Theosophy, what is it?

/Theosophy, what is it?
Theosophy, what is it?2018-12-08T13:44:09+00:00

Theosophy, what is it?

Aspasia Papadomichelaki


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

If you speak of THEOSOPHY”, H.P.Blavatsky says, “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]

Theosophy is Archaic Wisdom-Religion, Divine Wisdom. It is the esoteric doctrine once known in every ancient country having claims to civilization. This “Wisdom” all the old writings show us as an emanation of the Divine Principle. The clear comprehension of it is typified in such names as the Indian Buddha, the Babylonian Nebo, the Thoth of Memphis, the Hermes of Greece; in the appellations, also, of some goddesses – Metis, Athena, the Gnostic Sophia and finally – the Vedas, from the Sanskrit  root “vid” meaning “to know”. Under this designation, all the ancient philosophers of the East and West, the Hierophants of old Egypt, the Rishis of Aryavarta, the Theodidactoi of Greece, included all knowledge of things occult and essentially divine.”[ 2]

“Under the term “philosophy”, all masters of antiquity designated the aggregate of human and divine knowledge. The sages and Brahmans of India, the magi of Chaldea and Persia, the hierophants of Egypt and Arabia, the prophets of Judea and Israel, as well as the philosophers of Greece and Rome, have always classified that special science in two divisions – the esoteric or the true, and the exoteric.  It is Spiritual Knowledge reasoned and corroborated by personal experience from time immemorial. Diogenes Laertius traces Theosophy to an epoch antedating the dynasty of the Ptolemies and names as its founder an Egyptian Hierophant called Pot-Amun. But, in fact, it is much older: It is the parent stem of Archaic Wisdom. The Hindus called it Jnana-Vidya and Brahma-Vidya. The term was revived during the 3rd century A.D. by Ammonius Saccas, teacher of Plotinus and founder of the Eclectic Theosophical System.   It was the aim and purpose of Ammonius to reconcile all sects, peoples and nations under one common faith – a belief in one Supreme, Eternal, Unknown Power, governing the Universe by immutable and eternal laws. His object was:

-to prove a primitive system of Theosophy, which at the beginning was essentially alike in all countries;

-to induce all men to lay aside their strives and quarrels, and unite in purpose and thought as the children of one common mother;

to purify the ancient religions, by degrees corrupted and obscured, from all dross of human element, by uniting and expounding them upon pure philosophical principles.” [3]

Theosophy comprises universal KNOWLEDGE (GNOSIS) which Biblical chronology calls ante-deluvian. That Gnosis represents the aggregate of all the sciences, the accumulated knowledge of all the gods and demi-gods incarnated in former times upon earth. The revelation-rays occasionally sent forth from Ageless Theosophy 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 presented  at times in various locations and peoples.

This mystic tradition reaches us through a line of prophets, initiates and hierophants who, by means of a certain religion or occult teaching, convey to mankind all that humans ought to know to become more moral and more spiritual. Guardian of this secret Wisdom is the Spiritual Hierarchy, i.e. Spiritual Entities who, out of infinite compassion for mankind, renounce realms of spirituality and sheer beauty and remain in the realm of shadows in order to help with mankind’s spiritual development. It is specified as the Hierarchy of Compassion known in religions and national traditions as Archangels, Eloims, Amshaspends, Dhyani Chohans, Sons of the Sun, Sons of Light, Masters of Wisdom and Mahatmas. They are the Instructors of the, evolution-wise, infant humanity; Instructors to whom we are younger brothers.

Modern Theosophy is nothing but a ray-aspect of Divine Wisdom or Wisdom-Religion; it is also called Modern Theosophical Movement. The latter was presented to the Western world towards the last quarter of the 19th  century by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. She, herself, stated she was a link between the Hierarchy of Compassion and mankind and that behind her stood the two Masters of Wisdom, Morya and Koothoomi. She, also, confesses that behind all aspects of the Modern Theosophical Movement always stood its two invisible Inspirators and affirms that her writings were unfolding their very teachings.

The Modern Theosophical teaching was expounded through a number of texts written by H.P.Blavatsky and their titles are: “Isis Unveiled”, “The Secret Doctrine”, “The Key to Theosophy”, “The Voice of the Silence” and “The Collected Writings», a fifteen-volume compilation of  her articles.

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. It ignited metaphysical research and its best possible substantiation through science. People in the West came to learn that there exists the Eternal Law of Evolution which pushes every being to conquer spiritual perfection through self-willed choices and deeds.
Needless to say, such metaphysical perspective was not unheard-of on the planet. Every esoteric teaching and religion, so far presented, has disseminated some part of the transcendent Truth suitably adjusted to the given time and place.

