THEOSOPHY, Vol. 22, No. 9, July, 1934
(Pages 404-405; Size: 8K)
(Number 57 of a 103-part series)
SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
A brief statement of the fundamental principles of Theosophy, and as briefly some articles of faith upon which Dr. William M. Davis believes "reverent science" is founded (Harvard Professor Explores "Reverent Science," The Literary Digest, January 6, 1934) may be set down in parallel columns:
|The Secret Doctrine establishes three fundamental propositions:
(a) An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE
on which all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of
human conception and could only be dwarfed by any human expression or similitude.
It is beyond the range and reach of thought-- ... "unthinkable and unspeakable."
(S.D., I, 14).
|According to Dr. Davis:
Reverent science devoutly refrains from assuming to know the nature
and thoughts of a Supreme Being by imputing even the best of human thoughts
and nature to Him. It stands humbly silent before the ever-expanding mystery
of the universe.
|(b) This second assertion of the Secret Doctrine is the absolute
universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow,
which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of
nature. (S.D., I, 17).
There is no miracle. Everything that happens is the result of law --
eternal, immutable, ever active. (Isis Unveiled, II, 587).
|Reverent science has a secure faith in the persistence of natural law
through time and space, because such persistence has repeatedly been shown
to be in the highest degree probable. In view of this faith, certain reported
events, known as miracles, which interrupt natural law, are discredited.
|(c) The pivotal doctrine of the Esoteric philosophy admits no
privileges or special gifts in man, save those won by his own Ego through
personal effort and merit throughout a long series of metempsychoses and
reincarnations. (S.D., I, 17).
...ethics are the soul of the Wisdom-Religion, and were once the common
property of the initiates of all nations ... the ethics ... are the essence
and cream of the world's ethics, gathered from the teachings of all the
world's great reformers. (Key to Theosophy, 14, 48-49).
|Reverent science believes that various communities or tribes or peoples
have, through their purely human efforts, gradually formulated such rules
of behavior, or codes of morals, or principles of ethics, as seemed fitted
for their needs in the successive stages of savagery, barbarism, civilization
or enlightenment. It is the clear duty of every one not only to live up
to the code of his community, but also to try to improve it.
|The Ego receives always according to its deserts. After the dissolution
of the body, there commences for it a period of full awakened consciousness,
or a state of chaotic dreams, or an utterly dreamless sleep undistinguishable
from annihilation, ... These are the post-mortem fruits of the tree
of life. Naturally, our belief or unbelief in ... that immortality as the
property of independent or separate entities, cannot fail to give colour
to that fact in its application to each of these entities. (Key to Theosophy,
||Reverent science accepts, without asking to know, whatever fate is
in store for us after death, be it immortality or annihilation, in the
complete trust that it is a fate fitting the part we have to play in the
unfathomable mystery of existence.
|We would that all who have a voice in the education of the masses should
first know and then teach that the safest guides to human happiness
and enlightenment are those writings which have descended to us from the
remotest antiquity; and that nobler spiritual aspirations and a higher
average morality prevail in the countries where the people take their precepts
as the rule of their lives. (Isis Unveiled, II, 635).
||Reverent science is much concerned with making our life on earth as
good, as unselfish and as helpful to others as possible, not in order to
receive posthumous punishment for not doing so, but in the convinced belief,
based on long human experience, that in a life so conducted man finds his
highest and deepest satisfactions and his fewest regrets.
Thus, in the great drama of evolution -- not quite as painted by science, but rather as traced in nature both visible and invisible -- there is a universal evolution and involution from the spiritual, through all stages or densities of matter, back to the spiritual condition again -- plus the experience gained. Hence, the welfare of the Soul is or should be the greatest concern.
The modern scientist is confessedly agnostic. The occultist is reverently and progressively gnostic. Prof. Davis is said to see a growing reconciliation between religion and science, with the ethical teachings of religion retained. This, indeed, is most desirable, and the only solution to the problems of both -- on the condition, however, that the true basis of philosophy and true ethics is arrived at. Theosophy as the Ancient Wisdom is the origin and synthesis of true science and true religion, as it is also the summation of all true ethics.
SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
(Part 58 of a 103-part series)
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