WHAT IS THEOSOPHY ?
Sep 02, 2001 01:18 PM
Sunday, September 02, 2001
As the subject "What is theosophy" arose in a discussion I
thought I would offer some ideas and quotations which might be of
============== QUOTES =======================
THEOSOPHY -- What Is It ?
"Theosophy is Divine Knowledge, or Science, "Divine Wisdom"
(Theo-Sophia) -- the term is many thousand years old." KEY TO
THEOSOPHY , p. 1.
"Theosophy is synonymous with everlasting Truth." KEY TO
THEOSOPHY, p. 302.
"We have no two beliefs or hypotheses on the same subject." KEY
TO THEOSOPHY , p. 72.
"Theosophy is the substratum and basis of all the world-religions
and philosophies taught and practised by a few elect ever since
man became a thinking being." The THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY p. 328.
"The "Wisdom Religion" is the inheritance of all the nations, the
world over." S D I xviii
"Theosophy [is]...the one bond of unity which is so universal and
all-embracing that no man, as no speck -- from gods and mortals
down to animals, the blade of grass and atom -- can be outside of
its light. Therefore any organization or body of that name
[Theosophical] must necessarily be a Universal Brotherhood." H
P B --- IS THEOSOPHY A RELIGION ? H P B Articles, (U L T),
Vol. I, p 59, [ LUCIFER Nov. 1888.]
Theosophy is Not New
This suggests that THEOSOPHY is not a new fangled system of
collated ideas drawn from many sources -- in fact if it were even
that, then the marvel is of HPB's mind and capacity in drawing
such a vast diversity together and showing how the many pieces
hang together to form a seamless whole in the world of ideas and
concepts. In our experience and wide reading, there is no one
who has written such a comprehensive view of our world, universe
and the important part that Mankind plays in that.
Who was H P Blavatsky?
HPB does not claim "authority." She claims to be a "messenger."
Specifically a messenger from the Great and Ancient Lodge of
In both ISIS UNVEILED and The SECRET DOCTRINE she disclaims any
personal authority and gives the credit for the records she
transmits to the Real Authors, the Mahatmas. [ see Certificate
of authorship, by H P B and the two Mahatmas, PATH, Vol. VIII,
p. 1 ]
Since she was well aware that the Theosophical theories and
hypotheses would be received with various degrees of incredulity
from the academies, she was careful to make it clear that the
information was in reality taken from the HISTORY that the Adepts
and their disciples (chelas) had recorded down the ages. All
that she requested was "equal time" and open consideration of
what Theosophy had to offer.
":When, years ago, we first traveled over the East, exploring the
penetralia of its deserted sanctuaries, two saddening and
ever-recurring questions oppressed our thoughts: Where, who what
is GOD ? Who ever saw the IMMORTAL SPIRIT of man, so as to be
able to assure himself of man's immorality?
It was while most anxious to solve those perplexing problems that
we came into contact with certain men, endowed with such
mysterious powers and such profound knowledge that we may truly
designate them as the sages of the Orient. To their instructions
we lent a ready ear. They showed us that by combining science
with religion, the existence of God and immortality of man's
spirit may be demonstrated like a problem of Euclid. For the
first time we receive the assurance that the Oriental philosophy
has room for no other faith than an absolute and immovable faith
in the omnipotence of man's own immortal self. We were taught
that this omnipotence comes from the kinship of man's spirit with
the Universal Soul--God ! The latter, they said, can never be
demonstrated but by the former. Man-spirit proves God-spirit, as
the one drop of water proves a source from which it must have
come...all the rest may be inferred...Blind faith would no longer
be necessary, he would have supplanted it by KNOWLEDGE....prove
the soul of man by its wondrous powers--you have proved God !" I
U I p. vi
"The essence of Theosophy is the perfect harmonizing of the
divine with the human in man."
H P B -- FIVE MESSAGES TO AMERICAN THEOSOPHISTS , p. 6.
What does Theosophy teach?
The immortality of man's Spirit/Soul and the "God-spirit" being
present in every "life-atom" of our LIVING UNIVERSE are
fundamental concepts. Everything in Nature trends in its
life-experience towards a higher degree of knowledge, wisdom,
perfection. Each life-cycle (incarnation) is like a separate day
at school and all are drawn together by the uniting thread of the
immortal, and eternal spiritual Self which is at their core. In
fact she shows how Theosophy traces the evolution of the
"consciousness and intelligence" of the SPIRITUAL SOUL or Monad,
through many forms -- from the atom to the human condition of
This sweep and concept is one that can be traced in every one of
the great religions and philosophies of the world. It is the
record of their existence and of our participation, again and
again, in those processes. What had H P B to say? In one place
it is reported:--
"Her main teachings can be reduced to the following propositions:
That Morals have a basis in Law and in fact.
That Moral law is Natural Law.
That Evolution makes for Righteousness.
That the "fundamental identity of all souls with the Oversoul"
renders moral contagion possible through the subtle psychic
That the Spiritual Identity of all Being renders Universal
brotherhood the only possible path for the truth- seeking man."
