What is Justice?
Circles of Humanity
Orders of Laws
Right Thinking and Choice
See also:Man's Place in the World
Essay on Man — Part 7
Then coming to quite simple laws, there is, for instance, our ignorance. We do not know ourselves — this is a law. If we begin to know ourselves, we get rid of a law. We cannot make a catalogue of laws for some of them have no names, but some we know. For example, we know that all men live under the law of identification. Those who begin to remember themselves begin to get rid of the law of identification. So in order to free oneself from laws it is first necessary to find one law from which one can liberate oneself, and get free from it. Then, when free from this law, one can find another and again liberate oneself. This is the practical way to study laws.
Some laws, such as the need to sleep for so many hours in the twenty-four, are cosmic laws. We are made that way. But there are laws which hinder us on all sides or keep us in subjection but which have no beneficial side and for which there is no cosmic necessity. Because of our mechanicalness, we live under too many unnecessary laws. For instance, we live under the law of negative emotions and, although people do not believe it, could live much more happily without negative emotions.
The outcome of work on oneself is not the creation of new laws but liberation from unnecessary laws. Discipline, necessary for a period of study, is only a means, not an end. In studying oneself, it is necessary to be conscious and to understand. Words by themselves will not do. It may be helpful to find analogies. For instance, if a man is well, he is under a certain number of laws; if he is ill, he is under more laws.
As individuals, we are too small and insignificant to be known by any higher forces. So who is just and unjust? We operate with imaginary ideas. In a small limited circle, in definite limited conditions, there can be justice and injustice. But on a larger scale this idea loses its meaning. There are many such ideas which have a certain meaning on a small scale but lose all meaning on a larger scale.
At the same time this idea of justice is interesting because people lose a great amount of energy on this point. We can stop this waste, but we cannot correct things in the world. All life from beginning to end is an injustice. For instance, we have to die — and we think it is most unjust. We divide things into just and unjust, and what right have we? All organic life is based on injustice; it is a self-supportive farm to breed cats and rats. Cats eat rats and rats eat cats. What is justice among cats and rats? This is life. It is nothing very comfortable. Our aim is to get out, so it is not our business to feel indignation: that is simply loss of energy. But we must not pretend that the facts are different from what they are.
Man is a machine: but there are different machines, and machines can be made for a special purpose. If a machine is used for the purpose it is made for, it is in the right place; but if it is made for one purpose and used for another, it is in a wrong place. Man is a special machine, made for a certain purpose; he is made to be a recipient of certain higher influences coming from Worlds 3, 6, and 12; and because he can receive these influences from higher worlds he can become independent of the world surrounding him.
In a higher state of consciousness, man is subject to fewer laws. Most of the laws we have to obey are the result of our sleep and our unconsciousness. Every step we make in becoming more conscious sets us more free. If a man is satisfied with mechanical life, he cuts himself off from higher influences and receives only influences beginning with World 24. Certainly he is then in a worse position than a man who receives influences from higher worlds. Laws or influences from Worlds 3 and 6 can come only through higher mental centre and influences from World 12 through higher emotional centre.
You must also understand that many influences can be received mechanically but many others need effort. Moreover, influences received by man do not remain as they are, but are transformed in him. Much depends on how they are transformed.
Men 1, 2, and 3 are less responsible for what they do; Men 4 and above are more responsible: responsibility grows. An animal has nothing to lose, but a man has. When a man has started to grow, he has to pay for every mistake he makes. If we have no control, as in sleep, we have no responsibility; but if one has even a small possibility of control, a possibility of being more awake or less awake — as in our case — one is already responsible.
The question of justice and injustice is a very good subject for thinking, because people spend much energy on this problem. They use the words: but they do not think out for themselves why they call one thing just and another unjust. Yet one thing is always connected with another, one thing inevitably follows from another. It is only our assumption that there must be justice on each scale.
Try to explain what is just and unjust. How can you know? People are machines. How can machines be just? It is not a quality that belongs to machines. If they are responsible, like Man 5, then you can speak about justice and injustice; but if they act in the way conditions and circumstances make them act, what can you expect?
Very often our idea of injustice is based on a very narrow view. We do not compare things and see that it is the natural order of things. We cannot speak about injustice so long as we think of it as an exception. When we see it as a rule, we may think of how to escape from it. There can be no justice in our present state, no justice in prison. When we realise we are in prison, the only thing we can seriously think about is how to escape, not sit and cry about injustice in prison.
People are machines. They are pushed in a certain way and they roll; when they hit a wall, they stop and begin to roll back.
Things in this circle will remain as they are; but we can escape. It needs much knowledge to know from what we can escape and from what we cannot escape. But the first lesson we must learn, the first thing that prevents our escaping, is that we do not even realise the necessity of knowing our position. Whoever knows it is already in a better position.
Planetary forces may create wars. The whole Solar System is a unit, so everything in it is connected with cosmic causes and it all affects life on Earth. Causes of things that happen on Earth are often outside the Earth. But when there are causes that can produce wars, much depends on the state of humanity at a given place and time. People can show more or less resistance. If people at a certain time in a given country are in a better state, they show more resistance.
In seeking to free ourselves from laws, we are working against nature: but nature is a relative term. In these concentric circles of worlds within worlds, if you work against nature you work against one circle but it may not be against another circle. It is not all one nature. You cannot work against nature outside of Nature; if you go outside of one nature, you are still inside another nature.
Man cannot go away from the Earth, but he can be under different laws while remaining in the same position and on the same Earth. He can be under one set of laws or under another set of laws, and it is possible to observe this if we know what it means. We can observe people living under different sets of laws in ordinary life, and when we prove it even in a small way, we can easily understand that it can go further. You must think what it means to live under different laws. Even such as we are, we have a certain choice: maybe not a full choice, but we can change many things just by choosing rightly.
Choice is not so much a question of knowledge but of being. Man lives under influences coming from different parts of the Universe. In one state one kind of influence predominates, in another state another kind. In the life of the same man, he can be one day under one kind of influence and another day under another.
When you started studying the system, you must have had many questions and thoughts about the world, about the relation of different things, and about yourself in the world. Study of laws gives you a new point of view: you had thoughts about things in one way and now, through these new principles, you begin to think in another way.
This is practical, not theoretical; and certainly it will help understanding to grow, because it will create a firm ground for it. The Ray of Creation is a system of elimination, of simplification. It does away with all knowledge which is not practical. With the help of the Ray of Creation we eliminate from the Universe all that has no personal relation to us, all that cannot be understood practically. It enables us to use the principle of scale. This applies to our perception of things; and yet, from another point of view, it also refers to things in themselves. This must be understood: it is not only subjective, because things on different scales are under different laws.
Besides, all big ideas like the Ray of Creation and the fundamental laws of the Universe are necessary because they keep our thought in the right channels. They do not let it spread without any results and so they also help self-remembering. If you discard them, if you try only to self-remember and exclude all other ideas, it will not come.