THEOSOPHY, Vol. 20, No. 6, April, 1932
(Pages 271-276; Size: 17K)
(Number 4 of a 57-part series)
STUDIES IN KARMA
THERE are fleshly moments when the Theosophist, being vowed to give up "desire for comfort," feels envy of more easeful brothers. For while his printed doctrine stands ever true in word and letter, as it has stood since the dawn of Manvantara and will until Pralaya's twilight, it is infallible for him only insofar as his understanding is accurate; and that understanding is in a ceaseless process of uncovering new errors and ignorances in his own nature. No sooner has he mastered a mystery than behold, he finds it reincarnated before him on a new plane, bodied in new hieroglyphics of the soul. The savant astride a finality, is to him the same object of mingled pity and envy as is a happy child to an adult.
Now of all persons who have "arrived," the orthodox eugenist is the most Jehovistically enthroned. No doubts assail his certitude; no intuition of unencompassed facts clouds the serenity of his complacent sky. Unto him a Principle has been revealed; and facts -- ragged, unlovely, recalcitrant facts that won't fit -- are not allowed to penetrate the inviolate sanctum of his skull. What is that Principle? It is that man is flesh of the flesh, bone of the bone, of the animal kingdom, and the individuals of that kingdom are naught other than mechanically predictable complexes of blind force. Have we not, with scalpel, serum, and X-ray, added unto and taken away from the germ-plasm of the rat to our heart's content? Is not a Christ or a Buddha but a biped rat of larger growth, marred by brain-sickness that leads him to unhealthy ideas of compassion, sacrifice, altruism? Can we not carve the human protoplasm into a properly symmetrical germ-cell free from such race-contaminating defects?
Speaking of the Jews, Sir Arthur Keith remarks:As the result of a self-imposed isolation, they have strengthened certain desirable qualities. In proportion to their numbers the Jewish race produces a greater number of men and women with aptitude for business than any other; it can claim more than its share of genius -- mathematics, philosophy, and in every form of art.That the Jews have by virtue of that very love and sympathy remained a race through twice the trials that have destroyed many a stronger stock; that their genius arises from inner realms made porous by adherence to family duty at the cost of high sacrifice; that never a race, however weak, perished so long as love and compassion remained uncontaminated in it; that never a race, however strong, survived without those qualities -- these are the outlawed facts of the eugenist. Toward them he holds the Christian Scientists' attitude toward pain. Such would upset the Theory; therefore they cannot possibly exist. Biologists of the highest repute have shown that human heredity is indeterminate for all practical purposes. But mere objective facts do not interest the free-ranging eugenistic mind.
Had the Jews been destitute of a deep love and sympathy for the weaklings and failures of their own denomination -- they might have been by this time a race of supermen.
It is man's heart, not his head, which makes him eugenically blind. (Literary Digest, April 25, 1931).
Yet Sir Arthur verges perilously upon heresy:Call it by what name you will, the eugenist must have a stud-farm, where he can secure control, isolation, and purity of breed.He does not specify the blunt fact that men and women who would mate in animal relation only under scientific formula would have to be the precise species of weak-willed, emotionless moron who is the increasing crime problem of our times; he does not specify that those who would lend themselves to such a scheme must needs be wholly devoid of the spiritual thrill and élan upon which all progress in compassion, art, and beauty depends; but he hints at it. And if mercy and charity are vices under a eugenistic régime, then in producing a "perfect" race they must needs be bred out wholly. Presumably we should then have social conditions which made them unnecessary; we should indeed have the eugenistic paradise -- a world of satisfied appetites, void of discontent, void of aspiration, void of suffering, void of love; and our long evolution, begun in the tree-tops, would have ended in a sanitary, well-regulated sty -- a notable cosmic achievement indeed!
The eugenist at once comes up against his first difficulty; the men and women who are willing to submit must be those who are destitute of the most desirable of all human qualities -- independence -- the urge for individual liberty. Even if he succeeds in assembling a selected community, what kind of men and women would they be that obeyed the dictates of the eugenist?
