Every theory, at the time of its formulation, is in itself a reflection of the level of consciousness of its authors. Through continued investigation, this level of consciousness also evolves and soon finds the earlier theory too restrictive; a new, more comprehensive theory becomes necessary. And so it goes on. This results in the inevitable law that mankind's consciousness in its continual expansion, sooner or later, outgrows every theory and must make room for new realizations. Today's truth is tomorrow's error.
One glance at the history of science confirms this statement. The history of science is the history of human errors. There is no reason to be ashamed about this, because everybody knows that one learns from one's mistakes. But the absurd thing is that each generation is absolutely certain that errors were committed only in the past. Every age, therefore, believes itself to have found the absolute and final truth and will not be shaken in this conviction. In this respect, science commands a strength of faith that surpasses that of every religious sect:
The attitude towards those who, through fresh perceptions, challenge the “generally accepted truth” of the day, shows also surprising similarity with religious fanaticism. In fact, it is one of man's cardinal weaknesses to be fixed in his ideas and to defend his own viewpoint with all his might to the end of his days. When science takes a stand in this way it is of course going against its own (suspiciously) loud emphasis on objectivity.
Science originally set out to explore the visible external world. And it is in matter that the visible world is encountered. Accordingly science adapted its working methods to the requirements of matter. There is nothing wrong with that so long as the exploration is confined to matter alone. The results obtained are, at best, valid within matter. At this point, however, we come up against two fundamental errors, which permit us to voice doubts about science's claim to be the sole guardian of truth.
Has science, despite its undoubted successes in the technical sphere, made mankind happier?
Can science help man to solve his problems?
Can science find answers to his innermost questions concerning his being?
Has the development of human consciousness kept abreast with technical development?
The answer to all those questions is an unequivocal and shattering negative.
The more aids man develops to save time, the less time he has. The wonders of so-called modern medicine have not been able to reduce illness even by one per cent. Do not be deceived by statistics which prove the decrease of infectious diseases or infant mortality without mentioning the number of diseases that have during the same period increased or even come into being.
Statistics in medicine are useful only if they deal with illness as a whole and not with particular pathological phenomena. We have to reckon with the increase in psychological illnesses which we have not yet succeeded in suppressing as effectively as those of a bodily nature.
All these observations, however, are not so much aimed at criticising science as at demonstrating the need for us to turn henceforth to another method which at times is diametrically opposed to the scientific way of thinking. This we call esotericism. The term, to a large extent, synonymous with other designations, such as “secret doctrine”, “wisdom teaching”, “occultism” etc. But most of the associations, which have long since been attached to these terms, are false, and it will be the task of this book to introduce you, step by step, to the true esoteric system of thought.