Some currents of thought sustain that man has only one life available to reach his final goal. Not all philosophies, though, agree.
The oldest traditions consider the appearance of life as a cyclic experience of existence, whose material form is only the formal expression of a bigger and more articulated project; they regard it as involving not only itself but also the complex system called «universal creation».
Every time it appears new chances for growth and improvements develop; they are gradually distributed in several cycles and existences to the fragment of individual conscience called "man".
According to such traditions, the development of the fragment of conscience represented in the physical form supplies the evolutionary impulse to the material habitat where it is placed. If we assigned to this fragment only one chance to complete one’s progress, the fortuitous influence of fate and its imponderability would prevail.
The fortuitous case would be one of the fundamental elements of material conduction. This would also mean, though, that every event has a fortuitous and paradoxical cause; because of the gaps of imponderability, every earthly experience would lack the support of rules such as gradualness of evolution and conscious expansion of one’s progress. It would also lose the consequentiality of individual elevation through the overcoming of oneself, of the attraction of one’s materiality and of the influence of physical sensations .
By repressing the complexity of many evolutionary steps in the boundaries of only one photogram, we end up by excluding from the apparition of phenomena the principle of sequence and periodicity. On the other hand, in the universe everything seems to evolve through cycles of appearances and disappearances. In the apparition or re-apparition of the same event under the form of a renewed phenomenon of the same nature, every level of manifestation appears governed by rhythmic and regular sequences, which reflect the harmonics of cosmic life (the sounds of energetic structures).
Sound and motion are analogous principles, because every cosmic presence is produced by its own motion; philosophically, motion also means the presence of ‘a before’ and of ‘an after’. Therefore, even considering the principle of timelessness that characterizes the subtle planes of cosmic existence, we can still see the evolutionary motion of the physical plane as a sequence of events and conditions, rather than an unrepeatable fragment of uniqueness without before or after. Furthermore, the principle of uniqueness (the photogram) excludes the principle of motion to the advantage of a status of spiritual nihilism, which is unavoidable and apparent.
The individual conscience would then be enclosed into the boundaries of its own action field, confined only in the material experiences of its physical life.
Where an entity of a purely energetic and timeless nature like the conscience of the soul is subjected to the temporal phenomenon of its apparent condition, a contradiction appears. This can be expressed in the following question: can the nature of the soul be conditioned by the limits of its own physical experience?
Nihilism answers this question with a principle of uniqueness. We must be careful, though, because if we rely on the fortuitous functionality of fate, without any definite reason, we overrate the principle of disparity in the individual condition. In order not to leave the appearance of any event to fate, case or fatality, we must determine coherence in the terms of disparity; some events will then be helped by the best life conditions whilst others go through an existence full of difficult, when not tragic, conditions.
If life conditions and quality were exclusively fortuitous, this would mark a substantial injustice in the distribution of chances and instruments available to the individual conscience when facing the earthly path.
The karmic teaching refers to terms of fairness and equality when attributing qualities, characteristics and conditions of life. Without fair cause every attribution would be subjected to good and bad omens which would discriminate one individual from another. This happens when someone has a higher IQ than someone else, less fortunate, who is conditioned by narrow mental limits. There are many inequalities to find a reason for; some of them are economic, racial and class disparities. They allow or deny the access to educative, cultural, technological and therapeutic models which give protected conditions to a life.
What is it that permits the access to ideal conditions for the development of the intellect and the expansion of the qualities of feelings, in order to increase one’s inner sensitivity? How to explain the physical and social inequalities that aid or hamper individual processes? Could it all be a result of chances?
These are not strange questions, because people wonder many times in their lives about their conditions. Sometimes they seem to be inexplicably fortunate and some other times they look affected by an intolerable unfairness.
The karmic teaching doesn’t accept fatality or occasional and fortuitous event. Everything is caused by precise reasons that act for exact and predictable aims that can be identified. The karmic teaching, in short, seems to be the triumph of common sense and reason.
In order to get closer to the idea of existence we can trust that the start of everything can be resumed in these terms.
If man is essentially soul and the latter is the reflection of pure spirit, it is amazing and absurd to say that the soul embodies in the physical condition to improve itself. What sense would it make for an entity made of perfect substance to descend in the "imperfection" of physical appearance? What would it gain by reducing itself into the limits of a material attribute? What’s the point in materializing a spiritual entity and then say that it’s guilty of imperfection because it has lost its primitive condition due to the materialization? It would be enough to let it be in its place, without descending to a plane which is unnatural for it, and everything would have stayed ‘fair and perfect’. Without going into imperfection the spiritual conscience would have stayed perfect. How can a perfect substance feel attraction or sympathy for a condition alien to it and therefore can’t perceive it? Since spiritual blindness is not a desirable or satisfying condition, why should the soul decide to inflict this penalty to itself, what was the real goal? What pushed it to express a physical form inspired by a part of itself? The karmic teaching would like to give an answer to all these questions. It is possible that the man, who talks of "the fall of the soul" into imperfection because of fault or sin, doesn’t know the mechanisms of the cosmic reality.
