The Secret Doctrine - A Wisdom Tradition
Sep 13, 1994 03:13 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker
This is by Eldon Tucker
Following is a discussion about the nature of Theosophy, based
upon a quote from "The Secret Doctrine," I, 272-3.
> The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages,
and its cosmogony alone is the most stupendous and elaborate system
Here we see that we are talking about "the accumulated Wisdom
of the Ages". We have a reference to Wisdom rather than knowledge,
which indicates that this is something more than just facts and
information. Wisdom is applied knowledge, knowledge that has become
part of one's life. This indicates both a school of learning and of
> But such is the mysterious power of Occult symbolism, that
the facts which have actually occupied countless generations of
initiated seers and prophets to marshal, to set down and explain,
in the bewildering series of evolutionary progress, are all
recorded on a few pages of geometrical signs and glyphs. <
This language is Senzar, and is not known to the modern world.
It may predate the spoken word. Senzar is a symbolic language. The
implication is that the Wisdom-Religion is based upon an oral
rather than written tradition, with the pages of symbols being the
basis for discussion. This is similar to the core concepts of
Theosophy: we have certain basic ideas, with their corresponding
terms, behind which is hid a goldmine of spiritual treasures.
The "countless generations" cover a tremendous time period.
This goes back to the incarnation of the Manasaputras in the mid
Third Root Race, when the fire of mind was given to man by the
Dhyani-Chohans. A special revelation of spiritual truths was given
to mankind at that time, and safeguarded since then by the elect of
> The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated into the
very kernel of matter, and recorded the soul of things there, where
an ordinary profane, however learned, would have perceived but the
external work of form. <
The seers have seen beyond the outer world of forms to the
reality behind things. This does not particularly refer to other
worlds, other planes of existence. The "flashing gaze" is one of
penetrating wisdom, of insight, not of psychical sight, a mere
extension to the physical senses. It means the power of spiritual
understanding, applied to the physical and psychical senses.
> But modern science believes not in the "soul of things," and
hence will reject the whole system of ancient cosmogony. <
Modern science limits itself to the observable facts of
physical phenomena. Any system of thought that gives first
importance and highest reality to life, rather than to outer forms,
will be rejected by materialistic science.
> It is useless to say that the system in question is no fancy
of one or several isolated individuals. That it is the
uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers
whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the
traditions passed orally by one early race to another, ... <
Theosophy is not the invention of a few individuals. It is
based upon an unbroken tradition, wherein Seers have tested and
personally verified the Teachings. It is an oral tradition, because
it is based upon that which goes beyond words. It can only be
passed down from one generation to the next by the spiritual
training of each successive generation. Each Seer must learn the
Wisdom Tradition through personal experience and training. Without
this process of continual learning and then teaching new
generations, the Wisdom would be lost.
> of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched
over the childhood of Humanity. <
The Teachings were initially given to humanity by the Dhyani-
Chohans about 18 1/2 million years ago, and have been kept alive
since then. Some of those Dhyani-Chohans have subsequently remained
behind on earth as well, and are sometimes referred to as the Sons
of Will and Yoga. They watched over the childhood of humanity until
that time, when, in passing on the fire of mind to mankind,
referred to as the incarnation of the Manasaputras, they
withdrew from active involvement in the affairs of our Kingdom.
> That for long ages, the "Wise Men" of the Fifth Race, of the
stock saved and rescued from the last cataclysm and shifting of
continents, had passed their lives *in learning, not teaching.* <
This is how the Seers pass down the Tradition from one
generation to the next. They are, in fact, like us: students of
Theosophy. But the spiritual, intellectual, and moral training they
undergo far surpasses anything we'd ever dream of! In this
statement we have a clue regarding what the Mahatmas do with most
of their time.
> How did they do so? It is answered: by checking, testing,
and verifying in every department of nature the traditions of old
by the independent visions of great adepts; i.e., men who have
developed and perfected their physical, mental, psychic, and
spiritual organizations to the utmost possible degree. <
We are taught to do that too. Take nothing on faith, but think
it through afresh, not only the first time, but every time that it
comes to mind. Test ideas in life. Verify and make part of life
each Teaching. Develop and perfect the entire nature, from the
physical up to the highest within.
Notice, thought, that "checking, testing, and verifying" is
different then idle speculation. It does not mean think, feel, and
do anything that one likes, without regard for the great traditions
of the past. The meaning is the opposite of that: to completely
embrace those traditions, but breathe live into them, rather than
take them as an empty facade.
> No vision of one adept was accepted till it was checked and
confirmed by the visions--so obtained as to stand as independent
evidence--of other adepts, and by centuries of experiences. <
It was quite possible to go beyond the Known, but those
experiences were not collectively accepted until independently
verified by the personal experience of other adepts over centuries
of time. The Wisdom-Religion grows, but at a slow, careful pace.
How many of us have that sort of patience?
How do we fit into this picture? We play a role in western
society that corresponds in a small way to that the Mahatmas do for
humanity in general. The Dhyani-Chohans have imparted a certain
body of Wisdom to mankind, and the Mahatmas keep it alive as a
living tradition. On a much smaller scale, the Mahatmas have
imparted some of the theosophical Teachings to western society, and
we are responsible to keep it alive as a living tradition.
Even with what we are learning, it involves a living
tradition, something that cannot be simply captured in books. The
books are but the outer crust; there is much that comes from
treating them as a Koan and "going further." It is possible to
progress on one's own, but such an approach is slower, harder, and
more limited. The quickest approach to the Wisdom-Religion is to
share it, to pass it on. And this involves both the giving of
selected jewels of thought to those behind us, as well as passing
on the Teachings intact to the next generation of Theosophists.
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