The Theosophical Forum – July 1947

THE HEART DOCTRINE — Virginia Vaughan

Today's thinking is wrong in that if we have been told something is true, we too often accept it as truth without bothering to sit down to figure things out for ourselves. We do not follow our own reasoning, we follow the reasoning of others. Yet there commonly are two types of minds: first, the coldly intellectual reasoning mind, and second, the intellectual mind lit by intuition which unerringly guides it to correct conclusions. The mind alone is cold. But when it is guided by the intuition, love and compassion of the heart, then the man who has this mind is truly great. The one who has not intuition must have things proven to him; he cannot accept hearsay, unverified reports — and most unfortunately, because he does not possess it — cannot acknowledge intuition. This kind of mind cannot accept your saying "I know this is so because I feel it to be the truth"; such a statement immediately causes resentment, incredulity or even derision.

Reasoning by the mind must be developed, but not mind-reasoning alone; for without its spiritual counterpart it is dangerous, and hinders development of the higher perceptional faculties. Frederick Clarke Prescott in his book The Poetic Vision, speaks of this. He calls it the Voluntary or Purposive thought, and it is guided by a "Distinct purpose or conscious interest, controlling by selection the associations spontaneously offered to fit the end in view. The will, impelled by interest, fixes the attention, and this results in reasonings, or attention. . . . It is closely in touch with sensuous experience, immediately utilizing the reports of the senses and controlling them. Its result is the knowledge which is systematized in science. The thought contained herein may be relatively cold and mainly intellectual; the imagination is at work but controlled, working in a prosaic way."

Those who have developed their intellectuality to a great extent, yet in some way have overlooked the equal development of the spiritual compassion and brotherhood aspect, are often deluded into believing they are far in advance of their brother beings. These are the ones who are unable to discern the Real from the Unreal, and are led on devious and illusory paths. Because they have not the Heart Doctrine — Intuition — they are like half-blind persons, for without intuition they cannot perceive what is right and what is wrong. They are falsely directed because it is only their brain-mind's function directing them; they have not the higher spiritual faculties working to any great degree through the mind.

For these persons, this leads to a state of egotism, an intellectual superiority complex, which in the end will bring them nothing but misfortune and an ultimate realization that they are — not ahead — but behind on the ladder of life. By observance one sees evidence of this. People who may have very little education or a completely average intellect, are often far more advanced in certain ways than those who may be very learned and superioi intellectually. These intellectuals have developed a marvelous sense of reasoning, capacity for absorption and understanding; but they have not the true compassion, the understanding and sensitivity, nor the sympathy and tolerance for others" failings that shines like a light in those who live the Heart Doctrine. Absolute Loyalty, an esteemed human quality, actually divine, is absent in these coldly Intellectual egotists. Thus we should not be overwhelmed by seemingly learned and overpowering intellects, unless we see that they have developed in equal degree, the spiritual heart doctrine that is more important in one person than twenty of great intellect without it.

One who has his reasoning intellectual mind often encounters a real difficulty when first he becomes interested in Theosophy. He must go through many more phases than he who can feel, by intuition, that these teachings are right and true. Perhaps to him the Theosophical doctrines of Karman, Reincarnation — the basic teachings — are accepted; he sees enough proofs and results to believe them reasonable. Then he enters into the more technical and deeper teachings, and there he may rebel at acceptance. It is at this point that the reasoning brain-mind, unenlightened by a conscious opening to the higher Manas and Buddhi principles, fails. There is nothing to go on except the words of our Teachers, the Leaders of the T. S., and ancient teachings of past civilizations. There are no proofs, except the realization of truth that comes from within, although the broad view shows that the whole philosophy fits into one logical plan which answers every problem.

There must be reception from a far deeper source than the brain-mind. Unless Intuition is developed, many teachings will be "seen through a glass darkly." Broad-mindedness, sympathy, tolerance, loyalty, and compassion for others are all methods leading to development of this faculty; and there must be a desire to learn, only not for the purpose of personal ambition, but for the purpose of aiding and imparting knowledge to others.

It is important therefore, not only to individual evolution, but to the evolution of the whole race, to develop intuition. If our present humanity is deceived by the illusion of Intellectuality without Spirituality, our civilization will regress. Let us look carefully then, in order to assure ourselves that Intellectuality leading to individual progress is not our motive or objective.

"Which wilt thou choose, O thou of dauntless heart? The Sam-tan of "eye Doctrine," four-fold Dhyana, or thread thy way through Paramitas, six in number, noble gates of virtue leading to Bodhi and to Prajna, seventh step of Wisdom?"

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