Re: THEOS-L digest 913
Feb 17, 1997 11:08 AM
In a message dated 97-02-16 22:13:36 EST, you write:
<< My definition of Theosophy is intended to include all of the
doctrines generated by the TS, its schisms and Organizations
inspired by those doctrines. But it excludes theosophy as
understood by the seventeenth century philosophers. Antone
Faivre in his recent book, ACCESS TO WESTERN ESOTERICISM,
separates the two, because theosophy has its roots in the Greco-
Egyptian world, where Theosophy syncretises this with Eastern
philosophy and religion. I agree with this. >>
An added thought.........
How old is theosophy?. Here is what St. Paul has to say about it in his first
letter to the folks at Corinth.
"But we speak the wisdom (theos) of God (sophia) in a mystery, a wisdom which
God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age
understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of
glory. But, as it is written: ‘No eye hath seen, nor ear heard: neither hath
it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for those
that love him' but to us God hath revealed them by his Spirit. For the Spirit
searcheth all things, yea, even the deep things of God." - 1 Cor 2:7-10
Here we can understand esoterically that the "Spirit" is Atma which reveals
the Divine Wisdom or the Wisdom of God to man (manas).
This experience is echoed by Jacob Boehme who says:"Nor have I ascended into
heaven, nor have I seen all the works and creations of God, but heaven has
revealed itself within my spirit in such a way that I there recognize the
divine works and creations. By my own powers I am as blind as the next man,
but through the spirit of God, my own inborn spirit pierces all things..."
Here's a quote from St. Maximos the Confessor (580-662 A.D.)
"By contemplating that diversity, who will not perceive that the single Logos
is a multitude of logoi...and, conversely, the multitude is one in the
universal return towards Him?"
Sounds pretty theosophical too me.
When Plotinus was dying from cancer of throat, he greeted a friend with the
words, "I was waiting for you, before the divine in me joins the divine in
the universe". Sounds pretty much like the namascar greeting in India,
My point is, I feel that theosophists in general are negligent in acquainting
themselves with the antecedents of so-called "modern theosophy". Theosophy
did not originate with HPB as she herself acknowledges in The Key to
If one is interested in a survey of theosophy through the centuries, I would
recommend the following:
TheoSophia by Arthur Versluis, (Lindisfarne Press, 1994. ISBN 0-940262-64-9)
Ancient Landmarks - reprinted articles from THEOSOPHY magazine, U.L.T.
Great Theosophists - reprinted articles from THEOSOPHY magazine, U.L.T.
For specific authors, I would try for a start - Six Theosophic Points by
Jacob Boehme, first published 1620 (reprint - Ann Arbor Paperbacks, 1980 -
Theosophia Practica (7 volumes) by Johann Gitchel published in Amsterdam in
1721 and republished in Paris by the Bibliotheque Rosicrucienne in 1897. It
was from here that C.W. Leadbeater reproduced Gitchel's diagram of the
chakras in his own work on the same subject.
I would also recommend any of the works by Rene Guenon.
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