This summary of fundamental concepts of Theosophy comes from a book originally written by Emogene Simons in 1935, later revised by Virginia Hanson, and then re-written by John Algeo in 1996 as *Theosophy: An Introductory Study Course*. Many people find it difficult to describe Theosophy to people, so this list is at least a collection of core teachings, although they cannot be considered dogma or a creed since anyone can be a theosophist without believing in them.
* Ultimate reality is a unified whole—absolute, impersonal, unknowable, and indescribable.
* The universe in which we live is manifold, diverse, constantly changing, relative (which means that each part has meaning and value only in relation to others), and illusory or “mayavic” (that is, its reality differs from its appearance).
* The ultimate reality is the source of all consciousness, matter, and energy, which are its three mutually necessary aspects in the manifest universe and are present in every being and every particle. There is no dead or unconscious matter.
* The universe and everything in it are emanations or expressions of the ultimate reality, not creations out of nothing by a personal creator.
* The universe is eternal, but with innumerable worlds periodically manifesting within it.
* The universe is pervaded by a collective intelligence, a cosmic mind, which is consciously expressed in varying degrees by all the beings in the universe.
* The physical universe of which we are normally aware is only one aspect of the total universe, which consists of multiple planes, fields, or dimensions of being—coexisting, interpenetrating, and interacting aspects of the whole. Of the seven planes of our solar system, human beings function primarily on the lower three: physical, emotional, and mental.
* The universe and everything in it are orderly, following patterns of regular cycles, including alternating phases of activity and rest, governed by a universal principle of cause and effect or karma. In human life, this principle of cycles is expressed, among other ways, by repeated re
births or reincarnation.
* Evolution, which is the result of an inner and intelligent guidance expressed through personal effort, is good, has purpose, and follows a plan.
* Our material forms are evolving, but so are our conscious knowledge of the universe and our spiritual awareness of our basic unity with all life.
* We are composite beings; we have a number of independently evolved principles or faculties whose development is a purpose of evolution. In both the universe and us, there are seven such principles.
* We are threefold beings: (1) a temporary, single-lifetime personality, (2) an abiding, evolving individuality that reincarnates, and (3) a spark or direct emanation of the ultimate reality. The integration of these three aspects is the driving force of our evolution.
* The process of evolution, which begins by unconscious impulse, must eventually become a conscious process directed by the free will and ever increasing self-awareness of the evolving entities. The conscious participation by human beings in evolutionary change is symbolized as walking a path.
* The evolving entities of the universe include intelligences both less and more advanced than human beings, of whom some of the more advanced (the Masters or Adepts) may serve as helpers and guides to the less advanced.
* The key to the advancement of human evolution is a dedication by the individual to the service of others, that is, altruism—an awareness of brotherly unity and a forgetfulness of personal separateness.
* The pain, cruelty, and frustration we experience in life are the result of ignorance, unbalanced actions, relative dislocations, or change; they are not independently existing evils.
* It is possible, as a result of individual effort in this life, for human beings to come by intuitive knowledge or mystical experience to a full awareness of their nonseparateness from the ultimate reality.
* Correspondences, analogies, meaningful connections, and patterned repetitions exist among all things in the universe. By using those correspondences, we can use what we know to discover
* Behind the exoteric or public forms of all religions and religious philosophies there exists an esoteric or inner teaching that holds such concepts as those listed here.
The fact that Theosophy is so against sex and we’re seeing spiritual people noticing that sex and many human/”worldly” things are actually spiritually helpful for “enlightenment” (even Advaita teachers like Nisargadatta have said this a long time ago), it seems that it is enough of a contradiction to fully destroy Theosophy, forever making it old history.
But what will people even learn from this? Theosophy is more scientific sounding than Christianity but less popular. For instance, when Christianity is forever destroyed and made old history, people will just remember it as an old and long held mythology… But if people actually knew Theosophy, they would be amazed at how detailed and believable it was compared to Christianity, how incredibly real it sounded… only to finally be proven as false, just like every other old religion.
I think that the destruction of Theosophy will come with the end of the old tendency to “worship the oldest religions, they must be true forever because they are so old”.
With my sex example, there were and STILL are many reasons for people to be sex-negative, and even think it is spiritually harmful. 1 thing is the fear of rape, but when rape is no longer possible then what ever was the ‘harm’ of sex? it was always just socially bad to be perverted, people didn’t want to use it spiritually (like your precious leader, Nisargadatta has said, contradicting every religion ever that says lust is detestible, likely because they wanted to prevent males from doing bad things over lust)
And then, just to tease another reason why I think Theosophy’s destruction is imminent: it’s obvious but
human love > “unconditional Love”
of course it is more spiritual to love 1 person in a human/selfish way, than to “love” everyone equally, which isn’t even possible in practice because it will always be impossible to love everyone the same. do you love the deer outside as much as your mama and papa? no, you would kill that deer if needed, maybe (if you are so inclined to be so violent, so as to kill an innocent deer for food)
so in conclusion: i think that people who try to be intellectual and figure things out that way can’t, you can’t use your intelligence/brain to figure out everything, and i am amazed at how theosophy always thought it could know.
Hi. Last year, I tried to update myself on theosophy so I read “The ancient wisdom” from Besant, looked into her “Esoteric Christianity” and also read some other, smaller works from other authors. Since then, I had less time and interest to read but I met some interesting materials, articles on the the Internet that raised some questions and doubt in me. Let me present them to you, maybe you can answer them or give me pointers, share your thoughts… (Thanks in advance.)
* What is the difference between “the theosophy” and Rudolf Steiner’s work (Anthroposophy)?
* What is the “opinion of theosophist” on metaphysical tradition? Is there a disagreement/opposition between the two movements? What exactly is the basis of the traditionalist critics agains theosophy?
* It seemed to me that there are at least two factions in Theosophy, e.g. Blavatsky vs Besant/Leadbeater. Is this right? I read something that Blavatsky thought of Jesus Christ as a force while the others as a concrete person, a “spiritual master”. Correct me if I am wrong.