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Volume XI - Philosophy, Psychology and Mysticism

Part II: Psychology

Chapter I

When science and psychology arrive at a certain understanding, on that day knowledge will become complete. But then I use the word psychology in a specific sense, not in the sense in which it is generally understood. The psychology which is considered nowadays as a new philosophy is still in a primitive condition. What I mean by psychology is the bridge between material science and esotericism. But before going further into this subject I should mention that the terms matter and spirit are meant only for our convenience. As far as we perceive life as something tangible we call it matter; and what is not as tangible as a substance but is yet perceptible we call spirit. It is the knowledge of this spirit that we call psychology, whereas the knowledge which is gained neither by tangibility of substance nor by perception but by revelation is called esotericism. Thus we can divide the different aspects of knowledge into three groups: science, psychology, and esotericism. It is these three that make knowledge complete; and it is through these that one can hope to understand life more fully.

There is a vast field of knowledge in the realm of psychology. The knowledge of imagination and of imagination turning into thought, the knowledge of feeling and of feeling turning into emotion, the knowledge of passion and of passion turning into expression, the knowledge of impulse and its outlet, the knowledge of attraction and its contrary effect, the knowledge of the origin and source of sympathy and antipathy – all these belong to psychology. Thus psychology is a knowledge of perceptible things, yet not of solid things that one can touch, and that is why it is more difficult to explain the laws of psychology in words than the laws of material science.

In order to understand psychology better one should develop one's perception and obtain insight into life. Real psychology is the understanding of a law working behind the scenes. It is the understanding of cause and effect in everything, in every action, in every aspect. It is also a stepping-stone towards esotericism, for it is the psychological attitude which leads one to esoteric knowledge. The one who cannot see the truth of esotericism or mysticism is ignorant because he is backward in psychology. If a person is not able to see the hidden law he will not be able to see that hidden love which is called God in the scriptures.

Esotericism is therefore a process of learning, which is quite contrary to the process by which science is learned. For science is learned by analysis and esotericism by synthesis. If a person who wants to obtain esoteric knowledge breaks things up into bits, he is analyzing them; and as long as he does this he will never come to understand esotericism. In psychology two things are needed: analysis and synthesis; and when through a better understanding of psychology one has accustomed oneself to synthesize as well as to analyze, then one prepares oneself to synthesize only, which leads to a fuller understanding of esotericism. Therefore, the acquisition of esoteric knowledge is quite different from the study of science.

The only difficulty in acquiring esoteric knowledge at the present time is that man who is trained in science is not yet capable of attaining to esoteric knowledge unless he goes through the process of obtaining psychological knowledge. In order to enter the gates of mysticism the first thing for man to understand is what feeling is, what service is, what sympathy is, what sincerity is. It is a great fault of the education of today that sentiment, which is really its most important side, is neglected. It is like wanting a person to become, not alive, but like a corpse: in order to educate him life must be taken from him and he must be turned from a living person into a dead one! This is what lies behind the deaths of heroism and idealism, the deaths of souls which have made an impression on humanity that has lasted for thousands and thousands of years.

What is to be revived in the present generation is the capacity of feeling. Only thinking is developed today and not feeling; but thinking is not enough; after thinking comes feeling, after feeling comes seeing, and it is this seeing which is meant by the word 'seer'.

checked 18-Oct-2005