Theosophy, Esoteric Zoroastrianism, and claims of Remnants of ancient Aryan Indic Civilization in Theosophy. Also, concerning the theory that Modern Theosophical ideas on Aryans influenced National Socialist and Ariosophist doctrines about the Aryans. Light on the Trans-Himalayan Occultists: Lost Chaldean Wisdom also deals with the reason for the use of the term “Aryan” in modern Theosophical literature, which also discredits the theory of its influence on Nazi Aryanism.
Aryans and Millenialist Doctrine
The great disadvantage for contemporary Theosophists is the lack of public notoriety, and credibility. It is evident, by both Theosophists and academics, that they think little of Theosophy, and since its inception, has had little room to breath. Theosophy is quite the scapegoat, but because of that lack of public notoriety, it means any individual of credibility or not can spread anything they want without expecting any repercussions, or challenges.
With that being said, we wanted to address statements made in “Aryans in Arcadia.” Aryans in Arcadia was an article published on Boing Boing, that drew the relationship between the ‘early’ New Age movement with the beliefs that created the National Socialists of Germany. This is usual of poor research surrounding the nineteenth-century Theosophical Movement. When it was first published, its replies increased into 30, by persons all agreeing without being critical of its author. We are guessing those 30 people will not comment on this response.
The idea of a New Age of Pisces and a New Age movement did not exist in the time of Helena P. Blavatsky. The cycles are an elaborate doctrine referencing the ‘planetary cycles,’ which we may also observe from ancient Vedic calculations and astronomy (cf. Sūrya Siddhānta: A Hindu Textbook, 1860, pdf recommended in “The Secret Doctrine Reference Series”). This is where H.P.B. relates the ideas to her explanations, and therefore, it cannot be merely dismissed as a modern New Age construction. The repeated claim that “The Secret Doctrine” (1888) is merely a mish-mash, hot-pot of syncretism is an opinion, not a fact.
The object of the society early on was to study “Aryan and other Eastern literatures, religions, and sciences.” The term Aryan in the Victorian time was generally a synonym for Indian, and those who are Aryans were in one context considered those who strictly follow the Vedic principles. Additionally, India was once known as Aryavarta in the beginnings of its civilization.
The Aryans also referred to the Rishi (Skt. Ṛṣi) meaning the noble yogis, or seers through whom the various mantras or hymns of the Vedas were revealed. Helena P. Blavatsky and T. Subba Row referred to the secret doctrine as the Aryan and Arhat doctrine.
White Supremacy and Anti-Semitic Accusations
There is no “white supremacy” in “The Secret Doctrine” as will be clearly demonstrated.
Aryans in Arcadia claims: “The Secret Doctrine (1888) is a massive two-volume tome wherein Blavatsky—channeling entities she calls the Ascended Masters—details the tenants of a new system of esoteric thought called Theosophy,” but H.P. Blavatsky did not channel “Ascended Masters,” and her teachers criticized the practice, and are not ghosts (bhutas they call it). “When will any of you know and understand what we really are, instead of indulging in a world of fiction!” (The Mahatma Letters, Letter no. 51)
Concerning the rights of humanity, this is from page 230-231 of The Key to Theosophy:
ENQUIRER: “What do you consider as due to humanity at large?”
HPB: “Full recognition of equal rights and privileges for all, and without distinction of race, colour, social position, or birth.”
ENQUIRER: “When would you consider such due not given?”
HPB: “When there is the slightest invasion of another’s right – be that other a man or a nation; when there is any failure to show him the same justice, kindness, consideration or mercy which we desire for ourselves. The whole present system of politics is built on the oblivion of such rights, and the most fierce assertion of national selfishness.”
Then on pg. 233 of The Key to Theosophy, she says:
“universal Unity and Causation; Human Solidarity; the Law of Karma; Re-incarnation (…) are the four links of the golden chain which should bind humanity into one family, one universal Brotherhood” (…)
According to The Secret Doctrine, in its theory, the East Asians, such as Chinese, Africans and some aboriginals, e.g., the native Australians (Genetic Study Challenges Americans settlement theories by linking Amazonians and Australians) were descendants of older branches or races. In Theosophy, ethnology was a vital component of the study, with a Mahatma Letter from K.H., July, 1882 stating the importance of ethnology to their doctrine, critical of the Biblical anthropology of the time.
