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    Theosophy basics, part one

      Science & Religion: Bridging The Gap

      The seven jewels of wisdom
      A concise intro to the main points of Theosophy



    Did you ever wonder why there is such a big gap between science and
    religion? Did you ever see a possibility of bridging this gap? As a
    scientist and psychologist I can clearly see the narrow limits to
    which science has confined itself. As regards religions, most of
    them have big trouble to present a clear, consistent philosophy of
    life. Neither of them can answer urgent ethical questions
    satisfactorily.

    So we face the strange situation of science, claiming certain
    theories to be a fact of life, while religion claims other visions
    to be true.

    Now, common-sense-logic demands that there is one truth; at least we
    cannot embrace two essentially different opinions about life and nature.

    In fact there is an old philosophy called Wisdom-Religion that
    claims just to bridge this gap. Nowadays this philosophy is called
    Theosophy, brought to the West by H.P. Blavatsky under guidance and
    inspiration of her teachers (the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion).
    This will be the subject of this document. At this place it will be
    proper to state that this is not just a fancy philosophy, but, on
    the contrary, a grand system of truths based on the spiritual
    visions of thousands of wise men, prophets and great founders of
    religions through the ages. This philosophy can and should be tested
    by all serious searchers for truth. Theosophy gives some guidelines
    how this should be done. At the end of this document this will
    become clearer (if not, put your questions and I will discuss it).
    It is most certainly a practical philosophy of life, what will
    become apparent if you apply its principles to daily life.

    The gap, spoken of above, has not always been there. It has grown
    gradually, as science split itself from theology. Nowadays science
    is completely materialistic in its views. Even consciousness is
    reduced to materialistic processes. But we can already notice the
    vague contours of a new, less materialistic science that
    incorporates the paradigm of wholeness or the essential
    connectedness of all beings. David Bohm was one of the pioneers in
    this area.

    Paul Feyerabend, a philosopher of science, has shown that scientific
    models are comparable to the models of nature, pictured in the old
    myths of humanity. See his work "Against method", 1975. This should
    make the scientists think again about their paradigm. It is totally
    outdated and they find themselves stuck in their attempts at
    understanding nature in greater depth (mind that I'm not talking
    about technology here – that is only derived from scientific knowledge).

    Plato would say that materialistic science can never arrive at
    truth, because it wholly depends on what our senses tell us about
    the world. Instead we should develop our inner sense of
    understanding to such a degree that we can perceive the causes
    behind all visible phenomena. Our outer senses are just a help for
    living on this outer plane of life.

    Theosophy closes the gap between science and religion by providing
    the knowledge of the principles of nature which can be recognized by
    both religion and science, if properly investigated. In essence,
    Theosophy is the core of all great religions and grand philosophies
    (such as from Plato and Pythagoras). In its religious aspect it
    tells us what the goal of all life is; in its philosophical aspect
    why things are as they are. In its scientific aspect it tells us how
    nature works. These three aspects are all interconnected and should
    never be separated, because separation causes a real loss of
    understanding. Separation also causes science to lose its ethical
    basis, which is just what has happened during the last centuries.

    Knowledge of (esoteric) science gives tremendous responsibilities.
    Abuse by selfish minds can cause severe disasters. That's why this
    kind of knowledge is severely restricted from being given to
    humanity. Of course, sometimes dangerous knowledge is discovered by
    scientists themselves, like the secrets of nuclear energy. It has
    created a real threat to the safety of mankind.

    Well, you might ask, what knowledge is given to this world? This
    is the subject of the next section.

     


    THE SEVEN JEWELS OF WISDOM

    Theosophy gives an outline of universal principles, the operations
    of which can be recognized by everybody with an open mind.
    Recognition of these principles is possible through gradual
    development of the faculty of understanding (by unselfish service to
    mankind combined with esoteric study). All these principles can be
    found in the literature of many religions, especially the mystical
    sections, e.g. Sufism, Gnosis, ancient Kabbalah, certain parts of
    Buddhism, Hinduism, etc, as well in old myths.

