The possession of money, lands, property, is the result of actions performed in the present life or, if inherited, is the result of past actions. Physical labor, intense desire, and continued thought guided by the motive are the factors by which money is obtained. According to the predominance of any one of these factors or the proportion in the combination of them will depend the amount of money obtained. For instance, in the case of a laborer where little thought is used and desire is not directed carefully, much physical labor is required to earn money enough to eke out a scant existence. As the desire for money becomes more intense and more thought is given to the labor the laborer becomes more skilled and able to earn more money. When money is the object of desire the thought provides the means whereby it may be obtained, so that with much thought and continued desire one acquires the knowledge of customs, values, and trade and by putting his knowledge into action he accumulates more money by his labor. If money is one’s object, thought must be his means, and desire his force; wider fields are sought whereby money may be obtained, and greater opportunities are seen and taken advantage of. The man who has given time and thought and acquired knowledge in any field of action may pass an opinion and give a decision in a few minutes for which he receives as reward a large sum of money, whereas the laborer with little thought may work a life time for a comparatively small amount. To obtain vast sums of money one must make money the sole object of his life and sacrifice other interests to the obtainment of his object. Money is a physical thing, given value by mental consent. Money has its physical uses and as a physical thing money may be abused. According to the right or wrong use of money will one suffer or enjoy what money brings. When money is the sole object of one’s existence he is unable to fully enjoy the physical things which it can provide. For instance, a miser who hoards his gold, is unable to enjoy the comforts and necessities of life which it is able to provide for him, and money makes him deaf to the cries of the suffering and sorrows of others, and to his own physical needs. He compels himself to forget the necessities of life, incurs the contempt and scorn of his fellows and often dies an ignoble or miserable death. Money again is the Nemesis which is the close and constant companion of those who pursue it. So one who finds pleasure in the hunt for money, continues until it becomes a mad chase. Giving all his thought to the accumulation of money, he loses other interests and becomes unsuited to them, and the more money he obtains the more furiously will he chase it to satisfy the interest of the chase. He is unable to enjoy the society of the cultured, the arts, sciences, and the world of thought from which he has been led away in the race for wealth. However wealthy, he will continue to make money from the dread of dying poor; or, if not afraid of dying poor, money furnishes him with possessions for which he has little or no use, such as treasures of literature and art which he cannot quite appreciate, with works of learning which he does not understand; it may place him in surroundings which do not feel like home; bring him into contact with people of culture and learning, with whom he does not feel at ease; frequently the long hours of thought and labor required to amass his wealth have ruined his health, and he dies a disappointed man.
Money may open up other sources of sorrow or misery to the money hunter. The time spent by the hunter in the acquirement of money demands his abstraction from other things. He often neglects his home and wife and seeks the society of others. Hence the many scandals and divorces in families of the rich whose lives are devoted to society. They neglect their children, leave them to careless nurses. The children grow up and become idlers, inane society fools; dissipation and excesses are examples which the rich set others who are less fortunate, but who ape them. The offspring of such parents are born with weak bodies and morbid tendencies; hence it is noticed that tuberculosis and insanity and degeneracy are more frequent among the offspring of the rich than among those less favored by fortune, but who have some useful work to perform. In their turn these degenerate children of the rich are the money hunters of other days, who prepared like conditions for their children. The only relief from such karma will be for them to change their motives and to direct their thoughts into other channels than those of the money grabber. This may be done by using the money which was questionably amassed, for the benefit of others and thereby atoning in such measure as may be for the misdeeds in the acquirement of the wealth. Nevertheless, the physical suffering which one may have caused, the sufferings which he may have brought to others by outwitting and depriving them of their fortunes, and means of subsistence, must all be suffered by him if he cannot appreciate them at once and atone to the degree that circumstances will permit.
One who has no money is one who has not given his thought, desire and action to the obtaining of money, or if he has given these and still has no money, it is due to his having wasted the money which he has earned. One cannot spend his money and have it too. One who values the pleasures and indulgences which money can buy and uses all his money for the procurement of these must be without money at some time and feel the need of it. The abuse of money brings poverty. The right use of money brings honest wealth. Money honestly procured provides the physical conditions for comfort, enjoyment and work for self and others. One who is born of wealthy parents or who inherits money has earned it by the combined action of his thought and his desires and the present inheritance is the payment for his past work. There is no accident of wealth and inheritance by birth. Inheritance is the payment for past actions, or the means by which infant minds are provided with an education in the nursery department in the school of life. This is often seen in the cases of foolish children of wealthy men who, unheeding the work of the parent and not knowing the value of money, spend recklessly that which the parent earned with difficulty. The rule by which one may observe to which class one born with or inheriting wealth belongs, is to see what he does with it. If he uses it for pleasure only, he belongs to the infant class. If he uses it to get more money or to gratify his ambitions or to gain knowledge and work in the world, he belongs to the school of knowledge.
Those who inflict injury on others, who willfully do harm to others and who inveigle others into plots where physical suffering results and who seem to benefit from the wrong done to the others and to enjoy the proceeds of ill-gotten gains, do not really enjoy what they have wrongfully obtained even though they may seem to enjoy. They may live out their life and seem to benefit and enjoy what they have wrongfully obtained. But this is not the case, because the knowledge of the wrong is still with them; from it they cannot escape. Incidents in their private life will cause them suffering while they live, and at rebirth the karma of their deeds and actions is called down upon them. Those who suddenly suffer reverses in fortune are those who in the past have deprived others of their fortune. The present experience is the lesson necessary to make them feel the physical want and suffering which loss of fortune brings and to sympathize with others who experience it, and it should teach the one so suffering to guard against like offences in the future.
Who is unjustly sentenced and serves a term of imprisonment is he who in a previous life or the present has caused others to be deprived unjustly of their liberty; he suffers the imprisonment in order that he might experience and sympathize with such sufferings of others and avoid the false accusation of others, or causing others to be imprisoned and punished by the loss of their liberty and health in order that some hatred or envy or passion of his might be gratified. Born criminals are the successful thieves in past lives who appeared to succeed in plundering or defrauding others without suffering the consequences of the law, but who are now paying up the old debts which they have incurred.
Those who are born in poverty, who feel at home in poverty and who make no effort to overcome their poverty are the feeble-minded, ignorant, and indolent ones, who have done little in the past and have little in the present. They are driven by the lash of hunger and want or are attracted by the ties of affection to work as the only means of escaping the dull treadmill of poverty. Others born in poverty with ideals or talents and great ambitions are those who have ignored physical conditions and have indulged in day dreaming and in castle building. They work out of the conditions of poverty when they apply their talents and work to attain their ambitions.
All phases of physical suffering and happiness, physical health and disease, the gratification of physical strength, ambition, position and endowment in the world offer the experience necessary to the understanding of the physical body and the physical world, and will teach the indwelling ego how to make the best uses of the physical body, and to do with it that work which is its particular work in the world.
(To be Continued.)
¹ See The Word Vol. 5, No.1, The Zodiac, p. 97. We have frequently reproduced and so often spoken of Figure 30 that it will be necessary only to refer to it here.