Theosophical Encyclopedia

Theosophy and the Theosophical Societies - part 3 (2020 version)

THEOSOPHY AND THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETIES

By Dr. James Santucci

Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies

California State University

Fullerton, CA 92834-6868

HQ Building

Another look at Headquarters Building in Adyar

HPB 2

Well-known classic H.P.B. photo

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BELIEFS/PRACTICES 

Theosophy 420 s SD

The teachings promulgated by the Theosophical societies are ultimately those that have secured the attention of its members as well as what individuals understand Theosophy to be. As a rule, most Theosophists associate the basic teachings with the “three fundamental propositions” contained in the Proem of H.P. Blavatsky’s magnum opus, The Secret Doctrine. An overview of the development of Blavatsky’s and other Theosophists’ understanding of Theosophy reveal a variety of interpretations. In fact, the term ‘theosophy’, chosen to represent the aspirations and objects of the Society, had little to do with its later development. Theosophy was accepted as the name of the Society in accordance with the definition found in the American edition of Webster’s unabridged dictionary (published ca. 1875),[1] which is as follows:

supposed intercourse with God and superior spirits, and consequent attainment of superhuman knowledge by physical processes as by the theurgic operations of ancient Platonists, or by the chemical processes of the German fire philosophers.

The term, however, was not unknown prior to this period (September, 1875). Blavatsky employed the term in February 1875 in a letter to Professor Hiram Corson (“theosophy taught by the Angels”) and in her “A Few Questions to ‘Hiraf’” (“Theosophic Seminary”).

Read more: Theosophy and the Theosophical Societies - part 3 (2020 version)

Theosophy and the Theosophical Societies - part 4 (2020 version)

 THEOSOPHY AND THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETIES

By Dr. James Santucci

Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies

California State University

Fullerton, CA 92834-6868

Theosophy 420 z 1 elephants at the headquarters building

Eight elephant heads, Headquarters Building, Adyar

Theosophy 420 z 2 Blavatsky 1875 1050x700

Famous H.P.B. photo taken in 1875

The United Lodge of Theosophists is “a voluntary association of students of Theosophy” founded in 1909 by Robert Crosbie and others, having as its main purpose the study of Theosophy using the writings of Blavatsky and Judge as their guide. Because personality or ego is considered to have negative effects, “associates” pursue anonymity in their Theosophical work. Regarding this work, the U.L.T. Declaration, the only document that unites associates, states that its purpose “is the dissemination of the Fundamental Principles of the philosophy of Theosophy and the exemplification in practice of those principles, through a truer realization of the SELF; a profounder conviction of Universal Brotherhood.” It regards as Theosophists all “who are engaged in the true service of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, condition or organization.”

Read more: Theosophy and the Theosophical Societies - part 4 (2020 version)

Theosophy and the Theosophical Societies - part 5 (2020 version)

THEOSOPHY AND THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETIES

By Dr. James Santucci

Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies

California State University

Fullerton, CA 92834-6868

Theosophy 420 z 9 HQ PART 5 TTS

Yet another look at Headquarters Building, with the well-known River Bungalow visible on the right.

Photo: © Richard Dvořák   

Theosophy 420 z 10 HPB 5

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PUBLICATIONS and EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH 

The first magazine of the Theosophical Society, The Theosophist, was initiated with the October 1879 issue in Bombay under the editorship of H.P. Blavatsky. The periodical, published at the international headquarters in Adyar, Chennai, continues to this day and is the official organ of the international President of the T.S. (Adyar).

Read more: Theosophy and the Theosophical Societies - part 5 (2020 version)

Shinto

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The word “Shintō” is a Japanese pronunciation of Chinese shen dao (the way of the shen or ancestral spirits); in Japanese it is usually taken to mean “the way of the gods.” The Japanese name is kami no michi, “the way of the kami,” which distinguishes it from the island nation’s other major faith, Buddhism. Shint¯ in Japan is the worship of Kami (sing. and pl.), deities whose lineage goes back to prehistoric times when they were patrons of places, communities and above all of the clans (uji) that were the major units of early Japanese society. Myths of these deities are preserved in two of Japan’s oldest books, the Kojiki (Record of Ancient Things, 712 CE) and the Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan, 720 CE). They tell of the descent from heaven of the Japanese primal parents, Izanagi and Izanami, of their generation of the islands and gods of Japan, of various vicissitudes of the gods in the Kamiyo or “Divine Age” of a divine council convening in the River of Heaven, and finally of the descent of the ancestors of the imperial house from heaven to earth.

Read more: Shinto

Historical Photos from the Surendra Narayan Archives (Adyar Archives) - Mary Anderson

TE MA 2

 Entrace of the Arcives at sunset © Marja Artamaa

Note from the editor # 1 : Mary Anderson (1 November 1929 – 14 April 2020) was an outstanding Theosophist and held various positions in the TS-Adyar. She traveled extensively through many parts of the world, lecturing or conducting courses. Mary was the embodiment of dedication, humbleness, kindness and above all Love.

Read more: Historical Photos from the Surendra Narayan Archives (Adyar Archives) - Mary Anderson

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