Now, Helena Blavatsky generally spoke against the attitude of seeing one’s race superior than others. These same researchers like to take her ideas out of context, so lets try exactly what they do. This passage and her logic — whether believed or not by either of us — taken out of context alone puts their libel into confusion.
“Thus the reason given for dividing humanity into superior and inferior races falls to the ground and becomes a fallacy.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, pg. 425)
“The Aryan and their Semitic Branch are of the Fifth Race [Epoch].”
“The occult doctrine admits of no such divisions as the Aryan and the Semite (…) The Semites, especially the Arabs, are later Aryans (…) To these belong all the Jews and the Arabs.”
Further, H.P.B. and William Q. Judge stated, that the ethnological make-up of the Aryans are from dark-skinned to the creamiest white. The concept of a blond-haired and blue-eyed “Aryan” was certainly not created with the Theosophists, and is a ridiculous notion.
True or not, H.P.B. adopted the theory that the Jewish people:
“are a tribe descended from the Tchandalas of India, the outcasts, many of them ex-Brahmins, who sought refuge in Chaldea, in Scinde, and Aria (Iran), and were truly from their father A-bram (No Brahmin) some 8,000 years B.C.”
Her criticisms of the Semitic religions, are treated as racist anti-semitism by ignorant researchers.
She tells Charles Johnston in accordance to the doctrinal positions she held to:
“There are really no “inferior races,” or low-grade races for all are one in our common humanity; and as we have all had incarnations in each of these races, we ought to be more brotherly to them.” (H.P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings, Vol. 8)
“In this manner the reason for division of humankind into higher and lower races is obsolete and a erroneous belief.” (Helena Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, Commentary Stanza IX)
George L. Mosse and Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke stated that:
“Theosophy itself was not racist.” (George L. Mosse, The History of Racism, German-Edition, Fischer, Frankfurt, 1990, reprint 2006, pg. 119)
“The central importance of “Aryan” racism in Ariosophy, albeit compounded by occult notions deriving from theosophy, may be traced to the racial concerns of Social Darwinism in Germany.” (Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism, NYU Press, Washington, 2004, pg. 14)
The Term Aryan in the Modern Theosophist’ Literature
So, it is established, that the term Aryan was often used in the early history of the Theosophical Society, as it was its purpose to study “Aryan literature.” Its use can be listed thus:
- Ethnology – The self-designation of a set of ethnic groups of Iranian, Indic and Nuristani peoples. It is not an evil word.
- Etymology – Meaning “noble,” and referring to a mindset, and the Rishi-yogins. One who was Aryan was one who followed the noble Vedic principles.
- Place – Āryāvarta, meaning the “abode of the Indo-Aryan or Indic peoples. It is a geographical term in classical Sanskrit literature. Ancient India is described as the “Alma-Mater,” of the Mysteries, or from which it chiefly proliferated, and not its ultimate origin.
The “Aryan” in Modern Theosophist’ Theories dissimilar from Nazi Aryanism
“Of all the old races the Aryan Indian alone yet remains as the preserver of the old doctrine. It will one day rise again to its old heights of glory” (William Quan Judge, Ocean of Theosophy, p. 85).
“Egypt and India”, says H.P.B. in Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, p. 515:
“were the oldest in the group of nations; and (…) the Eastern Ethiopians — the mighty builders — had come from India as a matured people.”
Is Isis Unveiled overly praising, or simply giving facts. On page 435, it is said:
“(…) we are prepared to maintain that Egypt owes her civilization, commonwealth and arts — especially the art of building, to pre-Vedic India, and that it was a colony of the dark-skinned Aryans, or those whom Homer and Herodotus term the eastern Æthiopians, i.e., the inhabitants of Southern India, who brought to it their ready-made civilization.”
