faith and the knowledge of the Masters
Jan 11, 1994 12:54 PM
Paul J. & Jerry H-E.:
The question that we face is an old one: what is Theosophy and where
can it be found? Our definitions usually match our own personal
approaches to making Theosophy a part of our lives. It's good to air
our different views, because the discussion can help others think
about this important topic.
My style for capitalizing words is to use lowercase for secular,
exoteric, common meanings, and uppercase for religious, spiritual,
extraordinary, esoteric meanings. I would use "theosophy" for the
philosophy, as it can be found in bits and pieces throughout the
literature of the world. And I would use "Theosophy" for a more direct
representation of the doctrines. In "The Secret Doctrine," for
instance, I would find a good deal of theosophy and Theosophy.
There is an idea that apart from the exoteric writings of the world,
the various popularly-held religions and philosophies, that there is
only ultimate, unknowable Truth, something absolute and not personally
attainable. This assumes that there is knowledge, nor knowers, above
and beyond the common man of our society.
I would disagree and say that there is no such gap between common
knowledge and ultimate truth, but rather a series of progressively
advanced bodies of knowledge, and the knowers of it, each closer to
absolute truth than the last, but none ever either attaining it nor
being the topmost such group. And the Mahatmas, are one stage past
where we are, and their doctrines are, to us, a deeper form of Truth
for us to study.
I would consider the knowledge of the Masters, that body of doctrines
and teachings preserved by them as--I'd say--mostly an oral tradition,
that wisdom imparted to them by the Dhyani-Chohans in the Third Root
Race, to be the next stage above our common knowledge. I would call it
"Theosophy", with a capital "T", and consider it a relative, but
*higher* form of knowing than our exoteric religious traditions,
the "theosophy" with a little "t".
There is more to Theosophy than can be found in "The Secret Doctrine".
This does not mean that its doctrines are arbitrary, and no better
than those found in exoteric Christianity, Buddhism, or Hinduism.
The doctrines presented in theosophical literature are more open in
presentation, and contain more. They are a direct, authorized
expression of a portion of these doctrines, and have a different
status than the writings of someone on their own initiative. The
Masters were behind these writings, and put effort into their content.
Coming to the subject of faith, I'd bring up three aspects of it.
(1) There is faith in the competence of a Teacher. When you study
mathematics, you have to insure, then believe that your instructor is
truly knowledgable in the field that he would teach you. You do not
study mathematics from a child. (2) There is faith in the practice
that you may undertake. When you jump out of a plane, you trust the
parachute to work for you, but you cannot know for sure until you've
tried it. And (3) there is faith or belief in the reality of the
actions that you undertake in meditation and in life, the sort of
total belief or confidence that makes magic work in the world.
The lack of such a faith severely restricts one's capacity to do things
in life. It is not as much a blink acceptance of things, regardless of
their apparent truth or falsehood, but rather a confidence, a
convinction in one's spiritual practice that enables it to progress.
This faith is not a substitute for the use of intellect and reason,
because one is still responsible to work out ideas, to use reason to
its fullest, and reject that which cannot be true.
The faith is rather an aspect of a spiritual process that is possible
to be engaged in our lives, a process of treading the Path, that begins
with the books that we read and study, which put us in touch with the
Masters, in thought and spirit, and one day leads us to join their
ranks. It is one way of describing how Theosophy becomes a living part
of our lives, and it does not come about just be reading the books.
There are inner changes that take place, changes that we ourselves
originate. And the proper use of our great theosophical works can
assist us in this effort!
Eldon Tucker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application