THEOSOPHY, Vol. 34, No. 1, November, 1945
(Pages 21-22; Size: 4K)
(Number 8 of a 14-part series)
ARGUMENTS ON REINCARNATION
VIII: LAW AND JUSTICE
MODERN science has established law in the physical world, but is only beginning to carry it into the mental world -- largely because until recent date it has confused the two, failing to realize that the one is the opposite pole of the other. But the Universe cannot be divided into two halves, in one of which law rules and in the other of which chaos rules.
If without antecedent cause one man can be born crippled, doomed to a life of misery, while another is born to health and happiness, then the simple law of cause and effect has broken down somewhere. A materialist will explain, plausibly but erroneously, that every chain of cause and effect bringing into existence these two beings can be traced in the purely material world in terms of environment and heredity -- with which terms we shall deal later.
If the two persons were inanimate bodies his chain would be complete -- in appearance. The point is that they are not. Each is the seat of a living and suffering thing, the human consciousness, for whose specific, very different experiences of thought, will, and feeling, there exists no adequate antecedent cause in the mere mechanical transmission of motion through inanimate matter, which the materialist claims has brought them into being.
The aspect which the law of cause and effect -- Karma with the Orientals, Nemesis with the Greeks, Kismet in Islam, and Fate with us -- presents to the embryo student of reincarnation is that of "punishment and reward." We suffer in this life for ill deeds in another; by righteous living in this, we will earn happiness in the next. This in itself is true, but it is a theological and anthropomorphic view. It is more scientific to regard our respective self-created fates as simple lines of cause and effect; particularly for the reason that we are often confused about the "punishment and reward" idea, not really knowing as a rule what is good or bad for us.
The idea that we are "punished" for something we don't remember is a great obstacle for some. For such, until they go deeper into the matter, it is better to look at the reincarnation process as simply the means by which they came to be what they are. Whether religionists or materialists, all have to admit that there was some process by which they came to be. Why not accept a logical one?
Bury the past, if you like, as a mere creative process, just as you have the birth of your body, and go on from there; the teaching is that the recovery of memory of this life will be possible in future ones, given the will to live and think along certain lines.
Arguments on Reincarnation
IX: Memory and Justice