Choice, Karma and the Causal Body

  • Title: Contemplations, Choice, Karma and the Causal Body.
  • Author: Arvindus.
  • Publisher: Arvindus.
  • Copyright: Arvindus, 2023, all rights reserved.
  • Index: 202312251.
  • Edition: html, first edition.


The English word 'choice' (as also its Dutch counterpart 'keuze') is thought to stem from the Old-Teutonic or Proto-Indo-European 'kuz' or 'geus', meaning 'to choose' or 'to try'.1, 2, 3 In English 'choice' is defined as "[t]he act of choosing; preferential determination between things proposed; selection, election" and as "[t]he power, right, or faculty of choosing; option".4 So very basically choice is a power or faculty and an act.

But according to the first mentioned definition choice is also a determination, and what determines that causes.5 Gravity for instance determines apples to fall on the ground, and with that it causes their fall. And likewise regards choice as a determination a cause. To choose is to determine, is to cause.

But the English word 'cause' has besides a semantic similarity with 'choice' also a phonetic similarity, which suggest that both have the same linguistic root. Academic etymology however does not trace the root of 'cause' further back than to the Latin word 'causa', denoting the same thing(s) as its English sprout.6, 7 A cause is basically "[t]hat which produces an effect; that which gives rise to any action, phenomenon, or condition".8 Etymosophically however it is due to the great similarities of phonetics and semantics proper to posit a same root of 'cause' and 'choice'. And since both English and Latin are rooted in Proto-Indo-European we shall here consider the aforementioned root to regard the earlier mentioned 'geus'.9

Now in our contemplations not only etymosophy (or shabda yoga) is used regularly as a guidance, but also are the teachings of the ageless wisdom (or sanatana dharma).10, 11 And in this ageless wisdom a concept is used that carries the name of 'causal vehicle' or 'causal body'.12 Other used names regard 'twelve-petalled lotus', 'egoic lotus', 'egoic vehicle', 'egoic body', 'soul vehicle' and 'soul body'.13 But with the above consideration thus also a name like 'choice vehicle' or 'choice body' can be used.

This is a significant conclusion, for putting 'choice body' synonymous with 'causal body' and 'soul body' we are relating choice very closely to the soul, and this is exactly what has been brought to the fore many times in earlier contemplations.14, 15, 16 The concepts of soul, consciousness and choice belong together.17, 18

But the above mentioned conclusion is especially significant because it tells us from where choices, real choices, which are not simply particularizations, tendencies or movements,19 originate. They originate from within the causal body.

Now this causal body is in the ageless wisdom also referred to with the Sanskrit and Hinduist term 'karaṇa sharīra'.20 In this term 'karaṇa' refers to an action or a causing,21 and 'sharīra' to a body22.

The word 'sharīra' is (through 'shara') thought to be derived from 'shṛī', referring to a hurting,23, 24, 25 and this makes it understandable that in Hinduism it is said that in a body pain is inevitable.26 The two are both etymosophically and in reality related to each other.

The root of 'karaṇa' in its turn regards 'kṛi' (through 'kar(a)'), referring to a doing or a causing. 27, 28 Interestingly 'kṛi' is (again through 'kar(a)') also the root of the Sanskrit and Hinduist term 'karma(n)', which refers to an action or a working.29 But the word 'karma' of course also refers to the so called 'law of cause and effect', meaning that what one sows one shall reap.30, 31

Now due to the close phonetic and semantic relations of 'karaṇa' and 'karma' the 'karaṇa sharīra' could also easily be called the 'karma sharīra'. This is not far fetched when it is considered that the karaṇa sharīra is the storehouse of all the karmic seeds that were once sowed, which in Hinduism in their total are called 'sanchit karma'.32, 33, 34

This designation of the names 'choice body' and 'karma sharīra' (or 'karma body' in English) to one and the same body, namely the causal body, corresponds with what has been contemplated earlier about the relations between choice and karma. For choice and karma were contemplated to be like the two sides of one and the same coin. They together occur within one process of development of consciousness.35

And now the two are thus related to the causal body. And this enables us to see the causal body as the initiator of as well actions, resulting from choices, as experiences, resulting from karma's.

