“Theosophy, in its abstract meaning, is Divine Wisdom, or the aggregate of the knowledge and wisdom that underlie the Universe—the homogeneity of eternal GOOD; and in its concrete sense it is the sum total of the same as allotted to man by nature, on this earth,”— H.P. Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy
Contrary to materialistic science, Theosophy views Consciousness as a fundamental aspect of reality, co-eternal with matter and energy. Just as modern science rightly understands that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can only transform in their condition or expression, so Theosophy views consciousness in the same light. If consciousness is present eternally, then we must deduce that it plays a role in every stage of the unfolding of the universe into manifestation. In Theosophy it is proposed that this role expresses itself in a kind of “intelligent design,” or a “divine plan” on which the material universe is fabricated.
However, this is not the same as attributing such a design or plan to a personal extra-cosmic God, nor does it imply that everywhere there is consciousness there is self-consciousness. Instead, Theosophy views Consciousness (and thus Wisdom) as belonging to an endless series of Hierarchies of Being, each of which, from the highest to the lowest, is relatively limited in potency, capacity, and degrees of self-consciousness. Thus each Hierarchy contains their share of Divine Wisdom and plays their appropriate role in manifestation. Any given system that is developed in universal Space is said to be brought into manifestation by some finite collective of such Hierarchies. It is their Wisdom that guides the construction of that system and the evolutionary processes that will occur therein. The common analogy used in theosophical writings is to compare the construction of a world to the manner in which humans construct an edifice, wherein we find planners, architects, construction crews, specialists of various kinds, and so on, all working together, each performing their appropriate task to bring about the collective result. Thus, underlying and behind the development and manifestation of a world, it is proposed that there is a “plan” based on those Hierarchies’ share of the total of “Divine Wisdom.”
As a system develops—let us say, in this case, a planetary system—the beings destined to pursue an evolutionary course through that system, become both the expression of that wisdom and, gradually, the expressers of it. In this sense, once we reach the point in our evolution when self-consciousness arises, humanity gradually begins to unfold and accumulate a body of wisdom that is the reflection of that Divine Wisdom—our own attempt to more fully comprehend it. We learn, grown, experience, test and verify, study and devise systems of science, philosophy and religion, and so establish on earth a kind of unified collective view of the nature of our shared reality. This accumulated body of wisdom is what we refer to as “Theosophy,” (from the Greek theos, “divine,” and sophia, “wisdom”), or what the ancients referred to as “Gupta Vidya,” “Prisca Theologia” (the “Perennial Philosophy”), the “Occult Science,” the “Wisdom-Religion,” and so on.
H. P. Blavatsky and her Teachers claim that this unified system is veiled behind all the major systems of religious philosophy, behind the allegorical mythologies of ancient cultures, behind systems like Buddhism, Vedanta, Platonism, Hermeticism, Alchemy, Yoga, etc., etc. While there is said to be a relatively complete system of such, the general bulk of humanity struggles to understand it, and reflects only limited, often warped impressions of it. In this way we develop our exoteric and dogmatic religions, our surface philosophies and materialistic sciences, each reflecting but portions of the total wisdom belonging rightfully to humanity. What Blavatsky and her Teachers propose is that, while humanity waxes and wanes, civilizations rise and fall, languages come and go, etc., there is a “Brotherhood” which retains a more or less complete record of that accumulated wisdom. Modern Theosophy is said by them to be built upon a few Fragments of that wisdom, which certain members of that Brotherhood attempted to make more accessible to the general public. These Fragments, and thus the whole system of modern Theosophy, rests on the larger foundation of that Accumulated Wisdom, which can be found embedded in the religious philosophies of the world, especially the more ancient among them, and cannot be separated from that foundation.
This, roughly speaking, is the theosophical view of Divine and Human Wisdom. Modern theosophical literature goes into much more detail on these subjects. The following will give the reader a starting point for their own investigations.
