by J.

Reprinted from "Lucifer"

as published in “Theosophical Siftings" Volume 7 - [1894-1895]

[Page 19] LACK of charity is the basis of all immorality. By "charity" is meant the true brotherly love, or viewing all other beings as one's own self. "Sin" has its rise in selfishness, or the idea of benefit or advantage to one's self as separate from — hence in opposition to — other selves. When man realizes the spiritual identity of all Being, then only does he cease to sin, for then only does he know that to sin is to injure himself and all other selves — the universal whole — by action in opposition to Universal Law. But such realization consists only in living out his belief. Intellectual appreciation and acceptance are mere stepping - stones to the groundwork of true realization.

Thus he who lacks charity for all his fellows is himself immoral in thought and in fact. In dwelling in thought upon the sin of another, he perpetuates and vivifies that sin through the thought pictures thus made, and clothed anew with his own mental energy. Man thus becomes a sharer in the "sin" of his fellow by creating new effects for the original evil. We graft upon ourselves the sins of others; moreover, the cause of sin is in both cases identical; it is the mutual belief in separation from the universal whole. Thus, the method of wrong doing differs, but the original cause exists in both the sinner and the [Page 20] man who condemns him. He who has entire charity, has it by virtue of his recognition of the identity of all souls. This identity often obscures the original starting point of an evil action. The self-righteous man, and even the stern moralist, may have created in their abhorrence of sin, strong pictures which may have an automatic action upon the sensitive inner bodies of mankind. Or our brother may have seen his fault, may resolve to amend, and may again be overpowered by the dynamic action of the thought pictures of that fault poured forth by our minds. They have a life which binds him down to his sin. Hence the only safe course is that charity which "seeketh no evil". The moment we attach immorality to our fellows we commit the same sin so far as the real root of sin is concerned. True charity implies a recognition of the existence of evil itself as a misuse of powers, and as a fault common in this age to all men. It does not dwell upon those particular forms of sin most abhorrent to its own mental make-up when these are manifested by men or women, but endeavours to lay the axe to that common root of self in all men — most of all in the personal self — while helping all other selves. The recognition that all are alike sinners against the Law of Unity, causes a man to seek for likeness and not difference between himself and all other men. Then he begins to overlook the sins of men and to abandon the character of judge, accepting instead that of helper of all selves. But let him, as he values his own soul, continue to condemn the root sin of self. And let him ask only of all others and in his own heart, not the question, "Have these sinned ? but, "Are these endeavouring in any degree to help the world ?" If not, they most of all need his charity and his aid.

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