The laws of Karma and the working of Christ 

Margarete van den Brink

We are people in development. We live our life on earth with the aim of becoming, in the course of ever-new incarnations, step by step free, independent and self-conscious individuals in whom the high divine powers of consciousness and love - our higher spiritual Self- find ever greater expression.

We already have a large portion of this road behind us, but we still have a long way to go. In our day we still live mostly in the development phase of our ordinary self, our personality-self, also called the 'ego'. This ego, in contrast to our higher or spiritual Self, is as yet very little aware of its own actions and of the impact of these actions on the world around us.

That is because we are still largely concerned with ourselves - are 'egocentric'.

Pollution through ego-behaviour

With this unconscious ego-behaviour we harm life on earth and in the cosmos. We can compare the effect of these unconscious actions and their negative consequences with the damage caused in nature by, for example, poisonous chemical substances. And just like on earth environmental pollution must be counteracted, so must in the spiritual realm the damage we inflict daily, in fact every moment of the day, also be repaired.
If this would not happen, so much would be destroyed through the accumulation of all this negative energy, especially in the sphere of the life forces, the etheric sphere, that life on earth would cease to be possible. We humans would then no longer be able to incarnate on earth and no longer be able to follow a path of development here. This would mean the end of our human evolution.

In order to undo and be able to cancel out this damage, but in such a way that we humans can at the same time go through a process of development, the divine guidance has instituted the law of karma and reincarnation. By 'the divine guidance' I mean the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and with them the high spiritual angelic hierarchies in their service. As the divine powers who constitute the basis of our creation and evolution, they work, of course, towards the high goal which we humans are striving to and guide and support us in this process.

How does the law of karma and reincarnation work?

We obtain the best insight into how this law of karma works when we observe what happens when people die. The esoteric tradition says that at the moment we die, the spiritual or heavenly world opens itself up to us. This means that all of a sudden our past life stands before us in all its details, events and fullness.

At that point we not only are confronted with our life as it unfolded over time, but also with our actions and their consequences in this world. All our actions - everything we say, feel, think and do on earth - have a specific effect, not only on ourselves but also on our fellow humans as well as on the nature around us and the cosmos.

In the spiritual realm, all things are interconnected, and therefore everything has a direct effect on everything else. Good thoughts, positive feelings, things we do with considered deliberation that not only serve our own interest but also the common good, have a curative, healing effect and bestow positive energy or positive life forces upon everything. Negative emotions, thoughts, actions, and egoism on the other hand, are destructive and cause damage in all areas of life.

Reviewing our life with the 'Being of Light'

In life after death, when we review the life that has just ended, esoteric christianity tells, we are presented with fundamental questions like:

What has happened? How have I dealt with the tasks and people I have encountered in my life? What went well, and where? Where have I failed? Where have I slept through the tasks before me? What have I learned? What must I do differently in the future? What must I still develop?

People who had a near-death experience and spent a short time 'on the other side' tell us that this review immediately after death takes place in the heart warming presence of a spiritual being. A spiritual being from whom emanates inconceivably great, unconditional love. This spiritual being is often called the 'Being of Light' because so much light and love emanates from it. The deceased is automatically drawn toward this being of light and love.

In A Christian Book of the Dead: Accompanying their Journey after Death, written by Hans Stolp and myself, people provide a description of this 'Being of Light'. Elaine Winner, a woman who died of a stroke, tells this:

When I went closer to the light I felt the unimaginable love which the light radiated. I felt understanding, I felt forgiveness and I felt many other things at the same time. You cannot even compare this love (of the light) to the love of the one person who loves you more than anyone in the world. The love was so total, so absolute, that I could not imagine it.

It is striking that everyone who in a near-death experience encounters such a review of his or her life, reports that the 'Being of Light' never judges in a condemning sense and wraps them in his love, so that they can also bear the negative things they have done. The 'Being of Light' is concerned that people learn from their experiences and thus become wiser and more loving. This is why he points out certain things and even indicates how they could have acted differently in certain cases.

