Theosophy, The Wisdom Religion - Modern Presentations
Universal Law

Geoffrey Farthing T.D.,C.Eng.,M.I.E.E.

The Wisdom Religion
Contents |

There is but ONE LIFE and ONE LAW. Within the idea of total unity there can be no distinction between law and lawgiver. They are one. By this concept Deity is Law and vice versa. Universal Law embraces all seemingly separate aspects of law and these include all we know as the laws of nature, all true scientific laws. The inner realms of being, it is said, have their laws too. It is through the intelligence of the members of the hierarchies previously mentioned that the Law is fulfilled. Everything, so to speak, knows its place and the part it has to play. In vast periods of time, by cycles, the Law is working out its purpose. Something of the infinite potentiality of Spirit is continually being unfolded. Everything is moving to a stage of relative perfection, by stages, for itself and its kind. In due time, having attained the goal for one stage, it joins a larger, more advanced cycle of effort, experience and development. For example, the cells in our bodies partake in this way, to an extent, in human life. But the cells had to be developed before human physical bodies became possible and all the organs of sense and internal working had also to be developed and to 'learn' their business.

The whole process is a living one. There is no such thing as dead matter. So-called inorganic matter is that wherein the life atoms are dormant but were they not there as life, the form would collapse. Life atoms are units of life not the atoms of physical material. They, so to speak, ensoul physical atoms. The whole process is also purposive and intelligent in so far as, to a degree appropriate to its own stage, everything is intelligent.

The Law can be thought of as having a number of aspects, each interacting with the others continually:

1. The Law of Origins and Ends: Everything that is, was or will be (except the Absolute) has a beginning, a period of existence and an end. This applies equally to universes as to fleeting thoughts. Everything manifested in form only endures for a time.
All comings and goings are according to the law of periodicity , inherent in all nature's processes. Creation is transformation of what was before, not making something from nothing. The law, however, is never not working. As a sleeping man somehow hears his alarm clock, so the Universe starts its processes of re-becoming, after its long, long rests.

2. The Law of Cycles: Every cycle is composed of smaller cycles, and itself, with others, comprises a larger cycle. Things comprise and are composed of other things. People, who live and die, form families, groups and nations, which in their turn live and die. Minutes and hours make up days and weeks; these constitute the months and the seasons of the year. Days and nights succeed each other; periods of rest follow phases of activity in perpetual alternation. These are illustrations of "the absolute universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of nature"

3. The Law of Harmony: In this comprehensive and inter-related rhythm of cycles we see another aspect of the Law, the law of harmony. For existence to persist, harmony must prevail or the Universe would be self-destructive instead of self-preserving. This does not mean that consumption and destruction are not part of the process. They are. Everything in the universe is sustained in some way by something else. Animals eat vegetables and sometimes other animals, usually of a lower order. But destruction must be balanced by generation or construction.
Balance and harmony are two aspects of the same thing, as anabolism (building up ) and katabolism (breaking down) are aspects of metabolism, the total process of living being, inherently balancing.
The idea of harmony introduces another aspect of the law, that of maintenance of equilibrium; the resolution of forces that maintains a relatively stable (not static) set of conditions in which, for their term, things, creatures and humans can live, move and have their being.

4. The Law of Cause and Effect: Another aspect of the Law is that of action and reaction, cause and effect. Everything and every event is the result of the past. Cause and effect are endless; effects become causes in their turn, endlessly. Present time is the sum total of all past effect and is the moment when effect becomes cause. Man is the one creature on earth who, to the extent that he can use his power of choice and will, is able to operate so as to disturb, for a time, the law of harmony. The balance however has to be restored sooner or later and the law will reflect the disturbance back to him who caused it. He suffers the come-back. Similarly because to a limited extent man is free to use his faculties and develop them, he, by so doing, affects his environment and circumstances. He can also learn and so profit from experience. To this extent he is responsible for his circumstances and himself. In a restricted view, this is the law of Karma, the law of action and reaction applied to every man and his individual circumstances. This aspect of the law applies in the inner worlds as well as the outer. Karma therefore has regard to man's motives and knowledge. It is moral law. Genuine ignorance can be excused but not wilful wrong doing. The consequences of similar actions can therefore be very different, depending on circumstances and motive.

5. The Law of Progress: Everything proceeds in cycles but cycles never return exactly to their start. They move along in time. Similarly we saw that life, in using forms for its expression, modifies them. After a cycle of activity, for example, a day or a life, nothing is quite the same as it was before. This modification is, in a sense, experience. That which accumulates experience is the life which persists through the innumerable forms that it temporarily inhabits. So life itself is being slowly modified, it learns. As it learns it needs better and better substance and forms to give it expression. This is the inner pressure motivating the evolutionary process, and by it even matter, although sometimes thought of as dead, is subject to evolution. It grows in complexity, so that it can be used in ever improving forms. By this means forms can express more and more sentiency; they become more sensitive, more responsive and also more adept, more able, and more effective.

It is by this development process also that man's inner nature, his soul, both his mortal psychic soul and his immortal spiritual soul, grows. As this happens he gives expression to more of the higher, human elements of his being. These manifest as intelligence, as opposed to intellect; as sympathy and understanding as he feels himself more and more to be one with Nature and his fellows; as compassion and love; as wisdom (understanding in action); as indomitable will; and as power, power unlimited as he learns to draw on Nature's inner, inexhaustible resources. These, in their fullness, are the attributes of the human adept, the full blown saint or sage, the initiate into Nature's secrets. Such men show us an example; they indicate man's true stature; they inspire our aspiration to become what we all, like them, essentially are.

For a further exploration of this topic >> Chapter 7 'Universal Law' from 'Exploring the Great Beyond'


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