What Is Theosophy?
by Charles J. Ryan
From the Point Loma Publication: Theosophy: A General View
What indeed is Theosophy This question, now being asked with inreasing earnestness, cannot be answered in one sentence, but we may give a few pithy expressions of its various aspects which form a fitting inroduction to this elementary study. Helena P. Blavatsky, the Founder of the Theosophical Society, said:
Theosophy is, then, the archaic Wisdom-Religion, the esoteric doctrine once known in every ancient country, having claim to civilization. -H.P. Blavatsky: Collected Writings, I. pg. 89
Theosophy is the quintessence of duty. -The Key to Theosophy
William Q. Judge begins his Ocean of Theosophy with this:
Theosophy is that ocean of knowlede which spreads from shore to shore of the evolution of sentient beings; unfathomable in its deepest parts, it gives the greatest minds their fullest scope, yet, shallow enough at its shores, it will not overwhelm the understanding of a child...Embaing both the scientific and the religious, Theosophy is a scientific religion and a religious science.
According to Katherine Tingley:
Theosophy is the inner life, in every religion. It is no new religion, but is as old as Truth itself...
Theosophy will bring something to you that can never pass away: the consciousness of your Divine, your Inner Self; a conviction of your inherent power to conserve your energy along the highest spiritual lines. For man cannot find his true place in the great scheme of human life until he has ennobled and enriched his nature with the consciousness of his Diviniy...
Think of Theosophy not so much as body of philosophic or other teaching, but as the highest law of conduct, which is the enacted expression of divine love or compassion...Theosophy is the world's teacher, for it is the great interpreter of life. -Theosophy: The Path of the Mystic.
Dr. Gottfried de Purucker stressed again and again that Theosophy is not merely a dead relic from the past. He says:
The Theosophical philosophy is not something which has been invented by anyboy at any time: it is the formulation of the truths of Nature-not of outer Nature alone, which is but the effectual mirroring of hid[den] causes; but more particularly of the vast causal realms behind the outer Nature which our senses know-behind the outer veil of Reality; for these inner and causal realms are the inner Heart of Things. These truths were originally formulated in systematic manner in far past time by Great Seers and have come down to our own times checked and tested in evey age by new generations of these Great Seers. This formulation today is called Theosophy.
He also defines Theosophy as:
...the formulation in human language of the nature, structure, origin, destiny, and operations of the Kosmical Universe and of the multitudes of beings which infill it. -Occult Glossary
Theosophy is not a religion is the ordinary sense; and the Theosophical Society [or any other Theosophical Organization-BNet] is not a Church in any sense. H. P. Blavatsky was inflexibly opposed to the idea that it should degenerate into a sect and set up hard-and-fast dogmas or traffic with sectarian methods. The object was to liberate man from bondage by presenting a philosophy of life that would show him how to find the Truth within himself. The literature presented by the Theosophical Society [or any of the other Theosophical Organizations-BNet], though a statement in modern form of the Ancient Wisdom, is not offered as a creed, but is intended to provoke thought and study. It gives an explanatio of the problems of life that every man can verify for himself, if he so will[s]. It touches life at all points and illumines every problem; but naturally students find certain aspects more attractive than others-especially at the beginning. To the most intuitive, who immediately perceive the practical importance of its teachings for the welfare of humanity, this is the greatest incentive to study. Others appreciate its profound metaphysical features. Some are attracted by its revelation of the inner meaning and basic unity of the great world-religions; and there are any who prefer the scientific aspects, which includes the ratioal explanation of occult phenomena. To meet these conditions we must consider as many aspects of our subject as space permits.
Theosophy: A General View, published by Point Loma Publications
[This pamphlett will become available for purchase in the near future.]