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Re: Theos-World & Swedenborg -- Scope of Theosophical work and Research

Mar 21, 1998 06:53 AM
by Dallas TenBroeck

March 21st 1998

Dallas TenBroeck writes:

Dear Jeff Needle:

The original Theosophical Society was first organized in New York on
November 17th 1875.  By 1880 its work and ideas had spread abroad to
Europe and Asia.  These were largely fueled by Mme. Blavatsky's
articles and the writing of ISIS UNVEILED, in which several world
scholars collaborated to assemble those facts which could draw the
attention of individuals who were seeking for the basis of thought
and study that all philosophies and religions indicated was unified
at their base and root.

As to the original Theosophical Society:  It was organized to work as
a non-dogmatic, non-sectarian forum, where persons from any religion,
race, sect, or persuasion could gather and discuss ideas (whether
religious or scientific) which enlarged the perception of the
development of man's thought, and knowledge of his nature, origins,
purpose, future and the innate powers of thought and sensation that
he/she had.

The original Theosophical Society had 3 Objects:

Its first object was to establish a nucleus for a brotherhood of
humanity -- a novel idea in those days, which gained gradual
acceptance, and over the past 120 years has gained general acceptance
among all persons of goodwill.

The other two objects were:   2.  To research ancient literature with
the object of verifying the concept that all religions had the same
basic mythology and lore, and taught in general the same
ethics/morality.  The 3rd. Object was to investigate ( not to
practice or dabble in) the unexplained laws of nature and the
psychical faculties latent in all humans.  In other words, to become
more familiar with our innate abilities in the realm of the
mind/thought, and the feeling/desire nature we all possess.  The
reason practice was not emphasized was that  psychic powers had
tremendous force and could prove dangerous if used or investigated
without adequate knowledge, so that they could be carefully

To make this clearer Mme. Blavatsky, who was the prime focus through
whom the wisdom that has been named "Theosophical" wrote many
articles and books during the succeeding 16 years till her death in

Among these are:

THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY -- which affords an over-view of Theosophical
philosophy and work as well as answering most of the important
questions concerning the constitution of man's psychic and mental
nature, and, the objects in practice of theosophical philosophy.

THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE-- which affords a view of the principles of
living which a practice of theosophical ideas would suggest to one
who became interested in the deeper aspects of its philosophy.

ISIS UNVEILED, which was written, largely based on the "Three
Objects" of the Theosophical Society, with a view to making available
to the membership information drawn from classical literature -- that
which reinforces the ideas of brotherhood, the unity of religions and
philosophical thought, and the powers of thought and feeling that are
latent in every human, and which need to be understood if potential
is to be translated by them into actual usage and sure direction.

THE SECRET DOCTRINE  --  this gives an over-view of the records of
history that have been preserved by the Lodge of the Great Adepts
(Individuals whose work in the past has moved national and racial
beliefs and from which all the world-religions have been derived).
This work gives a view of cosmology and the derivation of the Earth
and the Universe from the general urge to evolution.  The 2nd volume
covers the evolution of Mankind from three points of view:  1.  the
"spiritual,"  2.  the intellectual (or mental), and 3.  the physical
evolution of the form that man (as intelligence) uses.  [ It
considers the question of fossils and the interpretation of their
antiquity and derivation, etc.. and reviews the hypotheses that were
current in her time. ]

To assist in spreading a knowledge of Theosophy several magazines
were published:

THE THEOSOPHIST, published in India beginning October 1879....This
was edited in collaboration with Col. H.S. Olcott, President of the
T.S. for the first 10 volumes.

HPB moved in 1885 to Europe and conducted work for the T S there.
And she published:

LUCIFER, published in London, beginning 1887, and edited by HPB till
her death in 1891.

THE PATH, edited by HPB's closest friend and pupil:  Mr. Wm. q.
Judge, in New York, beginning in 1876 and which he continually edited
till his death in 1896.  Thanks to his unremitting work and the
assistance of many others, the membership in America grew to over
5,000 by 1896 with over 300 active branches.  He also wrote many
articles of value and some brief books which give a newcomer an
introduction to the scope of Theosophy.

THE BHAGAVAD GITA & Notes thereon
THE YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI - A key to man's true psychology.

These should be mentioned because of their value to the modern

These three magazines contain most of the important articles written
by H.P.B. (as Mme. Blavatsky is usually called) and taken together
this represents the bulk of the original teachings of Theosophy.

Since then, students have added what they consider to be
supplementary findings and concepts.  But, to be considered accurate
and valuable, those need to be carefully compared with the original
teachings of theosophy by Mme. Blavatsky for continuity and accuracy.
 It will be found that the original teachings form a unified system.
Later theories and writings do not always conform to the scope that
is placed on the horizon of thought by Mme. Blavatsky, writing as
Agent for the Great Lodge of Adepts.

I mention these books and magazines to you from the outset as they
give you a view of the ideas on which the theosophical societies, and
students of theosophical ideas have come together to share the fruit
of their studies and inquiries.

If you should be interested in the actual history of Theosophy there
is in print:


This book is written and based on documents that indicate the flow of
events since 1875.

If I can be of more help, please write.		Best wishes,	Dallas


| From: Jerry Hejka-Ekins <>
| To:
| Subject: Re: Theos-World Swedenbor
| Date: Friday, March 20, 1998 6:45 PM
| The group was in London, and poet William Blake was a member.
| jhe
| Jeff Needle wrote:
| > > Dear Jeff,
| > >
| > > Yes, Swedenborg is considered a "theosophist" in the 18th
| > > meaning of that word. After Swedenborg's death, his followers
formed an
| > > organization dedicated to the study of his writings.  The
| > > was called "The Theosophical Society."  sometime before 1825,
it was
| > > re-organized into today's Swedenborgian Church.  Of course,
there is no
| > > organizational connection between this and the Theosophical
Society that
| > > was founded by Blavatsky, Olcott, Judge and others in 1875.
| > >
| > > jhe
| > >
| > Very interesting!  Another bit of information that I'm glad to
| > have.
| >
| > Do you happen to know where "The Theosophical Society" was
| > organized?  Was it here in the US, was it in the UK?
| >
| > Thanks so much.
| >
| > ... nfx v3.1
| >
| > -- THEOSOPHY WORLD -- Theosophical Talk --
| >
| > Letters to the Editors, and discussion of theosophical ideas and
| > teachings. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message consisting
| > "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" to
| -- THEOSOPHY WORLD -- Theosophical Talk --
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