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The Scales Of Justice And Karma

By Joann Bakula
October 2006

The seed thought commonly used is "I choose the way which leads between the two great lines of force." The month of Libra is symbolized by the scales of justice, associated with the legal profession, and has been called the "sponsor of the law." Many would see this as an especially timely meditation on the rule of law. In this month's Beacon magazine the seed thought is explicated as follows: "For Libra the choice is not this or that, either-or, but that of a third way, a unifying, synthesizing factor." It is this synthesizing factor, whether present of absent, that holds the clue to so much today in the field of law, legislation and legislators. There are many themes each month leading to depths of synthesis appropriate to the full moon approach to spiritual worlds. This month the diverse applications of equality, equilibrium, justice, the middle path, the central way, karma, law, and choice all present themselves.

The scales of justice are the universal symbol of Libra and they are balanced or equal, meaning all are equal before the court of law, whether it's the court of karma, the ideal of the justice system, social justice in which the scales of labor and capital are balanced, or the extremes of disparity between the rich and the poor are equalized. In the famous words of the Bhagavad Gita, "Whenever there is a withering of the Law and the rise of lawlessness, I manifest Myself age after age." In Sanskrit the word used is dharma instead of Law, which has also been translated as Truth. Either way, when the law or the truth is so far away from what is real that a state of clinical imbalance is achieved, true leadership arises to initiate reform for the good of all.

In the Tibetan Buddhist religion, the present Buddha of the Shakya or 'warrior clan' will be succeeded by the Maitreya Buddha, whose name is derived from 'love' and related to the words for mother and friend. He, like the Christ, is associated with love and acts of compassion. Shakyamuni Buddha was born in our time, relatively speaking, into a time of war, militaristic rule and military might. His is the way of the Universal Vehicle, Mahayana, or 'war-chariot' with which we are able to emerge victorious in the war against mis-knowledge. According to Robert Thurman, this "does not show any difference in the perfection of liberative technique of the two Buddhas, but rather a difference in the evolutionary stage of the human beings on the planet" (The Central Philosophy of Tibet, p. 19).

In the Alice Bailey books, the Tibetan predicts that in the future an enlightened public will "elect only those men whose vision is in line with the new ethics, the new science of right human relations, and who recognise as a basic political tenet the equality of all men-an equality founded on a universal and basic divinity" (ExH 579).

For those who meditate on the symbolism of the Tarot, it is profoundly interesting to lift the veils that obscure. There are twenty-two Major Arcana in the Tarot. In Bailey the number of the ray methods of activity or Ray Paths "are twenty-one in number, making in their synthesis the twenty-two methods" (EPI 415) which express the Law of Love or Attraction, and this is also the number of the adept (EPI 155). Half of this, the Eleventh Key is shown as Justice in The Tarot (1947) by the famous Masonic writer John Paul Case, and in subsequent theosophical literature, such as The Kabbalah, Charles Ponce (1973). But in earlier occult writings, such as Ouspensky's A New Model of the Universe (1931), a blind was used, and Strength or Force was shown as the eleventh Key and Justice as Key 8. In Bailey, too, eleven is called the number of the "adept, using force". But the Tibetan gives us a clue by pointing out that "force…leads to separativeness", a view that Ouspensky shared. Separativeness is the opposite of synthesis. Justice is equated with the Law of Karma, the balancing of one action with another. Case draws the conclusion that this blind "does serve to emphasize the fact that Keys 8 and 11 represent two aspects of the operation of a single power…the creative imagination" and "that action (Mars) and imagination (Venus) are always related" because "imagination is based on memory." This line of thought has profound consequences applied psychologically and brings to mind the Tibetan's statement that Libra would come into prominence during this period and that therefore there was "no need for real anxiety." In the end it is Justice as the scales of Karma, choosing to equalize through truth and reconciliation that leads to our redemption. By the administration of spiritual Law or Karma through the "four Lords of Relationship, Enlightenment, Pain and Return" we are instructed, leading to progress for the group. We are urged to see this from the Tibetan's perspective.

A touching illustration of this principle is in the film Gandhi, when a way out of hell is offered to a Hindu man who murdered a child out of racial hate, because his own child had been killed. 'Find a child,' Gandhi (himself a Libra) advised the man, 'whose parents have been killed and raise him as your own. But be sure that he is a Moslem child and that you raise him as one.' A deed was required, but the only one leading to liberation was the act of reconciliation and a turning of hate to love. Therein lies karmic justice, the handmaiden of God or the Law. "Vengeance," it has been said, "is lazy grief."

Applied to everyday life, the imbalance of distortion, whether called glamour or illusion, lies in the commonality of emotional attraction/aversion. In hate we gather together the worst things we can say or write about another person or group, hold to this view, and convince others of it, sometimes even camouflaging it as love or safety. The analytical skills highlighted in this meditation help us to see through to the Real and identify harmful methods for what they are. Intelligent people representing the full spectrum of perspectives from the mystic to the atheist have throughout history restored sanity to power structures that have become out of balance one way or another. Both polarities, religion and science, can serve to enlighten; both can become polarized and fanatical. The sense of synthesis sees both from a wider perspective. The true Observer is a fair witness without prejudice for or against any culture, religion, race or gender. "Their objective is to see clearly through all events, through space and time by means of the cultivation and use of the intuition." They communicate energy between the plane of intuition "which is the plane of illumination and pure reason" and "the plane of illusion and glamour, which is the astral plane." Thus "they will release the light and peace" which will illumine the world of affairs and the significance of the events.

Wishing you all the blessings of light and peace, and the joy of the way of synthesis.

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