On “Divine Wisdom” and the “Divine Plan”
As said above, “Divine Wisdom” is viewed as belonging to Hierarchies of Beings. This is connected with the “Logos” as representing the collective host of “Divine” beings. The following few quotes touch on this subject, using symbolisms drawn from various traditions and from the system of Blavatsky’s teachers.
“The one circle is divine Unity, from which all proceeds, whither all returns. Its circumference—a forcibly limited symbol, in view of the limitation of the human mind—indicates the abstract, ever incognisable presence, and its plane, the Universal Soul, although the two are one. Only the face of the Disk being white and the ground all around black, shows clearly that its plane is the only knowledge, dim and hazy though it still is, that is attainable by man. It is on this plane that the Manvantaric manifestations begin; for it is in this soul that slumbers, during the Pralaya, the Divine Thought, wherein lies concealed the plan of every future Cosmogony and Theogony. . . .
“The term ‘Divine Thought,’ like that of ‘Universal Mind,’ must not be regarded as even vaguely shadowing forth an intellectual process akin to that exhibited by man. The ‘Unconscious,’ according to von Hartmann, arrived at the vast creative, or rather Evolutionary Plan, ‘by a clairvoyant wisdom superior to all consciousness,’ which in the Vedantic language would mean absolute Wisdom. Only those who realise how far Intuition soars above the tardy processes of ratiocinative thought can form the faintest conception of that absolute Wisdom which transcends the ideas of Time and Space.” (SD 1:1 & fn)
“The Universe was evolved out of its ideal plan, upheld through Eternity in the unconsciousness of that which the Vedantins call Parabrahm. This is practically identical with the conclusions of the highest Western Philosophy—“the innate, eternal, and self-existing Ideas” of Plato, now reflected by Von Hartmann.” (SD 1:281)
“‘Bright Space, son of dark Space,’ corresponds to the Ray dropped at the first thrill of the new ‘Dawn’ into the great Cosmic depths, from which it re-emerges differentiated as Oeaohoo the younger, (the ‘new life’), to become, to the end of the life-cycle, the germ of all things. He is ‘the Incorporeal man who contains in himself the divine Idea,’—the generator of Light and Life, to use an expression of Philo Judæus. He is called the ‘Blazing Dragon of Wisdom,’ because, firstly, he is that which the Greek philosophers called the Logos, the Verbum of the Thought Divine; and secondly, because in Esoteric philosophy this first manifestation, being the synthesis or the aggregate of Universal Wisdom, Oeaohoo, ‘the Son of the Son,’ contains in himself the Seven Creative Hosts (The Sephiroth), and is thus the essence of manifested Wisdom. . . . The ‘Dragon of Wisdom’ is the One . . . The ‘One’ and the Dragon are expressions used by the ancients in connection with their respective Logoi. Jehovah—esoterically (as Elohim)—is also the Serpent or Dragon that tempted Eve, and the ‘Dragon’ is an old glyph for ‘Astral Light’ (Primordial Principle), ‘which is the Wisdom of Chaos.’” (SD 1:72-73)
“[The Secret Doctrine] admits a Logos or a collective ‘Creator’ of the Universe; a Demi-urgos—in the sense implied when one speaks of an ‘Architect’ as the ‘Creator’ of an edifice, whereas that Architect has never touched one stone of it, but, while furnishing the plan, left all the manual labour to the masons; in our case the plan was furnished by the Ideation of the Universe, and the constructive labour was left to the Hosts of intelligent Powers and Forces. But that Demiurgos is no personal deity,—i.e., an imperfect extra-cosmic god,—but only the aggregate of the Dhyan-Chohans and the other forces.” (SD 1:279-280)
“As soon as Darkness—or rather that which is ‘darkness’ for ignorance—has disappeared in its own realm of eternal Light, leaving behind itself only its divine manifested Ideation, the creative Logoi have their understanding opened, and they see in the ideal world (hitherto concealed in the divine thought) the archetypal forms of all, and proceed to copy and build or fashion upon these models forms evanescent and transcendent. At this stage of action, the Demiurge is not yet the Architect. Born in the twilight of action, he has yet to first perceive the plan, to realise the ideal forms which lie buried in the bosom of Eternal Ideation, as the future lotus-leaves, the immaculate petals, are concealed within the seed of that plant. . . . .” (SD 1:381)
“It is the Lipika who project into objectivity from the passive Universal Mind the ideal plan of the universe, upon which the ‘Builders’ reconstruct the Kosmos after every Pralaya, it is they who stand parallel to the Seven Angels of the Presence, whom the Christians recognise in the Seven ‘Planetary Spirits’ or the ‘Spirits of the Stars’; for thus it is they who are the direct amanuenses of the Eternal Ideation—or, as called by Plato, the ‘Divine Thought.’” (SD 1:104)
The following quotes touch on the way in which that wisdom guides the process of manifestation.
