The Secret Doctrine, Brotherhood and the TS
Sep 04, 1999 12:33 PM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck
Aug 29th 1999
RE Brotherhood, the TS and its origin and the 1st Object and the SD
First Object: Brotherhood
Mme. Blavatsky came to America in 1873. She had been sent there by
her Master who desired that a first effort be started there.
As a preliminary to the presentation of THE SECRET DOCTRINE, (the
Text-Book of the 20th Century) a number of steps are to be noticed.
Spiritualism had opened men's minds to the fact that within the
physical form there were forces at play which physical relationships
did not explain. Mme. Blavatsky met Col. Olcott and a number of
articles were sent to the press on spiritualism, etc. Theosophy was
to explain the facts of spiritualism and the occult laws in Nature
that lay behind them.
In the autumn of 1875 the formation of the Theosophical Society was
arranged and it was inaugurated November 17th 1875 in New York. Col.
H. S. Olcott was President. Mme. Blavatsky was Corresponding
Secretary, Mr. Wm. Q, Judge was Counsel. These alone of the seventeen
original members continued the work of the TS through thick and thin
till their death.
ISIS UNVEILED was written by HPB with the help of the Masters who
contributed many pages. The editing was assisted in by Col. Olcott,
Mr. Judge and others. It was issued in 1877 and was an immediate
success, so that several printings were made until the original plates
were worn out.
One of the earliest statements we can find on the Objects of the
Theosophical Movement is that of January 20th 1977 by Mme. Blavatsky:
"…the object of the Theosophical Society is the cleansing of spiritual
truth." [ Modern Panarion, p. 145 A SOCIETY WITHOUT A DOGMA. ]
In May 1878, a circular concerning the Theosophical Society was
printed in which Col. Olcott said this portion was written by Mme.
"As the highest development, physically and spiritually, on earth of
the Creative Cause, man should aim to solve the mystery of his being.
He is the procreator of his species, physically, and having inherited
the nature of the unknown but palpable Cause of his own creation, must
possess in his inner, psychical self, this creative power in lesser
degree. He should therefore, study to develop his latent powers, and
inform himself respecting the laws of magnetism, electricity and all
other forms of force, whether of the seen or unseen universes.
The Society teaches and expects its fellows to personally exemplify
the highest morality and religious aspiration; to oppose the
materialism of science and every form of dogmatic theology, especially
the Christian, which the Chiefs of the Society regard as particularly
pernicious; to make known among Western nations the long-suppressed
facts about Oriental religions philosophies, their ethics, chronology,
esotericism, symbolism; to counteract, as far as possible, the
efforts of missionaries to delude the so-called "Heathen" and "Pagans"
as to the real origins and dogmas of Christianity and the practical
effects of the latter upon public and private character in so-called
civilized countries; to disseminate a knowledge of the sublime
teachings of that pure esoteric system of the archaic period, which
are mirrored in the oldest Vedas, and in the philosophy of Gautama
Buddha, Zoroaster and Confucius; finally and chiefly, to aid in the
institution of a Brotherhood of Humanity, wherein all good and pure
men, of every race, shall recognize each other as the equal effects
(upon this planet) of one Uncreate, Universal, Infinite, and
Everlasting Cause." [Blavatsky, COLLECTED WORKS, Vol. 1, p. 377.]
The magazine THEOSOPHIST was started in October 1879 in Bombay, India
and a great number of very significant articles appeared in its pages
which supplemented the statements and teachings of Occultism found in
It became clear that a rewriting and enlarging of ISIS was needed.
Mme. Blavatsky announced the writing of THE SECRET DOCTRINE. It was
contemplated to be issued serially, but it was not issued except as a
book in 1888.
In the meantime Mme. Blavatsky had moved to London, and the magazine
LUCIFER was brought into publication starting in 1887.
A number of important magazine articles first published in THEOSOPHIST
and LUCIFER will be found to bridge the information gap between ISIS
UNVEILED and THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
ISIS had been an important review and catalog of occultism in history
and in the contemporary the world. The SECRET DOCTRINE exposed,
summarized and reviewed the history of Cosmic and Human evolution, as
recorded in the secret books maintained by the occult fraternity of
In 1889 Mme. Blavatsky issued THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, it being a clear
exposition in the form of question and answer of the Ethics, Science
and Philosophy for the study of which the Theosophical T.S. has been
founded. In chapter 2 she states the "Objects" of the theosophical
"1. To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity,
without distinction of race, colour or creed. 2. To promote the
study of Aryan and other Scriptures, of the World's religion and
sciences, and to vindicate the importance of old Asiatic literature,
namely of the Brahmanical, Buddhist, and Zoroastrian philosophies. 3.
