DEITY COSMOS AND MAN
by Geoffrey Farthing
Dedication This book is dedicated to those who would help to alleviate the lot of humanity by liberating the human mind from its imprisonment in ideas generated and perpetuated by institutional and academic orthodoxy in the fields of religion and philosophy. For centuries such man-made ideas and their resultant divisions, especially in the religious field, have been-and continue to be-productive of the bitterest hatred and strife, as witness in our own day the antagonisms of Hindu against Muslim, Roman Catholic against Protestant, and the isolation of Jewish religionists from those of other faiths.
The book is further dedicated to those who would work towards establishing peace and harmony among all peoples by promoting the practical realization of the brotherhood of humanity, transcending differences of race, religion, caste, class, political creed, or any other divisive element in human affairs.
Humanity is but ONE: let us work for the recognition of this unity.
- Geoffrey A. Farthing
A thread of Esotericism runs through the chronicled events of the world's history. Although the origins of the esoteric tradition are lost in the mists of time, the tradition itself may be discerned in the myths and fairy-tales of many cultures, with their stories of giants, dragons, magicians and wise men. As we approach historical times, we come to the legendary semi-divine figures of Krishna in India, Hermes in Egypt, Mithras in Persia, followed in due course by the great historical teachers known to us as Gautama the Buddha, Lao-tse and Jesus. In the west, the esoteric tradition is evident in the Greek philosophers such as Pythagoras and Plato, as also among the Gnostics, Valentinus, Basilides and Simon Magus among others. Ruthlessly suppressed by the Christian Church, it nevertheless emerges among the mediaeval Rosicrucians, Alchemists and Hermetists, and is in part made explicit in the works of individual writers such as Robert Fludd and Jacob Boehme.
The condition of western thought in the latter part of the 19th century, with religion in conflict with materialistic science, made it necessary for the Guardians of the esoteric tradition to let its existence be more openly known. For the first time in recorded history some parts of the teachings were given out publicly in the early literature of the theosophical movement.
The author of the present work has attempted to offer an outline of the teachings of Esoteric Science, with abundant reference to the great literature in which the student may discover for himself something of the scope and grandeur of the Wisdom tradition.
The compilation of the work has gone on over many years and it has seen many changes. The author is very grateful particularly to two editors: Miss Muriel Daw, one time editor of the Buddhist Society's magazine, who did an extensive preliminary edit of this work; it was later felt, however, that there was too much material in it and Miss Ianthe H. Hoskins, then General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in England, did some ruthless pruning, virtually rewriting the book and adding some further apt quotations, to make it more readable and informative for the general reader. The author is also particularly grateful to Jill Leslie for much typing and he patient work on the index. The author, as a non-literary man, is very grateful to these ladies for the great help he received from them. Thanks are also due to Eldon Tucker, for managing the book material for printing, and for more careful work on the index.
The author also acknowledges an irredeemable debt of gratitude to H.P. Blavatsky and her Adept Teachers who made what knowledge of Esoteric Science we have available to us.
There is a very wide literature covering the subjects dealt with in this book but, as explained in the introduction, the writings of H.P. Blavatsky have been taken to be the most informative and authoritative that there are available. Her knowledge was from two sources, one her Initiate Teachers and second her own insights, her own apperception, her intuition resulting from great inherent gifts and intense training. Her Teachers also committed much to writing, a very rare occurrence where genuine Occultism is concerned.
Books by H.P. Blavatsky
This is a mine of information, some of it very little known, and a mass of enlightened comment on the science and theology of the day. While some of this is out of date, much in the book is of an enduring nature. This book, while being regarded by some as iconoclastic, is liberating. It helps us to free ourselves from our prejudices and preconceptions. It is in a number of editions, by various publishers, but the text is the same in them all.
This is a massive work of great erudition, some 1100 other works being referred to in the text. It outlines the vast scheme of knowledge of the nature and function of Cosmos available to mankind in the extensive world literature on the subject and adds some items of great significance, not previously given out. In spite of the work's extent and depth, H.P.B. says that in it only "a corner of the veil" was lifted.
In her preface H.P.B. says, "The aim of this work may thus be stated: to show that Nature is not 'a fortuitous concurrence of atoms' and to assign to man his rightful place in the scheme of the Universe, etc. etc.". She further says that it, The Secret Doctrine, is as much as 20th century man can apprehend.
This book covers the main aspects of the teaching as they affect mankind. She discusses among others the Wisdom-Religion, Occultism, Spiritualism, God and Prayer, the septenary Nature of Man, the Afterdeath states, Reincarnation, the Complex Nature of Mind, Karma, etc. etc.; all this by way of question and answer.
This is a book small in volume but massive in content. It is in three Fragments: the first entitled The Voice of Silence, of 100 verses; the second, The Two Paths, of 95 verses; the third, The Seven Portals, of 120 verses. This is a work intended for the aspirant after true, or self, knowledge, aiming to play a significant part in helping mankind along its arduous evolutionary path to ultimate self-redemption and liberation.
