[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

religion, science, and philosophy

Nov 02, 1993 01:03 PM
by eldon


There are certain qualities, certain virtues associated with the ideal
scientist, noble attributes of the human spirit that should be strived
after. The same is true of the philosopher and religious person.

A scientist seeks practical knowledge of the outer world. The
philosopher works with pure thought, things that cannot be outward
manipulated.  And the religious student deals with matters of the
spirit, matters of perfection, unity, divinity, relatedness to the
fountainhead of life.

This is talking about the ideal of each area of thought. In actual
practice, as found in our western society, we can find fault with the
typical person in them. The typical geologist, the typical writer of
philosophy, the typical Baptist, may fall far short of the ideals.

I might find fault with the practice of science, not in its mastery
of the material world, which is unexcelled in known history, but
rathern in its attempt to explain everything in material terms, in
its total materialism.

In the middle ages, in our western world, when religious thought
ruled, there was no experimentation, no checking of ideas against the
outer world, no reality checks. Modern science stepped in and showed
remarkable success due to its empiricism, its accumulcation of a
body of knowledge due to objectivity and experimentation.

This is not to say that such success is solely a property of
science. Similar success would be found with philosophy or religion
where experimentation, a continual re-examination of beliefs, constant
reality checks done. Such was not done because the religious and
philosophical thought of the day, dominated by politics and the church,
was spiritually dead, with but rare exceptions in saintly individuals
and in underground spiritual movements like the Masons and

We can derive an understanding of life from external observations,
from which theories are derived and then tested and proven to work.
These observations and experiments need not be simply of material
things and physical actions, but can also be of imagination, thought,
and using deeper spiritual faculties.

Our age is basically a material one, both in terms of the long run,
the 432,000 year Kali Yuga, and in terms of the shorter period of
perhaps a few hundred years. In this period, the emphasis is on having
and working with material objects, rather than interpersonal relations,
wisdom and study, or the contemplation of the divine.

(Purucker speaks of short periods of time, of perhaps a century,
during which there is an emphasis on religion, then on philosophy,
then on science. This would be a very minor cycle.)

One sign of the material age is how everything is seen in terms of
physical matter. An action is seen as good if it has material effects,
like feeding people or housing them. Philosophy is seen as a tool to
understand the finer and more rarified behaviors of matter. Religion
and the search for the divine looks more often to subatomic particles
than to something entirely nonphysical. And even metaphysics describes
higher levels of consciousness as merely subtler types of matter. The
philsophical and spiritual are not extrapolations of the physical world!

We must not forget that consciousness is not matter, it comes from an
experience of something that is apart from, but at the same time as
material existence. New forms of consciousness do not arise from
finding new forms of matter, they arise from an initial spark of
awareness by sympathic vibration from others having it, then grow to
fullness by giving our awareness and attention to them.

Looking about us, we see many people searching for more. But those
people are a small minority. We see many of them because we are among
them, and associate with people of like mind. The majority are good,
fine people, but they are not looking for something more, they are
quite happy living their lives as the existing karma dictates.

And of those we see searching, many are dissatisified with their
current *form* of belief, and will be quite happy to stop thinking
and exploring life as soon as they find one that fits perhaps a
different lifestyle than they had before. They are like people that
upon waking up in the middle of the night, roll over in bed, get more
comfortable, then go back to sleep.

The real form of searching, the real inquirers, the real seekers in
life are looking for something more than a lifestyle replacement.
They will not just be happy to become vegetarian, chant "om", and
burn incense, nor to replace The Bible or Koran with "The Secret
Doctrine" or "The Voice of the Silence". They are looking for
something of a higher purpose than just living a life for its own
sake. They are feeling the initial urge towards *compassion*, the
distinguishing consciousness that sets apart the servers of humanity
from the rest.

There is a dual-track to life, the builders and the architects.
We as humans are at the height of powers and capabilities as builders.
We can proceed to become Dhyan Chohans, after the seven rounds are
up, if our evolution is successful, but still be just loftier, more
advanced builders.

The higher track is that of the architects, the members of the
Hierarchy of Compassion, those who work on the luminous side of life,
the life-givers, as opposed to the life-receivers or manifesters.
Members of the Hierarchy of Compassion have dedicated their lives
to the betterment of the world, at the expense of their own futher
spiritual evolution, although their eventual reward is far greater
than those who choose to go on and leave the rest of us behind.

The material progress in the world is directed and ruled over by
humanity in its role as builders. We can participate in that role.
But there is the other role that we can play as well, the role of
architects, and that is something entire different that what we
might think. We live our lives in an entirely differently way
inwardly, although the outer differences may not be noticable, at
first, and our conscious participation in life is different.

We may still be a scientist, philosopher, or religious leader, but
we are "in the world but not of the world". Like in the Ox-Hearding
Pictures in Buddhism, we have changed inwardly and now are
participating in the world in an entirely different manner. We are
not working for the advancement of science, religion, or philosophy,
but rather are living and giving outward expression to something

                           Eldon Tucker (

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application