The Theosophical Forum – June 1944

THEOSOPHY AN OBJECTIVE IDEALISM — Abbott Clark

Among philosophies Theosophy is an Objective Idealism. This subject takes us into the profoundest thought to which philosophy or religion has soared. With individuals, and nations, races or ages the highest conception which they can reach they call God. To the more philosophical, metaphysical and spiritual minds in any age the average or orthodox conception of God will appear as but a caricature of the Infinite, Eternal and Absolute.

Two of the most profound conceptions in human thought are symbolized under the word Parabrahman of Brahmanical thought and the word SPACE as used in Theosophy. Brahman stands for the most metaphysical and abstract conception of god, while the Sanskrit word para means beyond. So Parabrahman stands for That which is beyond all the gods and therefore beyond all the utmost reaches of human thought. Space as used in Theosophy is that abstract and boundless principle.

Theosophy is called an Objective Idealism because it recognises, with all religions and the more spiritual philosophies, that the fundamental Reality of the universe is ideal, divine and spiritual. And that all manifested worlds from the highest spiritual to the most material are but phenomenal, relative and transitory manifestations of divine life and thought, yet they all appear as real to the intelligent beings enmeshed in them.

Let us illustrate this by beginning with ourselves on the most material plane. To the unthinking man who lives mostly in his senses, gratifications and disappointments, the pleasures and pains and accompanying sensations and emotions, constitute the real world. But to the more intelligent man they constitute only the external and transitory part of his life. His real world is one of thought, of hope, aspirations and ideals. He clothes himself with atmosphere of thought which is the world in which he lives and moves and has his being. This thought-life may be said to be midday between the material and the spiritual, deriving its inspiration from contacts at one time from the material and at another from the spiritual. As a man advances on the return journey from the material to the spiritual his thought life becomes more and more enlightened by spiritual intuitions. He does not lose what other men possess, but gains knowledge and wisdom, judgment and discretion. His mind and consciousness expand and they grasp and live more and more in the truth and beauty of the larger and higher life. In proportion as he becomes in consciousness at one with the immanent and transcendent divinity, just to that degree does a man become consciously immortal though living in transitory bodies of short duration. Such a man has returned, or can return at will, to the ideal source of his being. He emanated from the divine as an unself-conscious god-spark — a monad or ray or stream of divine life and energy — and returns from the long "Cycle of Necessity" as a self-conscious god, a cosmic creator. This age-long cosmic process is analogous to that of a little child who begins as an innocent and ignorant babe and finally in maturity becomes a wise and benevolent statesman able to guide the destiny of a nation.


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