Theosophy: what is it

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Theosophy is the Ancient Wisdom that exists from time immemorial and expresses the accumulated wisdom of all ages being the spiritual Nucleus wherefrom emanates all knowledge related to intelligent life. It is the source of religions, metaphysical teachings, letters and art, learning, civilization and mainly of the mystic tradition. It is the esoteric Knowledge wherefrom sprang all the revelations that have taken, are taking and will be taking place in humanity, regarding the Laws of Evolution, man’s spiritual descent, occult history of mankind and the planet.

If you speak of THEOSOPHY”, H.P.Blavatskysays, “I answer that, as it has existed eternally throughout the endless cycles upon cycles of the Past, so it will ever exist throughout the infinitudes of the Future, because Theosophy is synonymous with EVERLASTING TRUTH.”[1]

The revelation-rays occasionally sent forth by Ageless Theosophy or Ancient Wisdom crop up under various names such as Vedas, Vedanta, Yoga, Buddhism, Christianity, Hermetism, the greek Dodecatheon, the Rosicrucians, Modern Theosophy, all of which are aspects of the One Truth appearing at  times in various locations and peoples.

As a term,“Theosophy” means Divine Wisdom. It goes very far back in antiquity and was originally used by the Egyptian hierophant Potamon, then by the Alexandrian Ammonius Sakkas and finally by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky who presented Modern Theosophy to the world and founded the Theosophical Society. Theosophy is variously known as Wisdom-Religion, Ancient Wisdom, Ageless Wisdom, Occultism, Esotericism, Metaphysics.

This mystic tradition has reached our earth with a line of prophets, initiates and hierophants who presented to mankind, through a certain religion or occult teaching, all that humans ought to know to become more moral and more spiritual. Guardian of such secret Wisdom is the Spiritual Hierarchy, i.e. Spiritual Entities who, out of infinite compassion for mankind, renounce realms of boundless spirituality and sheer beauty and remain in the realm of shadows in order to help human beings develop spiritually. It is specified as the Hierarchy of Compassion known in each religion and national tradition as Archangels, Eloim, Amshaspends, Dhyani Chohans, Sons of theSun, Sons of Light, Masters of Wisdom and Mahatmas. They are the Instructors of the infant, evolution-wise, mankind, who consider us their younger brothers.

ModernTheosophy is nothing but a ray-aspect ofTheosophyor Wisdom-Religionand is also called Modern Theosophical Movement. The latter was presented to the Western world towards the last quarter of the previous century by the prominent occultist Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. She, herself, declared being a link between the Hierarchy of Compassion and mankind adding that behind her stood the two Masters of Wisdom, Morya and Koothoomi. She also confessed that behind each aspect of the Modern Theosophical Movement always stood its two invisible Inspirators and affirmed that her writings were unfolding the very teachings of the Brotherhood.

«… we employ agents – the best available. Of these for the past thirty years the chief has been the personality known as H.P.B.(Helena Petrovna Blavatsky) to the world (but otherwise to us). Imperfect and very troublesome, no doubt, she proves to some, nevertheless, there is no likelihood of our finding a better one for years to come – and your theosophists should be made to understand it. Since 1885 I have not written, nor caused to be written save through her agency, direct and remote, a letter or line to anybody in Europe or America, nor communicated orally with, or through any third party. Theosophists should learn it. You will understand later the significance of this declaration so keep it in mind. Her fidelity to our work being constant, and her sufferings having come upon her through it, neither I nor either of my Brother associates will desert or supplant her… This you must tell to all: - With occult matters she has everything to do… She is our direct agent…”  [ 2] 

The Modern Theosophical teaching was expounded in a number of texts written by H.P.Blavatsky, herself,the titles of which are: “Isis Unveiled”, “The Secret Doctrine”, “TheKey to Theosophy”, “The Voice of the Silence” and “TheCollected Writings», a fourteen-volume compilation of articles of hers.

It is through the Theosophical teaching that were retrieved from silence the laws of Karma and Reincarnation, the birth and death cycle of human existence along with its after-death continuation. Metaphysical research and its scientific substantiation then started and are still going on as far as possible. People in the West learned that there is an Eternal Law of Evolution that pushes every being to conquer spiritual perfection through self-willed choices and deeds.
Needless to say those metaphysical aspects were not unheard-of on the planet. Every esoteric teaching and religion, so far presented, has given a part of the transcendent Truth suitably adjusted to the given place and time.

Trying to show forth the One and Secondless Principle as the primary cause of the phenomenal pluralism, H.P.B. used comparative study of universal religions and teachings to prove that behind and above each expression there lies a general unifying Principle, a common root and source for everything manifested.

