Jan 30, 1996 04:33 PM
The Key to Theosophy
Dedicated by "H.P.B." To all her Pupils,
That They may Learn and Teach in their turn.
A Clear Exposition
in the Form of Question and Answer
of the Ethics, Science, and Philosophy
for the Study of Which
The Theosophical Society has been Founded.
First Published 1889.
Preface to the First Edition
THE PURPOSE OF THIS BOOK is exactly expressed in its title, The
Key to Theosophy,
and needs but few words of explanation. It is not a complete or
exhaustive textbook of Theosophy,
but only a key to unlock the door that leads to the deeper study. It
traces the broad outlines of the
Wisdom-Religion, and explains its fundamental principles; meeting, at
the same time, the various
objections raised by the average Western inquirer, and endeavoring to
present unfamiliar concepts
in a form as simple and in language as clear as possible. That it should
succeed in making
Theosophy intelligible without mental effort on the part of the reader,
would be too much to expect;
but it is hoped that the obscurity still left is of the thought and not
of the language, is due to depth
and not to confusion. To the mentally lazy or obtuse, Theosophy must
remain a riddle; for in the
world mental as in the world spiritual each man must progress by his own
efforts. The writer cannot
do the reader's thinking for him, nor would the latter be any the better
off if such vicarious thought
were possible. The need for such an exposition as the present has long
been felt among those
interested in the Theosophical Society and its work, and it is hoped
that it will supply information, as
free as possible from technicalities, to many whose attention has been
awakened, but who, as yet,
are merely puzzled and not convinced.
Some care has been taken in disentangling some part of what is
true from what is false in
Spiritualistic teachings as to the postmortem life, and to showing the
true nature of Spiritualistic
phenomena Previous explanations of a similar kind have drawn much wrath
upon the writer's
devoted head; the Spiritualists, like too many others, preferring to
believe what is pleasant rather
than what is true, and becoming very angry with anyone who destroys an
agreeable delusion. For
the past year Theosophy has been the target for every poisoned arrow of
Spiritualism, as though
the possessors of a half truth felt more antagonism to the possessors of
the whole truth than those
who had no share to boast of.
Very hearty thanks are due from the author to many Theosophists
who have sent
suggestions and questions, or have otherwise contributed help during the
writing of this book. The
work will be the more useful for their aid, and that will be their best
Theosophy and The Theosophical Society
The Meaning of the Name
The Policy of the Theosophical Society
The Wisdom-Religion, Esoteric in All Ages
Theosophy is Not Buddhism
Exoteric and Esoteric Theosophy
What the Modern Theosophical Society is Not
Theosophists and Members of the T.S.
The Difference Between Theosophy and Occultism
The Difference Between Theosophy and Spiritualism
Why is Theosophy Accepted?
The Working System of the T.S.
The Objects of the Society
The Common Origin of Man
Our Other Objects
On the Sacredness of the Pledge
The Relations of the T.S. to Theosophy
The Abstract and the Concrete
The Fundamental Teachings of Theosophy
On God and Prayer
Is it Necessary to Pray?
Prayer Kills Self-Reliance
On the Source of the Human Soul
The Buddhist Teachings on the Above
Theosophical Teachings as to Nature and Man
The Unity of All in All
Evolution and Illusion
On The Septenary Constitution of Our Planet
The Septenary Nature of Man
The Distinction Between Soul and Spirit
The Greek Teachings
On the Various Postmortem States
The Physical and the Spiritual Man
On Eternal Reward and Punishment, and on Nirvana
On the Various Principles in Man
On Reincarnation or Rebirth
What is Memory According to Theosophical Teaching?
Why Do We Not Remember Our Past Lives?
On Individuality and Personality
On the Reward and Punishment of the Ego
On the Kamaloka and Devachan
On the Fate of the Lower Principles
Why Theosophists Do Not Believe in the Return of Pure "Spirits"
A Few Words About the Skandhas
On Postmortem and Postnatal Consciousness
What is Really Meant by Annihilation
Definite Words for Definite Things
On the Nature of Our Thinking Principle
The Mystery of the Ego
The Complex Nature of Manas
The Doctrine is Taught in St. John's Gospel
On the Mysteries of Reincarnation
What is Karma?
Who Are Those Who Know?
The Difference Between Faith and Knowledge, Or Blind and Reasoned
Has God the Right to Forgive?
What is Practical Theosophy?
The Relations of the T.S. to Political Reforms
Theosophy for the Masses
How Members Can Help the Society
What a Theosophist Ought Not to Do
On the Misconceptions About the T.S.
Theosophy and Asceticism
Theosophy and Marriage
Theosophy and Education
Why Then is There So Much Prejudice Against the T.S.?
Is the Theosophical Society A Money-Making Concern?
The Working Staff of the T.S.
The "Theosophical Mahatmas"
Are They "Spirits of Light" or "Goblins Damned"?
The Abuse of Sacred Names and Terms
The Future of the Theosophical Society
The Theosophical Society: Information for Inquirers
The Legal Status of the Theosophical Society
Uploaded by Alan Bain
Member, Theosophy International.
Member, Human Race. Lurker, Theos-NZ
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Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application