IF MEN WERE NOT so entirely absorbed in the necessities and many trivialities of every-day life, but would also pay some attention to and observe more closely both the great and small happenings around them, they would soon come to a new understanding.
They would be astonished at themselves, and hardly believe it possible that up till now they could so thoughtlessly have overlooked something so obvious!
And there is every reason why they should sorrowfully shake their heads at themselves!
If they were only a little observant a whole world of strictly-ordered, living happenings would suddenly reveal itself to them, enabling them clearly to recognize the stern guidance of a higher Hand – the world of symbolism!
While its roots reach deep down into the ethereal part of Creation, only the very outskirts of this world of symbolism appear as visible effects on the material earth.
It is just like a sea which appears perfectly calm, and which has a continuous but imperceptible movement only to be observed by its last effects, i.e., by the ripples lapping upon the beach.
Man does not realize how clearly he can observe the dreaded and incisive activity of karma, if he only devotes a little effort and attention to it.
It is possible for him to become more familiar with it, however, so that the fear which is often awakened in thinking people will gradually fade and karma lose its terror.
If they learn to perceive and to trace the deeper vibrations of ethereal life through the visible happenings on earth, as a result of which they gradually become convinced of the existence of absolutely consistent reciprocal actions, this may develop into a way upwards for many people.
Once a person has arrived at this stage, he will slowly adjust himself step by step, until he finally recognizes the strictly logical and complete driving power of the conscious Divine Will in all Creation; thus in the Gross Material as well as in the Ethereal World.
From that moment onward he will reckon with it and submit to it of his own free will.
This means that he will “swim” in the power, the effects of which can only be of advantage to him.
It serves him because he knows how to make use of it by adapting himself to it in the right way.
Thus the reciprocal action can only bring him happiness.
Smilingly he sees every biblical word being literally fulfilled whereas previously, because of its childlike simplicity, this often tended to become a stumbling block for him.
A fulfilment often threatened to become difficult because in the opinion he held up till then it required a servile attitude.
But as his eyes are opened the demand for obedience, regarded as so unpleasant, will gradually become the highest distinction that can befall a creature.
It will truly become a Divine gift carrying within itself the possibility for an immense spiritual unfolding of power, which will permit a personal and conscious co-operation in the magnificent Creation.
The expressions: “He that humbleth himself shall be exalted”; “Man must humble himself before his God in order to enter His Kingdom”; he should “obey”, “serve”, and similar biblical counsels; all these somewhat repulse the modern man at the outset because of their simple, childlike, and yet striking form of expression.
They offend his pride, rooted as it is in the consciousness of intellectual knowledge.
He no longer wants to be led so blindly, but desires to understand and consciously co-operate in all things in order to obtain through personal conviction the inner up-swinging necessary to accomplish everything great.
And this is not wrong!
In his further development man should stand more consciously in Creation than he has done previously.
And when he has joyfully recognized that the simple biblical expressions, the nature of which seems so foreign to the present times, counsel precisely what he voluntarily and with complete conviction decides upon through his knowledge of the mighty Laws of Nature, it will be as though a bandage falls from his eyes.
He will be deeply shaken by the fact that hitherto he only rejected the old teachings because he interpreted them wrongly, and never seriously tried to penetrate them aright so as to bring them into harmony with the perceptive capacity of today.
Whether it is said: “Submit in humility to the Will of God” or “having recognized the mighty Laws of Nature aright, use them according to their kind and activity”, it is one and the same thing!
Man can only make use of the powers that bear the Will of God when he studies them exactly, thus recognizing them and adapting himself to them.
To reckon with or adapt oneself to them really means nothing less than to adjust oneself to them, thus to submit oneself to them!
It means not to go against these powers, but to go with them!
Only when man adapts his will to the special nature of these powers, thus going in the same direction, can he make use of the might of these powers.
This is not mastery of the powers, but humbly submitting oneself to the Divine Will.
Even if man ascribes much to his own sagacity or to scientific achievement, this does not alter the fact that it is nothing but a so-called “discovery” of the effects of the existing Laws of Nature, that is, of the Divine Will, which man has thereby “recognized”, “adjusting” himself to this Will by the evaluation or use of these laws.
This unquestionably is humble submission to the Will of God; it is “obeying”!
But now to symbolism!
Every happening in Creation, thus in the World of Matter, must come to a proper ending of its cycle; or it can also be said, it must close its cycle!
Therefore, according to the Laws of Creation, everything unconditionally returns to its starting point, where alone it can find its end and thus be severed, dissolved or extinguished as a working unit.
This applies to the entire Creation as well as to each single happening, and it is the cause of the unconditional reciprocal action which in turn brings symbolism in its wake.
Since all actions must end where they originated, it follows that each action must end in the same species of substance whence it arose!
Thus an ethereal beginning must have an ethereal ending, and a gross material beginning a gross material ending!
Men cannot see the ethereal, but the gross material ending of every happening is visible to all.
For many people, however, the actual key to it, the beginning, is missing; because in most cases it lies in a previous gross material existence.
Although the greater part of all happenings of reciprocal action takes effect only in the Ethereal World, the operating karma can never be completely redeemed unless in some way the end manifests in the Gross Material World and becomes visible there.
Only when a visible happening corresponds to the nature of the reciprocal action can an open cycle be closed and thus bring about complete redemption; no matter whether, through the nature of the beginning, the redemption brings good or evil, happiness or unhappiness, blessing or forgiveness!
This final visible effect must return to the place of its origin, and to that person who, through some action or other, initiated it!
In no single case can this be avoided!
