Theosophy

The Moral Dimension of Life 

 

Svitlana Gavrylenko – Ukraine

Theosophy SVET 2

The author

What is the object of this system [Theosophy]? THEOSOPHIST: First of all, to inculcate certain great moral truths upon its disciples . . .                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                  H. P. Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy

We correlate our actions in the physical world to consider all circumstances and possible consequences. Likewise, we must relate our actions to the divine moral law that pervades the entire universe. We see harmony and order in the Cosmos, we also know about the law of interconnectedness, interdependence of everything with everything (the so called quality of totality).

The life of every being in the universe is designed to maintain this harmony and order, to serve as a small instrument and agent of the Great Intelligent Plan. Moreover, that part of this Plan, for which this being is responsible, is already embedded in itself from the beginning and is contained in what we call the divine spark, the higher principle. The human being has a special role in the Divine Plan of creation. After all, he is given the ability of self-knowledge and free will, which determines free choice. It is a person’s freedom of choice that gives him the opportunity to develop  and improve

Humanity has gone through a long evolutionary path and achieved many things. Along with the great achievements of our civilization, we also have many problems that we face today. Most of these problems are directly anthropogenic and related to human free choice. Let us consider our own free choice. Every day from morning to night we choose something. At the same time, we are guided by certain priorities.

Often our choices are driven by a strong emotional response, often by benefit, by receiving an advantage, encouragement, reward, or recognition. Often we are guided by notions of expediency, common sense, social criteria, or even just a habit, an automatic reaction. The result is what it is. We have what we have. Are we satisfied with the current order of things? Do we think that something should be changed? Do we always realize how and where to start the changes towards a good, just, kind, and correct world, the world of the future of humanity? All spiritual teachings and teachers tell us that such changes should begin with ourselves. Changing and improving yourself is the most difficult and urgent task.

Vertical social morality reflects the connections of PERSON — FAMILY — SOCIETY and is a fairly developed part of social life, supported by tradition and legislation, which has passed through thousands of years. It is much more difficult with cross-cultural communication, mutual coexistence of different traditions, beliefs, religions, worldviews. This is due to the recognition system, “self-foreign”, deep-rooted in the subconscious. Today, not only recognizing other people’s principles, but even considering them for discussion requires a person to rise to a meta-level, that is, to expand consciousness, which means a step forward in his moral evolution.

Many civilizations in the history of mankind reached a high level of material progress — had powerful sources of energy, produced wonderful devices and tools, reached heights in the technology of mastering the forces of Nature — but these civilizations lacked spiritual development and ended in self-destruction. It is the moral potential of humanity that must be realized in modern civilization so that the sad experience of the past is not repeated. After all, there is every reason to believe that we have come close to the edge or are rapidly approaching it.

We are now at a crossroad, and it is dangerous to move forward with current trends and perceptions. Now we face broader tasks than before, and therefore we need broader views and ways of thinking, we must learn to appreciate broader opportunities and perspectives. We may say, following the outstanding modern physicist Stephen Hawking, that we should consciously take care of our evolution, our future, the fate of the planet.

And here are the words of the eminent modern thinker Erwin Laszlo, the founder of the Budapest Club, which confirm this: “Our time has witnessed striking changes that have transformed the main idea — the idea that our world will continue to depend on what we, the people, think, say and do — from the field of banal truths to the field of scientific principles.”

The modern world has a lot of knowledge, but has lost its way in the search for good, goodness. Knowledge and good must unite in synthesis, they are inseparable in their unity, as one Divine Love and Wisdom. Morality is dynamic, it manifests itself in action, through action, but is not identified with action itself.

Today, morality is an urgent need of the hour and a key to reaching a new level of interpersonal, interstate, interethnic relations, to a new level of civilization on the planet. The principles of cooperation and interaction, principles of coexistence today more than ever before, require coordination, agreement, expertise, and a regulation mechanism. It is morality that is the tool that helps to successfully overcome the acute crisis situations of today.

As you know, morality and ethics are an internal regulatory mechanism of external manifestation for a person and society. We can see ethics and morality in their fleeting, changing guises, where the same action can be respect or contempt, benevolence or a crime. But the existence of Morality with a capital letter is undeniable, which reflects the greatness of the cosmic laws of coexistence and co-creation, which inspire us with their harmony and beauty.

Morality includes evaluation categories. Superficially, this is done by the fact of the act itself, but this is a very relative and imperfect category. A deeper assessment is made based on the consequences of the act, which is also quite subjective and uncertain. An even deeper dimension is the assessment by intention, by the motivating circumstances that caused this or that action or inaction. And if this dimension of morality is controlled and improved by us, then goodwill will become the dominant factor of being, the energy of nourishment for man and society. After all, morality in life is manifested as love, understanding, forgiveness, harmony, mutual respect, and cooperation.

Humanity must make a conscious choice in favor of goodness, truth, and justice. But humanity consists of individual human beings, therefore conscious choice for humanity is possible only as a result of conscious choice of each individual person. Each person, having reached the moment of conscious moral choice, thereby symbolically leaves the gloomy cellars of life, at the entrance of which hangs the sign “Consequences”, and passes into the majestic building of life called “Causes”. Such a person ceases to feel disadvantaged, oppressed, a victim, deceived, a cog in someone’s machine, and begins to feel the power to decide for himself, to accept his responsibility, to exercise his divine rights to life, freedom, beauty, joy, work, and creativity.

Let us scan our life, habits, ideas, relationships with other beings through the prism of our moral law. If we include a moral dimension in our daily existence, we will be able to rise above ourselves, above our life’s shortcomings. Moreover, we will do it not under the pressure of external circumstances, but exclusively under the influence of internal intention, internal motivating reasons.

At the same time, we will clear the passage for high spiritual influences, for the implementation of the Divine Plan, because it is our internal moral law that is the essence of our divinity. Therefore, we will become God’s guide on Earth, with our hands and feet He will manifest himself in life. And we will receive new powers and opportunities in our activities, new inspiration in our creativity, new friends and like-minded people, and most importantly, a new understanding of the greatness of the divine plan and the grandeur of the tasks on which we must focus our efforts. So, the moral dimension of life brings us to the spiritual level of existence, or rather coexistence. And at this level, the real essence of that Unity is revealed to us, about which we were previously only intellectually aware.

Even during the First World War, the great scientist Volodymyr Vernadskyi, the founder of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, began to develop a scientific idea about natural productive forces. In general, this is the potential energy of the state, its basis, which must be treated very carefully. In his opinion, the natural resources of the land monopolized by humans, both minerals and so-called renewable resources, are not just plants, animals, forests, waters. The natural productive forces, “spiritual forces of humanity — its thought, will, and moral power — are undoubtedly the main determining conditions of national wealth.”

So let us discover our natural wealth, our moral forces, which are buried under the bark of selfishness, greed, fear, and aggression. They are inexhaustible and eternal, and they are not so deep in our consciousness, because they are accessible even to a child. They contain the potential for the future glory of humanity, the basis of a new civilization, the possibility of an unprecedented internal disclosure of nations, countries, and continents. But the challenge is that each of us must start with ourselves. Let us listen to the advice of Master KH in The Mahatma Letters (ML-55):

Courage then, you all, who would be warriors of the one divine Verity; keep on boldly and confidently; husband your moral strength not wasting it upon trifles but keeping it against great occasions like the present one.

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This article was also published in The Theosophist, VOL. 145 NO. 8 MAY 2024

The Theosophist is the official organ of the International President, founded by H. P. Blavatsky on 1 Oct. 1879.

To read the MAY 2024 issue click HERE

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