Euthanasia, Abortion, and Karma

By Jelle Bosma

In many countries there is a call for liberalizing laws concerning euthanasia and abortion, held to be the legacy of a dogmatic way of thinking. While people naturally desire freedom to express their feelings and thoughts, may they not unconsciously be inviting negative longterm results?

Every form of life, and thus also human life, is a manifestation of conscious being, not something we can dispose of at our convenience. If we think about how karma works, we realize it is a natural energy system and, further, that thought is one of the strongest forces in the universe, affecting everything. When a being thinks, it generates a stream of mental "electrons" which activate the life-atoms in the various levels of its entire being. Whatever the type of thought or feeling, these life-atoms are charged with an energic potential, just as batteries are charged. Upon receiving this charge, positive or negative, the life-atoms seek to unload this energy in order to bring the energic potential into balance, because one of the fundamental rules of the universe is harmony. This interaction we call karma.

Most people are unaware of the profound and beautiful ramifications of karma. No external God creates misery and destruction, any more than such a God surrounds us with unearned joy or good fortune. Our ego is continuously molding its form and character. Just as millions of individual polyps create a coral reef, so millions of our thoughts and feelings over several incarnations form our character. The same karmic rules hold for families, groups, and complete populations who have common thoughts or feelings or who generate mental streams of the same frequency.

When an ego is in complete harmony, it is said to be one with cosmic consciousness and to have deep feelings of love and full knowledge. A person who decides out of compassion to help struggling mankind charges his life-atoms with a finer, more spiritual form of energy which is affected, not only by the karmic laws of this sphere, but also by those of a higher plane than that of mankind.

Just as a dog cannot escape its own tail, so karmic results are part of the ego which created them. Clearly, then, an ego experiencing pain and anxiety resulting from its own past actions can never escape these consequences, even if it flees to the farthest corner of the universe. Choosing euthanasia, for example, to escape present pain and problems could be an attempt to avoid karmic consequences: it could charge the life-atoms with more negative energy and cause further unbalance, creating new and larger future problems. Facing life's storms tends to restore equilibrium, and herein lies the value of accepting one's destiny.

Abortion parallels euthanasia. Many people today believe that the mother, and to a lesser extent the father, have the right to terminate the life of an incarnating ego. One must seriously question whether the decision to interrupt the incarnation process for socioeconomic reasons, such as furthering the parent's career, isn't at its core selfish. Similarly, a handicapped child represents not only the karma of the incarnating ego but of the parents and the whole family. Choosing abortion to solve this problem not only postpones it, but creates larger difficulties in future lives. Working out the karma, on the other hand, will bring the individual into balance, as well as slowly help to raise the thought-life of all humanity toward the highest possible plane.

We can ignore karma by thinking that reincarnation and a universal law of consequences do not exist; but eventually our ego will discover the facts through these same cosmic laws. Then it will realize that it has lost a great deal of time and has created many additional difficulties for itself and others which could have been avoided. People wish to be free; but in fact we are always free in our will, within the constraints of the laws of harmony, and are free -- nay, compelled -- to make our own path of destiny.

  • (From Sunrise magazine, December 1997/January 1998. Copyright © 1997 by Theosophical University Press.)

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