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Theosophy

Theosophy

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Theosophy1
Theosophy
This article is about the philosophy introduced by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in association with Ascended  Masters. See Theosophy (history of philosophy) for other uses.
Emblem of the Theosophical Society (Adyar)described at[1]
Theosophy
is a doctrine of religious philosophy and mysticism.Theosophy holds that all religions are attempts by the "SpiritualHierarchy" to help humanity in evolving to greater perfection, and thateach religion therefore has a portion of the truth. The foundingmembers, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831
 – 
1891), Henry Steel Olcott(1832
 – 
1907), and William Quan Judge (1851
 – 
1896), established theTheosophical Society in New York City in 1875.
Etymology
Blavatsky addressed the name in the beginning of 
The Key toTheosophy
:It comes to us from the Alexandrian philosophers, called loversof truth, Philaletheians, from phil "loving," and aletheia "truth."The name
Theosophy
dates from the third century of our era, andbegan with Ammonius Saccas and his disciples, who started the Eclectic Theosophical system.
Theosophy
, literally "god-wisdom" (Greek: θεοσοφία
theosophia
), designated several bodies of ideas predatingBlavatsky:The term appeared in Neoplatonism. Porphyry
 De Abstinentia
(4.9) mentioned "Greek and Chaldean theosophy", Ἑλληνική, Χαλδαϊκὴ θεοσοφία. The adjective θεόσοφος "wise in divine things" was applied by Iamblichus (
 Demysteriis
7.1) to the gymnosophists (Γυμνοσοφισταί), i.e. the Indian yogis or sadhus.The term was used during the Renaissance to refer to the spiritually-oriented thought and works of a number of philosophers, including: Cornelius Agrippa, Paracelsus, Robert Fludd, and, especially, Jacob Boehme; the work of these early theosophists influenced the Enlightenment theologian Emanuel Swedenborg.The Oxford English Dictionary defines
theosophy
as: "Any system of speculation which bases the knowledge of nature upon that of the divine nature", noting it is used in particular with reference to Boehme.
The three objects
The three declared objectives of the original Theosophical Society as established by Blavatsky, Judge and Olcottwere as follows:First
 —
To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex,caste, or color.Second
 —
To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and Science.Third
 —
To investigate the unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man."
[2]
Some might however dispute whether these were the original ones. Especially when one reads the original Preamblefor the Society in the reference given here:
(Preamble of the T.S. Dated October 30, 1875 - reprinted in The TheTheosophical Forum, October 1947, pp. 582
– 
7)
[3]
Another reference is this one from Blavatsky Collected Writings in an article by the Co-founder H. P. Blavatsky,published 1888 titled:
"ORIGINAL PROGRAMME 
” 
 MANUSCRIPT" 
[4]
 
Theosophy2
Basic Theosophical beliefs
Evolution and Race
Theosophists believe that religion, philosophy, science, the arts, commerce, and philanthropy, among other "virtues",lead people ever closer to "the Absolute." Planets, solar systems, galaxies, and the cosmos itself are regarded asconscious entities, fulfilling their own evolutionary paths. The spiritual units of consciousness in the universe are theMonads, which may manifest as angels, human beings or in various other forms. According to Blavatsky, the Monadis the reincarnating unit of the human soul, consisting of the two highest of the seven constituent parts of the humansoul. All beings, regardless of stature or complexity, are informed by such a Monad.Theosophical writings propose that human civilizations, like all other parts of the universe, develop cyclicallythrough seven stages. Blavatsky posited that the whole humanity, and indeed every reincarnating human monad,evolves through a series of seven "Root Races". Thus in the first age, humans were pure spirit; in the second age,they were sexless beings inhabiting the now lost continent of Hyperborea; in the third age the giant Lemurians wereinformed by spiritual impulses endowing themwith human consciousness and sexual reproduction. Modern humansfinally developed on the continent of Atlantis. Since Atlantis was the nadir of the cycle, the present fifth age is a timeof reawakening humanity's psychic gifts. Blavatsky said: "these two other senses on the ascending arc be on thesame respective planes as hearing and touch", or perhaps rather intuition and telepathy as the reference seems tosay.
[5]
 
