Dominique Johnson is a junior at DePaul University pursuing a Religious Studies major. Dominique is on the Executive Board of DePaul Interfaith.
“A portion of the true sciences is better than a mass of undigested and misunderstood learning. An ounce of gold is worth a ton of dust.”—Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy
Budhi or purely “Spiritual Wisdom” is the characteristic of an enlightened one, for it is the blossoming forth of perception into illumination, into the stream of Deva-Wisdom. Theosophia is a partial statement (teachings) emanating from pure-Budhi, which every authentic religious movement is in its origin, a partial statement. “Consequently, the higher aspect of the Revealed Bodha is unavoidably esoteric for most men.”—Franklin Merrell-Wolff, Is Theosophy Authentic. We each gentle reader, in the ascent to the intuition of divine and spiritual intellection ‘must first curb the senses in abeyance, so that the intellect exercise itself independently of the senses altogether.’—to paraphrase Nurho de Manhar (See his commentaries on The Sepher Ha-Zohar).
The infinite cannot be known by the finite, i.e., the finite self, but we must reach that Parent-Sun ever shining its light-rays through the Spiritual Soul (Buddhi) and Higher Mind (Manas); which in the psychology presented can be called the upper triad of the human-being. Ancient wisdom says that our true inner Self is the light of the soul in the heart, and demarks us as the individual drop in the ocean. Your terrestrial human form on earth, and all its aspects (Mind, instinctual-soul, subtle-body, ect.) are vehicles of the Higher Self—the God within. As, when flower-buds pop, what was hidden beauty before (in potentia or latency) becomes known, active, and expressive.
The germ of the divine is often likened to a spark latent in the human-being, just as the proverbial mustard seed within must grow into the Kingdom of Heaven…and God dwells in Heaven. “The open religions and philosophies are in the nature of stepped-down or exoteric statements, not for arbitrary reasons, but from the necessities imposed by the limitations of the understanding of most human beings.”—ibid. Franklin Merrell-Wolff mentions, that the Hidden “Divine Wisdom” has long existed, and from time to time, exoteric presentations have appeared throughout the whole history of humanity, but the necessities imposed on these presentations, and due to their partial dissemination of truths, have always been subject to corruption and decay.
The Higher aspect of Wisdom signifies “Secret Knowledge” (Gupta-Vidyā), or “Secret Doctrine” (Upanishads), the Science of sciences (Occult Science), i.e., the hidden WISDOM-RELIGION—the last word of possible human knowledge. Theosophia is then, everlasting Eternal-Truth (Védas). It is the Wisdom that brings us to our highest trust in the Divine; the basis of every nation’s ancient religious, or rather philosophical cultus, underlying the exoteric (outward public) worship, for it is this exterior body or vehicle that covers its interior soul.
The Vishńu Purāṇas names four Vidyās†, or branches of knowledge. Yajna vidyā, knowledge or performance of religious rites; Maha vidyā, great knowledge, worship of the female principle, Tantrika worship, or Sorcery; Guhya vidyā, knowledge of mantras, mystical prayers, incantations, i.e., the mystic powers residing in sound; and Ātma vidyā, “Self-Knowledge” or “knowledge of the Self.” The aspiring theosophist is literally a “Seeker of Truth,” and will first learn “Self-Knowledge” (Ātma-Vidyā), for it is Budhi that is the spiritual wisdom of things outside of our ideas of Time and Space. Such knowledge is the light-ray of the Spirit-Soul; and confers through Mind (Higher Manas), an intuitive-perception which can rightly discriminate between what-is & what-is-not.
“There is ‘true’ Knowledge.
Learn thou it is this:
To see one Changeless Life in all that lives,
and in the Separate, One Inseparable.
There is imperfect Knowledge: that which sees
the separate existences apart,
and, being separated, holds them real.
There is false Knowledge: that which blindly clings
to one as if it were all seeking no cause,
deprived of light, narrow, and dull, and ‘dark.’”
