The Theosophical Forum – April 1942

"THE HILL OF DISCERNMENT" — G. de Purucker

All truths are like diamonds. When cut and polished they have facets, each one such reflecting what is before it. For truth is comprehensive, not exclusive; it is a spiritual thing, and the spirit comprehendeth all. It is only the smaller things of us humans, and of beings lower than the great Cosmic Spirits, which are bounded by frontiers because of the imperfection of the evolutionary vehicles through which these great entities work. And we men should bear this fact in mind, for it makes us reverent, and humble in the nobler sense, when we realize that others than ourselves may have a vision sublime of Reality.

How great and how good and how noble a thing it is for men to dwell together in brotherhood. Each man is a revelation unto all of his fellow-men, for each one is a marvelous mystery, a child of Eternity and of the Infinite; and despite the imperfections of human evolutionary development, when we see the vision from the Hill of Discernment, we penetrate beneath the veils of the merely seemings into wonders ineffable which the human heart contains.

In my own life it was a revelation when this great truth came back into my human consciousness of this imbodiment, and from that moment I looked upon my fellow human beings no longer just as men, but as wonder-beings from whom I could learn, learning from the least as from the greatest. And what I learned in brooding over this wonderful thought, taught me to seek truth everywhere: as much indeed, had we the eyes to see it, in the plant or in the stones or in the circling orbs of heaven, as when we look deep into the eyes of a fellow human being and see marvels there.

What is this Hill of Discernment? It is one of the oldest thoughts that human genius has ever given birth to. In all the great philosophies and religions of the past, you will always find this wondrous figure of speech, this trope, this metaphor, this climbing the hill of vision; whether it be as the Jews had it, the hill of Zion, or after some other way of speech, the thought is the same. And the noblest expression that comes to my mind, the most graphic and the most profound, is that passage in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett that Dr. A. Trevor Barker published, in which the Mahatmic writer speaks of that Tower of Infinite Thought from which Truth is seen.

What, then, is this Hill of Discernment? Confessedly it is a metaphor; but what is it really so far as we human beings are concerned if not that wonderful organ within man's own constitution which we Theosophists call the Buddhi-principle, which is the organ of understanding, of discernment, of discrimination, of cognition of reality without argumentation. This organ of understanding for a man is that man himself in his highest, his link with the Divine. That is the hill of discernment within the man himself.

The burthen of all the teaching of the Archaic Wisdom is simply that: Recognise yourself as an instrument of Reality, as one of its vehicles; ascend out of the miasmas and the fogs and the clouds of these lower planes upwards and inwards to rejoin in consciousness the divinity within, or the Atma-Buddhi as we say; and then all knowledge will be yours, all vision of Reality is yours at will. For this is the organ clothed with no vehicle dimming its power. It sees Reality as it were face to face, because itself is the Reality. It is, as said, our link with Divinity, which is Reality; which is Truth, which is all Wisdom and all Love and all Knowledge-

So this Hill of Discernment is within man himself. And while it is the same for all of us, for each one it is in a sense different. It is like the pathway to Truth: one for all, and yet differentiated into the wayfarers on that Path, who are themselves both the wayfarer and the Path itself. Man has no other means of attaining Reality except through his own power, through his own organ, through his own being. He can and does receive help from outside, help which is wonderful; and it is our duty to give and receive help. But the receiving is merely as it were the outward stimuli to awaken the inner organ of the receiver. This inner organ is not the deceptive organ of physical vision.

Remember the story told in the wondrous Hindu philosophy: A man returning home at night sees a serpent coiled in the path and jumps aside, and in the morning he sees it was but a coil of rope. So deceptive are all our physical sense-organs! The blind man cannot see the wonders of the dawning east. But even the blind man has an organ within him which if he can reach it needs not the deceptive organs of physical vision to see Reality.

This Buddhi principle which is in us and which we may use, if we will, knows no deceits. It cannot be blinded; it cannot be deceived. Its vision is instant and direct; for it is on the same plane as Reality, and by opening up the intermediate channels between this our highest and our mere brain-mind, we inspire, breathe in, receive inspiration, and then we become like the gods.

That is the Hill of Discernment, of vision, and therefore of wisdom and knowledge and love, perhaps the three most glorious attributes of human consciousness: to be lost in cosmic love, to be
lost in the vision sublime which is wisdom, to be lost in the higher interpretation of the vision which is knowledge: religion, philosophy, science, three in one and one in three; and this is not a theological trinity, but unitary Truth.


The Theosophical Forum

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