Theosophy is no longer a word unknown to the world. It is no longer a mysterious sounding word, but is recognized as a body of teachings embracing Science, Philosophy and Religion. The origin of these teachings is lost in the mists of time and antiquity. They are as old as thinking man and the truths of this Wisdom teaching lie deeply imbedded in the consciousness of man.
This secret doctrine of the archaic ages has been recorded in all times and countries from ideographs to Devanagari. The literature of the world is filled with fables, myths, legends and fairy tales which would have little meaning if some great Truth were not hidden in the rich imagery and symbol of the tale. The literary historian, the mythologer and the anthropologist have brought to light evidence of these esoteric truths, but they have been unable through either lack of imagination or intuition to detect a Parent Doctrine.
It is a well known fact to scholars that all the great teachers — Buddha, Zoroaster, Jesus and many others — taught by parable, and thus hid mystical secrets in allegory and symbol. This treasury of beautiful literature and teachings, inspired, lofty and noble, is the heritage of the modern world from the ancients. But to understand and comprehend its beauty in fulness, a key, an Interpreter, is necessary and that Interpreter is Theosophy, the Source from which all these ancient systems sprang.
A restatement of this wisdom of the gods was presented to the West in 1875 by H. P. Blavatsky, a Russian noblewoman. She has been called the lion-hearted because of the tremendous trials she endured in order to serve as a channel for these teachings. "In the words of Montaigne" she said: " I have here made only a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing of my own but the string that ties them." Pull the "string" to pieces and cut it up in shreds, if you will. As for the nosegay of facts — you will never be able to make away with these. You can only ignore them, and no more."
Today Theosophy has infiltrated into the thought-life of the world, especially the Western world. Great numbers of thinkers have come to drink from the pure, radiant, unadulerated Source of ancient wisdom. Some thinkers have discovered through Theosophy that they had a message to give to the world, some have established pseudo-cults, and others, particularly scientists, have had to remain silent in approving Theosophy for fear of ridicule from their colleagues. Nevertheless, Theosophy succeeded in breaking the molds of mind of nineteenth century dogmatism and is continuing to battle against the materialism of the twentieth century.
Aside from influencing the creative thinkers of today Theosophy has touched many thousands who have absorbed as much as they were capable of assimilating. No one can approach Theosophy, even superficially, without a quickening of the intellectual and spiritual faculties due to the force of vitalized, spiritual energy pouring forth from these teachings. The inner tendrils of man's nature are touched, and his mind and heart open up to new vistas of thinking and feeling which create a greater and vaster conception of living.
In the ordinary sense Theosophy is not a religion, science or philosophy, but it embraces these departments of thinking, perceiving Truth in its invisible as well as visible aspects. It is at the point of the visible and invisible where the majority and the few take separate paths. Of course, religion in the true sense has plumbed the depths of the invisible as evidenced by the reports of those "men who have walked with God." Science has studied and analyzed the behavior and contents of this physical universe. The scientist in his devotion to Truth is proving to himself step by step the laws governing the universe, benefiting mankind by the results of his labors and discoveries. However, arriving at the door of the Unknown, the scientist is baffled, and finds himself verging towards philosophy and the mystical. Philosophy is able to pull the veil aside a little more than science and enters into intellectual realms. Only a synthesis of the three, religion, science and philosophy equals Truth as three sides of an equilateral triangle.
The entire teachings of the Secret Doctrine are founded on three fundamental propositions. To understand them well is to have light on every problem of life, and to think towards them stretches the imagination and expands the consciousness of man lifting him from the personal and limited to the impersonal, which is a world of freedom compared with the former.
To sketch briefly, the first proposition postulates an Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, Immutable Principle which is the Absolute All, the Unity of all Life. This principle is the Causeless Cause, the Rootless Root of all manifestation. It is unthinkable and unspeakable to the limited brain-mind for It is Being and non-Being, Spirit and Matter, positive and negative. Its two aspects are Abstract Space and Absolute Motion. Be-ness rather than Being describes its unconditioned condition.
The second proposition affirms the Eternity of the Universe in toto as a Boundless Plane. Abstract Space is filled with galaxies, universes, solar systems, worlds, gods, men and atoms which are all subject to the law of periodicity. There is a constant ebb and flow of life, flux and reflux from the unmanifested to the manifested planes of existence. Each life energy has its allotted life-time-cycle which is like the wink of an eye in Eternity.
The third proposition asserts the fundamental identity of all life with the Universal Over-Soul. Every soul is a spark from this eternal flame of Being. Starting its adventure in manifested life in an elemental form this monadic essence progresses through a process of metempsychoses and reincarnations through all the kingdoms of Nature to godhood.
Based upon these three propositions man is weaving his destiny in this Cosmic drama on the vast stage of existence. He is a microcosm within a macrocosm, in other words he is a universe in miniature. Rooted in Divinity man has all the powers and forces of the Universe flowing through him. He has free-will and a choice conditioned by the law of karman to use these forces constructively or destructively. Every thought that man thinks is either a building block in the structure of his being or a weakening of the foundation upon which he stands. Absolute justice rules the Universe and man is held responsible for every thought and act — being a collaborator and co-worker with the creator.
It is only by countless ages of suffering that man reaches the point where he rebels against being tossed about on the ocean of life like a bit of flotsam. He begins to see that every effect has a cause which he can control if he will but use his powers of awareness, discrimination and above all maintain a dogged determination to keep alert to the thought processes of his mind and the natural tendencies of his desires. He discovers that the qualities of Nature are real essences which can be made an integral, active part of his being. By striking a positive attitude of confidence in himself he can attract an array of helpers such as courage, optimism, trust, poise, conviction. Thus man becomes his own creator upon the pathway of self-directed evolution toward the goal of perfection. Not only does he benefit himself, but he lifts, strengthens and encourages all entities whom he contacts. In this way he becomes of real service to humanity.
What thousands of people today are crying for is proof that altruism exists in the reality of earth-life, that Universal Brotherhood is a fact in Nature, that there is Unity in all life. Theosophy can answer these questions, but it takes Theosophists who can prove that Theosophy can be a living power in their lives. Then humanity will be eager to listen to the doctrines of the Ancient Wisdom. It is a practical and materialistic age and the pull downwards is great; therefore, the pull upwards must be greater. Every fiber in man's nature is tested to the limit. Equanimity and equilibrium must be maintained, but it must not be the equilibrium maintained by a machine. Impersonal Love, Harmony, Compassion as well as Equilibrium is at the Heart of the Universe and is likewise in the heart of man. By so constituting himself as a center of light man can be of real value to humanity giving confidence and reassurance that there is a purpose to life, that man is spiritual and divine in origin, and that the evolutionary pathway of life is carrying man into the realm of the gods. This seeming chaos will eventually resolve into a magnificent conclusion. Such are the teachings of Theosophy.