May 11, 1995 12:55 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker
You bring up some important points in your recent postings.
Following are a few thoughts that represent an alternate view,
based upon a different model of what life is and how it works (a
different theosophical worldview).
Inner Certainty -- Eldon Tucker
Your comments regarding karma -- that we can't really know it, or
perhaps can't really communicate a knowledge of it -- are
understandable. They represent one viewpoint or approach to
Theosophy that is held by many. There are, however, many
different theosophical worldviews, and that uncertainty is not
found in all of them.
We are dealing with assumptions about the nature of knowledge,
and of how experience relates to what we know. Consider
something that is not in our personal experience. Say we're not
convinced that it is true, but others hold it to be real
according to their experience. Whom has the final say? With
metaphysical matters, where the proof is in the experience, and
the experience is not universally had by all, how do we proceed?
When we subject what we know, feel, or experience to severe
scrunity, it starts to break down. Krishnamurti, for instance,
attempted at times to reduce everything to the basic motivation
of fear. Does this mean that everything is constructed of fear?
No. Freud reduced everything to a sexual drive. Is everything
sexual? Again: No.
After a certain level of reductionism, things break apart into
their component elements, and they "die", the higher order
disappears, and the life has departed. Six basic questions, if
asked enough time, will do this: Who? What? Where? When? Why?
How? Consider how quickly we run out of answers for a child that
continues a series of Why's, eventually leaving us without an
Pushing an idea, an understanding to its limits, it starts to
break down. Does this mean that the idea is flawed? No, it means
that the idea has room for growth, that there is more for us to
learn about it. With continued study, deep though, contemplation,
the idea comes together again, and we can push it farther. Our
ideas, including the deepest mystical insights, have their
limits, and fall apart when pushed beyond those limits. But when
we study the mysteries that open up to us, as our ideas break
down, we learn more, and the ideas are unified again.
It is possible to throw everything open to doubt and uncertainty.
A healthy dose of skepticism is necessary in order to support
frequent reality checks. There are different forms, though, of
certainty, and not all are bad. It's wrong to be certain in the
rigid, unthinking adherence to external rules, formulae, and
words. But certainty grounded in experimentation and personal
experience is a healthy thing.
With the study of Theosophy, that personal experience is in using
a different way of thinking, sometimes called higher Manas. It
is not difficult, and does not require vast training. It
represents a form of inner experience that is different from
visions, psychic experiences, OOBE's, or dramatic external events
in life. With it, it is possible to explore and have experiences
in a metaphysical sense, in our theosophical studies. This type
of experience leads to a conviction, a certainty that comes from
a dynamic process, from an inner living link to a source of
learning, sometimes called one's Inner Teacher. One goal of the
Theosophical Movement may be to encourage people to discover and
appreciate this manner of contemplation, study, and knowing about
We have a dynamic process of inner reflection that paradoxically
increases our sense of uncertainty as we learn and grow. This
uncertainty represents growth pains, where our attention is drawn
to ponder those areas of our understanding that are ripe for
reflection, reexamination, and exploration. Picture a circle
that contains what we know. Outside the circle is the unknown.
We're aware of what we don't know by the boundary that the circle
marks off. As the circle grows, and we know more, the boundary
is also larger, and we are made more aware of how much there is
that we have yet to know. How do we transcend this? When we
transcend the sense of personal self, make the boundary fuzzy,
and embrace the outside. But that is a whole other topic of
In the ultimate analysis, the most healthy form of certainty
is from a sense of being grounded, deeply rooted in the
spiritual, where we have a solid connection with our inner
source. With that connection, we may still be thrown off source
by accidents, mistakes, and mishaps in life. But like a good
compass, when bumped, we always return to true north in our
orientation. The pull of the "north" is strong to us, and it is
a shaping force in our lives.
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application