Theosophy

Madame Blavatsky and the Seven Archival Mysteries – part one

Leslie Price – England

Theosophy a 2 Madame Blavatsky and the Seven Archival Mysteries
The author Leslie Price

[This text, written by Leslie Price in September 2014, has been extensively revised by the editor, John Algeo; any remaining or newly introduced errors are therefore his responsibility.]

Madame Blavatsky (HPB), one of the founders of the Theosophical Society in New York in 1875, was and is controversial. And not least of the mysteries around her is a set of archival mysteries. One might argue that only by solving these archival mysteries, can we understand the greater mystery of the Old Lady herself.

Read more: Madame Blavatsky and the Seven Archival Mysteries – part one

Theosophy, Esoteric School of, by H. P. Blavatsky

Theosophy Esoteric School of 2

[from E.S. Instruction No. 1, Collected Writings 12:537-538]

To close this first Instruction let me say that those who have honored me with their confidence by taking the pledge must in all necessity be separated into two broad divisions; those who have not quite rid themselves of the usual sceptical doubts, but who long to ascertain how much truth there may be in the claims of the Occultist; and those others who, having freed themselves from the trammels of materialism and relativity, feel that true and real bliss must be sought only in the knowledge and personal experience of that which the Hindu philosopher calls the Brahma-Vidyā , and the Buddhist Arhat the realization of Ā di-budha, the primeval Wisdom. 

Read more: Theosophy, Esoteric School of, by H. P. Blavatsky

Karma as Habit of Nature

Boris de Zirkoff – USA

THEOSOPHIA

A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXXVII

No. 3 (165) - Winter 1980-1981

Theosophy Karma 2 as Habit of Nature - BdZ

[Original cover photo: Klingenstock seen from Stoos (Schwyz), Switzerland.]

Human karma is born within man himself, we are its creators and generators, and suffer from it or are clarified through it by our own previous action. But what is this habit in itself ... this inveterate primordial habit of nature which makes it react to an arousing cause? What is this habit in itself?

Read more: Karma as Habit of Nature

In The Light Of Theosophy

[This article appeared in the September 2014 issue of The Theosophical Movement. For more articles published in this excellent magazine follow this link:

http://www.ultindia.org/previous_issues.html ]

Theosophy IN THE LIGHT OF THEOSOPHY 2

The words “Hindu” and “Hinduism” mean different things to different people. For the Rashtriya Seva Sangh (RSS) chief, Mohan Bhagwat, all those who live in Hindustan are Hindus. For RSS activist Dinanath Batra, Hindu is a crusading word, evoking a campaign against Macaulayite secularists who have monopolized Indian thought and education. The word “Hindu” denotes the opposite of the rootless and the westernised. Sangh activists like Batra believe that it is their dharma (duty) to restore Hindu sanskriti (culture) to the school curriculum. After thousands of years of globalization, how shall we define “Indian” and “western”? Amartya Sen pertinently asks, “Does the use of penicillin amount to westernization? Is tea non-Indian because it was brought to India by the British?”

Read more: In The Light Of Theosophy

Human Regeneration — part five

Radha Burnier – India 

Theosophy Human Regeneration b Part five
Radha Burnier at home and the cat

[Recognizing regeneration as the kernel of all Theosophical work, the International Theosophical Centre at Naarden, the Netherlands, jointly with the Federation of Theosophical Societies in Europe, organized two seminars in July 1990, with a number of office-bearers, workers and members of the Society from different countries as participants. Proceedings of the seminar were published as a book under the title Human Regeneration: Lectures and Discussion (Amsterdam: Uitgeverij der Theosofische Vereniging in Nederland, 1990). This chapter is here slightly revised.]

Read more: Human Regeneration — part five

Cleansing the mind

From a student

[The magazine Vidya http://www.theosophysb.org/site/publications.html , edited by associates of the United Lodge of Theosophists in Santa Barbara, USA, published the following article in its spring 2012 issue; here slightly revised.]

For mind is like a mirror; it gathers dust while it reflects. It needs the gentle breezes of Soul-wisdom to brush away the dust of our illusions. Seek, 0 Beginner to blend thy Mind and Soul.” The Voice of the Silence.