“We must remember in this connection, that the peoples of Southwestern and Western Asia, including the Medes, were all Aryans. It is yet far from being proved who were the original and primitive masters of India. That this period is now beyond the reach of documentary history, does not preclude the probability of our theory that it was the mighty race of builders, whether we call them Eastern Æthiopians, or dark-skinned Aryans (the word meaning simply “noble warrior,” a “brave”). They ruled supreme at one time over the whole of ancient India, enumerated later by Manu as the possession of those whom our scientists term the Sanskrit-speaking people.”
“(…) all the knowledge possessed by these different schools, whether Magian, Egyptian, or Jewish, was derived from India, or rather from both sides of the Himalayas. (Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, p. 361)
The Aryans are considered to be dark-skinned in this theory. H.P.B. believed the Hebrew system was influenced by the Zoroastrians and Babylonians:
“Babylonian civilization was neither born nor developed in that country. It was imported from India, and the importers were Brahmanical Hindus” (Isis Unveiled, I, p. 576). And again, “The Babylonians (…) got their wisdom and learning from India” (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, p. 566)
The Secret Doctrine attempts to put forth a theory of evolution, in which the term Aryan plays a role, and is a reference to several things. Atleast one person argues, that Theosophy is a reconstruction of the religious philosophy of the Indo-Indic peoples, the people of Airyanəm Vaējah (Airyanem Vaejah).
Yet, the secret doctrine (not the book but the origins of the esoteric system) is stated to be neither the property of the Zoroastrians, nor its origins, predating it. In-fact, Blavatsky’s work admits a belief, that it was initially taught to primeval man by superior intelligences, and passed down generation to generation by man, as far as they could assimilate, rather than organically developing through the phases of Darwinian evolution, and the theories on the origins of Religion that follow from the Darwinian theory (from animism to the assumed-superiority of monotheism). The Book of the Stanzas of Dzyan was accused of being lifted merely from the Siphra Dzeniouta and Alexander Csoma de Kőrös’s Kangyur.
“…we affirm that, if Egypt furnished Greece with her civilization, and the latter bequeathed hers to Rome, Egypt herself had, in those unknown ages when Menes reigned, received her laws, her social institutions, her arts and her sciences, from pre-Vedic India; and that therefore, it is in that old initiatrix of the priests — adepts of all the other countries — we must seek for the key to the great mysteries of humanity.” (Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, p. 589)
The terms pre-Vedic India and old India refer to the Indo-Iranian civilisation and preceding, not to the contemporary idea promulgated by the “White Aryans,” that are the consequences of corrupted notions.
“If I were convinced by any reasonable proof or argument that Palestine was ever the cradle of our civilization or philosophy, or other than the seat of a people who are the true exponents of a fine social materialism, I would advocate great attention to her records. But it is not a single small nation we should look to. The fountain head is better than a secondary receptacle, a mere cistern that takes the overflow from the source. The fountain is old India, and to that the members of the Theosophical Society who are not only desirous of saving time but also of aiding the sages of the past in the evolution of doctrines which, applied to our great new civilization, can alone save it from failure, will bend themselves to the task of carrying out our second object — the investigation of Aryan literature, religion, and science.” (William Q. Judge, The Path, Feb, 1891)
It traces the ideas of the old religions, their doctrine, and attempts to demonstrate them to be founded on a common esoteric basis and system. We find the doctrines in the Zoroastrian scriptures and esotericism, of the non-dual daivá, the seven gods of Simorgh (goddess of pre-Zoroastrian Persian culture), the anthropogenesis on the “sweat-born” and the eggs, the development of male and female from early androgynous forms or types, are all as equally found fragmentary in Zoroastrian texts (e.g., the Bundahishn). Yet, we can also find that in the Purāṇas. So, the idea, that the Puranas and Avestas, the Dzeniouta and Torah, etc., are all derived from a parent doctrine begins to not sound as implausible. Perhaps, from superior intelligences is stretching it for the skeptical, and the orthodox, that idea of this parent doctrine, manuscripts, and lost tongues, is not that impossible to consider.
