April 12, 2016

What is Theosophy?

ENQUIRER:  Theosophy and its doctrines are often referred to as a new fangled religion. Is it a religion?

THEOSOPHIST:   It is not. Theosophy is Divine Knowledge or Science.

ENQUIRER:   What is the real meaning of the term?

THEOSOPHIST:   “Divine Wisdom,” (Theosophia) or Wisdom of the gods, as (theogonia), genealogy of the gods.  The word theos means “a,” god in Greek, one of the divine beings, certainly not “God” in the sense attached in our day to the term.  Therefore, it is not “Wisdom of God,” as miss-translated by some, but Divine Wisdom such as that possessed by the gods.  The term is many thousands of years old.

ENQUIRER:  What is the origin of the name?

THEOSOPHIST:  It comes to us from the Alexandrian philosophers, called lovers of truth, Philaletheians, from phil “loving,” and aletheia “truth.”   The name Theosophy dates from the third century of our era, and began with Ammonius Saccas and his disciples, who started the Eclectic Theosophical system.

ENQUIRER:  Can you attain the “Secret Wisdom” simply by study?  Encyclopedias define Theosophy pretty much as Webster’s Dictionary does, that is as:

… “supposed intercourse with God and superior spirits, and consequent attainment of superhuman knowledge by physical means and chemical processes. Is this so?”

THEOSOPHIST: I think not. Nor is there any lexicographer capable of explaining, whether to himself or others, how superhuman knowledge can be attained by physical or chemical processes.

Had Webster said “by metaphysical and alchemical processes”, the definition would be approximately correct: as it is, (the above definition)  is absurd.

Ancient Theosophists claimed, and so do the modern, that the infinite cannot be known by the finite — that is, sensed by the finite Self — but that the divine essence could be communicated to the higher Spiritual Self in a state of ecstasy. This condition can hardly be attained, like hypnotism, by,  “physical and chemical means”.

From H. P. Blavatsky’s Key to Theosophy  Published 1893

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