Higher Knowledge is Real and Not Elitist
Nov 05, 1994 09:15 AM
by Eldon B. Tucker
This is by Eldon Tucker
This posting was inspired by a recent comment that
you made to the effect that all theosophical writers do
not have a common divine revelation, and that students
of Theosophy are no better than anyone else.
---- Higher Knowledge is Real and Not Elitist
The treasures of spiritual evolution are open to
all. There is a universality of access to them. We are
all inter-related, and have the potential of tapping
into all the higher faculties of consciousness that
await the future evolution of humanity. No one has a
special privilege, special access, to the Higher. We are
all free, at our own choice, to open ourselves up, over
many lifetimes, or to turn our backs on the Higher and
live solely in the material world.
As people, as personalities, none of us is any
better than any other. This applies to other kingdoms of
nature as well. We are not intrinsically better than the
trees in the forest, the fish in the ocean, or the birds
in the sky. All come forth from the same Mystery, the
same Root, and all are inseparably interdependent on
each other for continued existence.
There are differences, though, in evolution, in
developed faculties of consciousness. There are more
types of awakened consciousness in us as humans than in
animals or plants. We are able to self-consciously
participate in life in a much-more complete manner that
Monads in earlier kingdoms of nature.
While we can say that we are of equal worth with
the creatures of nature about us, we are not being
arrogant or denying the universality of life when
talking about what we know and can do that the rest of
nature cannot. It is a simple statement of fact, not an
arrogant claim to superiority.
These differences in development do not only exist
between higher and lower kingdoms of nature, but within
the kingdoms as well. Within humanity, there are obvious
differences in spiritual, intellectual, and personal
development. Noting these differences, the result of
countless lifetimes of hard work and development, there
need be no sense of judgment or superiority.
Consider a research scientist, with a Ph.D. in
electrical engineering. It is perfectly reasonable to
say that he knows more of engineering than a high school
dropout whom ended up working as a bartender. This
statement does not place a higher *value* on the
scientist, as a person, but merely states the obvious
fact that he really knows something more, and it is not
merely a matter of one opinion versus another.
We learn in Theosophy of a natural progression,
through evolution, over vast periods of time, wherein we
progress through the kingdoms of nature. We have come as
far as humanity. There is much more left for us to go as
humans, after which even higher kingdoms await us, the
kingdoms of the Dhyani-Chohans.
Within humanity, there are a number of stages of
development, following the lines of evolution, wherein
new faculties are awakened. Over vast ages, humanity
will undergo changes and these developments will become
commonplace. Some have raced ahead and already acquired
these faculties. That process of hastened development is
called the Path, and there are people at the various
stages along it. We have good people, pre-Chelas,
Chelas, Mahatmas, Bodhisattvas, then Buddhas. There are
stages in the human kingdom even beyond Buddhahood, but
there are physical limitations that prevent even further
progress at this time of the development of the world.
Beyond the human kingdom are the Dhyani-Chohans.
They took care of humanity in its infancy, and at the
point when humanity became self-responsible, when men
acquired the fire of mind, they imparted to the elect of
humanity what could accurately be called a divine
revelation. This knowledge is preserved to this day, as
an oral tradition based upon learning and personal
experience, by the Mahatmas.
What we have in the theosophical literature is a
rudimentary presentation of fragments of that knowledge.
There are bits of cosmology, occult history, information
on the nature of other planes, and descriptions of the
inner workings of consciousness. This knowledge, though,
is seriously limited due to a lack of adequate
terminology in the English language, and to the fact
that it attempts to express in writing things that go
beyond our ability to articulate them in words.
As we study Theosophy, we find ourselves coming up
to a stepping-off point. There is a rich offering of
ideas to study. Under serious consideration, though, we
find that the same terms are used in more than one way.
This is sometimes to veil the deeper truths from all but
those whom have eyes to see, from those whom are ready
for the hidden or esoteric truths.
Our first study of Theosophy is intellectual, based
upon reading books, discussing our initial ideas,
underlining passages and keeping track of quotations.
And although this is the first stage, we never leave it
behind; it remains an important part of the process even
as we move on to higher stages. The initial introduction
to the intellectual study of the Teachings could be
considered the first Initiation or awakening, the
awakening of the personality to the fount of learning.
