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What is Theosophy

What is Theosophy

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What is Theosophy?A General View for InquirersBy Charles J. RyanPublished as part of a set in the 1930s and '40s by Theosophical University Press; Revised Electronic Edition copyright © 1998 by Theosophical University Press. Electronic version ISBN 1-55700-101-4. All rights reserved. This edition may be downloaded for off-line viewing without charge. No part of this publication may bereproduced or transmitted for commercial or other use in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of Theosophical University Press. Because of current limitationsin ASCII character fonts, and for ease in searching, no diacritical marks appear in the electronic version of the text.CONTENTSSection 1What is Theosophy?Theosophy a Unity of Religion, Science, and PhilosophyUniversal Laws in NatureThe Theosophical SocietySection 2Universal Brotherhood and the Divinity of ManThe Seven Principles of ManReincarnation or Reimbodiment in the FleshThe Law of KarmaMan after DeathSection 3Theosophy and ScienceEvolution through Globes, Rounds, and RacesPsychology and TheosophyThe Masters of Wisdom, Compassion, and PeaceTheosophy and MythologyTheosophy and ReligionTheosophy in the BibleTUP Online MenuTheosophical University Press, publishing and distributing quality theosophicalliterature since 1886: PO Box C, Pasadena, CA 91109-7107 USA; e-mail: tupress@theosociety.org; voice: (626) 798-3378; fax: (626) 798-4749. Free printed catalogavailable on request. . Visit the on-line TUP Catalog.Section 1What is Theosophy?Theosophy a Unity of Religion, Science, and PhilosophyUniversal Laws in NatureThe Theosophical SocietyWhat Is Theosophy?
 
Examine yourselves; realize that there is divinity within you, call it by what name you please. . . . Examine your own inner movements of consciousness, andyou will know that these things of glory are in you. They are the working in you of your inner god, your spiritual inner sun.This is the message of the great Sages and Seers of all the ages. . . .. . . that living fire of consciousness within your breast which tells you of your oneness with all that is, and of your kinship with everything that is; for verily you are akin to the gods who are the rulers and counselors and governors of the Universe. -- G. de Purucker, Questions We All AskWHAT, indeed, is theosophy? This question, now being asked with increasing earnestness, cannot be answered in one sentence, but the leaders of the TheosophicalMovement have given a few pithy expressions of its various aspects which form afitting introduction. Helena P. Blavatsky, the Founder of the Theosophical Society, said:Theosophy is, then, the archaic Wisdom-Religion, the esoteric doctrine onceknown in every ancient country having claims to civilization. -- The Theosophist, October 1879Theosophy is the quintessence of duty. -- The Key to TheosophyWilliam Q. Judge begins his Ocean of Theosophy with this:Theosophy is that ocean of knowledge which spreads from shore to shore of the evolution of sentient beings; unfathomable in its deepest parts, it gives thegreatest minds their fullest scope, yet, shallow enough at its shores, it will not overwhelm the understanding of a child. . . . Embracing 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 isas 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 divinity. . . .Think of theosophy not so much as a body of philosophic or other teaching, but as the highest law of conduct, which is the enacted expression of divine loveor compassion. -- Theosophy: The Path of the Mystic, Chapter 1G. de Purucker, the fourth leader of the Theosophical Society, defines the theosophical philosophy in these words:The Theosophical philosophy is not something which has been invented by anybody 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 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. This formulation of natural truth has come down to our own times checked and tested in every age by new generations of theseGreat Seers. This formulation today is called Theosophy. -- The Theosophical Path, Jan. 1930, pp. 3-4
 
Theosophy is not a religion in the ordinary sense; and the Theosophical Societyis not a Church in any sense. H. P. Blavatsky was inflexibly opposed to the ideathat it should degenerate into a sect and set up hard-and-fast dogmas or traffic with sectarian methods.The object of its founders 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, though a statement in modern formof the ancient wisdom, is not offered as a creed, but is intended to provoke thought and study. It gives an explanation of the problems of life that every person can verify for himself, if he so will. Belief in, and the wish to promote, the brotherhood of mankind are the only prerequisites for good standing in the Theosophical Society.Theosophy touches life at all points and illuminates every problem, but, naturally, different people 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 happiness and welfare of humanity, thisis the greatest incentive to its study; others appreciate its profound speculative features; some are attracted by its revelation of the inner meaning and basicunity of the great world religions; and there are many who prefer the scientific aspect, which includes the rational explanation of occult phenomena. To meet these conditions we must consider as many aspects of our subject as space permits.Theosophy a Unity of Religion, Science, and PhilosophyFrom the foregoing citations the reader will rightly conclude that theosophy isvery inclusive. Dr. de Purucker says:Now, the operations of the human consciousness are threefold, if you analyzethem carefully; and these threefold operations men have designated by the wordsreligion, philosophy, and science. . . .They are not fundamentally different, but are like the three sides of a triangle, or like three views or ways of looking at truth, and their unified visionproclaims the recondite facts of Being. -- Man in Evolution, Chapter 1The mistake of the modern age is to separate the field of knowledge into divisions. We notice this particularly in science, wherein specialization is becoming an embarrassment. In demonstrating that religion, philosophy, and science are andmust be a unity, theosophy does not strain any point to combine factors that are really not harmonious; it simply presents well-known facts from a new aspect.Another artificial and fatal division that vanishes in the light of theosophy isthat between the speculations of philosophy and the practical conduct of life.A fundamental principle in theosophy, one that cannot be too strongly emphasized, is that its teachings cannot be properly understood without a sincere effort to make them a power in our everyday lives; theosophy is not for Sundays alone. As H. P. Blavatsky said, "Theosophist is who Theosophy does," and as Dr. de Purucker says, "Love is the cement of the universe," without which it would fall to pieces (in other words, "God is Love"). So how can we expect to understand the laws of nature if we outrage them by our selfish thoughts and acts? Belief and conduct cannot be separated in the true.Universal Laws in NatureThe beginner in theosophy has a right to know the foundations of the theosophical structure, although only the briefest outline can be given here.

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