“From the Unknown One, the Infinite totality, the manifested one, or the periodical, Manvantaric Deity, emanates; and this is the Universal Mind, which, separated from its Fountain-Source, is the Demiurgos or the creative Logos of the Western Kabalists, and the four-faced Brahmâ of the Hindu religion. In its totality, viewed from the standpoint of manifested Divine Thought in the esoteric doctrine, it represents the Hosts of the higher creative Dhyan Chohans. Simultaneously with the evolution of the Universal Mind, the concealed Wisdom of Adi-Buddha—the One Supreme and eternal—manifests itself as Avalôkitêshwara (or manifested Iswara), which is the Osiris of the Egyptians, the Ahura-Mazda of the Zoroastrians, the Heavenly Man of the Hermetic philosopher, the Logos of the Platonists, and the Atman of the Vedantins. By the action of the manifested Wisdom, or Mahat, represented by these innumerable centres of spiritual Energy in the Kosmos, the reflection of the Universal Mind, which is Cosmic Ideation and the intellectual Force accompanying such ideation, becomes objectively the Fohat of the Buddhist esoteric philosopher. Fohat, running along the seven principles of Akasa, acts upon manifested substance or the One Element, as declared above, and by differentiating it into various centres of Energy, sets in motion the law of Cosmic Evolution, which, in obedience to the Ideation of the Universal Mind, brings into existence all the various states of being in the manifested Solar System.”
“Manvantaric impulse commences with the re-awakening of Cosmic Ideation (the ‘Universal Mind’) concurrently with, and parallel to the primary emergence of Cosmic Substance—the latter being the manvantaric vehicle of the former—from its undifferentiated pralayic state. Then, absolute wisdom mirrors itself in its Ideation; which, by a transcendental process, superior to and incomprehensible by human Consciousness, results in Cosmic Energy (Fohat). Thrilling through the bosom of inert Substance, Fohat impels it to activity, and guides its primary differentiations on all the Seven planes of Cosmic Consciousness. There are thus Seven Protyles (as they are now called), while Aryan antiquity called them the Seven Prakriti, or Natures, serving, severally, as the relatively homogeneous basis, which in the course of the increasing heterogeneity (in the evolution of the Universe) differentiate into the marvellous complexity presented by phenomena on the planes of perception. The term “relatively” is used designedly, because the very existence of such a process, resulting in the primary segregations of undifferentiated Cosmic Substance into its septenary bases of evolution, compels us to regard the protyle of each plane as only a mediate phase assumed by Substance in its passage from abstract, into full objectivity.” (SD 1:328)
“Fohat, then, is the personified electric vital power, the transcendental binding Unity of all Cosmic Energies, on the unseen as on the manifested planes, the action of which resembles—on an immense scale—that of a living Force created by will, in those phenomena where the seemingly subjective acts on the seemingly objective and propels it to action. Fohat is not only the living Symbol and Container of that Force, but is looked upon by the Occultists as an Entity—the forces he acts upon being cosmic, human and terrestrial, and exercising their influence on all those planes respectively. . . . On the Cosmic [plane], it is present in the constructive power that carries out, in the formation of things—from the planetary system down to the glow-worm and simple daisy—the plan in the mind of nature, or in the Divine Thought, with regard to the development and growth of that special thing. . . .” (SD 1:111)
The same is here illustrated using Qabbalistic terminology:
“When the active period has arrived, from within the eternal essence of Ain-Soph, comes forth Sephira, the active Power, called the Primordial Point, and the Crown, Kether. It is only through her that the “Un-bounded Wisdom” could give a concrete form to the abstract Thought. Two sides of the upper triangle by which the ineffable Essence and the universe—its manifested body—are symbolized, the right side and the base are composed of unbroken lines; the third, the left side, is dotted. It is through the latter that emerges Sephira. Spreading in every direction, she finally encompasses the whole triangle. In this emanation the triple triad is formed. From the invisible Dew falling from the higher Uni-triad (thus leaving 7 sephiroths only), the “Head” Sephira creates primeval waters, i.e., Chaos takes shape. It is the first stage towards the solidification of spirit which through various modifications will produce earth.” (SD 1:354)