    The most important principles or truths are called:

    "The seven jewels of wisdom".

    Together, these jewels give a sublime, practical system of ethics,
    incorporating the idea of Universal Brotherhood (the essential
    connectedness of all beings). These jewels can be used to build a
    system of science, which is based on consciousness as a primary
    factor. Those that want to know more about the jewels than is said
    in this essay are referred to the bibliography at the end of this
    article (the books mentioned there are now on the web!)


    First Jewel

    The first jewel concerns the doctrine of reincarnation or
    reimbodiment.

    Theosophy proceeds from a spiritual point of view. It says that
    consciousness is prior to form or manifestation. Consciousness
    imbodies itself periodically in a suitable form. Socrates talks
    about this in Plato's Phaedo .

    This doctrine really is the about the *law of cycles*. All processes
    in nature are of a cyclic nature. There are literally hundreds of
    examples in nature that substantiate this law. Some more examples:

              o the seasons in nature

              o growth of seeds, fruition, decay, death and rebirth of
                new seeds

              o fever

              o revolution of planets around the sun

              o civilizations

              o valencies in the periodic system of chemical elements

              o thought-processes (a thought is born, can grow and can
                die..)
                This particular example will be explained more fully in
                theosophy basics, part 2, because of its special
                importance in getting control of your life.

    What looks like an unconnected bunch of examples, is in reality
    related to each other by a process called: the analogous workings of
    nature.


    Second Jewel

    The second jewel is the old doctrine of Karma
    (law of cause and
    effect) which is about the restoration of harmony (equilibrium)
    after disturbances.

    This law states that every action produces a reaction that is in
    accord with the action. This law is active on all planes of being:
    physical, psychologically and spiritually. The Christian bible has
    the proverb:' As you sow, so you shall reap', which is exactly the
    same idea.

    Karma is the universal law of justice, perceptible to the mind's eye
    (cf. Plato). There is no other logical consistent explanation for
    the very great differences between people than provided by this
    jewel of wisdom and the twin doctrine of reincarnation. It also is
    one of the most difficult principles to grasp, because of its
    endless ramifications and applications to all aspects of life.

    Those who believe in blind chance may do so, but they are really
    incapable of explaining many phenomena like telepathy, clairvoyance,
    etc. Also it is downright amazing to me that relatively few people
    observe the intelligence working through nature, configurating a
    single cell into a human body, and, maybe even more striking, the
    intelligence that is unfolding right under their noses in their
    children growing up. There are very marked stages visible in the
    above mentioned processes and I don't think that materialistic
    science will ever be able to explain these stages and processes.

    Theosophy gives at least some hints about the forces, energies, that
    play a role in these processes. It says, for example, that the
    principle of conservation of energy extends to all planes of nature,
    including the mental plane. That makes sense, don't you think?
    Thought-energy is a powerful energy that certainly has its effects
    on the mind of oneself and of others. It is being conserved, though
    the forms it is being expressed through are being subject to
    change and transformation.


    Third Jewel

    The third jewel concerns the doctrine of hierarchies.

    This principle of nature is not well-known. Yet Plato and Pythagoras
    taught it in their academies. They stated the hierarchical structure
    of nature to be a fact. Indeed, we can observe some remarkable
    examples in nature and elsewhere that point clearly in this direction:

              o Our body is organized in a most hierarchical fashion. It
                is composed of organs, which are itself composed of
                tissues, which are composed of cells, which are in its
                turn composed of certain structures, etc.

              o The many kingdoms of nature have a certain hierarchical
                relationship that can only be mentioned briefly here.
                The mineral kingdom can said to have a relation to the
                human body. (think only of the bones in the human body)
                The plant kingdom uses minerals in its chemical,
                physiological processes. The animal kingdom uses the
                mineral and plant kingdoms The human kingdom uses (or
                maybe better: misuses) all kingdoms below it. (an
                example of a remnant of the plant kingdom in the human
                body is: hair)

