Gnosis and Gnostic Anthropology in Contemporary Gnosticism: a personal view


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Destiny and the Law of Karma

"Everything will turn out right, the world is built on that."
.- Mikhail Bulgakov. The Master and Margarita, ch.32


There is the Law of Karma, which is part of the cosmic order. It is also known as destiny, predestination, fate, nemesis, and so on.

The Law of Karma is universal and eternal, like space. The Law of Karma is the same here and over there, today just as yesterday and tomorrow.

The Law of Karma is pervasive and inescapable. We are all subject to it even if we are not aware of it. The Law of Karma applies to you whether you want it or not, whether you like it or not, whether you believe in it or not, whether you are Hindu or Buddhist, Christian or Taoist, Jewish or Muslim.

Nevertheless, this lecture is about destiny and the Law of Karma from the point of view of self-knowledge. The inner conscience, or kaom, is the ability to know what is right and what is wrong.

The kaom is a conscious faculty, which means it is objective and not subjective. Therefore it should not be confused with false feelings of guilt, shame and the like.

When fully awakened and developed, the inner kaom allows the initiate to know what is the law and to remain in tune with it. Such an inner conscience can be activated with certain meditative practices of concentration.

This presentation is only to provide a focus for such practice, for those who may be interested in learning about the Law of Karma and how to relate to it. My intention here is not to convince anybody of anything, but to suggest an avenue for development and personal growth based on each person's own lived experience, or gnosis. Therefore the assertions made here should be taken as elements for reflection and as an incentive for self-knowledge.

In fact only those conscious, enlightened people, whose kaom is awake, are directly aware of the Law of Karma. The rest of us know about it from hearsay.

You may have noticed that all the fundamental religions have some common principles, which would have been conveyed by the enlightened founders of those religions, individuals who had direct, mystical conscience of the law and thus were able to explain its principles to those who were not conscious enough. This is an example of a common principle:

BUDDHISM: "Do not insult others if you would not like to be insulted yourself." Udanavarga 5.18.-
CONFUCIANISM: "What we do not want to be done to us, let us not do to others." Analects 13.23.-
CHRISTIANITY: "What you want people to do to you, do the same to them, because this is the sum of the prophets’ law". Mathew 7.12.-
HINDUISM: "Do nothing to others which would hurt if it was done to you”. Mahabarata 5.1517.-
ISLAM: "None of you will be a true believer, unless you wish for your brother the same thing you want for yourself." Sunnat.-
JUDAISM: "What you do not want for you, do not wish it for your fellowmen. This is all the law. The rest is only a commentary." Talmud Sabbath 31.-
TAOISM: "Let the gains of your fellowmen be as yours and their losses be also as your own." T’ai Chang Ka’-Ying P’hen.-

What is the Law of Karma:

"What goes round, comes round," is a known saying in the English language and it succinctly describes the Law of Karma. In this context the religious principle of doing to others as you would like to be done to you is obviously sound advice.

What you do to other people, good or harm, whether intentionally or unwittingly, directly or indirectly, by action or by omission, is what you will receive in the future. Such is the irony of destiny.

And this will happen with mathematical precision. It may seem incredible but the Law of Karma operates with perfect accuracy. Nobody ever gets more or less than their just measure, not even by the weight of a feather.

The world is actually just and fair. The Law of Karma is the law of retribution.


The Law of Karma (Action and Consequence) is the law of cosmic causation. The Law of Karma is the law of cause and effect.

"Every cause has its effect; there is no cause without an effect, nor effect without a cause". There is a concatenation of causes and effects.

Some mystics and initiates speak about their experiences in the causal world. This is a parallel dimension consisting of the causal aspect of everything.

Something we may do now, here in the physical world, is at the same time a cause in the causal world. In there, such a cause has its inherent effect and such an effect will eventually materialise in the physical world.

Therefore, instead of accepting things as casual, we may investigate the causality behind. Of course, there are accidents, but we need not assume that this is the case every time something happens of which we are not aware of its causal dimension.

