Crosbie on Dogmatism
Jan 07, 2007 08:35 AM
Skepticism is but the negative form of dogmatism. Skepticism and dogmatism are two wings for the living process of spiritual ignorance. Both are unquestionable and automatic certainties. They are used as tools by mental laziness to establish a rule in the psychological world which says that – “Learning is unnecessary, for I already know it all.”
Besides mental laziness, dogmatism and skepticism also result from fear. After all, learning may be painful. While one learns, one must face the unknown. Not everyone has the self-confidence necessary to be intrinsically confident about Life and the Unknown. Hence, many get attached to narrow mental horizons and resist accepting new lessons even if these lessons would be obviously useful to them.
Robert Crosbie wrote:
“Dogmatism is a failing of many. I think it is engendered by a feeling of insecurity, in reality, while endeavoring to assure oneself and others of the certainty of one’s knowledge. Of course there are other kinds, such as the maintenance of one’s own opinion simply because it is one’s opinion – an egotistical assertion. Dogma is said to be that which appears good and right to one ; Dogmatism , arrogance usually, is assertion. It always calls up to my mind the idea of the assertion of a statement the proof of which is unattainable. One may speak convincingly of that which to him is true, without incurring the charge of dogmatism. When we are convinced of the truth of a matter, there is no reason why we should not voice that conviction as strongly as the case demands, but there is no reason why, in such case, we should demand acceptance of it. In our case, we do not demand acceptance of Theosophy ; we point out its principles and their applications. Theosophy makes certain statements as being matter of knowledge by perfected men, but not as statements to be believed. It is shown that such knowledge, being acquired by Them from observation and experience in many bodies, can be reached by all men, and the ways to do so are pointed out. The reasonableness of the claim of knowledge takes the statement out of the realm of dogma.” (1)
Indeed, Theosophy is about expanding consciousness, not about believing this or that idea in dead letter. Robert Crosbie added:
“Consciousness is ubiquitious, and can neither be localized nor centered on, nor in, any particular subject, nor can it be limited. Its effects alone pertain to the region of matter, for thought is an energy that affects matter in various ways, but consciousness per se does not belong to the plane of materiality.” (2)
This can be called Jnana Yoga, Dzyan, Zen, Raja Yoga, true Philosophy, Universal Wisdom, Esoteric Contemplation, etc .
(1) “The Friendly Philosopher”, Robert Crosbie, The Theosophy Company, Los Angeles, 1945, 415 pp., see p. 114.
(2) From the same book and page as previous quotation.
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