And then the morality which must pervade such a eugenical establishment; there can be no soft-heartedness on the part of the man in charge; the undesirables have to be ruthlessly weeded out and cast mercilessly aside as soon as detected; mercy and charity become vices in such an establishment.
Sir Arthur remarks that another difficulty is that the eugenist has to wait thirty years for the result of his first matings, whereas not less than one hundred controlled-generations will do the work. What? Does he not already know the result of his first matings -- and the last? If not, our eugenistic friends have been woefully misrepresenting the scope of their wisdom. But one begins to suspect that Sir Arthur is a rather poor specimen of eugenist; for he does not advocate legal control of heredity:All the eugenist asks is that when young men and women enter on the greatest enterprise of life, they should not let eye and heart make them forget what the consequence of the division of their natural fortune certainly will be.In view of the fact that the eugenists of America ask considerably more than that -- the sterilization of many thousands of human beings in several States of the Union, and the constant attempt to ram their charlatanries down the throats of the whole nation by legal enactment -- it is worth while to weigh so far as may be the Karmic ins and outs of these amputations which to them appear the excision of cancers from the germplasm, but in fact are the infliction of unhealable wounds upon the eternal life-stuff.
It is possible to learn, upon finding shadows in a human mind, to turn about and look for the truth which cast them. There is in fact a true eugenics; there are true laws of heredity. The true eugenics lies wholly on the moral plane; the true laws of heredity are those discovered by science, when supplemented by their missing half.
In every normal man and woman is the power and the obligation, circumstances permitting, to make of himself or herself the cornerstone of a family temple of love, of divine duty; a shrine in the temple of the race whose prime meaning and object shall be the service of the Great Whole. Shall his powers, his perceptions, his life-forces, be joined with that one who will by similar ideals fit with him in a perfect joint of the future spiritual edifice? Or shall he mate by the red light of the lower nature, attracted by a beautiful face masking spiritual emptiness, the magnetism of irresponsible animal exuberance; and thus commit once more the "sin of the mindless?" The Theosophical answer is the basic tenet of the true eugenics.
In Theosophy an Ego is born either to that family whose physical heredity furnishes the channel for the flow of currents set up in his nature by past action, and which can be dammed for no long time; or in a family with whom he has powerful ties originating with deeds done in common, and which brook no denial of fulfillment. No sooner is the physical link re-established, than the Ego at once begins carving and chipping the physical and mental nature, approximating his needs from the first, into a fuller expression. Every intelligent Theosophical parent has watched this process with awe and wonder. It is obvious, therefore, that no Ego can be born into a body too bad, a body undeserved. What if by eugenistic measures a race of perfect bodies were formed? By the color of the controlling thought; by the base, brutal conception of life and duty governing; by the breeding out of germ-plasm responsive to altruism, to spiritual ideas -- by all these, every Ego of decent degree would have been repelled from that race, cut off from all magnetic liens of birth. We would then have a race of healthy, handsome savages, bodies animated by egos without spiritual or mental understanding. For all deeds of high mental emprise spring from the spiritual ego. No benefactor of the race -- no outstanding genius -- ever lived but had his eye on things beyond the flesh. Let the ranks of eugenists show us any among them who stand as living disputations of the fact!
Suppose on the other hand that the fears of the eugenist should come true -- that the stock should degenerate by constant feeble-minded or sick matings. Well -- for a long time Egos would come as geniuses have always come -- bursting the bonds of matter, the spiritual light flaming all the brighter for the burning tortures of its Upadhi. Then after a time when the flesh could no longer furnish even the possibility of expression, of usefulness, extinction and death of the race would supervene, the Egos having gradually incarnated elsewhere. But what is most likely to produce just such matings?