—THE SONG CELESTIAL (Bhagavad-Gita), Bk. 18
Budhi then, is not a clinging to partisan affiliations, which is security of the personal self, nor the accumulated knowledge of some theory, or belief, but a fact (actuality) rooted in directly perceiving things as they are—not what we think things are, or project what should be through mental formations (thoughts). The secret doctrine says that the formless generator of soul is the Life permeating the whole being of the objective Universe.
When the Upanishads mention Buddhi (Intuitive Soul), or the great knowledge which confers eternal liberation (salvation), it speaks of Buddhi as vehicle (vahana) of Ātman (Spirit); and Ātman is but the Innermost essence of the individual as well as the Universal. They err who say in their heart, my real Self is the ‘Me’ (the persona)” or those who say, “my personal Self is the only ‘Me,’ even immortal!” and not a vehicle of expression. The body can be taught as an illusion or even sheath, but if taught as a vehicle of expression, it pertains to the Power and Wisdom manifested in the lives of persons’ using body and mind, yet cognizing a transcendent actuality.
The dharma of Shakyamuni-Buddha was the highest Brahminism popularized, not the last word of “Wisdom,” nor is Gautama the last of the Future Buddhas. The perennial philosophy is inexhaustible in its creative expressions. If there are exalted beings, who possess an objective physical existence, and who guide Interior Circles, as Shakyamuni-Buddha gathered his Arhats, let it be said, that there’s a unifying Gnosis underlying the multitudinous religious faiths humanity have professed, which is and will be ever-present in all ages.
Theosophy is a boundless ocean spread-out into shoreless space; and the current of Vital-Life is the Will and Creative Energy of the People, an unfolding expression of humanity’s discovery of its own divine potentialities, not a static expression. We were never servants to the makers (or laws of life), but cooperators in the great iniquitous course of cycles guided by Harmony, for within you are the germs of divine faculties, by which you can perceive interminable mysteries. Our latent energy is productively awakened in intense states of contemplative passivity, concentration, effective prayer and selfless service; thus, by these hidden dynamics, we receive the power (or knowledge) of guiding the impulses of active, self-conscious evolution within.
When the Vishishtadvaita Catechism, e.g., mentions, that the Jiva (Souls of the Atoms) goes with the sukshmna-sarira or “dream-like” body (illusory; subtle or astral) from the “heart” of the body, to the Brahmarandra (in the crown of the head), it is speaking of the organ that is responsible for different levels of concentration (dhyāna).
One must become “the path itself,” and bridge over the gap between the consciousness of the lower and the higher Ego; hence as we shall pass from each to the next, we approach the higher Mind. It is the true inner Self, which is the very highest in ourselves and in others, that is the God, or One Self, to be seen in all things, and all things in the Self. Leave physical science to the classification of man as a terrestrial animal. The inner Science, or scientific-religion must help guide soul-progress from ray to ray, until the lunar-half breaks, and human consciousness is drawn higher and higher into the solar-supreme or pure consciousness (Universal Essence).
Whether staunch Catholic, or Agnostic, Gnosis opens the spiritual intuitions, freeing us from preconceptions, prejudice and partiality, to see with clarity. The Way of Heaven exalts Unity, a Universal Humanity in actu, the entire prism of traditional wisdom, infinitely progressing through the sky of intelligence. So, be—
“…always hungrily operating on the margins of a potentially great harvest of future knowledge and wisdom.” (Christopher Hitchens, Take the Risk of Thinking for Yourself)
If anyone asks what is the shortest and surest way of disposing ourselves to advance continually in the spiritual life, I shall reply that it is to remain carefully self-gathered within, for it is there properly that one sees the gleam of the true light. (Johannes Tauler, The Sermons and Conferences of John Tauler, the Illumined Doctor)
 Budhi or Bodhi comes from the root Budh (Bodha, Buddhi, bodhi, “intelligence”)
† Horace Hayman Wilson, The Vishńu Purāṇas: A System of Hindu Mythology and Tradition (1864): p. 79
 The light and life of man, is an archaic and universal concept itself, known throughout antiquity under various other appellations. Above is cosmic consciousness (Universal Mind), and below, latent energy within. That latent energy is spent often gratifying the desires of the lower Ego, or polluting the vehicle (brain-body) through excessive self-indulgences, or certain ill-behavior.