KARMA is a word of many meanings, and has a special term for almost every one of its aspects according to Theosophy.
As a synonym of sin, an action for the attainment of worldly, selfish desire, “it cannot fail to be hurtful” to almost everyone.
Yet karma is “the law of ethical causation,” the effect of an act produced egotistically, against the great law of harmony which depends on altruism not selfishness.
In reality the condition is not inevitable. “No one has a right to say that he can do nothing for others, on any pretext whatever,” the spiritual theosophical teacher H. P. Blavatsky insists.
The poor widow in the Synoptic Gospels gives everything she had, she points out, while others give only a small portion of their own wealth. Always, “a cup of cold water given in time to a thirsty wayfarer is a nobler duty and more worth than a dozen dinners given away, out of season, to men who can afford to pay for them,” she says.
Following Mme. Blavatsky’s death in 1891, an editorial published in the New York Daily Tribune (founded by Horace Greeley) said of her: “Madame Blavatsky held that the regeneration of mankind must be based upon the development of altruism. In this she was at one with the greatest thinkers, not alone of the present day, but of all time,” the Editorial acknowledges.
“And, it is becoming more and more apparent, at one with the strongest spiritual tendencies of the age.
“This alone would entitle her teachings to the candid and serious consideration of all who respect the influences that make for righteousness.”
The clearest statements of Blavatsky’s ethical views, are in The Key to Theosophy (Section 12), where she insists that “altruism is an integral part of self-development.” It is man’s duty “to give all that which is wholly his own and can benefit no one but himself, if he selfishly keeps it from others,” she wrote.
Asked how a person could achieve such an elevated state, her reply focused on four overarching aspects: “By the use of our higher reason, spiritual intuition and moral sense, and by following the dictates of what we call ‘the still small voice’ of our conscience —
“…and which speaks louder in us than the earthquakes and the thunders of Jehovah.”