SOCIETY SOUTHERN AFRICA
The word comes from the Greek “theosophia” meaning the wisdom of the Gods or Divine Wisdom. It relates to the Alexandrian philosophers called “Lovers of the Truth”. It has been known by other names for example “The Ageless or Ancient Wisdom, the Wisdom Religion, the Perennial Philosophy and the Wisdom Tradition”.
It is seen as being a multifaceted teaching. One that gives meaning and purpose to life that aids our understanding of our own natures and the nature of reality. It gives guidelines on the physical body, our psychological nature both emotional and mental and our spiritual nature. It can also help students of its teaching attain inner peace and serenity. It is the spiritual philosophy that has existed since time immemorial capable of guiding spiritual travellers on their spiritual path, leading to both spiritual growth and enlightenment. It seeks the unfoldment of the greatest human qualities such as understanding, insight, intuition, love, compassion and the expression of human creative potential.
Twelve Things Theosophy Teaches
Theosophy is not a new teaching but simply echos the ancient wisdom from the beginning of man’s existence.
Theosophy teaches that there is an absolute infinite Devine Principle which is the source and substratum (below the surface) of all. This absolute is the causeless cause. It is impersonal, immutable, and unconditioned. The one and only eternal reality that is beyond definition and description. It is not “God” as the religions understand “God”. A better way to describe it is as “eternal energy” A consciousness that is all and in all.
Theosophy teaches the unity and divinity of all life. Every living thing is divine and spiritual in its innermost essence. i.e. the true self. Our higher self (that part which is truly us) is the Devine principle. (Brahman)
Theosophy teaches that there are many souls but only one spirit. We are all individual souls, but at the higher-most part of our being we are all literally one and the same.
“Just as one and the same sun shines over every body on this earth, so one and the same Spirit shines over and illumines every soul.” (Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita)
Theosophy teaches that the universe is cyclic and is a periodical manifestation. The universe is a manifestation of the Devine principle. The formless Devine manifests the form of the universe. The universe and everything in it evolves over time into more complex forms. The universe will also come to an end as it disintegrates and is reabsorbed into the Brahman from whence it came. A new universe is then reborn into a higher level of consciousness than the universe that existed before.
Theosophy teaches that all things are in a continual process of evolution. It is not only matter that evolves, but the unseen spiritual realms are also evolving. All parts of the universe both physical and spiritual, are in a continual state of gradual unfoldment and advancement and development. The unseen inner entities (souls) are evolving through the material objective forms (bodies).
Man descended as a “Divine Spark” into matter and has worked his way up into the human kingdom by passing through the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms. Now he is evolving back up towards the consciousness of his true spiritual nature.
Theosophy teaches that man consist of a sevenfold nature. Man is comprised of seven principles(components). The higher parts (upper three) are immortal and endure many lifetimes. The lower parts (four) last only for one lifetime. These lower parts begin anew with each successive birth.
The Higher Triad consist of:
No 1. The Divine Self - Atman - pure eternal spirit
No 2. The Soul - Buddhi - radiation of light of the spirit
No 3. Human Saul (mind) - Manas - individuality and ego “I”
The Lower Quaternary consist of:
No 4. The Passionate Nature-Kama - animal soul. Element of desire
No 5. The Vital Nature - Prana - life energy (force)
No 6. The Astral Body - Linga Sharira - blueprint framework
upon which body is built
No 7. The Physical Body - Sthula Sharira - the out shell
Theosophy teaches that reincarnation is the method used for the evolution of the soul. The physical body and personality we have today is only one of many which we have occupied throughout our long evolutionary journey. The circumstances, situations, and conditions of each lifetime were formed by our own previous actions, whether we were aware of it or not. The cycle of birth, death, and rebirth only comes to an end when the individual has attained to true spiritual perfection, freedom from all desire, and has reached conscious reunion with the Divine. This is called Nirvana, Moksha, or being reabsorbed in Brahman.
Theosophy teaches that all of life is governed by the law of karma. Karma is based on the principle of cause and effect. What we sow we shall reap. Harmony and balance in the universe is achieved through karma. Karma is impersonal and just. The Law of Karma is the law of self-created destiny. Karma and reincarnation are inextricably linked…you can’t have one without the other.
