Science

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Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. In an older and closely related meaning, "science" also refers to a body of knowledge itself, of the type that can be rationally explained and reliably applied.

Modern Science

Modern science is often restricted to those branches of study that seek to explain the phenomena of the material universe. From the 19th century, the word "science" became increasingly associated with the scientific method itself, as a disciplined way to study the natural world.

The scientific method seeks to explain the events of nature in a reproducible way. A hypothesis is put forward, which is generally expected to fit with other accepted facts related to the phenomena. This proposed explanation is used to make predictions that are testable by experiment or observation.

Given the fact that observation and experimentation depend on the use of the senses and current technology, the reach of science is inherently limited to both. The view that the methods of the natural sciences can be applied to all areas of investigation, be it philosophical, social scientific, or otherwise, has been associated with 'scientism'.

Occult Science

Occult Science is a phrase used by H. P. Blavatsky to denominate the knowledge of the hidden forces of nature and their manipulation. According to her, the occult sciences "are real, actual, and very dangerous sciences. They teach the secret potency of things in Nature, developing and cultivating the hidden powers 'latent in man', thus giving him tremendous advantages over more ignorant mortals."[1]

Because of the danger of this knowledge in the hands of the selfish or the ignorant, these sciences are kept in secret:

These sciences are, and have been for ages, hidden from the vulgar for the very good reason that they would never be appreciated by the selfish educated classes, nor understood by the uneducated; whilst the former might misuse them for their own profit, and thus turn the divine science into black magic. It is often brought forward as an accusation against the Esoteric philosophy and the Kabbalah that their literature is full of “a barbarous and meaningless jargon” unintelligible to the ordinary mind . . . The facts of Occult Science are of so abstruse a nature, that in most cases no words exist in European languages to express them; in addition to which our “jargon” is a double necessity—(a) for the purpose of describing clearly these facts to him who is versed in the Occult terminology; and (b) to conceal them from the profane.[2]

Although the adept knowledgeable in the occult sciences can perform phenomena which would seem miraculous to the uninitiated, every effect produced is based on laws of nature, whether known or unknown to modern science:

To say that occult sciences claim to command nature arbitrarily, is equivalent to saying that the sun commands the day-star to shine. Occult sciences are nature itself; intimate knowledge of their secrets does not give to the Initiates the power to command them. The truth of it is that this knowledge teaches the Adepts the manner in which to furnish certain conditions for the production of phenomena, always due to natural causes, and to the combination of forces analogous to those used by the scientists. The real difference between modern science and occult science consists in this: The first opposes to a natural force another natural force more powerful on the physical plane; the second opposes to a physical force, a spiritual or psychic force, in other words, the soul of that same force.[3]

Mr. Sinnett requested Master K.H. to share with him his scientific knowledge. However, the Master said that this was tried in the past, and was never successful. He wrote:

Every "planet and mineral" that exists in space or inside the earth, are known and recorded in our books thousands of years ago; more; many a true hypothesis was timidly brought forward by their own scientific men and as constantly rejected by the majority with whose preconceptions it interfered. Your intention is laudable but nothing that I may give you in answer will ever be accepted from us. Whenever discovered that "it is verily so," the discovery will be attributed to him who corroborated the evidence — as in the case of Copernicus and Galileo, the latter having availed himself but of the Pythagorean MSS.[4]

Theosophy and Science

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Notes

  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, "The Key to Theosophy" (Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press, 1972), 26.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 237-238.
  3. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. VIII (Adyar, Madras: Theosophical Publishing House, 1960), 79.
  4. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 93b (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 311.