Re: Theosophy (Bee)
Jul 07, 1996 09:27 PM
by Maxim Osinovsky
On Sun, 7 Jul 1996, Bee Brown wrote:
> please something concise but meaningful :-)
Welcome to the Kafkaesque but addictive world of online theosophy.
Here are some bits and pieces for you. WARNING: Not for a general
discussion. No response please.
Theosophy is one of the existing systems of theoretical and practical
spirituality, i.e. it is a system of thought that is based on the belief
that beyond the well known material world there is an immaterial world
that may be accessed by anyone who would be willing to undertake the
So theosophy is in the same boat as many, many other systems both
religious (Christianity, ...) and not exactly religious (like
Southern Buddhism, Raja Yoga or thanspersonal psychology). What makes it
different is this:
1. It claims that it reconciles all known religions and spiritual
philosophies, so the word 'theosophy' may be loosely translated from
Greek as "the Wisdom-Religion.' It is stated that it 'was the universally
diffused religion of the ancient and prehistoric world,' has been lost or
corrupted since then, and has recently reemerged in its pristine form.
2. It claims that it relies on the living tradition having being
preserved and carried through millenia by a community of fully
enlightened people, known as adepts or Masters.
(Unfortunately, it is in fact what MADE it different in the past. Now one
find on the spiritual supermarket other teachings that claim having same
features--e.g. Mark and Elisabeth Prophet's books, Sri Bhagavan
Rajneesh's literary output, Donov and Aivanhov's teachings--so that it is
not so easy anymore to explain or prove why theosophy is different without
going into lengthy discussion.)
Theasophical Society has been created to promote and support study and
practice of theosophy. Its history is highlighted in Chuck's brilliant
FAQs; if you need something meaningful but not necessary cute, you may
wish to slightly rehash Chuck's input. Three well-known objectives of
1. to form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood. -- Hmmm... not even in
sight... (I hesitate to cite this discussion group as a standard of
2. to encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy,
and science. -- Again, I hesitate to offer a progress report on this
since there is no progress in sight made by theosophists. It
looks like theosophists are not known for their contribution into the
above areas of study.
3. to investigate unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in
human beings. -- Something is being done along these lines, but there is
no definitive progress, so it would be difficult to impress a skeptical
Besides that, theosophy--as it exists now--is too heavy on speculation
and very weak on practical training. I would even say that specifically
theosophical practices hardly exist.
So in virtually all respects the theosophical movement has failed to
keep its promise. Nevertheless, H.P.Blavatsky has been able to prepare
the ground for INDIVIDUAL study and practice of theosophy, and many people
who remained faithful to the original ideas have profited from her teachings.
So it looks like the only reliable point of entry into theosophy is
H.P.B.'s works--not just The Secret Doctrine or Isis Unveiled, but THE
ENTIRE CORPUS OF HER WORKS:
1. Collected Writings in 14 vols., including her articles and esoteric
2. Isis Unveiled (the best edition has been published as a part of
Blavattsky's Collected Writings series),
3. The Secret Doctrine (same series),
4. Other works: The Key to Theosophy, From the Caves and Jungles of
Other primary sources, perhaps more authoritative than H.P.B.'s
1. Mahatma Letters to Sinnett,
2. The Voice of Silence,
3. The light on the Path.
Some books of Annie Besant (but not C.W.Leadbeater--God forbid) may serve
as a useful INTRODUCTION to theosophy, but they are no substitute for the
So my best suggestion is this: explain to anyone curious about theosophy
basic ideas and (unfulfilled) promises of theosophy, and then recommend
to try and study the primary sources. After all people spend many years
studying such boring subjects as math, so anyone concerned about the
meaning of life and such SHOULD put enough time and energy into what's
immeasurably more important.
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- From: Bee Brown <email@example.com>
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application