THEOSOPHY, Vol. 19, No. 12, October, 1931 (Pages 564-565; Size: 6K)
ON THE LOOKOUT
UNITY UNDER DIVERSITY
Partly from pride of learning, partly from pure misunderstanding of the origin of ancient wisdom, science has scoffed unmercifully at the generalizations of Plato -- and of every philosopher worthy the name through the ages. Modern science in the real sense originated in the midst of a view of the universe as chaos, due to a reaction against the king-pin which had held that universe together as a unit in human thought -- "God." This inability to conceive the Universe as one has cursed science up to the present day. Further, the actual experimental verification which the "generals" had received at the hands of the predecessors of Plato's Masters had been lost to sight through cycles of mental and moral darkness, and his method necessarily appeared to be based on assumptions. Thus, regarding the only existing "generals" as matters of pure assumption and blind faith, science has lived in a universe of particulars until now it is awakening to the inadequacy of such views by the force of its own discoveries. That there is but one Substance-Principle in the Universe, and that to understand that is to understand All, is implicit in every true philosophy. Science is intrigued, puzzled, and disturbed at being forced to recognize such a Unity under all phenomena. The "coincidence" of ancients who had no laboratories -- as they think -- having discovered this by pure reason or intuition -- as they think -- is disquieting.
THE SINS OF SPECIALISTS
But science herself is beginning to discover that neglect of the fundamental unity of things -- "the great heresy" -- has produced a sadly disrupted condition in scientific affairs.
Dr. Dercum (Science, Feb. 8, 1929) pointed out that the accumulation of knowledge through the ages has really been but little utilized due to lack of coordination and loss of perspective through specialization. Such is also the opinion of Dr. Geo. L. Peltier, University of Nebraska. (Science, Aug. 31, 1928). So serious is the situation that the American Philosophical Society has appointed a Committee of members from all parts of the United States and some from Great Britain to investigate this question. The objects of the Committee are to make a survey of the world's present intellectual status, to gauge the drifting apart of scientific and humanistic interests, the loss of perspective and underlying principles by specialization, and the problem of coordination.
SCIENTISTS LOST IN THEIR OWN LABYRINTHS
The Theosophist sees more than this in the question. He sees a growing ignorance among scientific men regarding one another's achievements, amounting almost to an appearance of stupidity in many cases. He sees men working laboriously for years upon problems which have already been solved by others. He sees scientists, qualified to investigate, totally ignorant of the very existence of problems which others have uncovered, but which they do not know how to handle. Most serious of all, he sees scattered about over the various fields of science, confirmations of almost the totality of Theosophical doctrine on its material, and largely even on its spiritual side; the which confirmations either fail entirely to be seen in their true relation because of dismemberment, or are even interpreted in directions reverse to truth. He sees, in short, the scattered letters of a sentence, which, put together in its proper order, would command the end of all struggle between science and Theosophy, and weld the two into one.
FOR THE NEW GENERATION
But it seems that such a unification must await the rise of a new generation. It is barred at present by the subservience of science to the mere details of matter, partly under urge of utilitarianism, partly due to a pettifogging love of small particularities which seems to possess the present scholastic mind. It is barred by the fact that the various discoveries and suspicions of science, when put together in their proper order, enforce a spiritual and metaphysical view of the Universe disastrous in the extreme to all materialistic ideas. But worst of all it would force recognition of the fact that the ancient Teachers knew more of all Nature than science has yet dreamed. Knew it not as coincidental guesses, intuitional flashes, juggleries of pure reason, but with definiteness in all its departments. Mistranslations and lost passages have confused science, yet there is progress; and the time will come -- if America weathers the perils to her soul which she has set up within herself -- when real scientists will investigate, and verify for themselves, the occult cosmology and anthropogenesis.
The Theology of Science