The research of the theosophist goes into this other phase when we are told, that the Wisdom Tradition precedes even the Indo-Aryan civilization. The doctrine of the seven worlds and seven heavens were known and taught by the Zoroastrians, and it is Ahura, whom presides over the great daivás. The doctrine of Globes was also taught in the Zoroastrian line of tradition, yet not fully explained, nor was it ever fully explained by the Rosicrucians. This tenet of the seven was taken to be merely “mythical” by scholars, yet the septenary division is there, and the mystery of seven is everywhere in religious traditions.
“Wisdom hath builded her house,
She hath hewn out her seven pillars.” — (Proverbs ix, 1.)
The seven divisions of the human constitution can also be seen in the now extinct, Zurvanism (R. C. Zaehner, Zurvan. A Zoroastrian Dilemma, Oxford, 1955, pp. 323, 334).
The Terrestrial Plane Principles in Zurvanite Zoroastrianism
Using terms for the English with equivalents in the Zurvanism:
7. Para-Ego (vāyu-vāta, or space equivalent to dhatu in Theosophy)
6. Inner-Ego (fravahr)
5. Ego-Manas (ruvān, or manoh in its spiritual sense)
4. Passional-Lower Manas (ruvān, or manoh in its ordinary sense)
3. Vital-Passional, or Psychic (jān, vāyu, or Sk. prāṇa) and Desire nature // The psychic principle, or the vayu or prana is universal and dual (higher constructive and lower destructive aspects of the universal substance or spirit)
2. Astral-Double, or Shadow (advēnak)
1. Objective Terrestrial (tan)
The Zurvanite Zoroastrianism classification is the five-fold division as in Tāraka Rāja Yoga, which is but a broad division, and contains in them sub-divisions. Thus, this is above shown to correspond still to the seven-fold division. It is further demonstrated in the passage of the Zurvanite Zoroastrianism, that the classifications or “bodies” (Sk. kosas) it says are of one principle (de, creator), are represented by Time, Space and Wisdom. It is taught, that man is fashioned in accordance to those classifications, and these principles describe the human constitution.
This decimates the National Socialist and Theozoologie doctrine of the Aryans in 20th c. Germany, because the modern theosophists kept to original meanings. The expanded theories in their literature do not even resemble the National Socialists.
The doctrine of the septenary division has everything to do with the origins of mind, which being that there is a diviner portion to the principle. Man is the thinking-man, or Manas, and the alliance with the lower principles keeps man from seeing above the animal nature. Ahura Mazda is the synthesis of the Amesha Spentas, hence an Amesha Spenta itself. It is the Wise Lord, and the Amesha Spentas (or Manasaputras). One of the Manasaputras, or Amesha Spentas is in us. This is Manoh (mind), or Manas, from which the word “Man” derives.
Aryans and Africans are of Common Ancestry
The Secret Doctrine states that the Africans, Aryans, Mongols, etc., have all originated from the same ancestors; and attribute original physical differences to climatic and geographical conditions. There are real consequences to that. Differences in histories, mentality, diets, culture, etc., which are surface things. It stated that there are some African tribes that are low intellectually, in comparison to the greater portion of humanity, not all Africans. It speaks solely of some having a lower intelligence. Yet, H.P.B. adds:
“If to-morrow the continent of Europe were to disappear and other lands to re-emerge instead; and if the African tribes were to separate and scatter on the face of the earth, it is they who, in about a hundred thousand years hence, would form the bulk of the civilized nations. And it is the descendants of those of our highly cultured nations, who might have survived on some one island, without any means of crossing the new seas, that would fall back into a state of relative savagery. Thus the reason given for dividing humanity into SUPERIOR and INFERIOR races falls to the ground and becomes a fallacy.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p. 425)
So, why do some attempt to define H.P.B. as a white race or Aryan supremacist?
It’s clear, the use of the term Aryan by theosophists hasn’t been studied by the morons.