Supervening Orders in the Spiritual Panorama – Part 1 (The mystery of the universe is hierarchic in structure)

The mystery of the universe is hierarchic in structure. There are graded orders, one supervening upon the other. The spiritual panorama of the universe reveals itself as a gradient with laws upon laws. Superimposition of one type of law over the other implies elasticity and resilience of lower laws for the working out of higher superseding laws. Instead of lawlessness, it means a regime of graded laws adjusted with each other in such a manner that they all subserve the supreme purpose of God, the Creator.

The lower laws are subsumed under the higher laws. We have first the law of cause and effect reigning supreme in Nature. Such natural laws seem to be mechanical, rigid and inexorable. But by acting and interacting with life-force, they lead to higher laws of sanskaric or impressional determination and become superseded by them. Impressional determinism is not an exception to causal laws but is their finer and higher form. It supervenes upon mechanical causal laws.

Let us take an example to illustrate the functioning of supervening orders in the spiritual panorama. The days of every incarnate soul in the gross world, and what they bring, are both definitely determined by the accumulated impression of past lives. But this impressional determinism does not work itself out independently of, or in defiance of, ordinary causal laws. On the contrary, it works through established causal laws. For example, wrong diet or gluttony or any other disregard for natural physiological laws will definitely affect the duration of the life-term in the gross body. In the same way, intelligent use of known laws will affect happenings during this term of life. But, whether or not there is going to be a disregard of such laws on the part of some particular soul, is itself impresssionally determined; i.e., it is dependent upon his gathered dispositions. Thus physiological and other causal laws are subsumed by higher karmic laws and lend themselves as pliant fabric work for them. The law of karma supersedes and uses the other laws of Nature without violating them.

– Beams, 33

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