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Madhava Ashish: Contribution of Blavatsky to World Thought

Leng Jun 冷军, drawing of seated Asian woman reading book

“The world’s many religious teachings are human attempts to express mankind’s half defined ideas about himself and the world he lives in. As we become richer in our wealth of concepts and more knowledgeable about our environment, we find it necessary from time to time to reformulate our religious ideas. H.P. Blavatsky’s contribution to world thought was such a reformulation. It was no new truth that she propounded; she claimed, in fact, that she was only disclosing the secrets of the ancients. And though that was in some measure true, she spoke from the position of a woman of her time, well versed in the science of her time. She produced a reformulation of religious ideas which began to combine the transcendental wisdom of the East with the scientific knowledge of the West.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines Theosophy as: Any system of speculation which bases the knowledge of nature upon that of the divine nature. We may add that knowledge of the divine nature is obtained through knowledge of its manifest qualities in nature. Although H.P.B. rightly tilted at the materialism of nineteenth century science, and though some of her own statements seem to have been extravagantly wrong, she was not so much denying the natural facts discovered by scientists as she was the constructions they built upon those facts. At a time when faith in religious myth and superstition was badly shaken by scientific discoveries, she reintroduced the thinking world to the idea of a nontheistic spiritual path – the path of human evolutionary aspiration. 

Through the Cosmogenesis of The Secret Doctrine she began an attempt to heal the dichotomy between the religio-spiritual and the scientifico-material views of life. Neither did “God” make the world, nor was it made by the random concatenation of energetic particles. And emphatically the world was not limited to the phenomena susceptible to analysis by the scientific method. What the West had regarded as a personal God was the power which sought, as Jacob Boehme said, to find, feel and behold itself. And to discover that power we have to search with as much realism and urgency in this field of inquiry as does the scientist within the limits of his field.” (Sri Mdhava Ashish, The Secret Doctrine as a Contribution to World Thought in H.P. Blavatsky and the Secret Doctrine, commentaries on her contributions to world thought, Edited by Virginia Hanson; TPH, Wheaton, Ill. USA, 1988 p. 47-56)

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