    There are other kingdoms which cannot be elaborated upon now, but
    may be briefly mentioned. Above the human kingdom there are divine
    kingdoms (why would the human race be the most evolved species in
    the universe? It isn't.)

              o In man himself there is most certainly a hierarchy of beings

    For simplicity I only mention some:

              o the mineral and plant parts in man (bones, respectively
                hairs) 

              o the animal part in man 

              o the thinking part in man 

              o the inspirative part in man

    This will probably raise some questions. In theosophy basics, part
    2, I say a bit more about these parts. Mark that these ideas were
    well known among many of the ancient peoples. On Hawaii we can find
    the Huna religion which just treats of the same ideas as found in
    this example. Of course, Plato, Pythagoras, Confucianism, the
    Kabbalah and also Christianity (body, soul, and spirit) refer to the
    fact of the composite human nature.

    Societies have inherently such a structure. There is a government
    (which does a good or bad job..), there are states, counties, towns,
    families and individuals.

    Because intellectual knowledge is higher valued than real wisdom, we
    see the deplorable picture of governments that are not able to
    really help their people. The accumulated wisdom of all ages is
    available to those who want to listen and think it over.. In lit. 1
    one can find more about this jewel, which is also called the
    doctrine of emanations, because hierarchies are a result of
    emanations from the Spirit (Self) configurating Itself in matter in
    various degrees or states. 

     


    Fourth Jewel

    The fourth jewel is the principle of the unique characteristic of
    every being and class of beings. This is a rather abstract
    principle to grasp.

    The idea behind this principle is that every being, consciousness,
    manifests itself in just that form that is in accordance with the
    developed qualities of the reimbodying consciousness. Human
    consciousness takes a human form (body), animal consciousness
    reimbodies into an animal, etc. More specifically stated, a
    horse-consciousness becomes a horse; a rose-consciousness becomes a
    rose, etc.

    This brings up the question of heredity. Materialistic science tells
    us that the cause for a rose-seed developing into a rose lies in its
    genes. Well, to be sure, heredity exists, but it is only a secondary
    phenomenon. We can ask a question: what are the causes for a certain
    pattern of genes to exist? This question can never be answered by
    science as it is now. Theosophy gives some general clues when we
    combine the seven jewels together. At this point I should point out
    that there are many questions on the level of detail that require a
    life-long study and research. At the end of this document I will
    provide some keys to be used in this kind of research.

    It should be clear by now that this principle reverses the point of
    vision regarding heredity: heredity is not a cause for our
    character, but just the result of our character that we built
    during ages and ages. Heredity confines itself mainly to the
    physical aspect of man.

     


    Fifth Jewel

    The fifth jewel of wisdom concerns the principle of progressive
    evolution.

    Now, evolution, as understood by Darwin and his followers, concerns
    itself with the transformation of forms and the survival of the fittest.

    Theosophy regards these processes as secondary processes and states
    clearly that consciousness is the primary factor in evolution. It
    doesn't deny a struggle between beings, but points out that there is
    actually a lot of cooperation in nature. Indeed, we begin to
    understand a little more of the intricate ecosystems, symbiosis,
    mimicry, etc.

    Evolution means literally, to e-volve, to manifest certain qualities
    (of consciousness in matter!). No phenomenon is possible without an
    active, intelligent force. Each phenomenon is evolved from Universal
    Life-Matter in a long line of differentiations. At the same time it
    is Life, involved in Matter. So, we have two concurrent processes,
    instead of just an empty transformation of forms as the Darwinists
    will have us believe.

    Now, regarding the term progressive evolution, it is stated that
    there is a gradual development of qualities of consciousness, as can
    be seen in the different kingdoms of life. Plants are more evolved
    than minerals. Animals are more evolved than plants, men are more
    evolved than animals (some people may think differently..). Of
    course, we seem often to behave like animals (this is a part of
    our nature) but there are also many examples of unselfish people who
    sacrifice their own life for others.