A miscegenative marriage is the product of lack of insight, lack of high ideals, lack of sense of the fitness of things, slavery to the senses. The possession of those lacking qualities cannot exist in the man who is a worshipper of matter. What then can conduce more to miscegenation than the very view of life, of heredity, of desirability, which is inherent in the eugenistic theory and practice?
What then of the thousands of Egos driven to other incarnations by the eugenistic tyrannies already in effect? Well -- we have it in the words of Mr. Judge that the Red Indians, despoiled and murdered by the whites, would incarnate in the new and conquering people and be carriers of hard Karma; which must also be true of all oppressed savage races. The quick vindication of his prophecy is now being written in letters of blood on our city walls.
Necessarily, most if not all of our "feeble-minded," the lowly, weak-willed egos, must be of those races whom we have despoiled of bodies and who have been drawn to us by inexorable law. We refuse to face our Karma in denying them admittance; but we can no more keep them permanently out of our auras than we can stay the tide from flooding; there exists a disturbance of universal balance, and its restoration is inevitable even though it wait upon the opportunities of a billion years.
But how soon and by what proximate means? Let us look at the Karmic mechanism. All Karma, says Patanjali, is carried forward in the form of mental deposits, mental pictures, from incarnation to incarnation. Hereditary types, says H. P. Blavatsky, are the solidification of auric pictures of relatives, lovers, ancestors, in the "subconscious" mental spheres of parents. Judge gives the classic example of "mental deposits" in the born cripple who became so through impacting in his mind the cripple tortured by him in past lives. "The soiled garment thou despisest will fall upon thee," says the Path. Attachment by repulsion is one of the two strongest of ties, says the whole philosophy.
What is the mental content of the eugenist? First, of course, there is ignorance -- not merely of spiritual things, but even of cold, hard, material facts. There is a mind closed to truth, repellant to adverse argument. There is the motive of selfish fear -- it is not the putative burden to society, the supposed woes of the "subnormal" that troubles him -- in sooth these "subnormal" live happier lives than most of us. It is the picture of himself balked of his social ideals by the mass of adverse public intelligence; it is the vision of himself burdened by taxes to support the unfit; it is a crawling antipathy to a type which he pictures as repulsive -- seldom having actual personal knowledge of the lowly-minded -- that haunts him.
We have, then, a strikingly complete clinical picture of a state of mind, a mental edifice from which a prognosis may be made. It is inevitable that the confirmed eugenistic extremist will be born in later times in the mental and physical image of the "defective" who has formed the archetypal mental basis of his creed. Not only in that incarnation but in this, he will carry in his mind the mould of his potential offspring, exactly fitted under Karmic law to the types he hates. That such, denied birth by his machinations, will come straight to himself, in this life if possible, in others if necessary, drawn by those images, drawn by powerful ties of repulsion, is certain.
All this, of course, is contingent on motive. If there were a eugenist who was moved by impersonal concern for the race, he would reap only the Karma of honest ignorance -- most likely in the form of a beneficent but painful opportunity to solve the future problem of taking care of those "born out of time and place" through his efforts. Of this Karma there would be many colors and intensities. On the other hand, not only the eugenist, but all who have a hand in creating the public materialism from which he springs, must share his Karma.
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
EFFECTS OF INSANITY
Question: Is the astral body affected by insanity?
Answer: There are several kinds of astral body. There is the astral body which is the design for the physical body and is in fact the real physical body. What we call the physical body is composed of the earthly elements drawn into the physical-astral. Another astral is the kama-rupa, formed after death; also the devachanic body. None of these are permanent, but are formed for temporary use during life and the states following death. Insanity is a break in the connection between the being and the body in use, either partial or complete. That break may be caused by a brain lesion, or a fault karmically acquired in the astral body of that birth. All these things are questions of karma concerning the individual. Insanity may come to fruition by karmic defects occurring after birth by defects in the lower astral, produced by causes in previous lives. --Robert Crosbie
STUDIES IN KARMA
(Part 5 of a 57-part series)
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