RE: Great Minds Think...EDUCATION
Feb 12, 2002 10:11 AM
Tuesday, February 12, 2002
Re: The Purpose and Method of Theosophy -- Education
Thank you for your wise words.
It is clear that the study of the Theosophical philosophy is and
was the original objective of this study exchange. It is said
that Theosophy is sanctified common sense. It is also stated
that Theosophy is no more than the statement of facts in Nature,
and therefore it deals with the history of evolution and of man's
It therefore deals with everything in nature. What makes it
different from the average philosophy is the fact that it is
simultaneously a science and a way of systematically taking
control of one's own development.
Here are the three most important basic concepts -- ideas.
Source: The SECRET DOCTRINE, vol. I, pp 14 -19 ]
1. Everything Lives and has an innate immortal Intelligence
residing in it. The Idea of "God" is identical with SPACE
(unlimited and undefinable) and NATURE (in manifestation). Every
"being" has a "spark" (or "ray") of the ONE SPIRIT (the Deity) at
its core -- resident within it. This in Man is the HIGHER SELF.
For this reason it is said that man always knows TRUTH, and the
Voice of Conscience eternally reminds him of this when he makes
2. Laws pervade Nature and all our being all the time. They are
uniform for all. Every "cause" produces an equal corresponding
"effect." This process cannot be modified. It is always exact
and true. Therefore we will always receive the results of
everything we choose to start. There is no way of escaping the
consequences of our choices and motives.
3. Every being from low to high, is capable of improvement, is an
immortal "pilgrim" on its way towards the "Perfection" that any
world, or Universe provides. The "Atom" is as important as the
Sun, or the whole Galaxy. Nothing can be destroyed, or prevented
from its continual and individual progress.
Around these three concepts arises most of the difficulty that
custom, culture, religion, traditions and history create.
These, on close examination, will be found to be "authoritative"
statements, and sometimes they are taught as a "belief" or a
"faith" which cannot easily be "proved" or "demonstrated." They
will have to eventually be analyzed by each individual for
themselves, and their accuracy and truth determined. Religions,
instead of uniting people, have the sad tendency to divide them.
Information is deposited in the minds of religious groups that is
largely undigested and unexamined. Yet Theosophy teaches that
the Source of all Religions is this universal philosophy.
In the meantime, the Teacher provides the pupil with the
necessary information that will enable him or her to think
independently. Unfortunately, there is in our world the tendency
to equate Teaching with the memorizing of vast amounts of
information. Very few teachers teach the science of thinking.
Theosophy says that the method of looking at information and
knowledge is important. Still more important than that, is the
ability of determining WHY one seeks, and WHY one desires to
assure ones' self that what is offered is accurate. The Truth,
and the accurate value of information, is crucial to learning.
This matter of handling information, is important, as some pupils
have minds that deal with data easily, and others, usually from
lack of interest, have minds that deal with the memorizing of
data with difficulty. They force themselves to recall data, but
lack the ability to relate those facts with "first principles."
The Teacher can point to the situation we are all in, and can
emphasize the value of relating all situations to those
principles. It is like mathematics, which, no matter how
complex, are all based on the laws of arithmetic, and from those
are erected the structures we call algebra, calculus and
Here comes a most important point. If one is convinced of the
immortality of the mind-soul that resides in each human,
discrimination and methods will differ from those who believe we
live a "single life only." The single life concept has a moral
impact: it usually leads to selfishness, isolation and
self-service. The concept of immortality, of reincarnation, of
Law in the Universe, and of many lives on earth, usually leads to
understanding the need for education and the need to learn all
that is true and useful -- as the tools we will later need in
life to make good and progressive decisions. Each one in this
group tries to aid his own evolution and the evolution of those
around him. Cooperation and brotherly interaction is stressed.
It is those "first principles" of thinking that are so important.
It is the concept that we are all immortal pilgrims working our
way through our Universe that needs to be practically and
logically illustrated. Everything has value. Learning to find
reliable information about it, as a fact in nature, is most
important. In the meantime we need to learn the basics of
self-education and of self-improvement.
It becomes clears that each pupil has, as a psychological unit,
two contrasting aspects. There is the aspect that is permanent:
1. the evolving Intelligence, the immortal MIND-SOUL, and 2.
the "desire nature." Our inclinations and desires make it
difficult sometimes, for the Mind to function accurately and
One also is made aware that in each of us there is the Real
Person, the Master of the Mind -- who directs thought, and who
disciplines desires and the "passionate nature" in each of us.
This Real person is the "Immortal Pilgrim," the Higher Self, the
spark of the omnipresent DIVINITY that resides in every being
without exception, and in each human. This is the source of the
concept of Universal Brotherhood, and of cooperative evolution.
Later in life, the pupil finds that data and information has been
stored in libraries and data-banks. What is then important to
him is to learn how to retrieve it. Some never seem to learn, as
an example, the value of using an INDEX. And then waste time
wading through masses of useless material to finally arrive at a
useful item of data. Thinking is similar to that, the ability
to go straight to the point.
We have a number of important aspects of thought to consider.
Let me put my ideas on these in the form of questions.
1. What is the nature of our environment?
2. What is "space ?"
3. What lives in "space?"
4. What is the nature of Awareness? of Consciousness? of
5. Are there laws in the Universe? in our World? in our
surroundings? in the materials we use ? Can we discover and use
6. Can we discover the basic foundations of Life and the purpose
of our Living ?
7. Is the nature of so many beings living together constructive?
If so, then what would be the objective or the goal of any one
living thing ?
8. Does independent life begin with the "atom ?" with the
molecule? with the cell? with organs with a cooperative grouping
that makes for an individual being: plant, animal, human,
super-human? How are we to define life? Is it to be respected?
