It seems everything in existence can be viewed as a continuum in lines of measurement and also a continuum that contains quantum levels – or jumps in quality that separates an event significantly from events below it in a continuum. This can be seen in physics – water, within a temperature continuum, makes quantum leaps in quality from solid to liquid to gas. These states exist on the same temperature continuum, differing by only minuscule temperature gradients to produce the quantum leap of quality change. This “quantum leap” effect also likely exists in psychological and moral life.
One might say that cursing, for instance, is a minor evil (if even that) – while lying to destroy someone’s reputation, as an example, is an evil of a completely different quantum level. A child lying to protect itself is a completely different thing from an adult maliciously lying to destroy someone else. Strictly in example – if a person is an inveterate curser (yet doesn’t defame his neighbor), does all this cursing ever accumulate in demerit to that of one incident of lying to defame someone? The karmic result would seem to belong to completely different levels also. They belong to different moral quantum levels. It seems this idea can be applied to many areas. The more sophisticated the evil is, the worse the moral karmic effect.
In a coarse example, does the detrimental effects morally of a promiscuous sex-life ever add up to that of a rapist? It would seem not. They belong to completely different moral quantum levels. One is mutual acts of consent, and the other, while the same category of act, is a soul-ripping act of violence. The drug degenerate or addict is on a less corrupt moral level than the non-addict drug-seller who corrupts others, and the crime is recognized as such by the courts. The aspiring black magician (even unconscious to themselves perhaps), stealing or trapping through cleverness, reaps worse karma than the quantum-lower mugger or petty thief. The subtle criminal in some aspects sets himself up for worse karmic results than the simple and brutal one. Stealing reputation is a quantum worse crime than stealing money. Crimes of the Mind are worse and more damning to the future of the soul, than uncontroled animal brutality and desire or perhaps need. Murder is likely an exception, although even the courts recognize the difference between a crime of passion and the premeditated one. The lower mind or Manas is really the coarsest or most corrupt of the Theosophical seven principles, not the body.
On the positive side of things, doing charity work through established organizations is positive karmic merit and socially praised, while some efforts at helping others are not socially acceptable and viewed suspiciously and result in opprobrium. An example among others might be a white person in the south in the 50’s and 60’s who worked for voting rights for Blacks. He’d likely be ostracized from his peer group, and so this type of genuine work might be seen as a quantum level superior and more difficult than socially acceptable work, like working in a soup kitchen. Doing charity work through an acceptable institution is laudable, while getting down-and-dirty on the streets and perhaps doing more genuinely valuable work will likely get one regarded as another criminal.
– m.r.j. (based on same article June, 1996, Protogonos)