Read more: Cleansing the mind

Western History in the Light of the Seven Rays

 John Algeo – USA

Theosophy Western History 2  seven-rays 

Introduction. The West can be viewed, not as a geographical area, but rather as a cultural complex, consisting of Europe and other places around the globe that derive their culture from that continent. Those places include the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other localities whose primary culture comes directly or indirectly from Europe. History, in turn, can be seen, not as merely a series of political, military, or economic events, but rather as a sequence of interrelated major cultural movements. History in this sense is less a matter of actions than of the mind – intellectual history. From such a combined standpoint, the history of the West can be perceived as seven major cultural movements that succeed one another in time, each having one of the seven Rays dominant in it. Other important movements certainly have existed, but the seven considered here are notable for their correlation with the theory of the seven Rays.

Read more: Western History in the Light of the Seven Rays

Voice of the Silence 14 (verses 196-214)

John Algeo – USA

Theosophy The Voice 2

We now begin the third and last fragment of The Voice of the Silence, entitled “The Seven Portals.” The dominant metaphor of this fragment is that of passing seven gates or doors on the spiritual path. Although referred to earlier, that metaphor becomes the primary subject of this last fragment.

Read more: Voice of the Silence 14 (verses 196-214)

L. Frank Baum and Theosophy — part four

John Algeo – USA

Now, to consider Frank Baum and his connection with Theosophy and the Society:

Baum’s mother-in-law, Matilda Joslyn Gage, was an early worker for women’s suffrage and a member of the Theosophical Society, who was a major influence on Baum’s life (see http://www.matildajoslyngage.org/gage-home/baumoz-family-room ).

Theosophy L2
Matilda Joselyn Gage

Her influence brought both her daughter, Maud Gage, and her son-in-law, Frank, into membership in the Theosophical Society in 1892, when they joined the Ramayana Theosophical Society in Chicago. (See “A Notable Theosophist: L. Frank Baum.” American Theosophist 74.8 [August-September 1986]: 270-73.)

Read more: L. Frank Baum and Theosophy — part four

The Rising Tide Of Change

Boris de Zirkoff – USA

THEOSOPHIA

A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume XXXVI

No. 4 (162) - Spring 1980

Theosophy Boris de Zirkoff 2
Original cover photo (1980) on the magazine: Radiant Winter Day, Near Davos Switzerland.

In the midst of the mighty struggle that is taking place in the outer world between right and wrong, between the call of a noble duty to mankind and the lure of selfishness and greed, perennial ideals of the spiritual life stand out in ever greater glory when projected against the somber clouds of hatred, callous cruelty and violence.

Read more: The Rising Tide Of Change

Human Regeneration – part four

Our approach to Theosophy

Radha Burnier – India

Theosophy Human 2
Radha Burnier during the World Congress in Rome, 2010

[Recognizing regeneration as the kernel of all Theosophical work, the International Theosophical Centre at Naarden, the Netherlands, jointly with the Federation of Theosophical Societies in Europe, organized two seminars in July 1990, with a number of office-bearers, workers and members of the Society from different countries as participants. Proceedings of the seminar were published as a book under the title Human Regeneration: Lectures and Discussion (Amsterdam: Uitgeverij der Theosofische Vereniging in Nederland, 1990). This chapter is here slightly revised.]

We have been considering two important things: first, universal brotherhood without distinctions, which is a state of consciousness with very profound implications, and second, the crucial importance of perceiving truth, for awareness of truth makes the whole of one’s life, every relationship, different. If we become aware, not only of the form and appearance of things, but of their real, inner nature, then there is love; we care for and look after everything. If you see the meaning and beauty of a flower, you are tender with it. When one does not see, or sees only an object that varies according to momentary desires and conditioning, then one is capable of being destructive, creating chaos. So the quest for truth is not remote and abstract. It is the most practical of endeavors.

Read more: Human Regeneration – part four

Buddhi — Reflection of Atman

From a Student

[The magazine Vidya (http://www.theosophysb.org/site/publications.html , edited by associates of the United Lodge of Theosophists in Santa Barbara, USA, published the following article in its winter 2013 issue; here slightly revised.]

