If a man put his hand on a bar of red-hot iron, under ordinary circumstances he would be badly burnt; yet it would not occur to him to say that God had punished him for putting his hand on the bar. He would realize that what had happened was precisely what might have been expected under the action of the laws of Nature, and that one who understood what heat is, and how its acts, could explain exactly the production of the burn. It is to be observed that the man's intention is no way affects the physical result; whether he seized that bar in order to do some harm with it, or in order to save someone else from injury, he would be burnt just the same. Of course, in other and higher ways the result would be quite different; in one case he would have done a noble deed, while in the other he could feel only remorse. But the physical burn would be there in one case just as much as in the other.
To obtain a true conception of the working of this law of cause and effect we must think of it as acting automatically in exactly the same way. If we have a heavy weight hanging from the ceiling by a rope, and we exert a certain amount of force in pushing against the weight, we know by the laws of mechanics the weight will press back against our hands with exactly the same amount of force; and this reaction will operate without the slightest reference to our disturbing its equilibrium. Similarly the man who commits and evil action disturbs the equilibrium of the great current of evolution; and the mighty current invariably adjusts the equilibrium at his expense.
It must not be therefore supposed for a moment, the intention of the action makes no difference; on the contrary it is the most important factor connected with it, even though it does not affect the result upon the physical plane. We are apt to forget that the intention is itself a force, and a force acting upon the mental plane, where the matter is so much finer and vibrates so much more rapidly than on our lower level, that the same amount of energy will produce enormously greater effect.
Physical action will produce its result on the physical plane, but the mental energy of the intention will work out its own result simultaneously in the matter of the mental plane, totally irrespective of the other; and its effect is certain to be very much the more important of the two. In this way it will be seen that an absolutely perfect adjustment is always achieved; for however mixed the motives may be, and however perceived good and evil may be mingled in the physical results, the equilibrium will always be perfectly readjusted, and along every line perfect justice must be done.