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The Seven Keys of Symbolism?

Oct 31, 2005 09:49 PM
by desmontes


I have been currently engaged in the study of the Secret Doctrine and 
I have encountered continual references by HPB to the "key that must 
be turned seven times" with regard to the seven systems of symbolic 
interpretation. In the following paragraph she made distinct 
reference to three of them, anthropologic, psychic, and astronomical, 
but it is unclear to me if she is identifying the remaining four. She 

As truly stated by Ragon, "the ancient Hierophants have combined so 
cleverly the dogmas and symbols of their religious philosophies, that 
these symbols can be fully explained only by the combination and 
knowledge of all the keys." They can be only approximately 
interpreted, even if one finds out three out of these seven systems: 
the anthropological, the psychic, and the astronomical. The two chief 
interpretations, the highest and the lowest, the spiritual and the 
physiological, they preserved in the greatest secrecy until the 
latter fell into the dominion of the profane. Thus far, with regard 
only to the pre-historic Hierophants, with whom that which has now 
become purely (or impurely) phallic, was a science as profound and as 
mysterious as biology and physiology are now. This was their 
exclusive property, the fruit of their studies and discoveries. The 
other two were those which dealt with the creative gods (theogony), 
and with creative man, i.e., the ideal and the practical mysteries. 
These interpretations were so cleverly veiled and combined, that many 
were those who, while arriving at the discovery of one meaning, were 
baffled in understanding the significance of the others, and could 
never unriddle them sufficiently to commit dangerous indiscretions. 
The highest, the first and the fourth -- theogony in relation to 
anthropogony -- were almost impossible to fathom. We find the proofs 
of this in the Jewish "Holy Writ." (I: 363)

Does she give a concise listing and explanation of these seven keys 
in any of her other writings, or perhaps somewhere else in the Secret 
Doctrine? If not, can someone more learned in the subject explain it 
me? The distinctions in the above paragraph seem unclear.


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