On “The Primeval or Primordial Revelation”
Blavatsky and her Teachers put forward the idea that once manifestation has reached a certain stage and humanity is beginning to awaken to self-consciousness, there is a kind of “primeval revelation” impressed upon the minds of Man by higher beings. This “revelation” is “received from the primeval Dhyani-Buddhas” (SD 1:69) and strikes a “key-note” for the cycle (see SD 1:52).
“The Science of modern Comparative Mythology [has no sure] proof to show, that those learned writers, who have insisted for the last century or so that there must have been ‘fragments of a primeval revelation, granted to the ancestors of the whole race of mankind . . . . preserved in the temples of Greece and Italy,’ were entirely wrong. For this is what all the Eastern Initiates and Pundits have been proclaiming to the world from time to time. . . . The late Swami Dayananda Sarasvati, the greatest Sanskritist of his day in India, assured some members of the Theosophical Society of the same fact with regard to ancient Brahmanical works. When told that Professor Max Müller had declared to the audiences of his ‘Lectures’ that the theory . . . . ‘that there was a primeval preternatural revelation granted to the fathers of the human race, finds but few supporters at present,’—the holy and learned man laughed. His answer was suggestive. ‘If Mr. Moksh Mooller,’ as he pronounced the name, “were a Brahmin, and came with me, I might take him to a gupta cave (a secret crypt) near Ukhimatha, in the Himalayas, where he would soon find out that what crossed the Kalapani (the black waters of the ocean) from India to Europe were only the bits of rejected copies of some passages from our sacred books. There was a “primeval revelation,” and it still exists; nor will it ever be lost to the world, but will reappear; though the Mlecchas will of course have to wait.” (SD 1:xxx)
“During its [humanity’s] early beginnings, psychic and physical intellect being dormant and consciousness still undeveloped, the spiritual conceptions of that race were quite unconnected with its physical surroundings. That divine man dwelt in his animal—though externally human—form; and, if there was instinct in him, no self-consciousness came to enlighten the darkness of the latent fifth principle. When, moved by the law of Evolution, the Lords of Wisdom infused into him the spark of consciousness, the first feeling it awoke to life and activity was a sense of solidarity, of one-ness with his spiritual creators. As the child’s first feeling is for its mother and nurse, so the first aspirations of the awakening consciousness in primitive man were for those whose element he felt within himself, and who yet were outside, and independent of him. Devotion arose out of that feeling, and became the first and foremost motor in his nature; for it is the only one which is natural in our heart, which is innate in us, and which we find alike in human babe and the young of the animal.” (SD 1:210)
“‘Divine origin’ does not mean . . . a revelation from an anthropomorphic god on a mount amidst thunder and lightning; but, as we understand it, a language and a system of science imparted to the early mankind by a more advanced mankind, so much higher as to be divine in the sight of that infant humanity. By a ‘mankind,’ in short, from other spheres; an idea which contains nothing supernatural in it, but the acceptance or rejection of which depends upon the degree of conceit and arrogance in the mind of him to whom it is stated. For, if the professors of modern knowledge would only confess that, though they know nothing of the future of the disembodied man—or rather will accept nothing—yet this future may be pregnant with surprises and unexpected revelations to them, once their Egos are rid of their gross bodies—then materialistic unbelief would have fewer chances than it has. Who of them knows, or can tell, what may happen when once the life cycle of this globe is run down and our mother earth herself falls into her last sleep? Who is bold enough to say that the divine Egos of our mankind—at least the elect out of the multitudes passing on to other spheres—will not become in their turn the ‘divine’ instructors of a new mankind generated by them on a new globe, called to life and activity by the disembodied ‘principles’ of our Earth?” (SD 1:309)