H P B Articles (U L T ) Vol. I p. 115. From SHE BEING DEAD YET
SPEAKETH -- PATH, July 1892 ; Vol 7, p. 121 ]
"True Theosophy is everything that aids or elevates mankind; and
our chief object is not so much to gratify individual
aspirations, as to serve our fellow men." PATH IV p., 96
Theosophy the Root of All Religions
Currently there is debate as to whether Theosophy has its roots
in Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, etc... It is understood that
scholars who are deeply familiar with those systems and their
development can trace similarities. However HPB claims that all
those were derived from the "Sanatana Dharma," the "Perennial
Philosophy." which is a record of Life's development and history.
As such it claims to be at the root and at the origin of all the
great ancient religio-philosophical systems and provides a reason
for their development as systems of practice leading to that kind
of "initiation" which develops Wisdom in thought and mind as well
as simultaneously the application of compassion and harmlessness
"...the Wisdom-Religion was ever one, and being the last word of
possible human knowledge, was therefore, carefully preserved. It
preceded by long ages the Alexandrian Theosophists [ 1st Cent.] ,
reached the modern, and will survive every other religion and
KEY TO THEOSOPHY , p. 7.
Thus, Theosophy is not exclusively religion, or philosophy but
also includes science -- as the power to investigate and record
the workings of NATURE (Life as a whole) in every stage, visible
or invisible, and in every department of the world and our
The sweep of the ever-present immortal Life, through cycles of
evolution lead at last to a "goal," the "all-Knowingness" of the
PERFECTED MAN. The designation Mahatma (Great Soul) is one that
includes all such self-developed men of superior knowledge and
nature. The SECRET DOCTRINE therefore speaks of those as the
intelligent guides, and assistants that Nature employs to
recreate and supervise a fresh evolutionary effort, a "new Day,"
of evolutionary progress for all beings.
Encourages Independent Inquiry
If this is grasped the minute details and studies of specialists,
while respected, as continuing proof of the inclusive nature of
Theosophy, is also shown to be but the outer covering, to be but
one way to approach to the interior mystery of man's own immortal
Mind, and of Nature's infinite capacities to assist that Mind to
grow. The process Nature employs is reincarnation..
If this infinite capacity of the human mind to grow and to
understand the most simple, as well as the most complex subjects
is granted, the more learned will continually encourage those who
now are learners to investigate and prove for themselves all
avenues, however diverse, of information, tradition and lore.
And that is the always growing tip of the self-enlightening Mind.
It always widens out to that which is permanent and universal,
when given a chance to emerge from ignorance, doubt, skepticism
"Its creed is Loyalty to Truth, and its ritual "To honor every
Truth by use." K E Y
"The true Theosophist is a philanthropist -- "not for himself,
but for the world he lives." This and philosophy, the right
comprehension of life and its mysteries will give the "missing
basis" and show the right path to purse." Mahatma K. H.
Universal Science, Religion and Philosophy
In regard to the prevalence and diffusion of theosophy as a
science and a philosophical religion is expressed as:--
"Proofs of its diffusion, authentic records of its history, a
complete chain of documents, showing its character and presence
in every land, together with the teaching of all its great Adepts
exists to this day in the secret crypts of libraries belonging
to the Occult Fraternity." S D I xxxiv.
"The members of several esoteric schools...claim to have in their
possession the sum total of sacred and philosophical works in MSS
and type; all the works, in fact, that have ever been written,
in whatever language or character since the art of writing began;
from the ideographic hieroglyphics down to the alphabet of Cadmus
and Devanagri." S D I xxiii
"The work [ISIS UNVEILED ] now submitted to public judgment is
the fruit of a somewhat intimate acquaintance with Eastern adepts
and study of their science....It is an attempt to aid the student
to detect the vital principles which underlie the philosophical
systems of old....We believe in no Magic which transcends the
scope and capacity of the human mind, nor in "miracles."
I U, Vol. I, p. i
"Our work, then, is a plea for the recognition of the hermetic
philosophy, the anciently universal Wisdom-Religion, as the only
possible key to the Absolute in science and theology." I U I
"The SECRET DOCTRINE is not a treatise, or a series of vague
theories, but contains all that an be given out to the world in
this century." S D I xxxviii
"The aim of this work [ The SECRET DOCTRINE ] may be thus
1. To show that Nature is not "a fortuitous concurrence of
2. and to assign to man his rightful place in the scheme of the
3. to rescue from degradation the archaic truths which are the
basis of all religions;
4. and to uncover, to some extent, the fundamental unity from
which all spring
5. finally to show that the Occult side of Nature has never been
approached by the Science of modern civilization." S D I
"The problem of true Theosophy and its great mission are, first,
the working out of clear unequivocal conceptions of ethic ideas
and duties, such as shall best and most fully satisfy the right
and altruistic feeling in men; and second, the modeling of
these conceptions for their adaptation into such forms of daily
life, as shall offer a field where they may be applied with most
equitableness. Such is the common work placed before all who are
willing to act on these principles." From THE GREAT MASTER'S
LETTER, [LUCIFER, January, 1888, Vol. I p. 344. U L T
Pamphlets, No. 22, p. 13. ]
"Theosophy alone can gradually create a mankind as harmonious and
as simple-souled as Kosmos itself; but to effect this
theosophists have to act as such... [helping] to awaken the
spirit in many a man" H P B Articles (U L T) , Vol. I, p.
105 -- THE TIDAL WAVE. [LUCIFER, Nov. 1889.]
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