Theosophy Buddhi 2

An effort to understand buddhias a reflection of atmanrequires us to consider the second principle of human nature in Theosophical teaching. In the sevenfold scheme of human evolution and the human principles, the first principle, atman, is the universal Self, the true undifferentiated Self of everyone. The light of that Self is reflected in the second principle, buddhi, the first of the principles in the plane of what we might call some form of primordial matter. If we look at the field of material existence and the knower of the field, as they are called in the Bhagavad Gita, all of the principles below atman are part of the field. Asbuddhi is the first principle below atman, we could consider it as being closest to the central Reality and best able to reflect what is true about the universal spirit. Buddhiis called the spiritual soul, the highest intellection. It is considered to be the principle that ideally, in the course of human evolution, will be the guiding principle for all our decisions when we eventually become highly evolved enough. As manas, the third principle, becomes wedded to buddhi, in a mystic marriage, we understand that the intellectual capacities of the mind to discriminate and to use reason, to understand the field, would be illuminated by a sense of wisdom and guidance from above. Spiritual intuition is that buddhic principle.

Read more: Buddhi — Reflection of Atman

In The Light Of Theosophy

[This article appeared in the July 2014 issue of The Theosophical Movement. For more articles published in this excellent magazine follow this link: http://www.ultindia.org/previous_issues.html ]

Theosophy In the Light of Theosophy 2

If we are observant and reflective enough we have a chance to convert ordinary moments of life into Eureka moments, like Archimedes, who jumped out of his bath naked, to propound the Theory of Displacement, or like Newton, who arrived at the Law of Gravitation when an apple fell on his head. We can find inspiration in smaller things of life, if we have an observant eye and a mind that is questioning, reflecting, discussing and understanding. A movement of random acts of kindness and generosity was triggered, when a lady in Boston started anonymously leaving blankets for the poor on benches, on cold nights.

Read more: In The Light Of Theosophy

The Secret Doctrine - A Book to Be Read Wholly

John Algeo - USA

[Published in Supplement to Brahmavidya: The Adyar Library Bulletin, 2013 (Adyar Library and Research Centre, Adyar, Chennai 20, India), pp. 141-149.]

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. — Sir Francis Bacon

Theosophy The Secret 2

The Secret Doctrine, H. P. Blavatsky’s master work, is a remarkable and marvelous book. Like all works that come to us through human hands, it is not free from error. It is not a sacred text nor infallible, but it is certainly a book worth reading “wholly, and with diligence and attention” because it is the foundation of modern Theosophy. In this book (2:443), H.P.B. quotes Francis Bacon as saying, “In contemplation, … if a man begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.” That observation echoes the motto of the Theosophical Society, “There is no religion higher than truth.” Religious faith begins with certainties; the search for truth must begin with doubts.

Read more: The Secret Doctrine - A Book to Be Read Wholly

Voice of the Silence 13 (verses 182-195)

John Algeo – USA

The immediately preceding verses dealt with two paths: the Open (or exoteric) and the Secret (or esoteric). The Open Path leads the pilgrim out of this world to freedom from all worldly limitationsand sorrows. The Secret Path leads the pilgrim to renounce the liberation that is the goal of the Open Path and to remain instead in this world to serve it and all the otherevolving souls in it. Verses 182 to 195 summarize this theme and complete the second fragment of TheVoice of the Silence on “The Two Paths.”

Theosophy The Voice 2

Silence

A. Verses [182-195].

[182] Thus, the first Path is Liberation.

Read more: Voice of the Silence 13 (verses 182-195)

L. Frank Baum and Theosophy — part three

John Algeo – USA

To understand Baum’s connection with Theosophy, in addition to being aware of the Theosophical Society and its founders, one must obviously also be cognizant of what the Society stands for, that is, of what Theosophy is.

