So persistent is the influence of these Roman legal concepts that, when there is any talk of karma, one actually finds that the majority of people today who accept this doctrine, picture it working as though Justice were sitting over there beyond, meting out rewards and punishments according to our earthly notions — reward for good and punishment for evil deeds — exactly the Roman conception of Law. All the saints and supernatural beings exist after the fashion of these Roman legal concepts which have crept into the supernatural world.
Who today, for instance, understands the grand idea of the Greek “Fate”? We cannot say that the concepts of Roman jurisprudence help us much today toward understanding the figure of Oedipus. Indeed, owing to the influence of Roman legal concepts, men seem to have altogether lost the capacity for comprehending tragic grandeur. These Roman legal concepts have crept into our modern civilization; they live in every part of it; they have become in their very essence a fictitious reality, something imaginary. It is absolutely necessary for us clearly to see that in our whole way of conceiving things we have lost touch with reality, and that what we need is to impregnate our conceptions afresh with reality. It is because men's concepts are, at root, hollow, that our civilization still remains unconscious of the need for the common cooperation of men all over the round Earth. We are never really willing to go to the root of what is taking place under our eyes; we are always more or less anxious to keep on the surface of things.