Eventually, though, we reach a plateau, a period of
barrenness, a stage where we seem unable to make further
progress. This may lead us to disillusionment and
abandonment of Theosophy. It may persist for the
remainder of our life, with us become embittered to the
Teachings, becoming an open critic of the apparent
emptiness of the "odd and meaningless metaphysical
system holding no practical value for anyone or anything
in life." But this perception of Theosophy as lifeless,
as a well-gone-dry, is due to our personal loss, not due
to its lack of Treasures.
Instead of giving up, we can treat the situation as
a Zen koan of momentual proportion. We can face it and
find ourselves an answer. We can know more; we can go
beyond the words; we can find an Inner Teacher or source
of renewed learning, and this might be called the second
Going back to the Teachings with renewed interest,
with a new perspective on them, with a new key to unlock
deeper meanings in them, we find that we now use them as
"diving boards" which we use as jumping off points. We
go beyond what is found on the written page and learn
more. There is a Treasury of Wisdom behind the written
words, and we have only to take what is there.
When we consider this process as an internal event,
we would call it the awakening of our Inner Teacher.
When considered as external, we could describe it as
coming in touch with the theosophic thought-current and
tapping into external sources of Knowledge about us,
tapping into Mahat and learning directly.
This type of learning represents the initial
awakening of a new faculty of knowing. It corresponds to
the ordinary manner of thought as the sense of sight
corresponds to the sense of touch. Animals may
unconsciously tap into it, and use it as instinct,
knowing what to do independent of personal experience.
We too can tap into learning that is not based upon
personal experience (based upon experiences in our
It should be noted, though, that nothing in the
universe is infallible. This faculty of learning is as
subject to mistakes as our ordinary intellectual
processes. Just as we can make mistakes of logic, or
remember what we have read incorrectly, so we can make
mistakes based upon this second form of learning.
In our theosophical literature, it is wrong to
demand a conformity of expression, to require that the
doctrines be entombed in fixed words. This is not
because we have a confusion of opinions, and don't want
to arbitrarily impose one opinion over the others.
Rather it is because we are dealing with Truths that go
beyond the ability of words to express them. These
Truths are real, true, and as much a living, vital part
of the makeup of life and nature and the sun, moon, and
sky, but we are lacking in easy ways to communicate
There is the additional problem of sorting out
opinion from knowledge in the theosophical books. Some
books are written by students with simply an
intellectual understanding of the philosophy. If written
with accuracy, and properly cited, they can provide
assistance in study. If written carelessly, they may
contain a confused mix of opinions interblended with
some of the fundamental Teachings. What you get depends
upon the author.
A second class of books are written by those whom
have "gone beyond the words" in their studies. They may
present some of the basic Teachings in an equally
intellectual manner, but also include some personal
insights, from their "going beyond", that cannot be
backed up by citations to an authoritative text. These
ideas can only be verified by the personal experience of
the individual reader. How many of these ideas are true
Gems and how many are silly confusions, depends upon the
clarity of insight, and upon the success in avoiding the
adding of personal opinion, of the author. This is
analogous to psychical sight: the bias of the
personality can distort what is perceived.
The third class of books, but by far the most
important, are those that could be considered
authoritative. These are written by people, too, and
people are fallible. The difference in them is that they
are written by Teachers, individuals specifically
assigned the work of communicating some of the wisdom of
the Mahatmas to humanity. The Teachers are assisted or
overseen by the Mahatmas, and openly act as their
representatives in the world. Other books could be
considered as the sharing of what has been learned by
one student to another. These books could be considered
as authorized presentation of a portion of some of what
the Mahatmas know. An example of this kind of book is
"The Secret Doctrine" by H.P. Blavatsky. These books
would be the ones that form the basis of a study of
Theosophy; they are the ones that need be learned and
cited in an intellectual study of the Philosophy.
There *are* inner realities in the universe. We
*can* tap into them. They exist and are real regardless
of what theory we may choose to describe them by. One
such reality is that there is a higher faculty of
knowing, one that can be awakened by a concerted study
of Theosophy and put to use in understanding life. It is
as real as the shoes on our feet, and not denied to
anyone. We need only undertake the process to develop
and awaken it, and it is there. Our only barrier to
attainment is the false belief that it does not exist,
or that it is impossible to attain, or reserved for but
the Buddhas and Christs of the world. That is simply
untrue. It is an easy, gentle process to open up this
faculty of Knowing. Step through the apparent barrenness
of intellectual metaphysics. Engage a way of seeing
things that is not elite, not privileged, but freely
open to all to acquire. See the Truth in a deeper,
newer, fresher way!
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