“The Occultist accepts revelation as coming from divine yet still finite Beings, the manifested lives, never from the Unmanifestable one life; from those entities, called Primordial Man, Dhyani-Buddhas, or Dhyan-Chohans, the ‘Rishi-Prajapati’ of the Hindus, the Elohim or ‘Sons of God,’ the Planetary Spirits of all nations, who have become Gods for men.” (SD 1:9-10)
In commenting on the similarities found across the many world traditions, Blavatsky poses the question:
“Whence then, all this identity of ideas, if there was no primeval Universal Revelation?” (SD 1:356)
Later, when commenting on the phonetic similarities between ancient languages, she adds:
“The reason for this is that such truths were a common inheritance. It was a revelation received by the first mankind before that time which, in Biblical phraseology, is called ‘the period of one lip and word,’ or speech; knowledge expanded by man’s own intuition later on, but still later hidden from profanation under an adequate symbology.” (SD 2:452)
And in summarizing her translation and commentary on the Stanzas of Dzyan on Cosmogenesis, she says the following:
“The first of these Seven chapters has been attempted and is now finished. However incomplete and feeble as an exposition, it is, at any rate, an approximation—using the word in a mathematical sense—to that which is the oldest basis for all the subsequent Cosmogonies. The attempt to render in a European tongue the grand panorama of the ever periodically recurring Law—impressed upon the plastic minds of the first races endowed with Consciousness by those who reflected the same from the Universal Mind—is daring, for no human language, save the Sanskrit—which is that of the Gods—can do so with any degree of adequacy. But the failures in this work must be forgiven for the sake of the motive. As a whole, neither the foregoing nor what follows can be found in full anywhere. It is not taught in any of the six Indian schools of philosophy, for it pertains to their synthesis—the seventh, which is the Occult doctrine. It is not traced on any crumbling papyrus of Egypt, nor is it any longer graven on Assyrian tile or granite wall. The Books of the Vedanta (the last word of human knowledge) give out but the metaphysical aspect of this world-Cosmogony; and their priceless thesaurus, the Upanishads—Upa-ni-shad being a compound word meaning “the conquest of ignorance by the revelation of secret, spiritual knowledge”—require now the additional possession of a Master-key to enable the student to get at their full meaning. The reason for this I venture to state here as I learned it from a Master.” (SD 1:269)
Thus, the claim is made that there was a kind of “revelation” impressed upon the minds of early Man, which forms a foundation or undercurrent for all systems of religion, philosophy and science that have arisen since. The direct knowledge of this revelation was gradually lost, it is said, when our evolutionary course descended into a too-material condition, causing a kind of atrophy of the organs and faculties necessary to intuitively grasp that revelation (on this subject, see Human Evolution). Our collective attempt to unveil the mysteries of nature is, in a sense, but an attempt to recall this revelation to our gradually re-awakening minds, which in our current physiological and psychological condition requires a process of initiation (see Chelaship, Adeptship, and “On Initiation”), under the guidance of an Adept, as the truths embodied in the “primeval revelation,” are maintained among the “Brotherhood of Adepts.” Among those Adepts, it is said that there is a continual process of investigation, testing and verifying, and a passing down of the resulting “accumulated wisdom.”
