Lucifer7, September 2009


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Christianity and Materialism

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Short Quotes

The Trouble of the Body, H. Fielding Hall, The Inward Light

Do not let the trouble of the body eat into the mind. Keep your mind free. Sometimes this courage and this happiness will cure the ill. The body is not always master of the mind; it should be the servant. The mind should be the master. The will should dominate. It can control in many things the body; it can make cures of illness. The West has suddenly discovered this as a new thing; the East knew it always . . . . If there was no evil, only good, how could the will be strengthened? If his way was always clear before him he would degenerate to a machine that runs on rails. Evil is necessary, and the same power that made the good made the evil also, for its own righteous purpose. Therefore this world is not the Devil's world, but God's. It is full of beautiful things made for our happiness; it is full of evil things to make us strong.

H.P. Blavatsky, the Key to Theosophy

Theosophy teaches self-abnegation, but does not teach rash and useless self-sacrifice, nor does it justify fanaticism.

M. Scott Peck, M.D.

The highest forms of love are inevitably totally free choices and not acts of conformity.

Buddha, Dhammapada, Translation Juan Mascaro

320 I will endure words that hurt in silent piece as the strong elephant endures in battle arrows sent by the bow, for many people lack self-control.

Paul Brunton, The Secret Path

Spiritual truth must henceforth stand upon a scientific foundation; it must never be afraid of any question, and it must not dismiss the honest investigator as irreligious because he wants proof before he will believe.

Christianity and Materialism

From Theosophy and the Modern World, Conducted by F. B. Housser

Canadian Theosophist, Volume 16, #4 (1935)

    "The special feature of Christianity has been, it seems to me, its teaching that God is no mere perfect self-existent being, but present in and not separated from the evil of our world.  The conception of a perfect world and an all-embracing perfect God, might seem at first sight possible;  but the actual world is anything but perfect, and the existence of an imperfect world would be a standing contradiction to the idea of a perfect God."

    This is a passage taken from J.S. Haldane's new book "The Philosophy of a Biologist" published by the Clarendon Press.  "Christianity must rid itself of materialism and be ready to cope with materialism and any other form of anti-religious ideas, if it is to survive and win again the adherence of a large part of the educated class," says Haldane.

    Here, it seems to us, Professor Haldane has placed his finger on the heart of the post-war attitude of the western world which is wrecking the orthodox Christian church and denuding it of the best minds in the community.  One of the chief causes of the remarkable spread of Christian Science is that it has given many people an answer to the problem of a perfect God and an imperfect world.  Mrs. Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science movement cut "the knot of contrariety" simply by insisting that everything is perfect and that all imperfection is an illusion created by mortal mind which itself, she contended, is an illusion.  This receives the approval of those who have sufficient faith to believe it in spite of what they see around them in the world but the great majority of people find themselves unable to accept it as a full and complete explanation.

Theosophy's Answer

    Theosophy meets the apparent contradiction of an apparently imperfect God and an imperfect world by the elaborate system of cosmology outlined in the first volume of the Secret Doctrine, where it is shown (p. 33) that the unknown Essence - misnamed God - did not create an-thing.  As the Buddhists maintain "there is no creator but an infinitude of creative powers which collectively form the eternal substance, the essence of which is inscrutable - hence not a subject of speculation for any true philosopher."

    "Upon the inauguration of an active period," says the Secret Doctrine, "an expansion of this Divine Essence from without inward and from within outward, occurs in obedience to eternal and immutable law, and the phenomenal or visible universe is the ultimate result of a long chain of cosmical forces thus progressively set in motion."

    "Go on saying our planet and man were created," says a passage in the Mahatma Letters (p. 75) "and you will be fighting against hard facts forever, analyzing and losing time over trifling details - unable to even grasp the whole.  But once admit that our planet and ourselves are no more creations than the iceberg now before me, but that both planets and man are states for a given time;  and that their present appearance geological and anthropological is transitory and but a condition concomitant of that stage of evolution at which they have arrived in a descending cycle - and all will be well."

The Alternative

    These are startling ideas to one trained to think in terms of the church's idea of God and creation.  To deny a creator and an initial creation is to be classed as an atheist, a term usually applied in ignorance by those bent on discrediting the one charged.  "It is in those illusions that man looks upon as sacred that he has to search out the source of that multitude of evils which is the great curse of humanity and that almost overwhelms mankind." (Mahatma Letters, p. 57).

    The idea of God as the creator of the phenomenal universe is "one of those illusions that man looks upon as sacred."  The Doctrine, as the above passages indicate, declares that the physical universe, as we know it, is merely a state of being, an imperfect state compared to the states from which it has materialized, and that nothing called God, but many orders of beings - some higher and some lower than man - took part in its creation - if creation it can be called.  This was the belief of Plato and other ancient philosophers, and of all initiates into the ancient mysteries.

    Those who argue that a just and perfect God created the world and humanity as it is, have to meet the difficulty of explaining the presence of so much imperfection and injustice in the world around us, without debasing the God they would uphold.

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