Theosophy ULT

What is Theosophy?

What is Theosophy?

Theosophy is Divine Wisdom.   Theos = Divine and Sophia = Wisdom.   The central idea is this: within and behind the Cosmos, Nature and Man is Divine Wisdom.  When we look at the grandeur and majesty of the Universe and the exquisite beauty and sophistication of Nature we sense the presence of an unexplainable Consciousness, Intelligence and Energy.  Wise men of ancient civilizations whether Indian, Chinese, Egyptian or those of indigenous peoples prior to the Modern Era worshiped Noumenal Nature and not a personal God. Divinity in Nature and Man is better understood by the metaphor “The Spiritual Sun”, than by the image of an anthropomorphic Creator. The motto of the Modern Theosophical Movement is “There is no religion higher than Truth”.

Science of Spirituality

Theosophia is the Wisdom of the Ages. It goes by many names in many traditions. The Gupta Vidya, the Sanatana Dharma, the Perennial Philosophy, the Esoteric Tradition and the Wisdom of the Mystics are just a few examples of the names given to this Wisdom Tradition. Ancient peoples considered the elevation of human consciousness a science of spirituality. It fact the whole concept of the scientific method, which is the process of duplicatable experimentation and verification through comparing the experiences of others comes from ancient spiritual traditions. But this scientific method can also be found amongst the Pythagoreans and Platonists of the West. The quest to discover the origins of one’s consciousness and being, the attempt to discern the intricate cycles of nature, and the quest to determine the chains of cause and effect all constitute a science of spirituality.

Philosophy of Perfectibility

One of the most profound theosophical ideas to be communicated in the Ancient Greek tradition is the notion that Man is the “Microcosm of the Macrocosm”. The universe mirrors itself in its parts. In mathematics this is known as fractals, the representation of the whole in the parts. Nowhere is this more dramatic than in the human constitution. Theosophia postulates that the Cosmos, Nature and Man are all sevenfold, each reflecting the other. This grand notion leads to the inspiring hypothesis that man has infinite potential. Human beings, rather than being misguided sinners, or advanced animals, are actually self-conscious minds and hearts with the ability to guide and determine their own evolution towards enlightenment. The very word “man” itself comes from the ancient Sanskrit word “Manas” or Mind or Thinker. Through the power of mind and heart the Wisdom Tradition proposes the capacity for infinite perfectibility. Individuals who have advanced their awareness of Nature’s inner workings were honored by names like Adepts, Mahatmas, Hierophants, Shamans and Great Teachers depending upon the culture they were from.

Religion of Solidarity

Every religious, philosophical or spiritual tradition of any consequence has pointed to the sublime idea that all life is One.   Everything at every level is interconnected. There is a Radical Unity in which no part is left out.  The Buddha teaches that the fundamental illusion that plagues mankind is separateness.  Jesus pleads with mankind to love one another. Lao Tzu remarks that the Sage has no separate self of his or her own but rather makes the Self of All one’s own.  Theosophy hails as its most important idea the reality of Human Solidarity.  At some essential level all men and women are brothers and sisters.  We are, despite all evidence to the contrary, actually one family with no exceptions. The Secret Doctrine states the ‘fundamental identity of all souls with the Universal Oversoul”.  Because of this core idea all credible Great Teachers from all eras and traditions insist on compassion, love and respect for one’s fellow man.  But not only that, they insist upon this same reverence for all that lives and breathes.  Humanity is not separate or above Nature but rather an integral part of it.

Wisdom of the Ages

There is nothing new about Theosophy.  It is as old as man himself. Humanity’s Great Teachers and Sages, particularly in the East, have pointed to ancient civilizations that significantly pre-date the great Egyptian, Indian or Chinese civilizations of the hoary past. A great deal of H.P. Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine is devoted to revealing the common strains of a “Parent Doctrine”, a body of ideas if you will, that were passed down from generation to generation in the ancient world. This tradition can be discovered and verified.  Those ideas were expressed in different ways and in different forms but they are, at their core, the identical tenets. These ideas are a synthetic whole that comprise Divine Wisdom and are revealed to intuitive individuals through Noumenal Nature.  Because knowledge is power, and for man’s own protection,  these ideas have their esoteric and exoteric dimensions.

Solutions for the Present

The propositions of Great Teachers like Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Plato, Muhammad and so many others have universal and eternal relevance.  Rightly understood Divine Wisdom addresses itself to any and all problems that humanity faces.  Theosophy purports to have the answer for each and every predicament, trouble, struggle or issue that plagues society and torments the individual. These solutions ae buried in universal principles.  It is not a panacea for easy answers and overnight solutions but Theosophy instead points to critical ideas like karma and reincarnation to explain the hardships and inequities of human life. These principles, when rightly understood, are necessary for the proper application of human therapeutics. Every problem has internal causes, is explainable, and with wisdom new cycles can be initiated leading to spiritual growth and equilibrium.