This is a collection of H.P.B.'s numerous writings by way of articles, published letters, stories and so on, written during the period 1875 to 1891, arranged chronologically. These writings contain much teaching which supplements (and is entirely consistent with) what is contained in her books.
Some of the material gives an insight into how the teachings could affect the lot of humanity in the circumstances of earth life, having regard to its traditions, institutions, ignorances, superstitions and so on. They are particularly illuminating on such subjects as spiritualism, the Christian religion, and Occultism generally. Always H.P.B. has an eye to essentials, to objective facts, which she sees clearly against the background of her encyclopaedic knowledge. In these works is to be found much wisdom and inspiration.
This is a volume of letters received from H.P.B.'s two initiate Teachers, in answer to questions put to them mostly by A.P. Sinnett with some by A.O. Hume. The letters contain much metaphysical and philosophical teaching in the occult tradition, among much material relating to the early days of the Theosophical Society and the people in or associated with it. Many aspects of the teaching, among them those relating to the after-death states, are unique, having been kept secret up to that time. This is a book essential to any serious student of modern Occultism. It is the source of the main principles of the subject given and elaborated in H.P.B.'s writings.
A collection of notes, in question and answer form, taken at a series of meetings of the Lodge, in the first six months of 1889, at which H.P.B. was present.
This booklet is a compilation from The Secret Doctrine and Isis Unveiled, of excerpts which summarize the principle aspects of the great teaching.
This is a booklet, referred to in the text as the Bowen Notes, containing material written down by Robert Bowen from talks which Madame Blavatsky gave to those near her during the close of her life. The content is in the form of important hints to students.
There are many other books, more or less reliable, which are virtually commentaries on the above source books. Some of these purport to be in the same tradition and to be expansions and extensions or even up-datings of the originals. Students are advised, however, to become really familiar with what H.P.B. and her Masters gave out, before studying later versions. Some books do follow the teachings faithfully and in so far as they give another point of view, or summarize or systematize the vast mass of information in the original works, do help the student. Books of this type are:
A book first published in 1885 from material received by A.P. Sinnett in letters (see 6 above) from the two Adepts who instigated through H.P.B. the founding of the Theosophical Society. It made a connected narrative of much information about the esoteric side of Nature, not made public before.
This book deals with aspects of the subject as doctrines, twelve of them. Within each of these, information relating to it throughout the main work has been collected together in an orderly fashion; a valuable student book.
Judge was one of H.P.B.'s early collaborators in founding the Theosophical Society and was himself a long-time pupil of her Master.
As an aid to getting a feeling for the subject and to obtaining a perspective view of H.P.B. in the setting of contemporary life, of her character and of the enormous and distressing difficulties she encountered, but which she largely overcame, readers are recommended to read one or two of the reliable biographies, of which the following is a selection:
BOOKS BY HER CONTEMPORARIES
My Guest - H.P. Blavatsky : Francesca Arundale
BOOKS BY LATER BIOGRAPHERS
The Occult World of Mme. Blavatsky: Daniel H. Caldwell
The basic theosophical literature appears in a number of editions. This section is intended to explain how the citations are made, and to indicate which edition of a work is quoted.
THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF H.P. BLAVATSKY edited
by Boris de Zirkoff.
ISIS UNVEILED (2 Vols) by H.P. Blavatsky
Mme BLAVATSKY ON HOW TO STUDY THEOSOPHY by Robert Bowen
THE MAHATMA LETTERS TO A.P. SINNETT
THE SECRET DOCTRINE
THE SECRET DOCTRINE (Additional Materials)
A good deal of unpublished manuscript was collected and edited by Annie Besant and published in 1897 under the title The Secret Doctrine, volume III, Occultism. This material appeared in volume V of the six-volume Adyar edition. Included here are some Papers of Instruction circulated privately by Mme Blavatsky among her pupils constituting an inner group in the Esoteric Section which she had established in 1888.
The same material has since been published separately under the title The Esoteric Writings of H.P. Blavatsky, while the papers of instruction also appear in volume XII of the Collected Writings.
Four sources for this material are cited as Secret Doctrine Addendum (www, xxx, yyy, zzz) where www is the page number in volume III of the three-volume edition, xxx is the page number in volume V of the six-volume edition, yyy is the page number in volume XII of the Blavatsky Collected Writings, and zzz is the page number The Esoteric Writings of H.P. Blavatsky, edited by L.H. Leslie-Smith.
THE THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY by H.P. Blavatsky (and others).
There is a generally-held view that this was assembled by others from Blavatsky's notes after her death, that it is not completely in her own words and ideas. I recall reading that she herself refers to it, but I cannot give chapter and verse for this at present. GAF Citations are by the name of the entry in the Glossary, e.g. Theosophical Glossary, Manas.
THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE by H.P. Blavatsky
KEY is THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY by H.P. Blavatsky.
V.S. is THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE by H.P. Blavatsky