“Through karma. The Act of Christ becomes cosmic law, and through the Christ-Principle karma achieves its aim—the liberation of conscious souls and their identification with God. Karma is gradual redemption, Christ is the Redeemer.
“If men would steep themselves in these ideas, they would realize that they belong to one another; they would understand the law recognized in all true occult brotherhoods—namely that each individual suffers and lives for others. There will come a time in the future when outer redemption will coincide in each with the interior act of the Redeemer. It is not revelation but truth which makes men free” ‘You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free.’” … When man has awakened in himself all those qualities which were prophetically manifest in the Christ, he will be a free being.” ~Rudolf Steiner
Karma and the Redeemer
Many think that the idea of a redeemer and the concept of karma are incompatible. “If a redeemer can forgive your sins,” they argue, “then haw can there be karma?”. The answer is that forgiving ones sins, mistakes, or evil acts doesn’t mean that the person does not have to repay the debt. Christ forgives, but doesn’t erase the need for restitution.
If you think about it, you will realize that if the Redeemer canceled out karma, the lesson of karma would be lost. As Steiner correctly points out, karma aims to liberate the soul that it may be once again united with God. But the soul of one who has committed murders, rape, arson and other heinous acts can not be allowed to join with God. Even one such soul would add a tiny bit of pollution to the Great Soul that is God. If hundreds, thousands, and eventually millions of such people were allowed to join with God, he would become evil as well. That obviously cannot be allowed to happen.
So the “stains” on these souls must be “washed off” and the “soap” that does that is Karma. So karma is not stopping spiritual progress, it is making it possible. We all make occasional mistakes, but if we pay off the debt, we can move on.
We Belong Together
What would you think of a science fiction tale in which one fingers rebelled against him? They jump off of his hands and go off to live on their own. Stupid, right? What if some of his skin cells decided to leave and go elsewhere result in patches of open areas with no skin? Ridiculous! Such things can’t happen because the fingers cannot live separate from the rest of the body. Even more so for the skin cells. All the parts of your body are designed to work together, to be part of one whole.
Few people see it that way, but the human race in total is much the same, at least on a spiritual level. While we can hold our hand a foot above our head, that hand cannot continue to go higher and higher while attached to the rest of the body. Likewise, an individual person can climb a few steps up the stairway to heaven, the path of spiritual growth, but must work with others to go further.
If you wanted to gain admission to a very exclusive club, you must do so as a whole being. You can’t get admission for one hand, then the other. Then get admission for your head, etc. All must be admitted, or none. If the hands are ready to go in, but the head is not, the hands must wait.
Return to Heaven
The human race cannot return piecemeal to the highest level of the spiritual realms called Heaven. There are many who have taken steps up that path. There are some who have reached the very top. But humanity can enter only as a whole, or not at all. That is why we are all obligated to not just climb the stairway, but reach back and help our brothers and sisters do the same.
That is why karma is necessary. We all must learn the lessons karma tries to teach us before we can be ready to return to Heaven as a whole. Until we are, karma must keep working regardless of whether or not there is a Redeemer.