ARVINDUS

Contemplationam

The Quadrants and Karma

THE QUADRANTS AND KARMA

As the title indicates shall in this contemplation a relation be laid between the quadrants and karma. ‘The quadrants’ here refers to the quadrants as they have been contemplated in ‘The Quadrants of the Cross in the Circle and the Cycle of Manifestation and Obscuration’.1 There the quadrants of the cross in the circle were thematized as steps in de cycle of manifestation and obscuration. A figure as in figure 1 was sketched.

The Quadrants of Cross in the Circle

Figure 1.

In this figure quadrant 1 represents descent from spirit, quadrant 2 descent to matter, quadrant 3 ascent from matter and quadrant 4 ascent to spirit. This structure was kept bare so that it could easily be clothed by different themes. And karma is in the present contemplation one of such themes. For the structure of the quadrants as described above can also be found in the concept of karma.

Karma as choice is earlier mentioned to consist of a subjective cause, an objective cause, an objective effect and a subjective effect.2 And in this fourfold of karma clearly the structure of the quadrants can be recognized. Let us go through the quadrants, starting with an interpretation of the points. Point B represents the spiritual subjectivity and point C the material objectivity. Point D and point E are the places where these two meet in action (point D) and experience (point E). Quadrant 1 then represents the subjective cause relating the spiritual subjectivity to action. Quadrant 2 represents the objective cause relating action to the material objectivity. Quadrant 3 represents the objective effect relating the material objectivity to experience. And quadrant 4 then represents the subjective effect relating experience to the spiritual subjectivity. Point A then represents the center of consciousness from where the choice or karma originated, enabling it to run its cycle. An overview is given in figure 2.

Indication Karma
Point A Centre of consciousness
Point B Spiritual subjectivity
Quadrant 1 Subjective cause
Point D Action
Quadrant 2 Objective cause
Point C Material objectivity
Quadrant 3 Objective effect
Point E Experience
Quadrant 4 Subjective effect

Figure 2.

That here a cycle of manifestation and obscuration is recognized in karma is important. In the contemplation ‘The Quadrants of the Cross in the Circle and the Cycle of Manifestation and Obscuration’ it was mentioned that when we are standing at the descending arc it is good to descend and evil to ascend, and that when we are standing at the ascending arc it is good to ascend and evil to descend. This basically means that when a cycle is started its course should not be obstructed. And this is also the case with karma. When a true choice has been initiated in quadrant 1 it must not be kept subjective but brought to action and manifestation in the objective cause of quadrant 2. When then, sooner or later, an objective effect presents itself in quadrant 3 it should not be mended. And the experience of the objective effect, leading to the subjective effect in quadrant 4, should not be evaded. Choice in its causal subjectivity must lead to action, action must lead to causal objectivity, causal objectivity must lead to effectual objectivity, effectual objectivity must lead to experience and experience must lead to effectual subjectivity. When one choses one must choose the whole of it. This is why for instance the Bhagavadgītā of the Hindus emphasizes detachment from the results of one’s actions so much.3 One should not meddle with these.

The mentioning of the importance of letting karma run its course is important because in contemporary times people often tend to obstruct the course of karma. Choices are in quadrant 1 often inhibited, actions not convincingly executed in quadrant 2, undesirable happenings in quadrant 3 avoided or bent and unpleasant experiences in quadrant 4 ignored or repulsed. This is often the tendency. In reality of course nothing can stop the course of karma. It will run its course rather gently when willingly accepted or rather harshly when unwillingly refused. Consciousness will develop no matter what and the cycle of karma is its means.

Notes
  1. ‘The Quadrants of the Cross in the Circle and the Cycle of Manifestation and Obscuration’, Index: 201705031.
  2. ‘Choice and Karma’, Index: 201607111.
  3. Srimad Bhagavad Gita, translated by Swami Swarupananda, Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata, 2007, Ch. 6, Sl. 10 / p. 125. “He who does actions forsaking attachment, resigning them to Brahman, is not soiled by evil, like unto a lotus-leaf by water.”
Bibliography
  • ‘The Quadrants of the Cross in the Circle and the Cycle of Manifestation and Obscuration’, Index: 201705031.
  • ‘Choice and Karma’, Index: 201607111.
  • Srimad Bhagavad Gita, translated by Swami Swarupananda, Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata, 2007.