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Freedom of Thought in Scientific Thinking *

“Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on for ever in a finite world
is either a madman or an economist.”

Kenneth Boulding, economist


The Tibetan tells us : “Freedom is the keynote for the world disciple today, and it is freedom to live, freedom to think and freedom to know and plan, which humanity demands at this time.”1 At various places in his books the Tibetan urges us to “balancing the pairs of opposites.” In this short presentation we will consider science from two opposing points of view taking in due consideration that it is the dynamic expression of an energy, i.e. of the fifth Ray. One of the points we want to discuss is scientific research from a historical perspective. The other is a modern study of global resources and its consequences.

Historical Perspective

Taking some big steps in history we may say that in Egyptian times and before, science and religion were one and the same thing and indistinguishable from philosophy. The high priests were the scientists, the ministers and the wise men of their time. At the time of the Greek era a more clear distinction emerged between religion, philosophy and science, although one person could still practice all of them at the same time. Until deep into the Middle Ages and slightly beyond religion held a clear and firm dominant position. Even a man like Newton, by many considered as one of the founders of modern science, was as much an alchemist as a mental scientist and he, like most of his colleagues, dedicated all his work to the Almighty God. It is with the debate which opposed the Rosicrucian alchemist Robert Fludd and Johannes Kepler in the 17th century that an irreversible split between religion and science emerged. Gradually astronomy became an independent discipline and developed a cosmology with as ingredients mathematical laws based on empirical observations with ever increasing technology. At the same time humanism was on the rise and eventually the “sovereignty of science” was proclaimed. Sovereignty is usually understood as supreme power or authority of a state to govern itself. The separation between science and religion gradually increased and now, in our modern times, if science does not negate the divine, it certainly does not see any need for it.

I happen to come from the Free University of Amsterdam, which was founded in 1880 with money from orthodox-protestant circles. The word ‘free’ in its name refers to freedom from any interference of church or state, as it was bound only by the Word of God. At the time I started my study in theoretical physics there, the university was already fully state funded, but because of its religious background a one year philosophical course was compulsory at all faculties. My own philosophical, if not occult, interests found here fertile ground.

* Talk given at the World GoodWill Forum October 2011 in Geneva.

The Rays and the Initiations, 1960, Alice A Bailey, p 684.