    Man has evolved the thinking faculty to some degree, animals have
    this faculty in a latent condition.

    The doctrine of progressive evolution states that beings in a
    certain kingdom develop their consciousness by experience in this
    world, they reincarnate in the same kingdom until they have reached
    the limit of possible experience in this kingdom. Then these beings
    can enter the next higher kingdom, after a certain period. In this
    new kingdom they can evolve higher aspects of consciousness. This
    fifth jewel is clearly connected with the third one, hierarchies,
    and the first one, reincarnation.

    In fact all these jewels are indissolubly connected. Those who wish
    to pursue the subject of evolution, as theosophy describes it,
    further are referred to lit. 2. (available on the web)

    For men, it is taught, there are still a lot of aspects of
    consciousness that can be developed. To give two important examples:
    the faculty of understanding (discernment) and the faculty of
    inspiration (consciousness of the essential unity of all beings).
    This is our great task. Nowadays we mostly let control our lives by
    our lower desires and impulses. Instead, we can use the faculties of
    Imagination and Will to create a powerful image of Brotherhood,
    cooperation and peace. This fascinating subject is elaborated in
    part 2 of theosophy basics. It is really a most effective way of
    changing the mental atmosphere (Teilhard Chardin's noösphere) on
    this planet. Plato says: 'Ideas rule the world', and he is right. Of
    course, we should also perform the necessary actions to help realize
    our ideals.

    All the great Teachers of humanity point out the way out of human
    misery. This is further elucidated in the next two jewels.

     


    Sixth Jewel

    The sixth jewel of wisdom states that: duality is the basis for all
    manifestations

    Krishna speaks about the 'pairs of opposites' in the Bhagavad Gita.
    *1) Mind and Matter are the two poles of manifestation. The
    interaction of these two poles causes all progress and regress.
    This, again, is a most profound subject with profound philosophical
    implications.

    We can choose between selfish action and selfless service for the
    benefit of the whole. Those who act selfishly confine their
    consciousness to a very narrow area of existence and experience.

    Those who work for the benefit of the world extend their
    consciousness to higher planes of consciousness. Of course, this is
    a gradual process. In Buddhism, there is a teaching about the Path
    of Compassion. Those who work for the benefit of others, who have no
    feelings of separateness from others (the greatest heresy in
    Buddhism) tread this Path (not for themselves, but for others). They
    refuse Liberation or Nirvana when faced with the possibility of
    acquiring this, because they do not want it as long as others suffer
    in misery. They do not desert the poor orphan humanity. This is the
    most sublime ethics ever conceived in the entire history of mankind!


     


    Seventh Jewel

    The seventh jewel is about knowing the essence of all life.

    What is the origin of all things? How does the One Essence become
    the manifold? These questions are really most fundamental in
    philosophy. It refers to the Source of all manifestation. 

    Is it possible to know the origin of life? Yes, Theosophy answers.
    In the heart or core of each being Universal Life is to be found.
    'Thou Art That', the Upanishads say. Every human being can discover
    this Divine Spark inside by gradually evolving higher aspects of
    his/her consciousness. This will result in a realization of the
    connectedness of all beings. This realization can be called
    'enlightenment' and is really a stepwise, gradual process.

    Mark that evolution is the expression of inner faculties of
    consciousness. It has nothing to do with color of skin, etc. By
    treading the Path of Compassion, not for one self, but for the
    whole, one is bound to discover the core or essence of things.

    To be realistic, this will take many reincarnations. Of course, this
    doesn't matter, because there is no end to evolution.

    The only thing that matters is the right application of the right
    understanding of the ancient wisdom to daily life by using your
    commonsense.

     

*

    Some keys for the scientist-philosopher.

*

    The main purpose of all that has been said is to demonstrate the
    existence of a coherent, consistent philosophy of life, which shows
    us the rationale for ethical behaviour. Who would be so stupid to
    hurt his fellowmen when he understands that by doing so he is really
    hurting himself? The essential connectedness of all beings is a
    central theme in this philosophy.

