This is the revised text of a lecture given by the authors at a public meeting of the Theosophical Society (Pasadena) in Melbourne on June 3rd 2000. The ideas expressed in all our public meetings are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the TS (Pasadena).No-one living being on our planet could exist without the signals which direct its attention to the moment of choice. For example, thirst and hunger signal us that we are in need for water and food to replenish the chemical energy of our physical body. Pain alerts us that something is damaged or going wrong with our health. Remove these signals completely, and we will not survive. There are also signals aimed to directing us towards our collective survival and development as a system of life on our planet Earth. The climatic condition of the Earth, the condition of mental and physical health of its population, their peaceful or war-like attitudes – all of this expresses itself as signals which should speak aloud to anyone with conscience, caring for the future life on our planet.What happens when we don’t listen to the signals, when we are deaf to them? In fact, the people of our civilization did everything to turn the proverbial deaf ear to even the loudest and naturally insistent of the signals, like pain or hunger, not saying about the finest signals of conscience. We have invented painkillers to eliminate the signals of pain, and appetisers, which tempt us to eat long before we feel any hunger. We like the comforts of our life, even at the expense of the life on the Earth itself, and we trust any voice that lulls our conscience.As all human beings are like cells in the organism of life on our planet, it is obvious that we support our common life by harmoniously interacting with each other and with the planet itself. We receive plenty of true signals, both from inside and outside, for our interaction – we should just listen to them and be ready to change, to sacrifice and to care. If we learn to distinguish these signals from the destructive signals of selfishness, greed and fear; if we follow the urge of the true signals for compassion, generosity and courage, we will eventually be able to establish the Golden Era of peace and love on the Earth. And who knows, maybe the cells of our bodies will follow the trend of our consciousness, and our health, as common, as individual, will significantly improve.So, how can we better understand our personal signals aimed to directing us towards our spiritual purpose – towards our role in life’s harmonization? As our spiritual purpose is indissolubly connected with our karma, we call them “karmic signals”. We analyse the karmic signals in our book The Laws of Life, and describe the method of working with them in its sequel The Return of the Prodigal Son (both books in one volume, The Laws of Life, is exempt from the Law of Karma, and we start our current incarnation from the state which we achieved before. We can ask: “Are we a result of our past Karma?” And find the answer: “Yes, we are. But simultaneously we are also our future achievements. In the oneness of Unity we are Spirit, we are God… Everything in one point of Time, past and future, “here and now”. And from this point, from our future, we receive possibilities for our spiritual growth, for our purpose that attracts us from this future. We receive possibilities for our spiritual purpose, choices of their application, and signals. These signals show us whether we are on a right way to our Evolution or we have deviated from this straight Path of Harmony.”In our book, we analyse what are the karmic signals. “Every Monad incarnates as a human being on Earth to fulfil a spiritual purpose. It voluntarily chooses the necessary for spiritual maturation conditions and experiences. While we are going through these experiences, the subtlest, but most insistent signals come to us from within, from our spiritual Essence that is aware of our Path.” Whatever we call this: intuition, subconscious, the voice of conscience or otherwise – this is the voice of our inner real Essence. It may signal us in different ways, but anyway we understand that we cannot deny this signal. Its urge is so strong that people under its influence sometimes make strange decisions, from the materialistic point of view, when they sense that these decisions are right in the True Reality of Spirit. If in accordance with Cosmic Law, such decisions would appear to be perfectly valid.“The Divine Hierarchy is communicating with us constantly. Not by talking with us as such, but rather by signals that we can appreciate from within. When we completely trust these signals, they are able to assist us on our way. If we remain clean and disinterested in the results, then these signals come to us without distortion. But when people try to acquire psychic powers or amusements, especially by using psychedelic drugs and special practices, they attract signals from the lower Astral World, from entities whose energy vibrations are similar to theirs. Then their practices can turn into a nightmare and lead quite literally to madness. The only means to avoid this sad fate is purity. Purity of heart, purity of mind and purity of intent. Purity doesn’t have any attraction for dark entities that can potentially harm us.”The most usual versions of karmic signals are the signals that we receive as our life experiences. We can notice them daily as unexpected changes and unplanned events in our life, and as the so-called “coincidences”. These signals often concentrate at the times of inevitable change in our life, when we have to make decisions defining our future development. It is very important to have a mental “tool”, a method, which would help us to notice, to understand and to work with the karmic signals in these cases.So, how can we work with Signals? In The Laws of