To Gaze on the Truly Grand
Aug 21, 1994 00:14 AM
by Eldon B. Tucker
This is by Eldon Tucker.
To Gaze on the Truly Grand
When we discuss Theosophy, we should look at the content
of our discussions. Consider what we talk about. It shows both
our personal interests and our relationship to the Philosophy.
Do we keep Theosophy at a distance, and poke holes in it from
some particular point of view, or do we embrace, practice, and
Consider someone who starts with the assumption that
Theosophy is not true, or may contain serious flaws, inter-
blended with occasional gems of truth. That person will not
talk about Theosophy and the world in terms of the Teachings.
He will use another system of thought, suitable to his
personal temperament, and analyze Theosophy from that foreign
One such approach has to do with history, and I will talk
about it this time. In a later message I'll write about
another external approaches to look upon Theosophy.
If you have a strong interest in history, you may treat
Theosophy as a subject for historical analysis. You would use
the particular rules from that scholastic pursuit. You would
seek to uncover the actual personalities and circumstances in
the lives of key theosophical personages.
This approach has its limits. Not everything that happens
leaves behind a trail of historic documents. You are like a
police detective, trying to reconstruct the event of a crime
from clues left behind at the crime scene. The more that the
subject matter has to do with the Mysteries, the more likely
there will be no traces to uncover.
Theosophy deals with a side to life that goes far beyond
things that leave a trace on the physical plane. Take a
photograph of a man sitting at his desk, reading a book. That
event of reading the book is a historic fact, and is now
documented. Not documented, though, is his state of
consciousness. He could be idly daydreaming, in a lowly
kamalokic state of awareness, or deep in lofty though that is
almost nirvanic in scope. You might later find a record of a
conversation where that man says that he was only thinking
about his mortgage. But was he? The event itself was one of
consciousness. Even his statement about it is secondhand
evidence. By knowing about his life, you might arrive at a
conclusion based upon all the evidence brought together. But
that conclusion is probabilistic, and not conclusive.
It is materialism, in the guise of an academic pursuit of
truth, which says that nothing is real, and nothing happens,
unless is subject to historical documentation.
There is a value to history, and we can make assumptions
and generalizations about historic personages. But when we
make those assumptions, we believe those people to be like us,
and that the generalizations can be applied to them. We are
saying that a typical person, under these circumstances, must
have thought, felt, and intended such-and-such.
We can use our knowledge of psychology and human nature
to infer what is going on inside a person. But what if that
person is insane? The connection is broken between external
actions and what is going on inside the person. On the other
end of the spectrum, the truly great geniuses have often been
mistaken for being insane, or loony, because we do not have
the education or intelligence to follow them. We cannot make
sense of their reasoning and vision of life, and blame them
rather than ourselves. We say that they are confused, deluded,
impractical, stupid, when it is truly the reverse.
In "The Mahatma Letters," it is said that we can come to
the Masters or settle for crumbs. And that their secrets, is
told to us in plain language, would be perceived as insane
gibberish! We cannot follow it because we are not ready for
learning much of what the Masters know.
Consider reincarnation and karma, and look at the fact
that over many lifetimes we learn and grow wiser, more
intelligent, more compassionate to others. It is reasonable to
assume that there are some people very far ahead of us.
The Masters have stated that special circumstances are
necessary to convey what they know. They have said that they
simply cannot write things down. And we are told that an
appropriate degree of readiness is needed in the pupil before
some of their knowledge can be imparted.
I do not think that if we heard some of their ideas that
we'd find them sounding like gibberish. I think that we'd have
many huh's, where we hear something but do not get the point.
Something would be said and we just would not get the meaning
of it. We'd be thinking: "So what? What is the point in that
Now what if you do not believe in reincarnation and
karma? What if you do not believe that there are Mahatmas,
individuals very far ahead of us in their spiritual and
intellectual development? Then you would reject all this and
instead look for where Blavatsky had deluded herself into
thinking there were such people. The philosophy, as a
consistent whole, would start to unravel in your mind and
you'd find yourself numbered among the "non-believers."
If you believe in Theosophy, you use it as a tool to
analyze and interpret things in the world. You treat it both
as a spiritual path, a practice of Jnana Yoga, and as
preparatory studies to admission, when the time was right,
into the Lessor Mysteries.
Taking Theosophy as true, you'd say things like "In terms
of Theosophy this thing is seen as ..." The other approach is
to treat Theosophy as a subject for critical scrutiny. From
another system of though, you might say: "Theosophy is an
example of a myth arising out of the collective unconscious."
Or you might say: "Theosophy is a primitive first attempt to
bring Buddhism into western society, superseded by direct
translations of Tibetan Works." Many other examples could be
Take a third-party system of thought, some religion,
philosophy, or western academic discipline, and apply it to
analyze Theosophy in the terms of that discipline. What do you
have? You end with a caricature of the Grand Teachings seen
through the eyes of people outside the Stream.
But is not modern science so wonderful? It gives us
computers, space shuttles, penicillin, eyeglasses, printed
books--countless things that enrich our material existence.
But what is missing from our lives? And what more is there
that it has not yet provided? There is a lot more in store in
our future than the pittance that has appeared in the last few
thousand years in the west.
We hear repeatedly in our literature that we must live
the life to know the Truth. And that living of the life is not
merely a pious observation of some arbitrary rules of behavior
in our external personal lives. We need a sense of Belief to
pervade our lives, a Belief that colors our consciousness,
that flavors our experience of the events of life.
It is not possible to get far in Theosophy as a practice,
as a discipline, as an approach to the Mysteries, unless we
dive in. We need to give it our unqualified dedication. Treat
it as a Zen Koan of unimaginable proportion. It has answers
and there are processes in our inner nature that can be
engaged. (See the first two of Purucker's 12 E.S. books,
published by PLP.)
When learning to type, you first have to learn the
position of each individual letter on the keyboard. You think
of each finger as you type a certain letter, and go through
various drills to become proficient. This is alike to the
early study of theosophical literature that we undertake.
There is a time, though, when we stop thinking about
individual letters, and just about the words and sentences
that we are typing. We have gone to a new level of experience.
We are doing something different now. We have reached a higher
level of experience.
The same is possible in the study of Theosophy. There is
a point where it is possible to get a feeling of the thought-
current of the Teachings. And more, it becomes possible to
come in touch with the ideas directly. It is possible to have
original ideas about the Teachings that are not just logical
conclusions working out from things that we've read, but are
new, original, fresh.
There is a source of knowledge and wisdom that is behind
the printed page. It is real, tangible, and approachable. It
is a non-physical thing, and just as real as any part of
How is Theosophy to be proven? To someone outside, it may
remain unprovable, because the proof is in personal
experience, and that experience requires real changes in the
life of the student. To someone who lives the life, that proof
is unnecessary. The reality of the experiences in his life is
Is it necessary for people truly into Theosophy to engage
the critics in verbal battle, to tear down their false gods
and expose errors in their logic? No. What is necessary is to
show the appropriate love, honor, and respect for the grand
spiritual treasures that we are blessed with. The proper
attitude toward the critics is not in shouting back at them.
The proper attitude is admitting into our lives things of the
Spirit. These things are so incredibly beautiful and profound,
that we simply have no choice but to do something, be it ever
so humble, to give expression to them in the outer world. To
not try, to gaze on the Truly Grand and do nothing, is the
greatest shame imaginable.
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Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application