“A purely logical conception of karma would prohibit one from helping a man in adversity. But there, too such fatalism would be false. The help we give freely to another opens up a new era in his destiny. Our destinies are woven of these impulses, of these acts of grace. If we could accept the idea of individual help, may we not conceive that a far mightier Being could help, not one man alone, but all men, could give a new impulse to all humanity? … 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.” ~Rudolf Steiner
The Enigma of Karma
It is true, as Steiner says, that logically, if we believe in karma, we shouldn’t help those who are having difficulties. Technically, we might argue, that would be interfering with karma doing it’s job. But that simply isn’t true. Karma expects to be interfered with. Sometimes, the lesson the person need to learn is to accept help from others. He can’t do that if we don’t offer to help. In which case, his karma is not doing it’s job. It may also be that the person needs to learn that karma is very real. Once the lesson is learned, however, the continuation of the adversity is unnecessary.
A New Destiny
Mr. Steiner says that when we help another we open a new era in that persons destiny. I’m not sure that is true, at least not always. For starters, not everything we do or experience is part of our destiny. Free will, what there is of it, prevents that. Second, the receiving of help may have been part of the persons destiny, so we have not changed it when we provide that help.
Destiny is a tricky think to deal with, and there are often many obstacles on our path to destiny. Some of those obstacles are due to karma, but many are not. Some are there simply because the demons and dark forces wish to prevent us from moving forward. It’s a kind of reverse karma,because the dark beings are punishing us for doing good and making progress on our spiritual path. For such events, there is no karmic interference involved when we offer to help. In fact, offering such help to each other gives us good karma, and may be the only way we can all make significant progress.
In Greek Mythology, Sisyphus is condemned to forever roll a large rock up a hill only to have it keep rolling back to the bottom. The proper ending for that tale should have been for one of those people he mistreated to see his plight, forgive him, and help Sisyphus push that rock to the top and anchor it there. Then both could continue growing. Continue reading “Destiny, Karma, and Offering Help”