WHAT IS THEOSOPHY
“The scholar lives and has his associations with men of the present day, but the men of antiquity are the subjects of his study. Following their principles and examples in the present age, he will become a pattern in future ages.”— LI JI 禮記 BK.XXXVIII.[picture]
THE 1875 THEOS. SOC., CHRISTIAN MYSTICISM, THE NEOPLATONISTS, DIOGENES AND THE GREEK ORIGIN OF THE TERM THEOSOPHY
THEOSOPHY (the 1875 Movement) when not generally defined in its literature is also called the Secret Doctrine, Wisdom-religion; or identified with primeval Magian Religion, Buddhism and Hindu esotericism, simply termed Aryan Religion. When specific — the Arya-Chaldeo-Tibetan system. It does not originate from Northern Tibetan Buddhism, but from Central Asia, according to H.P. Blavatsky. The exposition of the system under the name Theosophy is ONLY described as the fundamental principles of that system, not its fullness. Much of the Theosophy of the 1875 Movement is therefore: the Basics and Analogetics for purpose of proving the antiquity of the doctrines.
Modern Theosophy is composed of:
- Fundamental and Ethical Principles and Postulates
- Method of Analogeticism and Discourse on Ideological Content
- Commentary on Theoretical and Philosophical Occultism and Myth Interpretation.
This is what the Theosophist studies and explains.
Providing a brief glossary of the term Theosophy, it describes a characteristic way of approaching and interpreting the world. There are many individuals that can be described as propagators of theosophy in the past before the 1875 Movement such as sources shaped in the Renaissance, like Christian kabbalah, Hermetic and revivalist Neoplatonic thinking. A few of these names come to mind, such as: Gabriel Mathieu Marconis de Nègre, Antoine-Joseph Pernety, Martinez de Pasqually, A.E. Ragon, Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, Jean-Baptiste Willermoz, Emanuel Swedenborg, and Frère Chastanier. Some listed here are Freemasons and proponents of Protestant theosophy. THEOSOPHY, generally defined like the word Gnosis, means “Divine Wisdom” and what is referred to in Theosophical literature, as the Secret Doctrine, Wisdom-religion, the primeval Magian Religion, Aryan Religion, or rather specifically hinting its origins — the Arya-Chaldeo-Tibetan system.
This latter THEOSOPHY is taught by the Theosophists of the 1875 Movement who embraced the term as an identity. Theosophists explained that the term THEOSOPHIA implies in its etymology, not belief in a personal extra-cosmic (i.e., outside of Space and Time) god as in Christian theology, but signifies knowledge concerning the real nature of man and higher occult wisdom, or real magical knowledge as is possessed by gods. This system postulates ONE immutable, eternal, omnipresent, boundless ABSOLUTE PRINCIPLE — Matter, invested with intrinsic intelligence and activity. This philosophy represents it under four principles: Space, Matter, Motion, and Duration. As THEOSOPHY signifies occult or magical knowledge, there is belief in the “gods” and “demons” (or daimonia). It is therefore, not “the Wisdom of God” that is meant, but divine occult wisdom as is as stated, held by (or of) [and is intelligible to] ‘the gods’ (See Jean-Louis Siemons: “Theosophy” in Neo-Platonic and Christian Literature).
Regarding MYTHOGRAPHY and under-meanings (hyponoia), the Neo-Platonists were Analogeticists — “on account of their method of interpreting all sacred legends, symbolical myths and mysteries, by a rule of analogy or correspondence, so that events which had occurred in the external world were regarded as expressing operations and experiences of the human soul” (Helena Blavatsky, What Is Theosophy). The origins of the ancestral Gnosis through the Neo-Platonists were traced to times antedating the Ptolemaic dynasties according to Diogenes Laërtius, and were passed down and meant for those their contemporaries styled “theodidaktoi” (god-taught).
“A name by which many mystics at various periods of history have called themselves. The Neo-Platonists of Alexandria were Theosophists; the Alchemists and Kabbalists during the mediæval ages were likewise so called, also the Martinists, the Quietists, and other kinds of mystics, whether acting independently or incorporated in a brotherhood or society. All real lovers of divine Wisdom and Truth had, and have, a right to the name, rather than those who, appropriating the qualification, live lives or perform actions opposed to the principles of Theosophy. As described by Brother Kenneth R. Mackenzie, the Theosophists of the past centuries—“ entirely speculative, and founding no schools, have still exercised a silent influence upon philosophy; and, no doubt, when the time arrives, many ideas thus silently propounded may yet give new directions to human thought. One of the ways in which these doctrines have obtained not only authority, but power, has been among certain enthusiasts in the higher degrees of Masonry. This power has, however, to a great degree died with the founders, and modern Freemasonry contains few traces of theosophic influence.”H.P. BLAVATSKY, THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY (THEOSOPHISTS)