Theosophy U- L
L. Frank Baum, picture taken in 1911

The Theosophical Society has no requirement of belief other than sympathy with its three objects: (1) to form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color; (2) to encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science; and (3) to investigate unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man. Those objects rest on certain assumptions, namely that (1) a single ultimate reality underlies all existence, including all of us; (2) we attempt to understand that reality by our various modes of knowing, namely religion, philosophy, and science; and (3) the aim of human life is to form an understanding of the world around us and of ourselves and our place in the world. The last rests on the assumption that we have greater potential abilities and powers than we are normally aware of.

Read more: L. Frank Baum and Theosophy — part three

Theosophical Theory and Practice in a Life of Service

John Algeo – USA

Theosophical 2 John Algeo
John Algeo

[A paper for the International Theosophy Conference, August 15-18, 2014, at the International Theosophical Centre, Naarden – The Netherlands.]

Theosophical 3 ITC Logo
International Theosophy Conferences Inc.

The theme of this sixteenth annual meeting, “Theosophy, Unity, and Helping the World — where do we go from here?” is central to both the Theosophical spiritual tradition and the raison d’être of the Theosophical Society. The theme of Unity is basic to the Society’s first Object: “To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color.” The theme of Helping the World is implicit in the Society’s third Object: “To investigate unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.” And the Conference theme’s final question of “where do we go from here?” is answered by the Society’s second Object: “To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy and Science.” Theosophy is a spiritual tradition. Every great spiritual tradition has both a theory and a practice. And so does Theosophy.

Read more: Theosophical Theory and Practice in a Life of Service

Human Regeneration - part three

Regeneration and the Objects of the T.S

Radha Burnier – India

[Recognizing regeneration as the kernel of all Theosophical work, the International Theosophical Centre at Naarden, The Netherlands, jointly with the Federation of Theosophical Societies in Europe, organized two seminars in July 1990, with a number of office-bearers, workers and members of the Society from different countries as participants. The proceedings of the seminar were published as a book under the title Human Regeneration.]

Read more: Human Regeneration - part three

Theosophy as Religion

From a Student

[Originally printed in Vidya, a magazine edited by associates of the United Lodge of Theosophists in Santa Barbara, CA, in its autumn 2013 issue, and posted on the Website www.theosophysb.org/site/publications.html ]

Theosophy Theosophy as  Religion 2

There is no Religion higher than Truth” (Motto of the Maharajah of Benares).

Read more: Theosophy as Religion

Voice of the Silence 12 (verses 161-181)

John Algeo – USA

Theosophy The Voice 2
Silence

The preceding group of verses, 150-160, dealt with the Path as a communal experience, a band of servers who, life after life, unselfishly devote themselves to the welfare of others. The next dozen verses focus on the individual’s inner self. They treat the theme of Wisdom and humbleness, and in the process play with the concept of opposites, which are not always what they seem.

A. Verses [161-172].

[161] Be humble, if thou wouldst attain to Wisdom.

Read more: Voice of the Silence 12 (verses 161-181)

Some Words on Daily Life, by an unnamed Master of the Wisdom

[From Lucifer 1 (January 1888): 344-346; reprinted in H. P. Blavatsky’s Collected Writings 7:173-175.]

Theosophy Some Words 2 130516 Blavatsky Collected Writings bl

It is divine philosophy alone, the spiritual and psychic blending of man with nature, which, by revealing the fundamental truths that lie hidden under the objects of sense and perception, can promote a spirit of unity and harmony in spite of the great diversities of conflicting creeds. Theosophy, therefore, expects and demands from the Fellows of the Society a great mutual toleration and charity for each other’s shortcomings, ungrudging mutual help in the search for truths in every department of nature — moral and physical. And this ethical standard must be unflinchingly applied to daily life.

Read more: Some Words on Daily Life, by an unnamed Master of the Wisdom

L. Frank Baum and Theosophy – part two

John Algeo – USA

After the arrival in India of the two Founders of the Theosophical Society, that land became the center of Theosophical activity and has remained so ever since, at least in the sentiments of Theosophists around the world. In fact, other countries have developed more innovative methods of disseminating Theosophy than the traditional lecture-discussion format that characterizes the meetings of most Theosophical Lodges. However, the ambience of the Theosophical Society is intimately linked with India, in no small measure because of the activities of the two Founders in that land.

Theosophy L

Read more: L. Frank Baum and Theosophy – part two

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