On “The Accumulated Wisdom of Mankind”
“The ‘Wisdom Religion’ is the inheritance of all the nations, the world over . . .” (SD 1:xviii)
“The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages, and its cosmogony alone is the most stupendous and elaborate system: e.g., even in the exotericism of the Purânas. But such is the mysterious power of Occult symbolism, that the facts which have actually occupied countless generations of initiated seers and prophets to marshal, to set down and explain, in the bewildering series of evolutionary progress, are all recorded on a few pages of geometrical signs and glyphs. The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated into the very kernel of matter, and recorded the soul of things there, where an ordinary profane, however learned, would have perceived but the external work of form. But modern science believes not in the “soul of things,” and hence will reject the whole system of ancient cosmogony. It is useless to say that the system in question is no fancy of one or several isolated individuals. That it is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the traditions passed orally by one early race to another, of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity. That for long ages, the “Wise Men” of the Fifth Race, of the stock saved and rescued from the last cataclysm and shifting of continents, had passed their lives in learning, not teaching. How did they do so? It is answered: by checking, testing, and verifying in every department of nature the traditions of old by the independent visions of great adepts; i.e., men who have developed and perfected their physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual organisations to the utmost possible degree. No vision of one adept was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the visions—so obtained as to stand as independent evidence—of other adepts, and by centuries of experiences.” (SD 1:272-73)
Blavatsky explains that the one universally diffused “Wisdom-Religion” was gradually veiled from the world, in part due to the efforts of orthodox, dogmatic religions and their leaders, who did everything possible to remove every trace of that system from the world. The following two instances—one from the east, one from the west—illustrate the point:
“The Upanishads were originally attached to their Brahmanas after the beginning of a reform, which led to the exclusiveness of the present caste system among the Brahmins, a few centuries after the invasion of India by the “twice-born.” They were complete in those days, and were used for the instruction of the chelas who were preparing for their initiation. This lasted so long as the Vedas and the Brahmanas remained in the sole and exclusive keeping of the temple-Brahmins—while no one else had the right to study or even read them outside of the sacred caste. Then came Gautama, the Prince of Kapilavastu. After learning the whole of the Brahmanical wisdom in the Rahasya or the Upanishads, and finding that the teachings differed little, if at all, from those of the “Teachers of Life” inhabiting the snowy ranges of the Himalaya, the Disciple of the Brahmins, feeling indignant because the sacred wisdom was thus withheld from all but the Brahmins, determined to save the whole world by popularizing it. Then it was that the Brahmins, seeing that their sacred knowledge and Occult wisdom was falling into the hands of the “Mlechchhas,” abridged the texts of the Upanishads, originally containing thrice the matter of the Vedas and the Brahmanas together, without altering, however, one word of the texts. They simply detached from the MSS. the most important portions containing the last word of the Mystery of Being. The key to the Brahmanical secret code remained henceforth with the initiates alone, and the Brahmins were thus in a position to publicly deny the correctness of Buddha’s teaching by appealing to their Upanishads, silenced for ever on the chief questions. Such is the esoteric tradition beyond the Himalayas.” (SD 1:270-271)
“The days of Constantine were the last turning-point in history, the period of the Supreme struggle that ended in the Western world throttling the old religions in favour of the new one, built on their bodies. From thence the vista into the far distant Past, beyond the ‘Deluge’ and the Garden of Eden, began to be forcibly and relentlessly closed by every fair and unfair means against the indiscreet gaze of posterity. Every issue was blocked up, every record that hands could be laid upon, destroyed. Yet there remains enough, even among such mutilated records, to warrant us in saying that there is in them every possible evidence of the actual existence of a Parent Doctrine. Fragments have survived geological and political cataclysms to tell the story; and every survival shows evidence that the now Secret Wisdom was once the one fountain head, the ever-flowing perennial source, at which were fed all its streamlets—the later religions of all nations—from the first down to the last. This period, beginning with Buddha and Pythagoras at the one end and the Neo-Platonists and Gnostics at the other, is the only focus left in History wherein converge for the last time the bright rays of light streaming from the æons of time gone by, unobscured by the hand of bigotry and fanaticism.” (SD 1:xliv-xlv)
Despite this effort, the Adepts retained the complete system.