9. What determines the meaning of "human ?" is it the mind? is
it thought? is it freedom of choice? is it creativity?
10. Why is such a complex Nature available? What lies within,
concealed by the exterior rind of physical matter? surely there
has to be an invisible and powerful "causative" nature? How
shall we discover it ?
Supposing we were to say that "the purpose of living is to
learn," -- to learn all we could about the environment we are in.
You are a teacher, so when you start teaching where do you start
First, in class, no matter of what level one assumes that the
pupils have minds, can remember, and if they desire they can
develop the will and the urge to learn, and then, teach
themselves under your guidance.
Many things are taken for granted -- these are things that we all
know something about. And there are many that we have yet to
learn about. There has to be a continual relation between the
known and the unknown to complete the logic of existence.
Science has learned that the visible and objective always
conceals the causal and the invisible side of Nature.
The teacher helps the pupils to organize this. The purpose of
this organization is to enable the individual pupil to learn how
to think when he encounters a problem in the many departments of
living. He is taught to look for "correspondences and
analogies," as nature on her vast economy, follows patterns of
Learning to think is perhaps th single most important thing a
teacher can do. It is a recognition of the freedom and the
immortality of the individual, no matter what the age, color,
character, or other distinguishing characteristics may be.
It is always assumed that Nature ( in which we live and which
supports us ) is uniform, is true, is honest, and will give us
fair and just support unless we abuse and modify it to our and
others' disadvantage. Here enters the study of the laws of
uniform response and fairness to all. It also demands we learn
with accuracy what are those laws and what will distort or cause
deviations. It is the constant battle between the true and the
So we need a basic language, and then a basic method of
organizing our memories, but, there is nothing startling or new
to this. It needs to be continually applied in a reliable way.
>From this emerges the concept that we (the pupils) are each
responsible for our own creative and individual use of time, of
words, of intentions, and out of these emerges individual
responsibility and dependability of character. And this has
nothing to do within organized religions. It is a sense that is
innate to us all and comes directly from the HIGHER SELF in each
of us -- the Immortal Person.
All these make for individual reliability, and provide tolerance
when applied in our community. They are the "oil" which enables
the differences of character and capacities that we and others
have, to meld. Out of these concepts the possibility of
families, tribes, races, cultures, religions, codes of law, and
all the many kinds of regulations that make for good-will among
diverse peoples arise.
It is interesting to know that these many codes of conduct exist
and are recorded in similar ways from people to people and
country to country wherever we may go. We can travel around the
globe without knowing the way in which customary local laws are
written, but our own spirit of good-will and tolerance, and our
observation of the virtues that are innate and common to all,
makes for ease in meeting and living with any one, no matter what
their appearance, education, culture, mores, etc...
It is most important to realize from the beginning, that there is
permanently, the assurance of order and law in everything we
know and use. This enables us to gather as individuals a fund of
knowledge that is basically very similar: spelling, the meaning
of words, grammar, mathematics, geometry, the nature of food and
life-support, health and personal hygiene, the management of
time, punctuality.... and dozens of other things we take for
granted are common to us all.
All these are Sciences of various kinds. Science assumes that
all can discover the identity of laws that operate everywhere,
and have always operated. Further that they can be depended to
operate in the future and for any one that investigates the they
will be the same in trend, in results, in fairness, justice,
honesty, and will not play "favorites" for any reason. These are
the uniform and dependable laws of Nature. Nature is to be
uniformly trusted to deal fairly and justly with all. This is a
concept that needs emphasis and repetition until it becomes a
permanent part of our thought process.
The implication is that those Laws of Nature have always been
there and are self-dependent. All the uncountable billions of
parts making up Nature as a whole, are assumed to be ruled by
general and special laws. Any one can discover these. Some are
obvious, like "A fire will burn." ... "Water will wet." ...
"The Wind provides more oxygen for us to breathe."... "Waste and
used matter has to be isolated and removed from areas where Life
prevails." ... "The Chemical and Physical properties of
materials, of foods, drink, atmosphere, make them compatible or
incompatible with living." and so on...
We find we all live together, and although we are similar in
psychology and potential, each one of us has developed in a
slightly different way from others. So we learn to tolerate
differences. The teacher shows the many pupils that they can
live together -- just as they do at their respective homes.
The teacher whether knowing it or not, teaches that there is a
great family: the family of mankind. The great diversity we are
and have become can be unified with a little effort at
understanding differences. There are ideas and processes of
living together that make for greater ease: these are called the
laws and rules of conduct. Pupils are assumed to be aware of
common rules of living, which are generally called the "virtues"
These are areas of learning more difficult to define, like
history, creative capacity, literary ability, artistry, all the
"liberal arts..." And most difficult of all is "character. But
the roots for this kind of development have been strewn in the
words written above.
To sum up: Theosophy teaches us all to look for the causes of
things. It seeks to show that Laws rules everything and this
includes the moral universe of individual character. Every human
has the same capacity for perfectibility and this is limited by
the Universe alone. Hence the human condition is viewed as a
stage in man's progress and merging from this condition is a
Perfection that makes of Teaching a primary service and gift to
humanity. Great is the responsibility of all Teachers.
From: Andra Baylus
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2002 8:10 PM
Subject: Great Minds Think...........
Dear Theosophy Scholars,
What good does intellectual argument regarding Blavatsky's
Doctrine accomplish if the essence of its message is lost and
Why not research Blavatsky for her thoughts on
at the expense of the human heart.
The little that I've gleaned from your posts seems to point
progressing on our soul's journey -- not regressing, as we
Perhaps the people, whose writings I have so enjoyed and
could pause for a few moments and make the heroic effort to
email conversations that many silent ones, such as I, value.
I am a teacher and have little time to research and post.
You have no
idea how your postings reach across the ethers to reach the
and souls of so many.
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