If in the meantime the person concerned has changed inwardly to such an extent that something better than the original action came to life in him, then the reaction of that original type cannot gain a firm foothold.
It no longer finds homogeneous ground in the upward striving soul, which has become more luminous and thus lighter in accordance with the Law of Spiritual Gravity.*
The natural result is that when it approaches the more luminous environment of the person concerned a darker reaction becomes permeated and thereby considerably weakened.
But despite this the Law of Revolution and of Reciprocal Action must be entirely fulfilled in its automatic operating power!
* Lecture II–2: “Fate”
It is impossible to annul any of the Laws of Nature!
Consequently even such a weakened returning reciprocal action must, in accordance with the immovable laws, become visibly effective in the World of Gross Matter in order really to be redeemed and extinguished.
The end must flow back into the beginning.
The dark karma, however, is unable to bring harm to the person concerned because of his more luminous surroundings; and so it happens that the weakened reciprocal action can only work on his immediate surroundings in such a way as to provide the person concerned with the
opportunity to do something voluntarily, the nature of which corresponds only to the tendency of the returning reciprocal action.
In comparison with the original unbroken strength of the returning dark reaction intended for him there is the difference, however, that it causes neither suffering nor harm, but may even bring joy.
This comprises a purely symbolical redemption of many a heavy karma, but still completely accords with the Laws of Creation, which operate automatically in that way through the change in the condition of the soul.
Therefore most people often remain unaware of it.
The karma, however, has been redeemed and Immutable Justice has been satisfied to its most delicate vibrations.
But these happenings, which accord so naturally with the Creative Laws, hold such mighty acts of Grace as only the Omniscience of the Creator could bring forth in His Perfect Work.
There are many such purely symbolic atonements where otherwise reciprocal action would strike heavily!
Let us take an example!
A once hard, domineering character has burdened himself with heavy karma through indulging these attributes in the oppression of his fellow men.
Active according to its specific nature, this karma proceeds on its course, and must then fall back upon him with the same characteristics, but many times reinforced!
This vibration of ruthless despotism, often immensely reinforced through the Law of Attraction of ethereal homogeneous species, will in approaching him so interpenetrate his whole ethereal environment that it will have an incisive effect on his gross material environment, which is closely connected with it; thereby creating conditions forcing the originator to suffer to a far greater extent from a similar tyranny than did the people he once tormented.
Meanwhile if such a person has arrived at a better understanding and has, through his genuine efforts to ascend, gained a more luminous and lighter environment, then of course the nature of the final effect will also be changed!
The returning waves of denser darkness will be more or less permeated by the degree of luminosity of the new surrounding of the person concerned and will thus be rendered more or less harmless.
If the former tyrant has made great progress, that is, if the guilty person has made an exceptional improvement, it may happen that the final reaction will be as good as annulled, and that he will only do something in passing which outwardly resembles atonement.
Let us suppose it be the case of a woman!
Then it would suffice for her to take the brush out of her maidservant’s hand to show her in all kindness how to scrub the floor.
Even if there are only a few such movements, they satisfy the symbolism of service!
This little action results in a redemption that had to happen visibly and which, despite its insignificance, can end a heavy karma.
In the same way the re-arrangement of even one room can become a symbol ending and redeeming a guilt, the atonement or reaction of which would really have required a greater, more revolutionary change, with painfully incisive effects.
Such things occur in one way or another through the weakened influence of a reaction; or incidental actions are often skillfully used by the spiritual guidance to bring about a redemption.
In all this it is naturally presumed that an exceptionally great upsurge, with a corresponding change in the condition of the soul, has already set in.
These are circumstances that an astrologer is actually unable to take into account, as a result of which he often occasions unnecessary worries with his calculations, sometimes even evoking such fear that the power of this alone is able to call forth or form something unpleasant.
Thus the calculation may be apparently fulfilled, when without such fear it would have proved to be wrong.
In such cases, however, the person concerned has through his fear opened a door in the circle of light surrounding him.
Whenever a man voluntarily stretches out his hand beyond his protecting cover no help can come to him from any direction.
His own will breaks every protection from within, as unless he exercises his own volition nothing can reach him through the Light from outside.
Hence the smallest kindness to a fellow man, a genuinely felt sorrow with a neighbor, even a single friendly word, can lead to the symbolic redemption of a karma, as soon as the underlying motive is an earnest striving for what is good!
Naturally this earnest striving for the good must come first; for otherwise there can be no question of symbolic redemption, and every reaction due would have to work out to the fullest extent!
As soon as a person’s serious volition to ascend sets in, however, he will quickly notice how his surroundings become gradually more and more animated, as if everything possible were being put in his way which, however, always turns out well.
This is immediately obvious to him and finally, and just as striking, there will come a more peaceful period or a time when all that happens will plainly help him to rise in the material sense.
Then the time for atonement is over!
With joyful thanks he may gratefully indulge the thought that much guilt has fallen from him, for which he would otherwise have had to do heavy penance!
He must then be on his guard that his volition and desires only weave good threads of fate so that only good may return to him!
* * *
I WOULD AGAIN point out that all life in Creation is of two kinds– conscious and unconscious. Only in the process of becoming conscious does the likeness of the Creator, by which we mean the human form, evolve. This goes uniformly hand in hand with the development of consciousness. In the first actual Creation, which...
MEN SPEAK OF deserved and undeserved fate, of reward and punishment, retribution and karma. All these are only part-designations of a Law resting in Creation: The Law of Reciprocal Action! A Law which lies in the entire Creation from its earliest beginning, which has been inseparably interwoven with the great, never-ceasing evolution as an essential...