“It has been explained repeatedly that the continuity of occult knowledge amongst initiated adepts is the attribute about it which commends their explanations—absolutely to the acceptance of those who come to understand what initiation means, and what kind of people adepts are. From Swedenborg onwards there have been many seers who profess to gather their knowledge of other worlds from actual observation, but such persons are isolated, and subject to the delusions of isolation. Any intelligent man will have an intuitive perception of this, expressing itself in a reluctance on his part to surrender himself entirely to the assurances of any such clairvoyants. But in the case of regularly initiated seers it must be remembered that we are dealing with a long—an extraordinarily long—series of persons who, warned of the con fusing circumstances into which they pass when their spiritual perceptions are trained to range beyond material limits, are so enabled to penetrate to the actual realities of things, and who constitute a vast organized body of seers, who check each other’s conclusions, test each other’s discoveries and formulate their visions into a science of spirit as precise and entirely trustworthy as, in their humble way, are the conclusions, as far as they go, of any branch of physical science. Such initiates are in the position, as regards spiritual knowledge, that the regularly taught professor of a great university is in, as regards literary knowledge, and anyone can appreciate the superior claims of instruction which might be received from him, as compared with the crude and imperfect instruction which might be offered by the merely self- taught man. The initiate’s speculations, in fact, are not spun at all; they are laid out before him by the accumulated wisdom of ages, and he has merely followed, verified and assimilated them.” (Blavatsky, “Spiritualism and Occult Truth”)
“We have received our doctrines from those [for whom] the evidence is not second-hand, nor post-mortem, but really the evidence of their own faculties, purified and prepared through long years to receive it correctly and without any foreign influence that would make them deviate from the straight road. For thousands of years, one initiate after another, one great hierophant succeeded by other hierophants, has explored and re-explored the invisible Universe, the worlds of the interplanetary regions, during long periods when his conscious soul, united to the spiritual soul and to the all, free and almost omnipotent, left his body. It is not only the initiates belonging to the ‘Great Brotherhood of the Himâlayas,’ who give us these doctrines; it is not only the Buddhist Arhats who teach them, but they are found in the secret writings of Śankaracharya, of Gautama Buddha, of Zoroaster, as well as in those of the Rishis.
“The mysteries of life as well as of death, of the visible and invisible worlds, have been fathomed and observed by initiated adepts in all epochs and in all nations. They have studied these during the solemn moments of union of their divine monad with the universal Spirit, and they have recorded their experiences. Thus by comparing and checking the observations of one with those of another, and finding none of the contradictions so frequently noticed in the dicta, or communications of the mediums, but on the contrary, having been able to ascertain that the visions of adepts who lived 10,000 years ago are invariably corroborated and verified by those of modern adepts, to whom the writings of the former never do become known until later—the truth has been established. A definite science, based on personal observation and experience, corroborated by continuous demonstrations, containing irrefutable proofs, for those who study it, has thus been established.” (Blavatsky, “Theosophy and Spiritism”)
It is this complete system, which we call Theosophy, the modern presentation of which encompasses only a handful of Fragments, being those ideas that are most important for us to consider during the present cycle.
Selected Writings on the Doctrines of Modern Theosophy
- Isis Unveiled
- Madame Blavatsky on the Views of the Theosophists
- Madame Blavatsky on Indian Metaphysics
- Erroneous Ideas Concerning the Doctrines of the Theosophists
- What is Theosophy?