Life we explain:“There is a common mechanism – what you concentrate upon that you develop. When you receive a signal in your daily life, you choose your own explanation – whether from the materialistic or from the spiritual viewpoint. If you concentrate on its physical material meaning, then you attempt to improve the material conditions of your life. You don’t care about how your decisions will affect your spiritual aspects of life. The related unbalanced Karma may bring you similar experiences in the future. Usually, their signals become even stronger. Eventually, you should hearken to them and ask yourself what they mean! When you focus your attention on the spiritual meaning of a karmic signal, then you improve your spiritual condition, balance Karma, and the physical conditions of your life undergo changes in conformity with your new spiritual state. To explain: we know that all problems in human physical body are effects of spiritual karmic causes. For example, the problems of teeth and jaw are often connected with tensions in the area of mouth. When we feel toothache, we go to a dentist to treat decay. Temporarily, we fix the problem by physical means, but how many times do we visit dentists throughout our life!When we focus on a possible spiritual cause of our toothache, then we understand that, perhaps, we unconsciously misused the mighty spiritual mechanism of feeling and speech. Maybe, we were angry and unwisely focused on our anger, causing tension in the mouth. What is more, maybe, we expressed our anger in words, and let the low vibrations of irritation to use the channel which has been meant for the sacred sounds of prayers and mantras.The higher the spiritual level, the higher responsibility for the words and ideas we communicate to others. For an advanced human being, any empty chatter is acting as energy contamination, collecting the Karma associated with the misuse of the sacred channel of communication. When anything happens, i.e. we receive a karmic signal, we usually ask “why?” and look for answers into our past. We should also ask “what for?” Then we will be able to find out the purpose of this signal, balance the related Karma and annihilate the very cause of similar signals. By constantly working with karmic signals, we begin to better understand the spiritual purpose of our current incarnation on the Path of Evolution.”The Method of Karmic Signals (see The Return of the Prodigal Son) helps us to understand and apply the signals for our soul’s learning. This method requires attention to any event in our life. This method requires also observing everything with expanded consciousness from the standpoint of Spirit and not just through earthly considerations, which is most commonly the case.The method of karmic signals is a practical method of diagnosing human activity, based on observation and analysis of karmic signals. When applied together with the method of “widening of consciousness” and other means of spiritual improvement, it helps to increase the efficiency of life and avoid many karmic troubles.A karmic signal can be likened to “traffic lights” telling us we are approaching an “intersection”, where we should make our choice – in which direction to move further. On the road we observe all the signs and signals before choosing our way. Similar observation and vigilance to all the signals is necessary if we want to rightly direct our life. In our life situations, we often have too little information for a right decision and choice. But we know that every our step will be followed by a signal: “the way is unfolding or not” and “reward or punishment”. If we notice these signals, we can continue forward having observed the consequences of our first step. Then, from the state of analytical meditation, we are able to decide, either it is right to continue in this direction, or not.There may be various obstacles on the path. If you feel yourself like being at a deadlock, then, perhaps, you should change your direction. But when it is only resistance to your motion, the obstacle may provide the necessary strain for your “magnet”. By overcoming difficulties, you increase your spiritual momentum.The way may “spread” for some time, with only rewards and success, and then suddenly – obstacles occur and success finishes. What does it mean? Possibly, we have already exhausted the possibilities of this particular way for our spiritual development. We have passed all the necessary experiences on this way and have to change the direction or coordinate of our movement, but we continue to cling to our old habits and fear to change anything.Any signal comes into human life as a call to develop consciousness because the state of consciousness defines all our thoughts, actions and feelings. The human mind often tries to live with the past and maintain the past opinions and points of view. In our imagination, we may see the future as a projection of the past. That is why life seems so tough, when we encounter a sudden change of situation. But we desperately need these changes to make choices on the path and to develop our Soul. Helena Roerich writes in Agni-Yoga dictated by her Teacher of Wisdom from the Hierarchy of Light: “People prefer all would be done, as usually, by old means. But We prefer sudden actions and the same effects. People feel happy, when anything ‘pleasant’ is made in their ordinary condition, but We desire a greater success. You have to learn to consider the true harm and benefit of all events. It is difficult to send people the currents of a particular achievement, when they avoid particular ways. We are all familiar with people surrounded by prosperity, but what if they knew the spiritual treasures they deprive themselves of by prosperity? People want to fulfil their ordinary habits, forgetting that the habits of the body instil the habits of