If the soul belongs to the metaphysical planes and it is generated by a spiritual entity, it is not believable that it sins, because it doesn’t have any attribute that would allow it.
The soul doesn’t know touch, taste, sight and smell, as they are intended in an animal sense; it knows only their subtle counterpart. The soul doesn’t know passion, wrath, gluttony, lust, jealousy, envy or sense of possession; only the conscience integrated in the animality of the physical body knows these feelings. It is difficult to imagine an immaterial soul feeling and thinking the sensations that afflict the heart of a so-called ‘sinner’. The physical reason, in an attempt to pry into obscure meanings, projects on the soul its imagination and reduces it to its reflection. The same operation was applied to the Divine Principle; it was reduced to the image of its thinkers. This occurred because of the human narcissism which has become the center of the universe and the divine Project. Using a paraphrase, it is said that: a sinless Angel, sacrificing Himself, immersed in the matter of the Divine Service, determining the disappearance of the spiritual conscience in the planes of appearance, where it still is in order to put his project into practice.
The meaning of the incarnation is manifold; so are the problems that the conscious being has to face and solve. The aim, though, is unique. It is to dominate and then rule on the physical planes.
This means that the spiritual plane, through the soul, will have to reflect the Divine Principle (God) in every atom of the matter, up to the darkest planes of the manifestation.
The goal of the spiritual Man (the Divine Workman) is to spiritualize its material counterpart, in order to consecrate the ‘part of the planet’ from which he drew his corporeal matter-energy.
This means that the humankind, which is the part of embodied conscience, with its evolution, will integrate to the divine plane it bears; the spiritual Principle will be manifested through the individual. This is the meaning of the metaphor of the Children of man that become Children of God through the initiation.
The symbolical definition of the final goal of humankind is to "resurrect in flesh" the substance of the divine Principle. The consecration of the planet is the realization of the Great Work. The goal of the initiatory Path, on the other hand, is to re-unite the personality to the conscience of the soul, awakening the conditions of its true nature and reminding it of the divine descent of its spiritual essence. The latter is previous and prevailing on the phenomenal periodicity of its appearances in a material "guise".
In order to recognize itself as a spiritual substance, the physical conscience must complete a journey of work and pain, which is imposed by the limits of its own unconsciousness.
In order to free itself from the subjugation of its physical senses, the initiate starts disintegrating the conditionings of the psychological models produced by his lower mind. By detaching and disintegrating every form of conditioning, one after the other, and by denying their alleged superiority on the spiritual essence, the soul takes over ‘its man’ and gets rid of the "beast" . This process sets off dreadful tensions, because different forces clash and try to prevail. Among them Karma appears, which is an impartial element and therefore it attributes, distinguishes and corrects in order to reach the goal.
1. The overcoming of the obstacles implicit in the density of physical nature originates a scale of values that some people call a scale of initiatory meritocracy. Despite the appearance, this term doesn’t mean a graduation of moral values but rather the conditions of efficiency, value and priority that permeates the whole individual creative system with balance and fairness (justice); this occurs through a constant selection of every attribute. (back to the main article)
2. The Beast is one of the symbolical denominations created to indicate the collective conscience of the humankind, whilst the individual conscience is called demon.
The conscience became animal through the exclusive contact with the instincts of the physical forms which it had to integrate with. The instinctual part that we gradually detach from must not be despised, since it protected the life of the individual until the awakening of self-conscience.
The instinct protected its physical life in order to survive during the unconscious stage of the first part of materiality, with all its phenomena and adversities. This occurred until the lower instinctivity, (we also have a spiritual instinct that pushes the activity of the higher mind or Ego) has been pushed by the sub-consciousness through the first glimpses of intelligence.
Passional instinct, with its emotions and desires, is the obstacle to overcome before expanding and illuminating the conscience that the instinct of survival had so far protected. At the right moment the demon must be separated from the conscious personality; the passional and egocentric impulses turn then into tensions of thought with intelligent mental structures and superior feelings. These conditions will lead man to the ‘sense of the soul’. The initiatory education develops the sense of soul and produces the phenomenon called ‘inner revelation’. This means that the intuitive mind continues up to the higher planes of the soul and gets in touch with the spirit. The revelation occurring in the lower conscience is the appearance of the first signs of spiritual activity in the mental planes of personality.
The revelation of the intelligence of the soul and the power of its spirit (monad) is such an intense event that sometimes it has been confused with the presence of God by some non-Initiates. (back to the main article)