Principles of Discovery – Part 1
I have been compiling the Principles of Discovery into a coherent treatise and this should give many some food for thought. Here is the first part.
Many of you will remember the list we created detailing the qualities of the disciple and found this helpful.
Now we are going to make another list in answer to the following: What are the principles or steps we should follow in recognizing the truth of a teaching? This should be answered from the vantage point of the average seeker. In other words, telling the average guy to go directly to the Monad and do not pass go would be meaningless to him.
Several of you have correctly stated that we should seek soul contact and trust it, but the trouble is that seekers are in many points on the Path, as far as contact is concerned, so this advice cannot apply to all.
For instance, many are seeking soul contact, but have not yet achieved it in a way they can recognize.
Others have achieved glimpses of it several times, but are not familiar enough with it to avoid deception.
Then there are those who believe they have soul contact, but in reality, have astral contact, not realizing that the astral veils the soul.
Finally, there are those who have true soul contact. They know who they are and know that they know.
Now if I were to teach you about 144 dimensions and tell you to use your soul contact to verify this, the above four groups would give many different answers. Hopefully we can see from this point that just telling you to use soul contact is not enough to bring a mixed group to oneness in the truth.
A group composed of individuals all having soul contact can be extremely unified, but such a group is not our luxury at present. Many are struggling to know correct principles and this group of principles should be helpful to them.
We will create this list without regard to the order of importance and rearrange later if necessary.
We asked the group for input and these three with my comments encapsulate the response:
 Run the teaching by your soul (or spirit within) as you understand it as you also run it by the common sense of the mind. In other words, does the teaching make sense?
Whether you are sure or not of reliable soul contact it is indeed important to run the teaching by the highest within yourself that you can perceive. We must not forget the idea of using “plain common sense.” Even one who has achieved soul contact can fall away from it so the use of common sense is a factor that guides us toward the truth and keeps all of us in alignment.
If a teaching just seems to make no sense do not trust it until it does make sense.
 Does the teaching increase the power of Decision and free will?
Truth will enhance free will. Even Jesus said: “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” This statement is much deeper than appears.
As far as the group good goes. Truth is always for the group as well as individual good, but this is more descriptive of the quality of a true teacher. But we are getting into an area of subtle interpretation here for both true and false teachers claim to be for the good of the whole. The difference being that the false teachers present an illusion of good and the true ones are making real progress.
 Does the teaching bring you to a new level of awareness and usefulness?
The discovery of truth does take us to a new level of understanding.
On the other hand, the deluded one who thinks he has discovered truth but is deceived by error will also believe that he has achieved a new level of understanding. The illusion is usually dispelled, however, when you ask him to explain this new level. The explanation will be ambiguous and the wise listener will see there is no new level for him.
He who finds new truth will reach a real new level and will be able to explain it with clarity because the truth is always simple when realized.
We have three here to get us started, but we should be able to come up with a couple dozen. If we just picked one or two criteria, they may be somewhat deceptive as guides to truth, but if we have a reliable list of say 24 criteria and then use the wholeness of it as a guide, this would be quite helpful to the seeker.
Question: Aside from reliable soul contact what do you suppose to be the most reliable step to use as a foundation to the search for truth?
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. ― Plato
May 24, 2006
Copyright by J J Dewey
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