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
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'.