The “curse of karma” as Helena Blavatsky describes in The Secret Doctrine is suffering through reaping the effects of past actions which has been visited upon man for his abuse of creative powers.
This abuse is the “desecrating of the divine gift, and wasting the life-essence for no purpose except bestial personal gratification. For Blavatsky, such abuse of creative powers replaces “original sin” which she claims never occurred. There was just an abuse of physical intelligence resulting in the psychic being guided by the animal placing them both out of the light of the Spiritual.
When aligning this with her descriptions of the Root Races one recognizes why each Race shared a similar pattern of decline from psychic to physical. Also it is readily understood why the Theosophists eagerly looked to the past for hope, this was the period in which each Race exhibited its greatest capabilities, and they hoped the proceeding Race would do likewise. A.G.H.
Campbell, Bruce F. Ancient Wisdom: A History of the Theosophical Movement. Berkeley. University of California Press. 1980 pp. 46-47