Theosophical Encyclopedia

Druze

TE 7 Druze

Druze;Anglicized forms of Arabic Durüz). The name of a community of hill people that live in Southern Lebanon, Syria and Israel. The outstanding feature of these people has been their ability to preserve their closed culture and religious beliefs for a thousand years; never big in number (probably about 250,000), they have survived the Crusades and local persecution.

The Druzes permit no intermarriage or conversion to other faiths, nor do they admit any who are not born into the community. Most commentators suggest that the religion was first taught in Cairo, about 1017 CE, by a tribal chief named Hamza ibn ‘Ali ibn Ahmad and a follower named Darazi, from whom the Druzes derived their name. The Druzes believe that al-Hakim, as he was called, did not die, but vanished, and will one day return to begin a new golden age.

The Druze religion is kept secret from all outsiders and detailed descriptions are not available, but it appears that they have close affinity with early Gnosticism and teach reincarnation.

Read more: Druze

Manichaeism

TE 9 manichaeism

A Gnostic religion taught by Mani (also called Manes or Manichaeus) in the third century CE. Helena P. Blavatsky has suggested that the Manicheans were originally Samanas (Sramanas), who were Buddhist ascetics; she thus claims a distinct link between Manichaeism and Buddhism. Blavatsky considered that the fact that Manichaeism was more closely allied to Buddhism than to early Christianity was the root cause of the enmity which occurred between the two religions (CW X:67).

Mani held that true religion had been taught by many prophets such as Adam, Enoch, Buddha, Zoroaster and others, but that local conditions and language differences resulted in considerable corruption of the teachings. This point of view coincides with that held by many theosophists who have maintained that there is a golden thread of truth in all the major religions and these have a common origin.

Read more: Manichaeism

Sabaeans

TE 11 Sabaeans

Ancient blocks with Sabaean Inscription in Ethiopia

(Sabeans; Sabians). The name of two different groups of people. The first is a people that inhabited southern Arabia and modern Yemen, called Saba in Arabic, hence they are more properly called Sabaeans. The second is a group of Chaldean star worshippers, which is the one of main theosophical interest.

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Therapeutic Touch

TE 10 Therapeuthic Touch

A method of healing employing a knowledge of human energy fields. The system was developed by Dr. Dolores Krieger and Dora Van Gelder Kunz. Krieger was for many years head of the New York University’s School of Nursing, and Dora Van Gelder Kunz grew up with clairvoyant power which allowed her to see, with the aid of this faculty, areas of energy imbalance in the human body.

Read more: Therapeutic Touch

Tarot Cards

TE 8 Tarot Cards

Playing cards that are used either as a card game or for divination and character reading.

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Darkness

TE 6 Darkness

Darkness is the absence of light and light is caused by the presence of radiation in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Helena P. BLAVATSKY and other writers have, however, used the word “darkness” with more subtle implications.

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Chaos

TE 4 Chaos

A term found in Theosophical writings equivalent to Primordial Space or Akasa. In Greek mythology it refers to the “Great Deep” or “Abyss” in cosmogony. It is the pre-cosmic substance before the universe came into manifestation, equivalent to the MULAPRAKRTI of the Hindus, the BYTHOS of the Gnostics and the “Waters” of Genesis. The Oxford Dictionary defines chaos as “the formless void of primordial matter.” The word is now encountered in a number of different contexts and with different connotations. There is of course the common usage with the meaning “without order;” then there is the meaning ascribed to it in theosophical writings; finally, it has emerged in the expression “chaos theory” used in physics.

Read more: Chaos

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