This conception may be further elucidated in a future contemplation. For now it suffices to see the causal body as one with both the choice body and the karma body.36

  1. Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0), Oxford University Press, 2009, choice, n.
  2. Van Dale Groot Woordenboek Engels-Nederlands, Zoeksoftware, versie 2.0, Van Dale lexicografie bv, Utrecht / Antwerpen, 2002, choice.
  3. Etymologisch woordenboek van het Nederlands, Ke-R, dr. Marlies Philippa / et alii (redacteuren), Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 57.
  4. Note 1.
  5. Webster's New Dictionary of Synonyms, Merriam Webster, Springfield, 1984, p. 235.
  6. Oxford English Dictionary, choice, n.
  7. Oxford Latin Dictionary, Oxford University Press, London, 1968, p. 289.
  8. Note 6.
  9. Encyclopædia Britannica, Ultimate Reference Suite, Version 2015, (software), Encyclopædia Britannica, 2015, linguistics, The 19th century, Development of the comparative method. "As French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, and the other Romance languages had evolved from Latin, so Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit as well as the Celtic, Germanic, and Slavic languages and many other languages of Europe and Asia had evolved from some earlier language, to which the name Indo-European or Proto-Indo-European is now customarily applied."
  10. 'Contemplations, Etymosophy as Shabda Yoga', Index: 202310031.
  11. 'Contemplations, 'Ageless Wisdom' and 'Sanatana Dharma'', Index: 201912081.
  12. 'Ageless Wisdom, The Egoic Lotus', Index: 201305241, Consideration of Terms.
  13. Ibidem.
  14. 'Contemplations, Destiny, Choice and Accidence Contextualized in the Ageless Wisdom, Index: 201309091.
  15. 'Contemplations, Accidence, Choice and Destiny as a Ninefold, Index: 201510162.
  16. 'Contemplations, A Lord of Choice, Index: 202007251.
  17. Note 14.
  18. 'Ageless Wisdom, Triplicities in Man', Index: 201308292.
  19. Note 15.
  20. Note 12.
  21. Monier Williams, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Etymologically and Philologically Arranged, With Special Reference to Greek, Latin, Gothic, German, Anglo-Saxon, and Other Cognate Indo-European Languages, The Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1862, p. 205.
  22. Ibidem, p. 995.
  23. Ibidem.
  24. Ibidem, p. 994.
  25. Ibidem, p. 1019.
  26. Sri Ramakrishna, in: Mahendranath Gupta, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Volume II, Swami Nikhilananda (translator), Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, p. 658. "Pain and pleasure are inevitable in a body."
  27. A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, p. 204.
  28. Ibidem, p. 245-246.
  29. Ibidem, p. 209.
  30. Alice A. Bailey, Letters on Occult Meditation, in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001, p. 354. "Karma. Physical action. Metaphysically, the law of retribution; the law of cause and effect, or ethical causation. There is the karma of merit and the karma of demerit. It is the power that controls all things, the resultant of moral action, or the moral effect of an act committed for the attainment of something which gratifies a personal desire."
  31. Alice A. Bailey, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001, p. 371. "The law ever works, and that law states that whatsoever a man or nation sows, that shall it also reap."
  32. A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, p. 1050.
  33. Swami Sivananda, Moksha Gita, Swami Krishnananda (commentator), The Divine Life Society, Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, p. 69. "The Anandamaya Kosha is made of Mula-Ajnana. It is the Karana Sarira or the causal body which is the substratum of all other sheaths which are external to it."
  34. Swami Krishnananda, The Chhandogya Upanishad, Internet Edition, The Divine Life Society, Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, Ch. Two, Sec. 16. "But, the principle is this, that actions which are performed leave behind them a residue called apurva which becomes the content of the sanchita or the anandamaya-kosa within us."
  35. 'Contemplations, Choice and Karma', Index: 201607111.
  36. Recommended contemplations to gain a wider and deeper perspective on this subject regard the already noted 'The Egoic Lotus' and 'Choice and Karma'.