THEOSOPHY, Vol. 20, No. 11, September, 1932
(Pages 507-508; Size: 6K)
(Number 9 of a 57-part series)

STUDIES IN KARMA

"FRIENDSHIPS"

MAN has never been without a friend, but has a line of elder brothers who continually watch over the progress of the less progressed, preserve the knowledge gained through æons of trial and experience, and continually seek for opportunities of drawing the developing intelligence of the race on this or other globes to consider the great truths concerning the destiny of the soul. These elder brothers also keep the knowledge they have gained of the laws of nature in all departments, and are ready when cyclic law permits to use it for the benefit of mankind. They have always existed as a body, all knowing each other, no matter in what part of the world they may be, and all working for the race in many different ways.

In ages past perhaps we knew those who long since have passed up to greater heights. The very moment in the long series of incarnations we come near to where they are pursuing their pilgrimage, they at once extend assistance, whether that be on the material or moral planes. And it makes no difference whether one or the other is aware of who is assisting or who is being assisted. Inflexible law guides the current and brings about the result. Thus the members of the whole human family reciprocally act on one another, forced into it by a law which is as kind as it is great, which turns the contempt we bore in the past into present honor and opportunity to help our fellows.

Inasmuch as we learn almost solely from each other -- as we are all here for each other -- the question of the effect of affinities upon our acts and thoughts is enormous and wide. It anon saves us, and anon damns. For we may meet in our lives a person who has a remarkable effect for good or ill, because of the affinities engendered in past lives. And Theosophy also teaches that those who are like unto each other and love each other will be reincarnated together whenever the conditions permit.

Recognition depends on the inner sight and not on outward appearance. Part of the power of Karma is in the "mysterious power of meditation," which exhibits itself according to the particular corporeal body one has assumed. In reassuming a body, the "mysterious power" spoken of reaches out to numberless affinities engendered in other lives, and takes hold of all that come in its reach. Other beings once known to the man arrive into incarnation at the same time, and bring into action affinities, attractions, and powers that can only act through them and him. Their influence cannot be calculated. It may be good or bad, and, just as he is swayed by them or as his sway the other being, so will work out the Karma of each.

The same law that throws us into life to suffer or enjoy, as may be deserved, decrees that the friends and the relatives who are like unto each other must incarnate together, until by reason of differentiation of character they cannot under any law of attraction remain in company. Not unless and until they become different do they separate from each other. And who would wish to be eternally tied to the side of uncongenial relatives or acquaintances merely because there was an accident of birth!

These effects, divergencies and swaying, are well known to occultists. This law is both an angel of mercy and a messenger of justice, for, while we have just stated its operation as among the risks, it is also a means whereby nature saves man often from damnation. Suppose in some life long-past I had a dear friend, or wife, or relative, with whom my intimacy was interior and deep. Death separates us, and in subsequent lives he devotes himself to truth, to wisdom, to the highest in him, while I go on careless of all but pleasure in the present. After many lives we meet again as either friends or acquaintances. At once the old intimacy asserts itself, and my former friend -- although maybe neither of us knows it -- has a strange power to touch my inward life, and wakes me up to search for truth and my own soul. It is the unexpended affinity, and by its aid nature works my salvation. Our real life is not in words of love or hate or coldness but in the fiery depths of the heart. --Excerpted from William Q. Judge.


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STUDIES IN KARMA
DARK BREEDS
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PART I
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