Madame Helena Blavatsky was born in 1831 and died in 1891 having developed a form of wisdom religion that she named theosophy. A research institute called the Theosophical Society was formed based on her teaching and esoteric doctrine.
Theosophy is an esoteric doctrine that establishes a universal brotherhood of humanity that does not distinguish between any race, creed, sex or caste system. Madame Blavatsky saw herself as a missionary of this type of philosophical thinking.
Her teachings were published in The Secret Doctrine and this publication includes the basic ideas about her philosophical principles. She published additional works that included Isis Unveiled, The Key to Theosophy and The Voice of the Silence.
She was controversial in her thinking and writing. She is a prominent name within the New Age Movement.
This type of philosophical teaching had a significant influence on modern Buddhism and the Hindu reform movements. She and her associates were influential in the revival of Theravada Buddhism.
The Theosophical Society was established in 1875 along with Colonel Henry Steel Olcutt. She became an American citizen in 1878. She traveled extensively in order to promote the teaching of the Theosophical Society.
What Is the Theosophical Society?
The Theosophical Society was established in New York City in 1875 with a standard motto of there is no religion higher than truth. Two prominent leaders within this movement includes Madame Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcutt and William Quan Judge. There were several standard declarations for the new age movement that include the following:
- There is a nucleus of a universal brotherhood that transcends all humanity. There is no distinction of race, sex, or caste.
- A standard study of comparative religion, philosophy and science is in order.
- The unexplained laws of nature and the latent powers available in human beings are important.
- The society was established an non sectarian and non proselytizing.
The first president of the Theosophical Society was Olcutt and he and Madame Blavatsky moved from New York to Bombay, India, in 1878. The international headquarters for the society was established in a suburb of Madras, India. Madame Blavatsky died in 1891 and a number of splits and disagreements emerged among the society members. There were several organizations that emerged from the original society after Madame Blavatsky's death. This style of philosophy remains active and has organizations in over fifty countries.
What Are the Standard Ideas Included in Theosophy?
Theosophy saw its doctrines as the basis of all religions and philosophies. Divine wisdom is thousands of years old and came from the Alexandrian philosophers called lovers of truth. The name theosophy originated during the third century and was followed by Saccas.
She started an eclectic theosophical system. Madame Blavatsky attempted to reconcile humanity's scientific, philosophical and religious disciplines into a unified world view.
Several disciplines and fields of knowledge are investigated, amended and explained with an esoteric or occult framework. The ultimate fate of the universe or humanity has been called a system of absolutist metaphysics.
What Are the Standard Methodologies Used?
The methodologies used with theosophy are neither revelation or speculation. The knowledge understood within theosophy is gained through a gradual and faithful reintroduction of a hidden science called the Occult Science. This science has the following principles:
- Reality is not only at a physical level but on a metaphysical level as well.
- Occult science has been preserved and practiced throughout history by selected individuals.
- The axioms of theosophy can be verified by following certain prescribed disciplines that occur in a practitioner and metaphysical methods of knowledge.
- Metaphysical knowledge transcends any limitations of the senses.
- Many of the basic theosophical principles may in the future be verified by science.
How Are the Principles of Theosophy Applied?
There are several applications of theosophy that are a part of a student's holistic development. These applications include the following:
- A disciplined theosophy student studies the foundation principles on a committed basis.
- Meditation is an integral part of learning and applying theosophy.
- Service is an important part of this method of thinking that is determined to be necessary.
- A student needs to practice the society's motto and the three objectives as parts of a daily regimen.
- Study and meditation are promoted within the daily activities.
What Are the Three Fundamental Propositions?
There are three fundamental propositions that are essential within this method of thinking. These three fundamental tenets of theosophy are the following:
- The first proposition states that there is one underlying, unconditional and indivisible truth called the absolute, the unknown root or the one reality. This truth is causeless and timeless and unknowable. Manifested existence is a change of condition and is not the result of creation or a random original event.
- A second tenet of this philosophy says that there is an absolute universality of the law of flux and reflux or ebb and flow. Existence is an eternally re occurring event on a boundless plane. Each manifestation is a cause as regards its successor and this event is done over within finite periods of time.
- The third proposition says that there is a fundamental identity of all souls within the universal over soul. There is an obligatory pilgrimage for every soul through a cycle of incarnation in accordance with cyclic and karmic law. These souls undergo a process of evolution where consciousness unfolds and matter occurs. Evolution follows certain paths in accordance with immutable laws. Two tenets are those of periodicity and cyclicity. The law of karma or cause and effect is another of these universal laws within existence.
What Are the Constellation Principles of Theosophy?
Madame Blavatsky wrote about the seven large stars of the Egyptian great bear constellation in her first book The Secret Doctrine. She saw the seven rays of the Vedic sun deity Vishnu as representing the same idea of astral fluid or light of the kabalists.
Madame Blavatsky indicated that the seven emanations of the lower seven sephiroth are the primeval seven rays that are discovered and understood in all religions. The society has seven important symbols that are centrally important within this philosophy.
There are seven cosmic planes of existence and these seven planes are different states of consciousness.
Madame Helena Blavatsky was one of the founders and leaders of a new age philosophy that tends to transcend beyond modern religions and ways of life.
She continually traveled internationally to teach her basic philosophies and lived in India during her later years.