Karma – Life is a school

Life is a great school for the learning of lessons. It has many grades, many classes, many scales of progress. And the lessons must be learned whether we will or no. If we refuse or neglect to learn the lesson we are sent back to accomplish the task, again and again, until the lesson is finally learned. Nothing once learned is ever forgotten entirely.

There is an indelible imprint of the lesson in our character, which manifests as predispositions, tastes, inclinations, etc. All that goes to make up that which we call “Character” is the workings of the Law of Karma. There is no such thing as Chance. Nothing ever “happens.” All is regulated by the Law of Cause and Effect or Karma. As a man sows so shall he reap, in a literal sense. You are what you are to-day, by reason of what you were in your last life. And in your next life you will be what you are making of yourself to-day. You are your own judge, and executioner–your own bestower of rewards. But the Love of the Absolute is ever working to lead you upward to the Light, and to open your soul to that knowledge that, in the words of the Yogis, “burns up Karma,” and enables you to throw off the burden of Cause and Effect that you have been carrying around with you, and which has weighted you down.

In the Fourteen Lessons we quoted from Mr. Berry Benson, a writer in the Century Magazine for May, 1894. The quotation fits so beautifully into this place, that we venture to reproduce it here once more, with your permission. It reads as follows:

“A little boy went to school. He was very little. All that he knew he had drawn in with his mother’s milk. His teacher (who was God) placed him in the lowest class, and gave him these lessons to learn: Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt do no hurt to any living thing. Thou shalt not steal. So the man did not kill; but he was cruel, and he stole. At the end of the day (when his beard was gray–when the night was come) his teacher (who was God) said: Thou hast learned not to kill, but the other lessons thou hast not learned. Come back tomorrow.

“On the morrow he came back a little boy. And his teacher (who was God) put him in a class a little higher, and gave him these lessons to learn: Thou shalt do no hurt to any living thing. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not cheat. So the man did no hurt to any living thing; but he stole and cheated. And at the end of the day (when his beard was gray–when the night was come) his teacher (who was God) said: Thou hast learned to be merciful. But the other lessons thou hast not learned. Come back tomorrow.

“Again, on the morrow, he came back, a little boy. And his teacher (who was God) put him in a class yet a little higher, and gave him these lessons to learn: Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not cheat. Thou shalt not covet. So the man did not steal; but he cheated and he coveted. And at the end of the day (when his beard was gray–when the night was come) his teacher (who was God) said: Thou hast learned not to steal. But the other lessons thou hast not learned. Come back, my child, tomorrow.

“This is what I have read in the faces of men and women, in the book of the world, and in the scroll of the heavens, which is writ with stars.”

Under the operation of the Law of Karma every man is master of his own destiny–he rewards himself–he punishes himself–he builds, tears down and develops his character, always, however, under the brooding influence of the Absolute which is Love Infinite and which is constantly exerting the upward spiritual urge, which is drawing the soul toward its ultimate haven of rest. Man must, and does, work out his own salvation and destiny, but the upward urge is always there–never tiring–never despairing–knowing always that Ultimate Victory belongs to the soul.