In highlighting the One Monadic Principle as the primary cause of the phenomenal pluralism, Modern Theosophy uses comparative study of world religions and teachings to prove that behind and above every expression underlies a general uniting Principle, a common root and source for everything manifested.

To Theosophy, manifested Life is a continuous wave of Monads that emanate from the heart of Logos and drift on the various planes of Cosmos. While so doing, they acquire countless experiences and evolve accordingly, so as to get disentangled at some point from the veils of matter thanks to their individual efforts and to return, spiritually perfected, to the Heart of the One Principle where they started from. During the journey of the souls the younger and less experienced are supported and sustained by the spiritually riper ones. This 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  Modern 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 among humans and respect towards each and every species of life, be it of lower or higher evolutionary rank as to mankind. From the fundamental Uniting Principle of Life springs theosophical Ethics that inspires man with altruism, compassion and cooperativeness and dissuades him from separateness, personal interest, dogmas and bigotry.

This esoteric knowledge can relieve man from separateness, turn him into a universal-minded being, into a human being that will be able to surpass racial discriminations, religious differences, social expediencies, prejudice and superstition but, most of all, surpass his own egoism. Theosophist is the one who overcomes the differences owed to conflicts among 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. Every lighted spark-soul, through its own will allotted to it by the Divine Principle, 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 one whole, to universal cooperation and mutual support.

The above message, presented in New York on November 17, 1875, became the declaration of the Theosophical Movement; it marked the beginning of Universality and of all activities that encourage the co-existence of peoples and religions so they may rise above any religious, social and racial differences among them.
The Modern Theosophical Movement is a reality, an ever-becoming in flesh and blood for social, economic, political, religious and personal steps forward.

It must, also, be stressed that Modern Theosophy claims neither the exclusivity of its ideas nor their implementation by introducing a specific dogma. What Modern Theosophy seeks is to help man realize his kinship with the rest of mankind and that all creeds and aspects are nothing but a facet of the One and Only Truth. This, of course, forms in itself a new religion which, aiming at man’s spirituality, accepts all sorts of worshipping and approaching the Divine.

Theosophy is vivid information for all world religions”, says H. S. Olcott, co-founder of the Theosophical Society. And, H.P.Blavatsky says 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.” [4]

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

  1. The Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color,
  2. The study of ancient and modern religions, philosophies and sciences as well as demonstration of the importance of such study, and
  1. The investigation of the unexplained laws of Nature and of the psychical powers latent in man.

Each proposition calls for special study, attention and research. The first one, however, that pertains to “human brotherhood”, being the corner-stone of the Theosophical teaching, requires really profound study. To the researcher who sincerely wishes to comprehend the Unity of Life and embed it in his experience and behavior, the study of the Theosophical texts must become his main pursuit. Later on, having absorbed the esoteric teaching after deep study and meditation, he will be able to also understand the most profound meanings of all the other teachings and see in pluralism the unity of everything manifested. Then, the student may further seek to develop his own latent powers as through knowledge and dedication to the goal he will be in a position to master the sort of ethics that wisdom-knowledge will have empowered him with in an unbiased and peaceful way.

Apart from unfolding a theory, Theosophy is first and foremost a practical philosophy. Its daily implementation renders one a real Theosophist. It 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.” [5]  

The key message of Divine Wisdom touches our hearts with its “brotherhood of all beings, not only human beings.” Theosophy is the open loving embrace ever ready to accept all humans regardless of race, color, religion; rich and poor alike; because Theosophy is divine knowledge, esoteric science and the creed upon which every single religion has been founded. It is the ally of all true religions. Religion is the bond of love that unites not only human beings but the whole of universal Life into a grand aggregate. Being the proof in actu of the truths that underlie all dogmas, Theosophy can co-exist with any religion. 

Theosophy can be practiced by Christians and No-Christians, by Agnostics and Atheists, alike. Its knowledge releases streams of sympathy, mutual help, tolerance and co-existence. It is the tool that extinguishes and eradicates antagonism, self-interest and all sorts of bigotry.

No matter what it is called and how it is presented in the West or the East; no matter what it was called in the past, what it is called nowadays and what it may be called in the future, it has been and will remain Ariadne’s ever-present thread that will liberate the prisoner from the labyrinth of matter i.e. egocentrism, passions, physical senses and that will show him the way to the Eternal Light.

Notes:

  1. H.P.Blavatsky: The Key to Theosophy, chapter:. “The future of the Theosophical Society”
  2. Theosophy, Inner Wisdom, by Ch. Bartzokas: philaletheians@yahoo.com.co.uk
  3. Theosophy, Inner Wisdom, by Ch. Bartzokas
  4. The Key to Theosophy , Chapter: ‘The Abstract and the Concrete”
  5. Blavatsky’s Collected Writings, VII, 169