    The second purpose of this document is to provide some stimulating
    thoughts for those scientists (or people who are really interested
    in science) who understand that a synthesis between old religious
    truths and science is a possibility. Now, I cannot provide a
    finished, complete system of deductive methods of esoteric science.
    A lot of building blocks are already provided, however, by
    Theosophy. A combination of inductive and deductive methods may be
    in place for the diverse sciences.

    An important principle can be found in the statement:

    "Nature works along analogous lines". Macrocosmic processes are
    analogous to microcosmic processes.

    The application of the seven jewels of wisdom is possible by using
    this masterkey of analogy.

    The Hermetic axiom: "As above, so below" is to be applied in every
    direction conceivable. A deep study of the third jewel, along with
    the other jewels of course, will yield surprising results, I think.

    Also a study of old myths and sacred literature will furnish food
    for deep contemplation. H.P. Blavatsky tells us, in her book "The
    Secret Doctrine", that seven keys of interpretation must be applied
    to each symbol and allegory to fully understand what is meant.

    As far as I have been able to establish, these seven keys are:
    geometrical, numerical (e.g., Ancient Kabbalah), physiological (&
    anthropological), physical-chemical, metaphysical, astronomical (&
    Ancient astrology, now hardly available), and psychological (in the
    sense of: "Man, know thyself" and thus know nature). Geoffrey
    Baborka (author of 'The Divine Plan') seems to have researched this
    question about what these keys are thoroughly and I may write about
    his findings in a next update of this article.

    This is really a master-project, which none can undertake alone.
    Nevertheless, I hope that some daring minds will take up the
    challenge of synthesizing religion, science and philosophy into one
    system along the lines sketched. The broad outline of this system is
    already given to us by Theosophy. I recently discovered (June, 1996)
    that Vitvan has done some valuable work in this direction - see
    further chapters in this book.

    Scientists will need to incorporate consciousness as a basic factor
    into their system, otherwise they will fail to fulfil their real
    task: helping people to understand how nature really works, thus
    motivating them to act and think according to the principles of the
    timeless wisdom hidden in the book of nature; principles which are,
    to some extent, revealed by Theosophy.
  
    Martin Euser
     

*

    Note

*

    Krishna is conceived of as the Logos by the famous Brahmin Subba
    Row, in his "Notes on the Bhagavad Gita", Theosophical University
    Press. Subba Row also analyzes the fundamental misunderstandings
    that have crept into Hinduism and Buddhism. Mme Blavatsky and G. de
    Purucker have done this too in their writings to some extent,
    including information about the misunderstandings that plague
    Christianity, and other monotheistic religions.
    Gerald Massey and Alvin Boyd Kuhn  have
    devoted a lifetime of research pertaining to this matter (especially
    in connection to the restoration of the original ideas behind the
    Christian Bible).

     

[insertion of updated list of links follows here:]
Extensive Searchfacility (Kuhn, Massey,Vitvan, a.o.) at my Main site

*Bibliography*
[see also a fuller bibliography in theosophy basics, part 2]

1. Fundamentals of the esoteric philosophy, G. de Purucker

also available, in one convenient PDF, at my main site

2. Man in evolution, G. de Purucker
New paradigm regarding evolution

3. More online theosophical books

4. Katherine Tingley manuals on theosophy
A series on some of the main tenets of theosophy

5. My scribd account. Many books (Boehme, a.o.) and some new articles of mine.

[end of insertion]

Next article on the real nature of the human being

Extensive Searchfacility (Kuhn, Massey, a.o.)

*Bibliography*
[see also a fuller bibliography in theosophy basics, part 2]

1. Fundamentals of the esoteric philosophy, G. de Purucker

2. Man in evolution, G. de Purucker
New paradigm regarding evolution

3. More online theosophical books

4. Katherine Tingley manuals on theosophy
A series on some of the main tenets of theosophy