the spirit as well. The spirit becomes weak and begins to be careful of bold actions.” (Agni Yoga, 262).So, according to Agni Yoga, we receive assistance from on High and “the currents of a particular achievement”, when we respond to the signal in a creative way and are courageous enough to choose particular and difficult ways.In the True Reality we are in Unity. We receive signals from this Unity and its parts, for example, other people. We receive back the consequences of our own actions. This helps us to understand our mistakes and spiritually improve. In addition, through seemingly negative signals we can penetrate the roots of our problems. If we face an obstacle, we look for the lesson it tries to teach us. Our Ego can consider obstacles as unpleasant circumstances or limitations, but the Higher Self is aware of their spiritual purposes.How do we apply this method? In our usual social goal-oriented existence we are unaware of our spiritual goal in the Unity. We don’t know what kind of connections and consequences will follow our actions. If we are confronted with the reality of life, we feel resistance, we try to “break the situation” and reach our target. In time we and, maybe, our descendants will suffer from the karmic effects of our disharmonious willpower. When one adopts the method of karmic signals, he can avoid future actions, aggravating his Karma, and consequently their effects. This method works also in the case where one decides to correct his previous mistakes. If he interprets every unpleasant event as a karmic signal (in reality it is true), he receives the opportunity of making the retrospective analysis of his actions, thoughts and emotions. In some cases, if one is already spiritually mature enough, he is able to extract the moment of the karmic choice from the past, become aware of his misdeed and repent. Perhaps, this is an only meaningful way of applying to the past.After sincere repentance, in the case where a man has found the real cause of the signal and tries to improve, he balances Karma. The signal (disease or another trouble) becomes unnecessary and disappears together with the related Karma.Like with any spiritual technique, we need some practice to successfully apply the method of karmic signals. When we expand our consciousness and understand any possible technique as a part of our common spiritual education, then it begins to work and assist us in every manifestation of our life.

Some questions we have been asked which involve a knowledge of karmic signals:

Question: My friend is a successful tradesman. I was much better at school and university, and helped him with his projects. So, I hoped to succeed too, but when I decided to follow him in his trade, I failed to make profit. Everything I do goes wrong and I can’t understand why?Comment: You have your own spiritual way different from your friend’s path. Maybe, you are under a grosser demand from on High? Your belief that you must make money like “all people do” lowers your vibrations and closes the channels of connection with the Divine Hierarchy. Therefore, you receive negative signals about your wrong choice. They will become stronger and stronger until you make a right choice leading to your spiritual development and service. Search for your own unfolding pathway!Question: I was involved in a car accident, and I cannot understand why. I know I am not the world’s best driver, but now am scared – maybe I shouldn’t drive at all?Comment: Fear closes us from the divine energy and produces wrong thoughtforms. The method of karmic signals gives no prohibitions but only invitations to corrections. The question “why?” relates to the past. Of course, we can analyse our past thoughts and actions, and find different aspects of karmic connections. But when we are searching for the solutions for our future, then the main question of this method is not “why?” but “what for?” So, “what for” was the accident? What are the contents of the lesson you received? How could you use this condition to transfer from self-preservation and fear to creativity and joy?If we turn every signal into the invitation to co-creation with Spirit, we acquire skills and speed our spiritual development. No doubt, this is the right way from the standpoint of the True Reality.Question: How is it possible to exact the circumstances of a karmic “mistake” (if there is such a thing) when the cause may lie in a previous life? Maybe it is best to leave this in the past and get on with living more enlightened life now?Comment: What is the existence of the lifestream consisting of many incarnations like? It is like a school where we are passing our experiences, making choices and, through these experiences and choices, mastering the necessary background for enlightenment and the development of spiritual qualities. What happens in a situation where we have missed a chance of drawing spiritual lessons? Then, whether we call it a karmic “mistake” or not, in conformity with the law of Karma we have to face a similar situation later again. But we face it in different circumstances, sometimes even in different lives, where the conditions to face this situation may be less advantageous than now. Therefore, it is best to tackle our problems, no matter how difficult, at the time they appear, and not put them off until later.When a student leaves a question from his past studies unresolved, he will create problems for himself in the future. He will be finally forced to return and clarify the subject he refused to study earlier. The same applies in our life studies. We should be interested to examine our recurring problems, so that we may find the spiritual characteristics that we have to acquire. In such a way, the method of karmic signals can forward our purification and enlightenment.

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