- What are the Theosophists?
- What is Theosophy? (Qu’est-ce Que la Théosophie?)
- The Occult World
- Fragments of Occult Truth [1-3]
- [Notes on “Fragments of Occult Truth” 1-3]
- The Aryan-Arhat Esoteric Tenets on the Sevenfold Principles in Man
- The Present Great Need of a Metaphysico-Spiritual Vocabulary
- Hints on Esoteric Theosophy [1-2]
- “The Philosophy of Spirit”
- [Notes on “Mediums and Yogis”]
- [Notes on God, Spirit and Matter]
- Seeming “Discrepancies”
- Questions About Esoteric Theosophy Answered
- “Isis Unveiled” and the “Theosophist” on Reincarnation
- What is Theosophy?
- [On the Variety of After-Death States]
- Fragments of Occult Truth [4-8]
- Death and Immortality
- Is Suicide a Crime?
- [On Spirit and Matter]
- “A Personal and Impersonal God”
- Appendix to “Devachan”
- Old and New Methods
- Retrogression in Rebirth
- The Religion of the Future
- Theosophy and Spiritism: Explanations Relative to the Controversy on Occultism
- [On Some Confusions about Rings and Rounds]
- Pertinent Questions
- A Levy of Arms Against Theosophy
- The Septenary Principle in Esotericism
- The Almora Swami
- Prakriti and Purusha
- From Theosophy to Shakespeare
- Karma: An Appendix to “Fragments of Occult Truth”
- Hierosophy and Theosophy
- Chelas and Lay Chelas
- Esoteric Buddhism
- Transmigration of the Life Atoms
- Devachan: Western Stricture and Eastern Version
- [Proper use of the term Jivatma]
- Some Inquiries Suggested by Mr. Sinnett’s “Esoteric Buddhism”
- Reply to An English F.T.S.
- Do the Adepts Deny the Nebular Theory?
- Is the Sun merely a Cooling Mass?
- Are the Great Nations to be Swept Away in an Hour?
- Is the Moon Immersed in Matter?
- About the Mineral Monad
- Historical Difficulty—Why?
- [Notes on “The God Idea”]
- [On the Brahma Garbha of Agastya Bhagavan]
- [Answers to Questions on Adepts]
- Premature and Phenomenal Growths
- Observations on “A Letter Addressed to the Fellows of the London Lodge of the Theosophical Society, by the President and a Vice-President of the Lodge”
- Victims of Words
- Occult Study
- [Notes on “Drama of the Latter Days”]
- [On the Kama-rupa and Vampires]
- [Notes on “Three Unpublished Essays” by Éliphas Lévi]
- The Metaphysical Basis of “Esoteric Buddhism”
- [Septenary Division in Different Indian Systems]
- The Future Buddhas
- Kama-Loka and the Bearings of the Esoteric Doctrine on Spiritualism
- [Notes on Kama-Loka and the After Death States]
- Facts and Ideations
- Theories About Reincarnation and Spirits
- Classification of “Principles”
- Re-Classification of Principles
- Theosophical Theories of the Microcosm
- Classification of Principles
- [On the Life of a True Theosophist]
- The Origin of Evil
- [On Harmony and Brotherhood]
- Theosophy as a Guide in Life
- An Epitome of Theosophy
- Universal Applications of Doctrine
- The Secret Doctrine
- “Esoteric Buddhism” and the “Secret Doctrine”
- On Astral Bodies, or Doppelgangers
- Dialogue on the Mysteries of the After Life
- The New Cycle (Le Cycle Nouveau)
- Le Phare de L’inconnu [The Beacon-Light of the Unknown]
- The Key to Theosophy
- The Voice of the Silence
- Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge (Part 1)
- The Sevenfold Constitution of Man
- Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge (Part 2)
- The Theosophical Glossary
- The Ocean of Theosophy
- Studies in the Secret Doctrine
- The Secret Doctrine Dialogues