The Theosophical Forum – January 1951


A day that sees some prejudice cleared from our thoughts, or the frontiers of our minds pushed farther away, or some cherished illusion destroyed, is a day well lived, we think. It is a regrettable fact that many theosophical students in common with the rest of mankind, tend to ridicule, or belittle lines of thought or intellectual effort different from their own. This is particularly so in the realms of modern science and the researches of scientists.

It is true that when H. P. Blavatsky wrote her books Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine, 1877 and 1888 respectively, she vigorously attacked the dogmatic and narrow-minded scientists of her day while at the same time paying highest tribute to certain leaders in scientific thought. It is also true that many of her statements which seemed incredible then, and which had not been discovered by scientists, are being proved true now.

But more than this is happening and has been for many years. Theosophy maintains that only by combining science, religion, and philosophy can man attain a true and relatively comprehensive knowledge of the Universe and of Man. Pick up any one of a dozen recently published books, and you will find that it is the scientists, the leading men of science, who are embracing this threefold approach to knowledge in their investigations and researches. There is a book, for instance, The Great Design, published in 1936, and contributed to by 14 men of international eminence each in his own branch of science, and its pages are strongly reminiscent of H. P. Blavatsky's "Three Fundamental Propositions" as set forth in The Secret Doctrine. In the broadening effect it has on one's mind, the awakening of one's intuitions, and the furthering of one's own glimpses into the Unknown, it is sheer delight to read, and one is tempted to share many of its illuminating passages. Here, however, is one, taken from the contribution by C. Lloyd Morgan, F.R.S., and D.Sc, LL. D., Emeritus Professor, University of Bristol, his contribution being entitled "The Ascent of Mind." After discussing what science has been able to find out about the mind of man, Professor Morgan says:

But there are many who have been led to believe that there is at the heart of things somewhat that the man of science as such leaves out of account. They ask him. Whence comes all this novelty, whence the recurrent routine which so often follows in its wake? In reply he may say: "That is no concern of mine, I am content to accept what I find, and to tell its story as best I can. " Such is my attitude as man of science. In that capacity I have tried to sketch in outline the story of the ascent of mind as I read it. None the less I confess my belief that this ascent may be regarded as a manifestation or revelation of a Supreme Mind, conceived as the Creator of all that we are led to interpret as new. What I find in evolution is one great scheme from, bottom to top, from first to last.

What I also believe is that this advance throughout nature is a revelation of Divine Agency. And since mind at its best is the highest term in the course of evolutionary ascent, it may well be said that the evolution of mind reveals the agency of Mind. But it is, as I believe, Mind or Spirit infinite and timeless. Therein the words "first" and "last," "novelty" and "recurrence," are divested of the meaning which attaches to them in discussing the ascent of mmd through new products to further novelty. Spintus Creator as eternal and omnipresent is not the outcome of evolution, but that of which evolution is the progressive revelation.

No, we cannot afford to sit smugly at home reading only our theosophical books, or take part in discussions at lodge meetings with the complacent air of ourselves and ourselves alone having "truth", and neglect to recognize and delight in the intellectual and intuitional achievements of others who, though they may not call themselves theosophists, are engaged in the same search that we are, and are striving for the same goal — TRUTH.

— Courtesy Corresponding Fellows' Lodge Bulletin, October, 1950, Worthing, England.

The Theosophical Forum