Theosophy teaches that death is only a transition, a change of state. Our true being can never die. When so-called death occurs, we leave behind on earth our physical body, our astral body, and the force of Prana. The true you then enters the astral plane. The astral plane is the physical atmosphere that most closely surrounds the physical plane (Kama Loka).
We are unconscious there, in a type of dazed and sleeping state, and undergo the process of separation of our lower and mortal nature from our higher and immortal nature. When this is completed we say that the “second death” has occurred. The principle of Kama and the lower, earthly, and sensual elements of Manas remain behind in Kama Loka as a type of senseless and soulless shell and eventually fade out and disintegrate.
Meanwhile, the soul enters into the “gestation state,” a period of profound unconsciousness and inaction, before eventually waking into the Heaven state. This is called Devachan in Theosophy.
This is not a place or location but a state. It is the Heaven of the individual’s dreams, created unwittingly out of their own consciousness, and perfectly representing the type of afterlife they had believed in, thought about, and expected, during life.
The Devachanic state lasts in exact accordance with the amount or force of positive Karma accrued by the individual during the last lifetime. Then reincarnation inevitably takes place.
Very materialistic and sensually oriented souls often reincarnate quite quickly but for others the period of Devachan may last decades, centuries, or even thousands of years.
Theosophy teaches that practices such as spiritualism, mediumship, and channelling are dangerous and detrimental to both the living and the dead. Departed souls cannot see us. Apart from a very small number of exceptions, it is impossible for a departed soul to communicate with those left behind on earth through a medium or even to see or have any knowledge whatsoever of what is going on here.
The main exceptions to this rule are people who have committed suicide, people who, have been murdered, and those who have died a violent death. They remain in the Kama Loka for the remainder of the duration of the lifetime they had been destined to live on earth.
It is possible for mediums and channellers to make contact with them but this is spiritually unlawful and can lead to seriously dire results.
They must be left in peace and allowed to proceed unhindered on their eventual upward way. It is mainly the senseless and unensouled “shells” left behind in Kama Loka which are successfully contacted and connected with in mediumship and channelling.
Because the shells retain a degree of memory, they are able to automatically and blindly recite and repeat certain details and pieces of information. People are deluded into thinking they are communicating with the real person whereas in fact it is only their “psychic corpse,” the cast off remnants of the old personality.
Spiritualism, mediumship, and all forms of psychic channelling were condemned and opposed by the wise spiritual and philosophical traditions throughout the ages, most especially in India and the East.
Theosophy teaches the vital importance of altruism, unselfishness, compassion, and living to help and serve others. The principle of Universal Brotherhood is not only a lofty ideal but a fact of nature.
All is One because the One is all.
We are all part of the whole and there is no separation in the Universe.
Personal desire, ambition, greed, and lust are all misguided forms of selfishness and it is selfishness which is the great curse of humanity and the cause of human suffering.
The Bodhisattva ideal – self-sacrifice and renunciation of eternal bliss in order to always remain on earth as a selfless and effective server and helper of the human race, seeking no personal reward – is viewed very highly in Theosophy.
Theosophy teaches that all religions are the same in their esoteric essence.
There is one esoteric Teaching, a universal philosophy, a Secret Doctrine, which underlies all the world’s religions.
It actually predates and transcends all religions. It is THE TRUTH itself.
All religions contain some portion of the Truth, some to a greater degree than others.
The purpose of the Theosophical Movement is to teach Truth as it is, free from all limitations and restrictions of religious dogma, creed, and theology. The unadulterated universal philosophy has been preserved and guarded throughout the ages by the Initiates, Adepts, and Masters of certain secret Brotherhoods in Tibet, India, and the East.
The writings of H.P. Blavatsky present, demonstrate, and prove this Teaching, to the full extent that was permitted by those Masters, who were her Teachers and Instructors. The “Truth” just mentioned has sometimes been called the Ancient Wisdom, the Ageless Wisdom, and the Divine Wisdom.