THEOSOPHY, Vol. 14, No. 8, June, 1926
(Pages 360-362; Size: 10K)
[Part 7 of an 11-part series]
Q: HOW was the earth made?
T: Some people think that it was made by some great being; but they really do not know. They think so, because they know that men can make many things, and that, therefore, the earth and everything else must have had a big Maker who thought it all out and had the power to make what he thought. Many people are satisfied with this way of explaining; but, when we really think about it, we find it does not explain a lot of other things, and we know that it is just a guess.
Q: Well, how are we to know?
T: There are many ways of knowing anything. When an older person tells you something, you seem to know it, but you really only know that he told you it; you do not know it yourself, until you see it to be true.
Q: How can you see anything to be true?
T: If you were to find an old chimney standing in a lonely field, you would know that a house had been there, and that it had belonged to someone; you would know that the people who lived there must have been poor and lonely because the house was very small, and far away from any others; and you would know that it had been built a long while ago, because the place was all grown over with grass and weeds and a little tree was growing out of the top bricks of the chimney. You would know all this by just seeing what was left there: no body told you this; you just knew it. That is one sort of knowledge; it is called "inference." But, even if you guessed right, this kind of knowledge would not tell you who the people were, nor why they built there, why they went away, and many other things you would like to know.
Q: But you would know something.
T: Yes, indeed, some things, but not all. But knowing some things helps us to know other things if we keep on trying to know more. Some men who are thought to be very wise are always trying to know more; but they have made one big guess that the earth was a kind of accident, and that we and all things just grew out of it; so they try to fit what they find out into that big guess. In their way, they are like those other people who guess that some big Person made all things and try to fit everything into that guess.
Q: Is there any better way to find out about things?
T: We must use all ways we can, and keep on trying; and we must be sure never to guess, and then try to fit everything we find into our guess. For instance, we can take and use all that is really known about the earth, and then see what more we can know. Men have found out that there is one thing of which everything is made; they call it matter, and they divide it into four kinds, calling them Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. But they know that these kinds which we know must come from something we do not know and cannot see; they call this unknown something -- the real matter from which everything is made -- Ether. All they can say is, that all the kinds of matter come from some one thing that we cannot see and do not know. So, we can take all that these men have learned, and try to understand more, without any guessing. We can say that if all things came from some one thing, then the earth, the trees, the flowers, insects, birds, fishes, animals, and people come from That; our thoughts and feelings must come from That, too. We can also understand that you and I and everyone knows that he is himself and not somebody else: that is another kind of knowledge which no one told us, but we are sure of. So, we have that knowledge sure, and we are trying to find out other kinds of knowledge by that knowledge, just like those men who found out so much about the earth. They, like us, are Thinkers, and they know that much about themselves.
Q: Does thought come from that One something, like everything else?
T: Surely: if it did not, there would be two "somethings", and then, more "somethings", and we should never get any knowledge at all more than we have now. If we begin as high as we can, and call Thought that "something" from which all things have come, we should begin to understand that all things come from thinking, from having ideas: indeed, we know that when we want to do anything, we think about it first, and then we may do it. Everything that has ever been done has come from Thought, or Idea: men build furniture and houses and railways only after they have thought them out. So, we can easily imagine Thought coming from that One something which we can not see, building everything that is.
Q: But everyone does not think the same?
T: No, but they all have thought, and are Thinkers. The power to think must be the same in every one, no matter what kind of thought anyone may have. We can call this power to think, Spirit, or Consciousness, or Life, or by any name that is the highest to us. It is by this One Power that we know anything. We really are that power. The same power is the cause of all that we see in the world.
Q: But animals and birds and fishes and stones do not think?
T: Animals and birds and fishes must do some kind of thinking or they would not be able to take care of themselves. Even earth, and minerals are known to have their likes and dislikes, which shows a power to choose -- however small -- a consciousness.
Q: But what is Consciousness? You can't see it or feel it.
T: Consciousness is that in you which knows. It is your Real Self; it sees, it feels, it hears, it smells, it tastes, yet it is not to be seen or known. It just Is. Like your sight, it sees everything that you want to look at, but it can not see itself. It knows and sees everything through the body, but itself can not be seen, or known. It may be called the Spirit.
Q: Are there different kinds of spirits?
T: The One Spirit is in each and in everything, but there are different kinds of thinking, which come about through growth in thinking more and better thoughts. This growth is called evolution. In the earth and minerals we see the bodies of very, very small Thinkers; in the plants, Thinkers that have grown more; in the fishes and animals and birds, the building of better bodies; in Man, the highest kind of Thinker. So, if we look at all these different kinds of forms that we see as the bodies of different kinds of Thinkers, all growing -- some so very slowly as not to be noticed, and some more quickly -- we should see the Earth and everything on it as made of living beings, with different kinds of lives, and we should understand that the world we live in is made up of lives suited to each development. This is what Evolution means, an unfolding from within, of Thought or Consciousness, outward, in form or body.
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
Things "happen" and serve to bring out our true feelings, covered up so often under the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life. These "happenings" provide material for the establishment of a clear, clean tide of feeling which will sweep away the floating debris of unthinking existence. We are at our best when we forget our ideas and feelings in considering those of others; and when we can enter into the thought, will and feeling of the child, the cultured or uncultured man, and see things as they see them, feel as they feel, and understand their viewpoint enough to be in sympathy with them. This is being able to put one's self in the place of another; it is the only way that right and true help may be given. The Masters incarnate in order to fully comprehend our modes and be able to use them for our benefit; we should follow Their example in dealing with our fellow-men; and we must begin with those nearest to us. We can do all this by just keeping the ideas constantly in mind -- the rest will follow.--R.C.
[Part 8 of an 11-part series]
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ONE (1) FOOTNOTE LISTED BELOW:
(1) Theosophy School was started in 1915, under the guidance, help and encouragement of Robert Crosbie. The above was written by him as a suggestion for lessons to be used, but is now published for the first time. "Q" indicates questioner; "T", the Teacher.--EDITORS.
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