MICHAEL: We appreciate
your investigations and we will attend to
the premise. There is a kind of
pebble-thrown-into-the-pond analogy here.
The individual makes a decision, then that
decision affects the immediate
environment, which in turn reaches beyond
that little circle in its ripple effect.
Nevertheless, at each point a decision is
made, usually by an individual. Let it be
said that even congresses, parliaments,
diets, dumas, are composed of individuals.
It may appear that these bodies of
government propagate decisions as a whole,
but this is not true. Each member decides,
and incurs responsibility for that
decision, with its concomitant karma or
lack of it.
There is also
the decision that has no obvious relation
to the morality of the day. And be sure
that there is always a morality of the
day. Morals, unlike ethics, respond to the
flavor of circumstances. What is ‘wrong’
yesterday may be seen as tolerable or even
‘right’ today. Envision the attitude
toward divorce. Not so very long ago it
was considered ‘immoral’ in your society
to dissolve a union except for one or two
overriding conditions. In this it is
possible to see the fragility of moral
precepts. Morality becomes ethics when
qualifications are applied.
As for the
ethics of individual behavior, this is a
matter of how nearly toward his positive
poles a fragment is leaning. Actions that
are clearly negatively based are easy to
identify. It is the other spectrum that
has so much gray to contend with. Be aware
of the seductiveness of the chief feature:
It is for his/her own good that I do this.
Or: I only take what is mine. Or: This may
seem self-serving, but look at the
outcome. Another way of saying: The end
justifies the means.
supporting each of these excuses is the
work of chief feature, attempting, and
often succeeding, to offer up choices as
clean and full of goodness which are in
fact swathed in ego and self-indulgence.
Chief feature is present to protect the
personality, for no other reason.
Personality is cemented to the physical
plane, to the bondage of time and space.
false personality becomes the strength of
chief feature. The making of choices that
curtail the rule of chief feature threaten
its strength/hold, diminishing false
personality while supporting true
mean that all responsible choices must be
difficult or unpleasant? That all ethical
choices are burdensome? Not at all. But
often they do, to some extent at least,
need attention, the wariness of the awake
fragment. Traditional creeds have paid
tribute to the power of chief feature
without altogether understanding its
composition. They have called it ‘the
devil’, or ‘sin’, or even ‘ego’. All of
which confirms that chief feature has a
negative composition. But like all
qualities which embody the human
existence, it also has a positive pole.
Without this polarity there would be no
energy; without the energy that is
generated by the tension between the
negative and positive poles, there is no
progress in the work of the evolution of
the soul. Denying the strength of chief
feature disrupts this tension and little
progress is made. Therefore acknowledging
chief feature supplies the energy
necessary for moving away from it.
It is always
a possibility that fragments will fall
into the habit of acknowledging the
existence of chief feature by resorting to
a figurative ‘washing of the hands’ when
it comes to accepting, or more truthfully,
rejecting, personal responsibility. This
allows for the apparent dichotomy between
ethical and moral behavior. A fragment’s
contention that he/she is free of guilt in
a particular situation has no meaning.
Within the form of the teachings, what one
says has no weight. Responsibility is
created when an action is undertaken.
Words have no place in this equation.
Actions not only speak louder than words,
but they efface them completely.
such as: I cannot help it, that is my
role/mode/attitude/chief feature, and you
just have to understand that, are a result
of attempting to side-step responsibility.
And it does not work. Lifetimes may be
spent in learning this lesson. Not one of
you will reach the end of your cycle of
lives without this lesson becoming
virtually the core of your being.
one’s decisions as one’s own returns the
balance of truth to the fragment. Only
then can the journey toward agape
continue. As long as there is rejection of
this fundamental element within a fragment
there is paralysis/obstruction/stagnation
regarding the soul’s work.
It is common
to hear fragments speak of
What–is-right-for-me in justifying
decisions. There is an element of truth in
this statement. It is truly impossible for
one to make a choice that is not ‘right’
for him. There must be, however, a
perception of balance in the soul for this
statement to have a positive outcome.
Although all is choice, all choices being
valid, outcomes are not all equally
positive in a fragment’s life when
measured by the yardstick of the physical
plane. When the dust settles, a choice
made in a particular situation may seem
anything but positive to the chooser. The
positive achievement of a set of lessons
learned and the spiritual growth
experienced may never be apparent to the
fragment as long as it is incarnate in
that body. The really positive outcome may
only be understood in the between-lives
settling up, and even then not wholly.
More than one lifetime may be necessary
for the absorption of certain lessons.
Here, then, we come to
the real difference between moral
decisions and ethical decisions. Moral
decisions are inherently ‘right’ or
‘wrong’ according to
laws/requirements/social usages of time
and space. Ethical decisions transcend
time and space, becoming a matter of karma
if they are serious enough. It may be
immoral to lie at one time, in one social
environment (space), and moral at another
time, in a different social environment.
But unless the lie abrogates the choice of
another, it has no ethical meaning. Taking
a human life becomes a matter of ethics,
however, not of morality. This deed may be
necessary or inevitable according to human
calculations, but it has repercussions
beyond time and space and this action must
be balanced at some point. It becomes a
matter of karma.
Q: Michael, are
ethics and karma the same?
Ethics and karma are
joined in so far as there is a truth,
karma, against which ethical decisions are
measured. This can only be understood by
those who can determine actions on the
basis of their connection to truth. Those
who are not yet awake will still look to
the regulations and rules of others, e.g.,
priesthoods, society, governments,
scriptures, to define ‘right’ and ‘wrong’
for them. They may believe that they are
acting morally when they choose in
accordance with these precepts, but in the
end they may have to work out the karma
incurred because the actions undertaken
this planet evolves toward agape, the
greater will be the understanding that
decisions based on morality are less
useful as behavioral guides than those
based on ethics. Ethics accentuates the
positive pole in every instance. Morality
accentuates the negative pole in every
instance. This becomes the signal to watch
for when you are concerned by the apparent
similarity between these two words. Ask:
Which pole is this action tending towards?
The answer will reassure you.
We do not
suppose that every fragment will always
choose a positive, ethical action. Not at
all. All choices are valid. But for those
who are concerned about their choices, we
offer these guidelines.
Go in peace.