THEOSOPHY FOR THE LAWYER
Human law, in its impersonality, impartiality and strict justice, like mathematics, is a most direct expression on earth of the Divine in the Cosmos. For the highest possible definition of God is as the Principle of immutable Law under which all things great and small, macrocosmic and microcosmic, are conceived, made manifest, densified to the deepest degree, polished, perfected and finally withdrawn. In the Macrocosm all is law and law is all. This is the highest, noblest of God and ideal of Divinity. God is immutable Law.
Energy, Life, Intelligence, Form are the bases of Creation. Their existence, emergence, full manifestation and withdrawal occur under the absolute rule of perfect Law.
The lawmaker and legalist on earth, mundane in effect though their activities may appear, therefore follow a divine occupation. Human law mirrors divine law. The man of law is an agent of that law. The touch of heaven rests upon the miscalled dry-as-dust procedure of the administration of the law.
One part of the purpose of Cosmic Law is to produce perfected human beings. This objective of Cosmos should ever be remembered by human administrators of law. The real purpose of protective laws is less to punish and more to perfect, less to restrain and more to redirect, never to crush , always to elevate.
The function of law, international, national and civil is perfect living, to educate the individual in self-control and right relationship with his fellow, and to establish flexible but firm foundations for civilization.
The justice of man, therefore, whilst exact, should always be administered with the supreme and sublime purpose for human existence in view. The honest citizen is protected, the dishonest restrained and the deliberately criminal punished and segregated, always to the end of the production of a finer type of man. That is the acid test of the value, and even the validity, of any law, as of the work of any and all of its administrators.
Parliaments in session, Justices in office, Magistrates on the bench, detectives and police, all the personnel of the law, ideally should be guided by a sense of impartial and impersonal justice and a recognition of their larger and less mundane function of servants of the souls of men, each a pilgrim journeying towards perfection under absolute Law.
The penal aspect of human law presents the greatest difficulty in adhering to this ideal. Human feeling are inevitably involved. Justice becomes less impartial in the degree in which emotion is aroused and involved. This tends to be especially true, both of those who suffer at the hands of the criminal, susceptible as they are to the desire for vengeance, and of those prison workers upon whom the responsibility for fulfilling the decrees of justice and maintaining prison discipline devolves. Because the difficulty is here most critical, here also should be the greatest care in the training and selection of such officers. The spirit of vengeance, the infliction of cruelty, the undue application of disciplinary measures are contrary both to the spirit of impartial justice and to the well-being and progress of the indicted and sentenced criminal. It is here, at the present stage of human evolution, that human law most frequently fails in both purposes. It is here, therefore, that reform is most -- session, Justices in office, the Statutes of a Nation should approach most nearly that strict and impartial justice which is the ideal. The ultimate agents, the men and women responsible for the hourly carrying out of sentences, can if wrongly trained be farthest away from that ideal.
Under Cosmic Law, penalties for crimes are always meticulously exact in their appropriateness to the crime. There is no faintest possibility under the natural law of cause since in this realm also Administrators are appointed, the spiritual progress of the victim of law in its corrective aspect is never ignored. Quite the contrary; it is the one guiding principle of all those Intelligences who, embodying the principle of Law, are responsible for its application to human action.
Chiefly by extension over long periods, but also by the processes of delay and precipitation at unfavourable and favourable occasions respectively, an also by balancing carefully beneficent with adverse reactions from previous actions, these Intelligences secure strict justice for every human being, and at the same time the greatest possible measure of education and therefore evolutionary assistance. The beneficent results of worthy conduct, noble deeds and unselfish actions are similarly permitted expression in forms and in times when the greatest possible evolutionary benefit will be gained from them.
Just as on earth a hierarchy of officials from the Minister of Justice downwards is responsible for the administration of human law in a Nation, so, at every level of human awareness, physical, psychical, intellectual and spiritual, a Hierarchy of Intelligences is responsible for the administration of Cosmic Law.
These two systems continually interact the human being the latter cannot. In the process of interaction between the two, even the human errors and their effects in either lightening or increasing the weight of sentences also occur under Cosmic Law, since they have been earned by the recipient. Those who err, however, in their turn generate cosmic reactions upon themselves, always strictly proportionate to the deliberateness and the degree of error.
Error through lack of ability, or of careful reasoning, or close attention, and therefore with no motive of injustice behind it, produces less painful reactions than does deliberate error founded on the motive unjustly to cause pain. So in Cosmic Law is ceaselessly set in motion by, and upon, man. In the ultimate, all decrees, whether immediately and apparently beneficent or adverse in their effects, are educative, teaching especially that violation of Cosmic Law does not pay. This too should be the long term, basic principle upon which human law is founded.
The wise man is he who by his actions ordains that all reactions under Cosmic Law shall be harmonious. Acting less and less from motives of personal gain, living his life more and more as an impersonal manifestation of the cosmic purpose which is evolution, he does not provoke self-modification and self-domination by Cosmic Law. He avoids these two effects of personally-motivated action and so obtains individual freedom and individual serenity. Naught external, not even Cosmic Law, since he is fully its agent, then has power to shape his existence, limit his activities, or to enforce experiences upon him. He is self-ruled and from within. He is then not only sage, but spiritual king. To the production of such men, human law, as also education and religion, should ever be designed and administered.
FromThe Theosophist April 1947