Civilization of the Future

According to Theosophy humanity is on an immense pilgrimage. The Theosophical Movement has as one of its central activities the imagining and building towards an ever evolving and more enlightened civilization in the future.  The Bible states in proverbs, “As a man thinketh, so shall he be.”  To create the civilization of the future we must first imagine it.  Furthermore the society of the future will be comprised of human beings who strive to become more compassionate, reverential, and wise. Ancient Wisdom holds that any effort, however small or humble, in the right direction will bear fruit. Students of Theosophy seek to find ways to sow seeds of benevolence which will benefit generations in the future.


Search for Truth

The motto of the modern theosophical movement is “There is no religion higher than Truth”. The love of wisdom (Philo+Sophia=philosophy) is predicated upon the Search for Truth. Theosophia is not a belief system.  It is rather a knowledge system and therefore Truth,  Satya (Sanskrit), Veritas (Latin), Aletheia (Greek), holds sway over all.  Truth is beyond formulation and cannot be encapsulated or contained. Any expression of it, no matter how faithful, is therefore incomplete. “The Truth loves questions” and therefore in theosophical circles the challenging of ideas, testing of conceptions, the questioning of assumptions is not only welcome but encouraged.  The seeker wants the truth and nothing but the Truth and welcomes all ideas and challenges which clarify and refine one’s understanding.


Quest for Enlightenment

One of the central tenets of Theosophy is the perfectibility of man.  Human beings have infinite potential and are essentially mirrors of the universe as a complete whole.  The fracturing and compartmentalizing of our identity, profound self-centeredness, and materialism all block our progress towards higher levels of enlightenment.  Enlightenment represents human beings who have mastered their minds and their natures to such as extent that the interconnectedness of all life, the rhythms and flows of nature, the deeper meaning of events are all exceedingly clear.  This quest represents the deepest yearnings of the human heart. Making progress from incarnation to incarnation, and helping others along the way, is the underlying purpose of our lives.

Freedom of Thought

“Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of one’s own mind” Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us. Theosophy is about independent inquiry and investigation. The pursuit of wisdom requires independence of thought. Each human being must come to terms with the world and universe they live in through their own experience, reasoning power and intuition. It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable. Seeking out the ideas of those who see things differently than ourselves broadens our understanding while respecting the freedom of thought we cherish for ourselves. In Theosophy no one is asked to believe anything with the possible exception of universal brotherhood. 


“O Arjuna, resolve thou to become a man of meditation.” This is one of the central admonitions of the Bhagavad Gita, The Song of the Lord, from the Indian Tradition. Meditation is central to the spiritual life and it can take many forms depending upon the temperament of the individual. Essentially it is a turning inward. In the grand quest it is the endeavor to reach up to the Self within. And in that regard could be considered a form of worship and a sacred obligation. Theosophy does not offer any formulas or panaceas for meditation. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali offers safe and sound guidelines for the student but essentially each individual must run their own experiments, listen to their heart and select their own path. In addition to the Bhagavad Gita, the seminal book The Voice of the Silence is invaluable in developing the right motive and philosophical foundation for meditation.  In fact, all the great scriptures and sacred texts of mankind offer guideposts for meditation whether it be “The Sermon on the Mount, the Koran or the Tao Te Ching.


Self-Study is the endeavor to be completely honest with oneself. Each man is the captain of his or her own ship. But this requires the pilgrim soul to correct course whenever necessary. Theosophical students see self-study and meditation as two sides of the same coin.  Both require perspectives beyond the personal, a certain critical distance.  If we are to dissolve separateness and selfishness, which is so deep-rooted at this point in time, we must evaluate our thoughts, actions and motives without editing out what is unpleasant or inconvenient. This is supremely challenging, but then again who said the mastery of human nature was going to be easy?  Theosophy salutes all those who undertake the noble process of self-purification with sincerity and perseverance.


Theosophy stands for the ethical ideal of Altruism. The loving and self-chosen act of putting the good of others before one’s own is an expression of the Ultimate Unity of Life.  Human life is filled with examples of this heartfelt sacrifice in the form of the relationships between parent and child, teacher and student. But to make this an ethical ideal which supersedes all selfish desires, guiding all our relationships, governing all our choices, and motivated by a profound sense of Oneness is the moral condition of the Sage towards which all true students of Theosophy aspire.

Omnipresent Divinity

In the mystery schools of ancient cultures the concept of God was always abstract and never anthropomorphic.  The idea of God varies from culture to culture and perhaps from individual to individual.  In fact, the spiritual traditions of indigenous peoples and ancient cultures was decidedly polytheistic.  The key idea is that the universe is the home to scores of intelligent and semi-intelligent beings on metaphysical planes but all under a common LAW and from a common Source. These metaphysical forces/intelligences which interpenetrate the physical world were often given forms and symbols connected to the Natural World to make them more accessible.  But the deeper teaching was that Divinity was everywhere, transcendental, universal, and omnipresent. Therefore, it follows that either everything is sacred or nothing is sacred.  If all of life has a single Abstract Source it is logical that divinity is omnipresent.

