Human Suffering and Adepts' Help - Geoffrey Hodson's view
Jul 10, 2011 01:24 PM
If your look around, you will see sorrow and suffering going on around the
world due to wars, and other actions of human beings. The suffering may be
caused by physical events or economic events and even natural calamities.
Some may wonder why the Adepts who are the Guardians of Humanity do not
intervene and solve some of the problems.
Geoffrey Hodson, the well known theosophical writer, lecturer and practical
occultist, once addressed the role of the Adepts in these matters, Here is
an excerpt from his writing in 1960 in Theosophy in NZ ( Vol. 21, No.2,
Why do people suffer? Because of the violations of the laws
of Nature. This reaction to man's action is completely impersonal
and very exact, even as is an injury from a fall caused by the operation
of the law of gravity. Hurtfulness to another inevitably brings appropriate
suffering to the one who hurts. Moreover, the extent of the pain is always
exactly proportionate to the degree of the cruelty. The Adepts have said
that They often find Themselves helpless in the presence of the operation
of this impersonal and exact law.
What is the best way to save people from suffering? Surely it is to
tell them its causes, which are strong, coarse desires and the infliction
of pain upon others. This the Great Teachers have continually done.
'Love one another' has been Their gospel from time immemorial, as
also has the fact of the existence and operation of the compensatory
But humanity, like the people of Jerusalem in the time of Our
Lord, will not heed. You will remember how Our Lord wept over the
people of Jerusalem and said:
'0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and
stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered
thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under
her wings, and ye would not' (Matthew 23:37).
Man's hardness of heart and inhumanity to man, as also to animals,
remains proverbial. The Adepts are relatively powerless in the face
of humanity's heedlessness of Their teachings, and of human cruelty
and its painful karmic effects. Still They teach, both directly and.
through Their disciples and other agents. Still man will not heed, as
every abattoir demonstrates.
The Teachers continually tell the whole world to live in
obedience to the law of love, and yet man will not obey that law.
Nevertheless, far more intervention occurs than is generally
A wealth of testimony exists of spiritual, occult and physical
assistance to man. Minds are illumined. Hearts are turned to the light.
Bodies are healed. Human beings are visited spiritually and even
No one ever cries for spiritual and intellectual light in vain. Yet
all Kingdoms of Nature must be aided. More helpers are therefore
Would it not be better to offer oneself as one who has tried
genuinely to obey the laws of love and harmlessness and who is ready
to help and to heal and to save, than to question the actions of Those
who are the embodiments of love and whose whole lives have for
countless years been spent in ministration?
Although the Adepts have attained to very great powers, even
They cannot disregard Nature's laws. They know those laws so thoroughly
that They can work with them perfectly, and so may seem to
transcend them, on occasion, but They never violate them.
There is one law under which all happiness, all sorrow and all suffering
even They cannot prevent its operation. It is the Law of Cause and Effect,
and even Their strong hands, Their loving hearts, Their compassion,
are often helpless in the presence of the operation of that law. The
sufferings of men represent the educative effect of the law, which has
been provoked by the infliction of sufferings upon others.
As St Paul said: 'Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap'
6:7) Our Lord said: 'And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than
one tittle of the law to fail' (Luke 16:17).
So They, the Perfected Ones, seek to prevent our sufferings by
telling us of the existence of the law, by teaching us to save ourselves
by following the simple advice which They, age by age, have not
ceased to give. In a phrase it is 'Love one another'.
Nevertheless, as I said before, a very great deal of such ministration
and of healing from on high does occur in this world, and it is performed
by none other than the Adepts and Their disciples. Of this we may be sure;
far worse, far heavier, would be the sufferings of the human race were it
not for this perpetual Adept ministration.
Do not let us forget that both the pleasure-giving and pain-producing
effects of the operation of the law are highly educative. Unduly
to modify or diminish either would not be beneficial.
For example, the Principal of a University could, at the end of the year,
look at the examination papers of a first-year student and say to him:
'These are full of mistakes, but we will pretend that they are perfect
and that you know the subjects thoroughly. We will pass you to a
higher class'. Would that be helpful? No, it would be neither helpful
nor kind. Indeed, it would be a hindrance to the student's progress.
There would be a serious gap in the student's knowledge and sooner
or later mistakes would inevitably be made. Even as there were cities
in which Our Lord did no mighty works because of the people's unbelief,
so there are cases of ignorance, doubt, loss and suffering in which,
taking the long view, it would not always be wise to use occult powers
in order to give immediate, personal relief. The Law of Cause and
Effect both ensures justice and is educative. Out of human experience
wisdom is born. This, we may presume, is one of the reasons why in some
cases the Adepts must withhold Their aid.
The Lord Buddha taught that ignorance and the suffering it causes
can be dispelled by the knowledge of four Noble Truths. These are: the
miseries of existence; their cause, which is ever-renewed desire for
self-satisfaction; the destruction of that desire as the way of sorrow's
ceasing; and the Noble Eightfold Path. This last consists of right belief,
right thought, right speech, right action, right means of livelihood,
right exertion, right recollection and right meditation. The Lord Buddha
summed up this teaching in these words: To cease from sin, to attain
to virtue and to purify the heart.
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