tktt: What is Karma?

“Enq:  And are there no means by which the distributive or national Karma might be concentrated or collected, so to speak, and brought to its natural and legitimate fulfillment without all this protracted suffering?

 
Theo:  As a general rule, and within certain limits which define the age to which we belong, the law of Karma cannot be hastened or retarded in its fulfillment. But of this I am certain, the point of possibility in either of these directions has never yet been touched.

 
Listen to the following recital of one phase of national suffering, and then ask yourself whether, admitting the working power of individual, relative, and distributive Karma, these evils are not capable of extensive modification and general relief.

 
What I am about to read to you is from the pen of a National Saviour, one who, having overcome Self, and being free to choose, has elected to serve Humanity, in bearing at least as much as a woman’s shoulder’s can possibly bear of National Karma. This is what she says:

“Yes, Nature always does speak, don’t you think? Only sometimes we make so much noise that we drown her voice. That is why it is so restful to go out of the town and nestle awhile in the Mother’s arms.
I am thinking of the evening on Hampstead Heath when we watched the sun go down; but oh! upon what suffering and misery that sun had set!
A lady brought me yesterday a big hamper of wild flowers. I thought some of my East-end family had a better right to it than I, and so I took it down to a very poor school in Whitechapel this morning. You should have seen the pallid little faces brighten!
Thence I went to pay for some dinners at a little cook shop for some children. It was in a back street, narrow, full of jostling people; stench indescribable, from fish, meat, and other comestibles, all reeking in a sun that, in Whitechapel, festers instead of purifying.
The cook shop was the quintessence of all the smells. Indescribable meat-pies at 1d., loathsome lumps of ‘food’ and swarms of flies, a very alter of Beelzebub!
All about, babies on the prowl for scraps, one, with the face of an angel, gathering up cherrystones as a light and nutritious form of diet.
I came westward with every nerve shuddering and jarred, wondering whether anything can be done with some parts of London save swallowing them up in an earthquake and starting their inhabitants afresh, after a plunge into some purifying Lethe, out of which not a memory might emerge!
And then I thought of Hampstead Heath, and – pondered. If by any sacrifice one could win the power to save these people, the cost would not be worth counting; but, you see, THEY must be changed – and how can that be wrought?
In the condition they are now, they would not profit by any environment in which they might be placed; and yet, in their present surroundings they must continue to putrefy.
It breaks my heart, this endless, hopeless misery, and the brutish degradation that is at once its outgrowth and its root. It is like the banyan tree; every branch roots itself and sends out new shoots.
What a difference between these feelings and the peaceful scene at Hampstead! and yet we, who are brothers and sisters of these poor creatures, have only a right to use Hampstead Heaths to gain strength to save Whitechapels.”
(Signed by a name too respected and too well known to be given to scoffers.)”

H. P. Blavatsky

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