The Laws of Karma and Reincarnation

The Universe is NOT a fortuitous concurrence of atoms as materialistic science might proclaim. The Universe is an ordered Cosmos evidenced in the staggering organizational beauty of a single human body and its ordered 30-40 trillion cells. The Laws that manage Life are ultimately cycles, cycles of cause and effect, cycles of birth and death, cycles of evolution and involution, a cosmic dance between Spirit and Matter. Karma is the impersonal law of cause and effect that governs nature. Its human moral equivalent is expressed in the Bible with the phrase, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap”. Reincarnation is the companion doctrine of Karma pointing to the immense pilgrimage of the soul in its journey to Self-Realization. The cycle of life and death never stops. Causes put in one place in one life carry over to future effects.

The Human Pilgrimage

The purpose of this immense pilgrimage of the soul is to evolve, to grow, to learn and in an ever- increasing degree gain compassion and identity with all that lives. If man be the microcosm of the macrocosm, as the ancient Greeks proclaimed, then the human pilgrimage is nothing short of the adventure to unveil all of Life’s mysteries, perhaps one by one. It is absurd to think that a quest of this magnitude could be contained in a single lifetime. Therefore, a central idea in Theosophy is reincarnation, the idea that we reap what we sow from life to life, not so much for punishment but primarily for learning. It is important to note that this pilgrimage includes the whole of mankind and never merely one group or another. The Ancient Buddhist notion of the Bodhisattva is a being who does not rest until all of humanity becomes enlightened. 

Wisdom of Nature

Theosophy could also be described as the Philosophy of Nature. To be even more precise it the Wisdom of Noumenal Nature.  The great civilizations of the past took their cues from Nature. The Sun and Moon cycles, the Zodiac, the migration patterns of birds,  the interconnected nature of the ecosystem has inspired human beings throughout time.  Nature has both an exquisitely harmonious and beautiful exterior side and an exceedingly wise and unitary interior side. Everything a human being needs to know to live a life well can be found through listening, observing and reverencing Nature. Nature is the embodiment of the Divine. Nature has a sublime intelligence of which mankind is a part.

Music of the Spheres

From one point of view the manifested world is a seemingly endless series of vibrations. According to Theosophy the universe is akin to a cosmic symphony orchestra.  Sound permeates the whole of Space. Plato said “God geometrizes” meaning there is a sublime mathematics of sound in the universe.Those who have the ears to hear and the facilities to perceive nature’s hidden patterns  experience it all as a kind of music. The Music of the Spheres is the dynamic harmony of Nature found not only in the planets but found in every grain of sand, every atom. All phenomena in the natural world have a Key, a Rhythm and a Melody. This accounts for why music is the universal language.

Infinite Human Potential

Despite all evidence to the contrary, human beings contain the potential for infinite growth in creativity, compassion and wisdom. The ancient teaching is that man is sevenfold, confirming that there are many levels and planes to our being including the cosmos, meaning there are many levels and planes to our being including the cosmos. These ascending hierarchies reach all the way up to the Foundations of Life. Should this be true the journey through life could be seen as an infinite exploration of that potential, the promise of the Human Soul. This proposition can be proven or disproven through our own experiments with our own lives. Practice makes perfect. The Bible states, “As a man thinketh, so shall he be.” If we can imagine our way into despair then the converse is equally true, we can imagine our way out of it.

Unity of Life

Theosophy teaches, as one of its core tenets, the radical unity of all life. We are connected in a divine tapestry of interconnected threads.  The actions of one have an effect on the lives of all, universal unity and causation.  There is a fellowship between all creatures in the ecosystem. “The one Life permeates ALL.”  The mystic experience of Oneness is a glimpse into this overarching principle.  It provides the metaphysical foundation that mandates all ethical and moral behavior. Ultimately we cannot harm another without harming ourselves.

Universal Brotherhood

Universal Brotherhood, the idea that every man, woman and child is part of a single family, is both a fact in nature and an ideal to strive for in time and space. We are all connected whether we accept it or not. We are all children of the earth. Humanity has divine parentage in a manner of speaking. Our very life and consciousness must have a common Source. The sense of separateness, an affliction that develops selfishness, leads to suffering and alienation.  For the actualization of human solidarity we must overcome our false sense of identity in name and form and relocate our sense of self in a transcendental Spiritual Source. None of this happens overnight. Like everything else in Nature the transformation is incremental and subtle when combined with effort in the right direction.


The central admonition of all Great Teachers is love and compassion for each and all. The goal of Theosophy is to assist human beings in becoming women and men of non-violence of heart and mind. Compassion was the central teaching of the Buddha and love the central teaching of Jesus. To develop empathy and concern for others is yet another arena of infinite potential within the human constitution. To acquire wisdom, step by step, inspires altruistic action performed with skillful means and in the right spirit.

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