To Modern Theosophy, manifested Life is a continuous wave of Monads that, emanating from the heart of Logos, drift on the various levels of Cosmos, acquire countless experiences through which they evolve in order to get disentangled at some point from the veils of matter and return to the Heart of their Father spiritually perfected. During the journey of the souls the younger and less experienced are supported and sustained by the spiritually riper ones. Their journey is successively reiterated through multiple rebirths governed by the law of Karma till the human monad perceives life’s spiritual purpose and resolves to fulfill it.

In short, the central idea of Theosophy is that manifested life emanates from One Monadic Substance-Source which comprises everything and exists within everything. This esoteric Truth becomes the fundamental Principle that defines unity of manifested life, brotherhood of humans and respect towards each and every species of life, be it of lower or higher evolutionary rank compared to mankind. From the fundamental Unity of Life derives theosophical Ethics inspiring man with altruism, compassion and cooperativeness, while dissuading him from separateness, personal interest, dogmas and bigotry.

This particular esoteric knowledge can relieve man from separateness, turn him into a universal-minded being, into a man who will surpass racial discriminations, religious differences, social expediencies, prejudice and superstition but, most of all, surpass his own self-interest. Theosophist is the one who overcomes the differences rooted in races, nations, religions, languages, learning, poverty or riches. The Theosophist knows only too well that every soul is an infinitesimal spark of light shed from the very same universal cradle. Each spark-soul having been given its own will by the Heavenly Father, can use it sooner or later than its identical souls to awaken its potential spirituality. Spirituality means love, sacrifice, kindness, solidarity, altruism, compassion, unselfishness, understanding, tolerance and cooperation. All of these are meant to lead humanity to unity, universal cooperation and mutual support.

That message was given to our earth on November 17, 1875when the declaration of the Theosophical Movement was made; a date which marked the beginning of Universality along with all activities that encourage the co-existence of peoples and religions and rise above any religious, social and racial differences among humans.

The Modern Theosophical Movement is a reality, an ever-becoming acquiring flesh and blood in the current social, political, religious and personal developments.

It must also be stressed that Modern Theosophy does not claim either the exclusivity of its ideas or their application by introducing a specific dogma. What Modern Theosophy seeks to do is to help man realize his kinship with the rest of mankind and that each creed and aspect is nothing but a facet of the One and Only Reality. This, of course, forms in itself a new religion which aiming at man’s spiritual self- consciousness, accepts all the ways of worshipping and approaching the Divine.

Theosophy is vivid information for all world religions”, says H. Olcott, co-founder of the Theosophical Society. And, H.P.Blavatskysays this, in her Key to Theosophy:

 “Theosophy is the shoreless ocean of universal truth, love, and wisdom, reflecting its radiance on the earth, while the Theosophical Society is only a visible bubble on that reflection. Theosophy is divine nature, visible and invisible, and its Society human nature trying to ascend to its divine parent. … It was formed to assist in showing to men that such a thing as Theosophy exists, and to help them to ascend towards it by studying and assimilating its eternal verities.” [3]

According to H.P.Blavatsky and her collaborators, Henry Olcott and William Judge, the message of the Modern Theοsophical Movement was expressed in the following three fundamental propositions, pillars of the Theosophical Society:

1. To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color,

2. The study of ancient and modern religions, philosophies and sciences, and the demonstration of the importance of such study,           and

3. The investigation of the unexplained laws of Nature and the psychical powers latent in man.

Each proposition calls for special attention, contemplation and research. The first one, however, that pertains to “human brotherhood” as the foundation of the Theosophical teaching, requires really profound study. The researcher who sincerely wishes to comprehend life’s unity and, at the same time, embody it in his experience and behavior must make his indulgence in the Thesophical texts his main pursuit. Later on, having absorbed the esoteric teaching after profound study and meditation, he will be able to also understand the fullest meanings of all other teachings and perceive the unity of all manifestation in pluralism. Then, the student may further seek the development of his own latent powers as through knowledge and dedication to his goal he will have managed to master the sort of ethics that wisdom-knowledge empowered him with in a totally unbiased and peaceful way.

Apart from unfolding a theory, Theosophy is mainly a practical philosophy. Its daily practice renders one a real Theosophist. Modern Theosophy demands no special rituals but only the actual application of virtues as a code of life.

"Theosophy must not represent merely a collection of moral verities, a bundle of metaphysical Ethics epitomised in theoretical dissertations. Theosophy must be made practical, and has, therefore, to be disencumbered of useless discussion… It has to find objective expression in an all-embracing code of life thoroughly impregnated with its spirit – the spirit of mutual tolerance, charity and love.” [4]  

Notes:

1. The Key to Theosophy, chapter:. “The future of Theosophical Society”, p. 236

2. Letters from the Masters of Wisdom, Series I, Letter 19.

3. The Key to Theosophy , Chapter: ‘The Abstract and the Concrete”, p. 51

4. Blavatsky’s Collected Writings, VII, 169

 

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