It is possible to modify an effect by modifying its cause. If you want to change something, you need to change its cause so that the effect changes as a consequence.

Karma vs. Dharma:

Just as one can have a bank account with its credit and debit, so each one of us has a cosmic account with its credit and debit, what we owe and what we are owed. Karma is one's debit. Dharma is one's credit.

The debit is the amount of harm, or karma, that we have inflicted on the world and which is set to bounce back on us. The credit, or dharma, is the amount of good that we have dispensed on the world and which will be repaid to us.

The scales are a universal symbol of the Law of Karma. If the plate of your bad deeds weighs more than the plate of your good deeds, it means you owe a certain amount and you will have to pay the difference by suffering, unless you can put more weight on the plate of your good actions in order to balance the scales before you are billed...

Making deals:

Complaining about our sufferings does not help them; on the contrary, it toughens one's Karma. Instead, one could help others who are in a similar plight.

Thus, by consciously helping others, one can change one's destiny. By means of positive action, we can alter the causes we once sowed and, consequently, the effects they are having upon our current existence.

Therefore, if you have karmic debts, you can do good, and with this credit you can make a deal to cancel an old debt before it materialises. In other words, karma is negotiable in the sense that you can make up for things. You do not have to suffer a replica event of what you did, if you can do something else compensate for that.

The book of destiny is another universal symbol. Your good and bad actions are annotated on this book.

Good intentions are irrelevant if the actual result is in fact a disaster. We are judged by our actions, not by our intentions.

On the path of initiation, the initiates eventually manage to pay off all their debts, earning final liberation from suffering and pain. In fact each initiation is payment, a reward for the initiate.

"But this is one of the nights when accounts are settled. The knight has paid up and closed his account."
.- Mikhail Bulgakov. The Master and Margarita, ch.32)

Justice and Mercy:

Karma is not vindictive punishment but it is a law of compensation. This law of retribution adjusts cosmic balance on the basis of justice and mercy.

Justice without mercy would be tyranny. Mercy without justice would be connivance.

In fact, Karma is a medicine for the soul. To a certain extent we learn by suffering the same pain we once inflicted upon others.

We learn from the bitter medicine and become better people. However, it is preferable not to have to suffer.

In particular, if we are on the path of initiation, any karma we may owe becomes an impediment that can hold us back on the path. It is therefore useful to know that karma can be negotiated because the law is merciful as well as just.

Once we have eliminated from within ourselves the psychological elements that made a mistake we become incapable of repeating it. Then the karma from that mistake can be forgiven.

Special kinds of karma:

However, not all kinds of karma are forgivable, or indeed negotiable. For instance, the deeds of violence against nature, against the sexual creative energy, or against the reproductive organs, cannot be forgiven - they have to be paid in kind.

And in any case, some karmas are not reversible once they have materialised. Obviously it is then too late to try to level your scales and negotiate.

There is also a specific Law of Karma for the initiates, owing to the special esoteric knowledge they have and the responsibility this entails. For instance, if somebody were to speak publicly against the positive Kundalini, perhaps confusing it with its negative opposite, the Kundabuffer or Kundartiguador, this person would be accruing the special karma of the initiates.


So, to sum up, there is no other destiny than the consequences of our actions, but we do have freedom to act, which enables us to modify our destiny if we are wise enough. We do not need to pay by suffering; we can pay by doing good, if we can recognise what is right and do it.

- "Not only do we pay for the evil we do, but also for the good we do not do when we could".
- "When a lower Law is transcended by a higher Law, the higher Law washes the lower Law".
- "The Lion of the Law can be fought with the Scales".
- "Do produce good deeds so that you can pay your debts".
- "He who can pay, pays and is well off the bargains; he who can pay with nothing, has to pay with pain".
[These are five axioms taken from various works by Samael Aun Weor]

.- Lecture delivered by a Gnostic instructor.

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