Theosophy, The Wisdom Religion -
Theosophy; a modern presentation

Geoffrey Farthing T.D.,C.Eng.,M.I.E.E.

The Wisdom Religion


some basic questions & some basic propositions
man's nature
Universal Law
After Death
Theosophy and Religion
some basic answers

What Theosophy is not: -

Theosophy is not compiled from a selection of tenets from various religions; it is not itself a religion; it is not any kind of cult, sect, denomination or set of beliefs; it is not 'spiritualism' (in the ordinary sense of the word); it is not a system or practice of the occult arts nor necromancy nor magic; it is not a dogmatic teaching; it has not been invented, devised or compiled by anyone; it is not a form of worship or ceremonial, nor of divination or fortune telling; it is not in any way a product of man's imagination. Theosophy is not a new or fashionable -ism.

What Theosophy is: -

Theosophy is knowledge, knowledge of the laws, principles, processes and nature of Nature herself in all departments, both objective and subjective, and at all levels of being and operation, physical, emotional, mental, supermental and spiritual. It has been known since there was a mind to apprehend it.

The following are some of the terms from its modern literature that have been used to describe it:

Theosophy is "the science of sciences; the ageless wisdom; the Western Mystery Tradition; the shoreless ocean of universal truth, love and wisdom; divine nature, visible and invisible; the aggregate of the knowledge and wisdom that underlie the Universe; the essence of all religion and of absolute truth; scientific Theosophy (is) based on accurate knowledge of Nature's secret workings." "It is the last word of possible human knowledge; the Wisdom-Religion. All the old worships indicate the existence of a single theosophy anterior to them." Theosophy is "the root and trunk of the tree of which all religions are branches." It is "the Esoteric Science; the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven; the synthesis of science, religion and philosophy ." It is sometimes called the Secret Doctrine.

"Theosophy is synonymous with the Jnana-Vidya (knowledge of the Great Knowledge), and the Brahma-Vidya of the Hindus (sacred knowledge, knowledge of the Divinity pervading the universe), with the Dzyan of the trans-Himalayan adepts, the science of the true Raja Yogis (Raja Yoga is the kingly union, the highest form of self-development leading to union with one's Egoic Self). It is the parent stem - the Archaic Wisdom; the Light of Truth; the inner teachings of the Mahayana school of Northern Buddhism. It is something more than simple metaphysics. It is meta-metaphysics, metageometry etc. or a universal transcendentalism; etc., etc."

"Theosophy, 'The Beacon-Light' upon which the eyes of all real Theosophists are fixed is the same towards which in all ages the imprisoned soul has struggled. This Beacon, whose light shines upon no earthly seas, but which has mirrored itself in the sombre depths of primordial waters of infinite space, is called by us, as by the earliest Theosophists 'Divine Wisdom'. This is the last word of the esoteric doctrine.

"Where was the country in ancient days; with the right to call itself civilised, that did not possess a double system of Wisdom, one for the masses, and the other for the few, the exoteric and the esoteric? This wisdom, or, as we sometimes say, the 'Wisdom Religion' or Theosophy, is as old as the human mind. The title of sages - the high-priests of this worship of truth - was its first derivative. The names were transformed into philosophy and philosophers - the 'lovers of science' or of 'Wisdom' "

"Every country has its Saviours. He who dissipates the darkness of ignorance by the help of the torch of science, thus disclosing to us the truth, deserves that title as a mark of our gratitude, quite as much as he who saves us from death by healing our bodies. Such a one awakens in our benumbed souls the faculty of distinguishing the true from the false, by kindling therein a divine flame hitherto absent, and he has the right to our grateful reverence, for he has become our creator. What matters the name of the symbol that personifies the abstract idea, if that idea is always the same and is true? Whether the concrete symbol bears one title or another, whether the Saviour in whom we believe has for an earthly name Krishna, Buddha, Jesus or Aesculapius -also called 'Saviour-God', we have but to remember one thing: symbols of divine truth were not invented for the amusement of the ignorant; they are the alpha and omega of philosophical thought."

"Theosophy being the way that leads to Truth, in every religion as in every science, occultism is, so to say, the touchstone and universal solvent. It is the thread of Ariadne given by the master to the disciple who ventures into the labyrinth of the mysteries of being; the torch that lights him through the dangerous maze of life, forever the enigma of the Sphinx. But the light thrown by this torch can only be discerned by the eye of the awakened soul, by our spiritual senses; "it blinds the eye of the materialist as the sun blinds the owl."

"Love one another", said the great Teacher to those who were studying the mysteries of the 'Kingdom of God '. Preach altruism, keep unity , mutual under- standing and harmony in your groups, all of you who place yourselves among the neophytes and seekers after the One Truth, other Teachers tell us. "Without unity, and intellectual as well as psychic sympathy, you will arrive at nothing. He who sows discord reaps the whirlwind "

These synonyms for Theosophy, and descriptive extracts, while being somewhat unspecific as definitions, give us an overall sense of what Theosophy is. We in the West have been conditioned for many centuries to accept that there are certain areas within the religious field about which we can know nothing, and that we have to accept what our religion tells us, dogmatically, is the truth. We may often have been told we must not ask too many questions. There are certain things we were not intended to know or the knowledge would have been given us.

Science, latterly, has not accepted this limitation. It has explored any and every avenue of the nature and processes of Nature. It has made remarkable discoveries, but significantly not such remarkable ones in the domain covered usually by religion. The nature of Deity is still unknown. The very existence of Deity is questioned. The inner nature of man, his psychic nature, is being explored, but no element of his nature, no 'soul', has yet been discovered that lasts forever, although some remarkable things about the brain, its functions, and the various states of consciousness are coming to light. The origins of the world, the solar system, the universe are being questioned. We have fine theories but no final knowledge.

It seems that, to some extent, the religionists' need for beliefs is still necessary. But surely there is no compulsion on us to accept either any belief or that we cannot know something at any rate of the deeper mysteries of existence. This is the field of Theosophy. An acquaintance with it slowly eradicates the idea that we cannot know these things for ourselves. There may be ultimate mysteries but they are much further away than our present ones. As we study Theosophy we begin to sense that there is something of great worth and interest that we can know of nature's inner workings. It may be theory for us to start with but we are told it is incontrovertible fact for those who know. We can become scientists of and in life. The empirical and deductory method works as well for the spiritual and psychic sciences as for physical science

What we need, to start with, is a comprehensive and comprehensible theory , and a method, an indication, of the way to knowledge and enlightenment. It is claimed that Theosophy, even in so far as it has been given out to the world at large does just that; it gives us both the theory and the practice. It is, however, up to each of us to make our own discoveries. Considering the scope of the enterprise we could hardly expect it to be simple or easy. This is no excuse for those of us who are genuinely interested not making the effort for ourselves.

The full doctrine has never been made public. Hints of it have been given from time to time. The teaching lies hidden under symbol and allegory in many traditional stories and in sacred books, particularly those of the East. When some more of it was given out to the world at large, in plain language, for the first time towards the end of the last century , in the works of H.P .Blavatsky and others, it was then said that it would be all that mankind would be able to comprehend even in the 20th. century . Anyone who has studied the literature will vouch for that. It is a challenge to our deepest intellectual and spiritual faculties, and it uniquely gives us answers to many of the questions which men have been asking from time immemorial.


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