One man states emphatically that this being did not act in any way moralising:

'Not what I should have done, this would have been moralising, but what I could have done - an open invitation which left me entirely free to follow his suggestions or to cast them aside'.

What is remarkable in these near-death experiences is that they are in complete agreement with the notions of esoteric Christianity. Long before these experiences were told and published, they were already described there.

The Spirit of Truth and Love

The being and working of Christ, who since the events of Whitsun in the year 33 lives in us humans as Spirit of Truth and Love, can clearly be discerned in the experiences people had with the 'Being of Light' in their near-death situation. After Christ united himself with the fate of humans during the events that took place on Golgatha, he became 'Lord of Karma'.

This means that he became the specific divine guide of us humans on our path of development on earth as well as in our life after death.

That is why, after death occurs, we take, in his loving warmth, distance from the events and actions of our life, look at them, and see what has taken place. Through this the truth comes to light and we see: 'Yes, that is how it was, that is what has happened'. But that is not all. Wisdom also follows: how could it have been different? Thus it becomes clear how 'the good, the right' could have won out.

Is there a better way imaginable of learning from your 'faults' and your 'mistakes' than this?

Striking in these stories is how the 'Being of Light' does not confront people with the law or with all kinds of rules of behaviour that should have been followed, but allows them to arrive at their own understanding by means of the images from the life that has just ended. This belongs to the new relationship that has been established between the divine world and humanity after Golgotha. For what matters now is the individual independence of human beings who gain understanding for themselves and who take responsibility for their own actions and thoughts.

A next step in life after death is that - after the review on the past life has taken place - the inner longing emerges to set aright what was done wrong and to develop further as an individual. Thus begins already in this phase the desire to return to the earth to deal with old and new tasks.

These new tasks do not only concern individual development but especially also the relationships with people with whom we are karmically connected, that is, with those with whom we have established connections in the course of earlier incarnations, whether in a positive or in a negative sense.

We call this entire 'parcel' of things we want to straighten out, redress, or still have to develop if the divine Spirit is to flourish in us, 'karma'. 'Karma' is a concept from the Sanskrit and means something like action, deed, effect, destiny. It encompasses the notion that everything we do, think, and say in the present comes back to us in one way or another and thus determines our future, whether positively or negatively. And this includes, of course, our relationships with other people and the situation in the world.

We can also translate 'karma' with 'fate'.

The 'sins' Christ takes upon himself

The preceding examples show how already now - and even more so in the future, when the power of the divine Spirit will have grown in us - the damage our imperfection causes is being undone through ourselves. In terms of traditional Christianity we would say the damage 'our sins have caused'.

There is, however, according to esoteric Christianity, one kind of damage that we humans cannot undo. That is the damage our actions and deeds, our negative feelings and thoughts inflict on the spiritual forces that are at work in and support the development of the earth and nature. The cancelling of this damage or sin far transcends our human capacity. It is nevertheless necessary that this damage be undone. If this were not to happen, then the earth would still be destroyed and finally crushed by the accumulation of all the negative energy.

The Christ takes this indebtedness to the spiritual forces of earth and nature up into his magnificient being and cancels it for us humans. By doing so he transforms the negative into the good and through that cancels it. This is what, according to esoteric Christianity, is meant by the statement that through his death and resurrection Christ takes upon himself the sins of us humans and thereby cleanses us from our guilt.

This cleansing has in part, in a very large part, already been done by him and he continues to do so. The other part however we humans have more and more to do ourselves in the course of our lives on earth.

That we can do this, we owe to the law of karma and reincarnation. Thus we human beings can, thanks to the fact that since the events at Golgotha, at the beginning of our era, the divine Spirit lives in us, redress the consequences of our actions ourselves.

Through that we will be able to continue our path of development on earth towards ever higher states of consciousness and light. And so reach our destiny as human beings.


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