The Theosophical Forum – April 1940


A universal source of Knowledge has always existed, and always will exist throughout eternity. Man has made divisions of a unity, and so we have religion, science, philosophy, art, and literature; but all these in reality are parts or portions of a unity of knowledge which Theosophy calls the Ancient Wisdom.

The great minds of the present day, the men of science, the advanced thinkers of religion, the philosophers, artists, and men of letters are all drawing consciously or unconsciously on this universal source of knowledge. They are aided in their efforts by those whose duty it is to help and aid human endeavor, to inspire and enlighten the searching mind, the hungry heart, the aspiring soul. Such helpers are they who have advanced farther than their fellows in evolutionary development, and who have willingly offered themselves in whole-hearted service, life after life, for the benefit of humanity: they can draw consciously upon this source of wisdom and thereby benefit their fellow-men.

The scientists are no longer mere researchers into the material realms of knowledge, but are touching higher reaches of thought, and as they progress along these lines, they will find that religion, science, philosophy are aspects of one Truth. The day will come when the great minds of the world will unite in a Brotherhood of earnest-hearted men and women, working together for the common good of mankind. Already great minds of the present day voice statements imbodying the thought of a unity of knowledge. Dr. Arthur H. Compton, Nobel prize-winner in physics, expresses it in these words, as quoted in the Pasadena Star-News of January 6, 1940:

I would like to stress the fact that there is no real conflict between science and religion. Many people have the mistaken idea that science is purely abstract investigation, utterly removed from the affairs of every-day life. Yet science in its laboratories, in its study of the stars, in its theories and laws, has but one objective: an understanding of the world that will add value to life.

Further, the words of Sir Richard Gregory, Bart., in a lecture delivered at the General Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, at Richmond, Virginia, December 29, 1938, bear out the same idea:

It is through the acceptance of the idea of evolution in the spirit as well as in the body of man that the partition which formerly separated religion and science is being dissolved.

He realizes that science must join hands with religion for the common good of man; he urges that the scientists take an active part in solving the serious problems that their contributions to natural knowledge have created, and that they must help to assist in the establishment of a harmonious social order out of the "welter of human conflict into which the world has been thrown through the release of uncontrolled sources of industrial production and of lethal weapons." He concludes his address with the following words:

It is in the light of service to these high ideals that science, without which we can not live, and religion, without which most people see no meaning in life, can find a field in which both can work together for the highest human destiny. — Quoted in Science, Feb. 24, 1939

Theosophical University Press Online Edition