Existence is only real when it is conscious to somebody.
~ Carl Jung
Suppose you observe two men, man A is aiming a gun at the man B whose arms are raised. As a strict positivist, who only accepts the evidence of the senses, that is the limit of what you can say about this “fact”. But have you really explained anything?
Man A could be robbing man B in the street. Man A may be a police officer placing man B under arrest. Or perhaps Man A is a private citizen looking for his daughter whom Man B kidnapped. Three quite different stories about the same alleged fact.
A physicist may treat man A and man B as physical objects and try to predict their future actions based on their mass, momentum, and so on. Of course, he will fail. We cannot understand the scenario without taking into account human consciousness, particularly in its relation to social and political structures that would legitimize or criminalize the observed facts. Similarly, there are “spiritual” facts, of a totally different kind, and these require their own methodology. Consider the following table:
First we have the traditional three kingdoms — nature, man, heaven — as expounded, for example, in the Tao Te Ching. Science, or positivism, is the study of nature in an external way, as a set of facts to observe and theorize about. Depending on the object of study, we have physics, chemistry, biology, and sociology.
Philosophy, or idealism, is related to the second kingdom. Its method is the contemplation of concepts transcending the natural world. Such systems as the Vedanta, Buddhism, Pythagoreanism, Platonism, and Stoicism are the results of such contemplation.
Religion is not the result of purely human expression and creation. They enter the world as a revelation from a divine, supra-human, source. Certain of the world’s religious traditions have preserved that revelation in a superior way, and it is these that deserve our special study.
Boris Mouravieff, in Gnosis, shows the three realms directly influence our world; he refers to these influences as the A influence, B influence, and C influence; all our ideas can be traced to one of these influences. Valentin Tomberg looks deeper into things, and claims to understand the hidden inner nature of these influences. These he calls “occultisms” and categorizes them as mechanical, hygienic, and eugenic. This study, he claims, leads to a higher positivism, where we achieve direct and certain knowledge of higher things; this he calls spiritual science. Julius Evola similarly claimed that there is a positivism of metaphysical wisdom.
So we see that facts don’t speak for themselves and require a consciousness to penetrate into their inner nature.