UNITY - LAW – EVOLUTION
First Fundamental Idea Unity
As to Self, and the Source of Life, the great Theosophists, both ancient and modern, have recorded that there is One Infinite Principle, which is the Cause of all that was or ever shall be. Thus this causal Self, the only true "Deity," can be absent from no point of space, and we are inseparable from it. Each one is a ray from and one with that Absolute Principle. This is the one realization which immediately sets our minds in order: we are, in essence, THAT which is unchangeable and unchanging. Behind all perceiving and knowing and experiencing is the One undivided Self. The power in us to perceive, to know, to experience - apart from anything that is seen, known or experienced - is the One Self, the one Consciousness, shared by all alike, the Power of every being. Herein lies the true basis of Brotherhood - the unifying bond for all above man and for all below man.
Second Fundamental Idea This is a Universe of Law
The second great principle - law, is referred to in Theosophy as Karma. Karma is the law of recurring cycles in Nature and the constant tendency to restore disturbed equilibrium. Applied to man's moral life it is the law of ethical causation, of justice, reward and punishment, the cause for birth and rebirth. Viewed from another standpoint it is simply effect flowing from cause, action and reaction, exact result for every thought and act. It is act and the result of act; for the word's literal meaning is action. Theosophy views the Universe as an intelligent whole, hence every motion in the universe is an action leading to results, which themselves become causes for further results. We are all reaping what we have sown, individually and collectively; we never act alone. We always act on and in connection with others, affecting them for good or evil, and we get the necessary reaction from the causes set in motion by ourselves. This presents to us the idea of absolute Justice, in accordance with which each being receives exactly what he gives - the essence of free-will.
Indissolubly connected with Karma is Reincarnation.
Reincarnation is a most beneficent process. It gives man the time and the opportunity to bring to fruition all the aspirations that lie unfulfilled in his or her inner nature. It provides new starts with new bodies, brains and circumstances. It allows for periods of much needed rest and assimilation for the soul between incarnations. And it is through reincarnation that man can extend help to the many conscious "lives" that make up Great Nature and that depend upon him for their future evolution.. In any one life we are known to others as a personality, but in the whole stretch of eternity each one is an individual, feeling an identity not dependent on name, form, or recollection.
Third Fundamental Idea Evolution
Reincarnation brings us to the doctrine of Universal Evolution as expounded by the Sages of the Wisdom-Religion. The third fundamental principle of Theosophy points to the fact that all beings in the universe have evolved from lower points of perception into greater and greater individualization; that beings above man have gone through our stage; that there never can be a stoppage to evolution in an infinite universe of infinite possibilities; that whatever stage of perfection may be reached in any race, on any planet, or in any solar system, there are always greater opportunities beyond.
Viewing life and its probable object, with all the varied experience possible for man, one must be forced to the conclusion that a single life is not enough for carrying out all that is intended by Nature, to say nothing of what man himself desires to do. The scale of variety in experience is enormous; every form of evolving intelligence in nature either is now a man, has been a man, or will become a man. Further there is a vast range of powers latent in man which may be developed under lawful conditions. Knowledge infinite in scope and diversity lies before us, although we perceive that we have no time to reach up to the measure of our high aspirations. To say that we have but one life here with such possibilities put before us and impossible of development is to make of the universe and life a huge and cruel joke.