To investigate the hidden mysteries of Nature under every aspect
possible, and the psychic and spiritual powers latent in man
especially." [ THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, p. 39, 1889, 1st Edition. ]
Of the first all will concede the value of the noblest title: the
Universal Brotherhood of Humanity. The Great Master is recorded as
having said: "he who does not feel competent enough to grasp the
noble idea sufficiently to work for it, need not consider a task too
heavy for him." Following his Chief, the Mahatma K.H. said that the
first object was Philanthropy. "the true Theosophist is a
philanthropist-"not for himself but for the world he lives." This,
and philosophy, the right comprehension of life and its mysteries will
give the "necessary basis" and show the right path to pursue."
In another place the Mahatma K.H. said: "Theosophy is no new
candidate for the world's attention, but only the restatement of
principles which have been recognized from the very infancy of
mankind. This historic sequence ought to be succinctly, yet
graphically traced through the successive evolutions of philosophical
schools, and illustrated with accounts of the experimental
demonstrations of occult power ascribed to various thaumaturgists.
The alternate breakings-out, and subsidences of mystical phenomena, as
well as their shiftings from one centre to another of population, show
the conflicting play of the opposing forces of spirituality and
animalism…The only problem to solve is the practical one, of how best
to promote the necessary study." In ISIS UNVEILED, and eleven years
later, in THE SECRET DOCTRINE, the student will find such evidence.
But how is this to be developed ? Again the Mahatma offers: "If the
psychic idiosyncracy is lacking, no culture will supply it…All you can
do is to prepare the intellect: the impulse toward "soul-culture"
must be furnished by the individual."
Writing to his correspondent, the Mahatma M. explained: "If you
cannot be happy without phenomena you will never learn our philosophy.
If you want healthy, philosophical thought, and can be satisfied with
such--let us correspond. I tell you a profound truth in saying that if
you…but choose wisdom all other things will be added unto it--in time.
It adds no force to our metaphysical truths that our letters are
dropped from space on to your lap of come under your pillow. If our
philosophy is wrong a wonder will not set it right. Put that
conviction into your consciousness and let us talk like sensible men.
Why should we play with Jack-in-the-box; are not our beards grown?"
And reinforcing that which Mahatma M. said, the Mahatma K.H. adds:
"It is not physical phenomena that will ever bring conviction to the
hearts of the unbelievers in the 'Brotherhood' but rather phenomena of
intellectuality, philosophy and logic, if I may so express it."
Writing to a friend, H.P.B. said: "I do not believe in the success of
the - - - T.S unless you assimilate Master or myself; unless you work
with me and THEM, hand in hand, heart … Yes; let him who offers
himself to Masters as a chela, unreservedly … let him do what he can
if he would ever see Them… H.P.B. is an old, rotten, sick, worn-out
body, but it is the best I can have in this cycle. Hence follow the
path I show, the Masters that are behind-and do not follow me or my
Toward the end of the KEY TO THEOSOPHY, H.P.B. devoted many pages to
the "practical" aspect of Theosophy. On page 233 we find the
"Enquirer" asking her" "How then, should Theosophical principles be
applied so that social co-operation may be promoted and true efforts
for social amelioration be carried on?"
To this H.P.B. answered, as the "Theosophist:" "Let me briefly remind
you what these principles are---universal Unity and Causation; Human
Solidarity; the Law of Karma; Reincarnation. These are the four
links of the golden chain which should bind humanity into one family,
one universal Brotherhood."
"The Chiefs want a "Brotherhood of Humanity," a real Universal
Fraternity started; an institution which would make itself known
throughout the world and arrest the attention of the highest minds."
Mahatma K.H. [ ML. 24 ]
The SECRET DOCTRINE supplies the metaphysical reasons for, and the
proof of, a universal brotherhood, spiritual, intellectual and
physical. This is what HPB referred to in the SD (vol. 1, p. 181)
where she defines the three lines of Evolution.
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Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application