Source of Theosophy

The truths of the Secret Doctrine are not the result of one person's opinion. Rather they have been preserved and extended according to a "scientific method" employed over long long centuries by adepts "testing, checking, and verifying" the results of fellow adepts. HPB explains:

The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages ... such is the mysterious power of Occult symbolism, that the facts which have actually occupied countless generations of initiated seers and prophets to marshal, to set down and explain in the bewildering series of evolutionary progress, are all recorded on a few pages of geometrical signs and glyphs. The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated into the very kernel of matter, and recorded the soul of things there ... It is useless to say that the system in question is no fancy of one or several isolated individuals. That it is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the traditions passed orally by one early race to another, of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity. That for long ages, the "Wise Men" of the Fifth Race, of the stock saved and rescued from the last cataclysm and shifting of continents, had passed their lives in learning, not teaching. How did they do so? It is answered: by checking, testing, and verifying in every department of nature the traditions of old by the independent visions of great adepts; i.e., men who have developed and perfected their physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual organisations to the utmost possible degree. No vision of one adept was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the visions - so obtained as to stand as independent evidence - of other adepts, and by centuries of experience. (Secret Doctrine by Blavatsky, Vol I, page 273.)


William Q. Judge, the very close student and colleague of Blavatsky, summarized the source of Theosophy:

Theosophy is not a new invention but the essential underlying truth of all philosophies; it is a body of doctrine in philosophy, science, and ethics, principally derived from the Eastern archaic sacred Theories, which were worked out by a brotherhood of devotees and initiates who used every method of scientific investigation known to us, as well as their own highly developed practises of observation, experiment, concentration, and meditation to reach the truth. They traced all phenomena by every possible means from their significance to their source, and by comparison of their independent searches and observations recorded their conclusions and accepted such results only as could stand the test of applicability and verification from every point and in every conceivable direction.

This slowly accumulating body of facts furnished the basis for these great universal doctrines, and the psychic development of these devotees and students gave them great power over nature and insight into the mystic side of the universe and man. These doctrines were handed down from generation to generation since time immemorial, and were guarded by the most sacredly pledged disciples, who had devoted their whole lives to the development of their psychic and spiritual faculties. The reason why these doctrines had been so strenuously guarded from the profane and unripe is because the possession of their knowledge gives great power for use or abuse. It embraces the science of the finer forces in nature, their relation and correspondences in themselves, and the knowledge of their uses and application for the benefit or destruction of humanity.

Although this transcendental knowledge was accessible at all times to those who were ripe and who felt the craving for it strong enough to make the unremitting sacrifice, it would be acquired only by those whose supreme intensity of excitement and enthusiasm made it possible in those times to incur the self-denial and renunciation of worldly concerns necessary to initiation. Nor is it any different now, and never will be, except that portions of the doctrine are given out from time to time, such as may be safely trusted to an advancing age, because to penetrate into the mystery of nature requires a state of the greatest purity and perfection, and this final perfection is not a gift to be expected from without, but is to be worked for by those who desire it. (From Theosophy and The Theosophical Society, an article by W. Q. Judge)


Blavatsky was taught by two of the Masters who were part of this body of initiated seers refered to above. So she once answered a question as follows:

What I do believe in is (1), the unbroken oral teachings revealed by living divine men during the infancy of mankind to the elect among men; (2), that it has reached us unaltered; and (3) that the MASTERS are thoroughly versed in the science based on such uninterrupted teaching. (From What Shall We Do For Our Fellow-Men? by H.P. Blavatsky)


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