In 1992 David Boehm, an eminent scientist who in his later years became interested in the spiritual side of life, died. He was one of the scientists who had begun to realize that behind the objective appearances of our physical world there must be an inner world of forces, energies, powers and even designs. He referred to the objective world as explicate and the inner world as implicate. His spiritual interests were stimulated later in his life by a close association with J. Krishnamurti, the spiritual philosopher who made himself famous world-wide by his talks and who died in 1986.
It is interesting to note that in recent years a connection between what might be called spiritual science and the physical sciences has become the concern of a number of trained scientists. As well as David Boehm's implicate and explicate orders we have Rupert Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields and his theories of resonance to account for some of the paranormal occurrences which otherwise have no scientific explanations. Peter Hewitt and David Ash have collaborated in writing a book, The Science of the Gods (Gateway Books). Both of these are scientists who have come to the conclusion that the inner nature of things has a spiritual base which is reflected into man's being, such that he can become cognizant of it. These are examples of the interest which is now growing in the juxtaposition of science and things spiritual.
It is fascinating to see how some of the current theories of evolution so closely parallel theosophical doctrine. Two books spring immediately to mind: Looking Glass Universe by Briggs and Peat (ISBN 0-346-12594-4) and The Self-Organizing Universe by Erich Jantsch (Pergamon). These coupled with The Wholeness Principle by A.F. Lemkow (Quest) - an enquiry into the 'dynamics of wholeness' by examining contemporary science and society and world religions - give an overview of modern thought and the correspondences with the Wisdom-Religion.
These ideas are not new to Theosophy. As a subtitle to her work The Secret Doctrine H.P. Blavatsky described it as "the synthesis of science, religion and philosophy", and the work itself justifies this subtitle. The book is an enormous work in which some 1,100 other works are referred to. Amongst these are ancient scriptural and theosophical writings by well-known and eminent historical persons, others are anonymous and some obscure, but some of the books referred to have become classical theosophical literature in a number of countries in the world, notably the Far East. Modern philosophers of H.P.B.'s day, i.e., the end of the 19th century, are also quoted, and it is remarkable how advanced her ideas on physical sciences were at that time.
Somewhere Theosophy has been described as "the science of sciences - the last word of possible human knowledge". As such it quite obviously must treat of all aspects of man's outer life and environment. This is does, but as far as objective existence is concerned it tends to leave the latter to the attention of the experimental scientists, who very largely concern themselves with the material side of Nature. Theosophy is the science of inner realities. Sometimes it is known as Esoteric Science or Occultism; the inner reaches of man's being are within its field and it postulates that the ultimate Essence of the whole universe is similarly Spirit, and that in this respect man and the universe are intimately related. Theosophy draws other parallels between man's constitution and that of what H.P.B. refers to as the Cosmos. This can be thought of as the whole universe or as the solar system. Fundamentally Theosophy claims that they are all of essentially the same nature, which is reflected into that of man. It says that he is a microcosm to it macrocosm.
Theosophy postulates a structure to the Cosmos in terms of hierarchies of living beings. It says that the universe and all that is in it manifests One Life in all its diverse forms. It says further that this Life is intelligent and that intelligence is applied to the ordering of all the functions and activities of Cosmos and Nature. This intelligent ordering of things is regarded as Law, Universal Law. In the East this is referred to as the law of Karma, the law of Cause and Effect, that law by which equilibrium is maintained throughout the universe. Not only that; it is directly applicable to man's lives wherein he gets his just desserts for any actions, be they good or bad.
We are all exhorted therefore to live according to the Law. One of our great difficulties is knowing what that Law is. By and large it could be said to be harmony. Anything that breaks that harmony is against the Law and such disruptions of that harmony have to be compensated for: harmony has to be restored.
It is recognized that the biggest disruption of harmony in human affairs is selfishness - selfishness in all its forms. Self-interest to the detriment of the interests of the whole; acquisitiveness at others' expense; the disregarding of justice for the purposes of self-interest; dishonesty which undermines commerce and social affairs; violence and cruelty which cause so much pain; all these are 'against' the Law.
All the major religions have their ethical codes. Theosophy supports them in that they provide a proper base for the ordering of human affairs. The application of them to our lives ensures that we live within the dictates of universal Law, which we break at our own peril.
The Law does not only apply to outward things. It applies inwardly to our desires and aspirations, to our feelings and thoughts, and we incur great danger to ourselves if there is an element of selfishness in these things.
Theosophy is sometimes referred to as the Ancient Wisdom or the Wisdom-Religion. This is religion per se. It is quite non-denominational and non-sectarian, relating as it does man to Cosmos. It also relates him to what might be regarded as Deity which it also identifies with man's inmost being. In this sense God is immanent in everything and everyone.
A realization of the truths of Theosophy and an ordering of our lives in accordance with it would, it is said, provide humanity with a universal panacea for all its ills - in time. Theosophy claims that all man's ailments are hereditary and a result of his disregard of natural law, sometimes ignorantly but often quite knowingly, the karmic results of the latter being much worse than those of the former. In the inner realms the motive behind an action is the significant element in determining the karmic reaction.
It is difficult to see how human affairs can be immediately and significantly altered by a knowledge of this Ancient Wisdom and natural law, but some dissemination of them must eventually modify the common concepts of morality and behaviour, thus leading to some amelioration of the lot of humanity.