[6]
The term psychic here really means the realization of the permeability of consciousness as it had not beenknown earlier in evolution, although sensed by some more sensitive individuals of our species. Blavatsky mentionedthe psychic to be "the super-ethereal or connecting link between matter and pure spirit, and the physical."
[7]
Blavatsky suggested that most of present day humanity belongs to the fifth rootrace, the Aryans
[8]
, which originallydeveloped on Atlantis,.
[9]
It was her belief that the older races will eventually die out, as the fifth rootrace in timewill be replaced by the more advanced peoples of the sixth root race which is set to develop on the reemergingLemurian continent.
[10]
Blavatsky claimed that "The occult doctrine admits of no such divisions as the Aryan and the Semite, accepting eventhe Turanian with ample reservations. The Semites, especially the Arabs, are later Aryans
 —
degenerate in spiritualityand perfected in materiality.".
[11]
However, this statement was not made in a spirit of attacking any ethnicity. (TheKey to Theosophy, p. 209: "St. Paul said," etc. etc.) In fact, the main purpose of the Theosophical Society was "Toform a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or colour."
[12][13]
Guido von List (and his followers such as Lanz von Liebenfels) later took up some of Blavatsky's theories, mixingthem with nationalism to formulate Ariosophy, a precursor of nazism. Ariosophy emphasized intellectual expositionsof racial evolution. The Thule Society was one of several German occult groups drawing on Ariosophy to preachAryan supremacy. It provides a direct link between occult racial theories and the racial ideology of Hitler and theemerging Nazi party."
[14]
The Septenary
Theosophists opine that the most material of the vestures of the Soul are interpenetrated by the particles of the moresubtle vesture. For example they claim that -The "Sthula-Sarira" or most material body, is, as science is aware,mostly space at its atomic level (as all matteris known to be), and these interstitial spaces are inhabited by thosesubtler particles of the Astral Body or Linga sarira, and so on for the other more energy-like envelopes of the Soul.The important thing about this interpenetration of each sheath, is that we see the inner person as a fluid and unbrokencontinuity, although varying in density/flexibility and energy and therefore more and more susceptible to the behestof the Real Person - the Soul/Higher Self since they are less and less encumbered by material boundaries. Perhapsthe image of a suspension or colloid in chemistry is an apt perspective. And since matter is merely the materialcounterpart of consciousness (ultimately our aspect being pure consciousness), this interpenetration of sheaths allows
 
Theosophy3for consciousness to interpenetrate Man's nature and explains how we are sensitive to what we think of as externalstimuli, through the five senses. Theosophy, as well as many other esoteric groups and occult societies, claims intheir esoteric cosmology that the universe is ordered by the number seven. The reincarnating consciousness of themonad utilizes spirit/matter forms in seven bodies:The first body is called
sthula-sarira
(Sanskrit, from
sthula
meaning coarse, gross, not refined, heavy, bulky, fatin the sense of bigness, conditioned and differentiated matter +
sarira
to moulder, waste away). A gross body,impermanent because of its wholly compounded character. The physical body is usually considered as the lowestsubstance-principle. The physical form is the result of the harmonious co-working on the physical plane of forcesand faculties streaming through their astral vehicle or linga-sarira, the pattern or model of the physical body.The second body is called
 Linga-Sarira
, (Sanskrit, from
linga
meaning characteristic mark, model, pattern +
sarira
, from the verbal root sri to moulder, waste away). A pattern or model that is impermanent; the model-bodyor astral body, only slightly more ethereal than the physical body. It is the astral model around which the physicalbody is built, and from which the physical body flows or develops as growth proceeds.The third body is prana (Sanskrit, from
 pra
before + the verbal root
an
to breathe, to live). In theosophy, thebreath of life. This life or prana works on, in, and around us, pulsating unceasingly during the term of physicalexistence. Prana is "the radiating force or Energy of Atma -- as the Universal Life and the One Self -- its lower orrather (in its effects) more physical, because manifesting, aspect. Prana or Life permeates the whole being of theobjective Universe; and is called a 'principle' only because it is an indispensable factor and the deus ex machina of the living man."The fourth principle is kāma (Sanskrit, from the verbal root
kam
meaning to desire). Desire; the desire principle isthe driving, impelling force. Born from the interaction of atman, buddhi, and manas, kama per se is a colourlessforce, good or bad according to the way the mind and soul use it. It is the seat of the living electrical impulses,desires, and aspirations, considered in their energetic aspect.The fifth principle is manas (Sanskrit, from the verbal root
man
meaning to think). The seat of mentation andegoic consciousness; in humanity Manas is the human person, the reincarnating ego, immortal in essence,enduring in its higher aspects through the entire manvantara. When embodied, manas is dual, gravitating towardbuddhi in its higher aspects and in its lower aspects toward kama. The first is intuitive mind, the second theanimal, ratiocinative consciousness, the lower mentality and passions of the personality.The sixth principle or vehicle is Buddhi (Sanskrit, from the verbal root
budh
to awaken, enlighten, know). Thevehicle of pure, universal spirit, hence an inseparable garment or vehicle of atman, which is, in its essence, of thehighest plane of akasa or alaya. In man buddhi is the spiritual soul, the faculty of discriminating, the channelthrough which streams divine inspiration from the atman to the ego, and therefore that faculty which enables us todiscern between good and evil: spiritual conscience. The qualities of the buddhic principle when awakened arehigher judgment, instant understanding, discrimination, intuition, love that has no bounds, and consequentuniversal forgiveness.The seventh is called Atman (Sanskrit). Self; pure consciousness, that cosmic self which is the same in everydweller on this globe and on every one of the planetary or stellar bodies in space. It is the feeling and knowledgeof "I am," pure cognition, the abstract idea of self. It does not differ at all throughout the cosmos except in degreeof self-recognition. It may also be considered as the First Logos in the human microcosm. During incarnation thelowest aspects of atman take on attributes, because it is linked with buddhi, as the buddhi is linked with manas, asthe manas is linked with kama, etc.See: Encyclopedic Theosophic Glossary
[15]

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