H.P.B. wrote in the article "Le Phare de l'Inconnu" (The Theosophist, July, August, September and October 1889; reprinted in She Being Dead Yet Speaketh):
Theosophy is a descendant in direct line of the great tree of universal GNOSIS, a tree the luxuriant branches of which, spreading over the whole earth like a great canopy, gave shelter at one epoch—which biblical chronology is pleased to call "antediluvian"—to all the temples and to all the nations of the earth. That gnosis represents the aggregate of all the sciences, the accumulated wisdom (savoir) of all the gods and demi-gods incarnated in former times upon earth.
She further stated that "Theosophy is synonymous with Gnana-Vidya and with the Brahma-Vidya of the Hindus, and again with the Dzyan of the trans-Himalayan adepts, the science of the true Raj-Yogis, who are much more accessible than one thinks." She reminds us that there are many schools of this science in the East and the off-shoots of it are numerous. These offshoots have ended by separating from the parent stem, the "true Archaic Wisdom," and vary in form, but we must remember that
while these forms varied, departing further with each generation from the light of truth, the basis of initiatory truths remained always the same. The symbols used to express the same idea may differ, but in their hidden sense they always do express the same idea....There exists a sacerdotal language, the "mystery language," and unless one knows it well, he cannot go far in the occult sciences.
She quotes Professor Alexander Wilder as saying that "the names of...different divinities seem often to have been invented with little or no regard to their etymological meaning, but chiefly on account of some particular mystical signification attached to the numerical value of the letters employed in their orthography." And H.P.B. adds that "this numerical signification is one of the branches of the mystery language, or the ancient sacerdotal language." This was taught in the olden days in the "Lesser Mysteries," but the language itself was taught only to the high Initiates.
H.P.B. gives us an example of how different symbols have been used to convey the same truth:
According to Ragon "to build or found a town" meant the same thing as to "found a religion"; therefore, that phrase when it occurs in Homer is equivalent to the expression of the Brahmins, to distribute the "Soma juice." It means, "to found an esoteric school," not "a religion" as Ragon pretends. Was he mistaken? We do not think so....It is certain that he had made at least an elementary study of "THE MYSTERY LANGUAGE."
H.P.B. refers to the spread of this Ancient Wisdom, its "direct continuation." From ancient India it was transmitted to Egypt, from Egypt to the Philaletheans and the Neo-Platonists. "The Christian Quietists, the Musulman Soufis, the Rosicrucians of all countries, drink the waters of that inexhaustible fountain."
Authenticity for the idea that Egypt owed its knowledge to India is given by Homer and Herodotus, for they "tell us, in fact, that the ancient Egyptians were 'Ethiopians of the East,' who came from Lanka or Ceylon." H.P.B. adds that they were "a colony of very dark-skinned Aryans, the Dravidians of Southern India, who took an already existing civilization with them to Egypt...during the prehistoric ages...(before Menes)." She further states that "pre-Assyrian Babylonia was the home of Brahmanism, and of the Sanskrit as a sacerdotal language."
H.P.B. refers to Ammonius Saccas, the precursor of our own embodiment of this Truth:
Encouraged in the Church by Clement of Alexandria and by Athenagoras, protected by the learned men of the synagogue and of the academy, and adored by the Gentiles, "he learned the language of the mysteries by teaching the common origin of all religions and a common religion." To do this, he had only to teach according to the ancient canons of Hermes which Plato and Pythagoras had studied so well, and from which they drew their respective philosophies. Can we be surprised if, finding in the first verses of the gospel according to St. John the same doctrine that are contained in the three systems of philosophy above mentioned, he concluded with every show of reason that the intention of the great Nazarene was to restore the sublime science of ancient wisdom in all its primitive integrity?
What, then, is this ancient wisdom? How shall we reach it?
The Beacon-light upon which the eyes of all real Theosophists are fixed is the same towards which in all ages the imprisoned human soul has struggled. This Beacon, whose light shines upon no earthly seas, but which has mirrored itself in the sombre depths of the primordial waters of infinite space, is called by us, as by the earliest Theosophists, "Divine Wisdom." That is the last word of the esoteric doctrine; and, in antiquity, where was the country, having the right to call itself civilized, that did not possess a double system of Wisdom, of which one part was for the masses, and the other for the few, the exoteric and the esoteric? This name, Wisdom, or, as we say sometimes, the "Wisdom Religion" or Theosophy, is as old as the human mind.
The end and aim is "the union of the divine spark which animates man with the parent-flame, which is the Divine All." This can come about for those "who devote themselves entirely to the service of humanity." But there are others "who are not yet ready to sacrifice everything." These "may occupy themselves with the transcendental sciences...."
The INFINITE cannot be known to our reason—which can only distinguish and define—but it can be conceived as an abstract idea, thanks to our intuition, or the spiritual instinct. But there is much that can be gained by a study of the metaphysical philosophy.
Theosophy being the way that leads to truth, in every religion as in every science, occultism is, so to say, the touchstone and universal solvent. It is the thread of Ariadne given by the master to the disciple who ventures into the labyrinth of the mysteries of being; the torch that lights him through the dangerous maze of life, for ever the enigma of the Sphinx. But the light thrown by this torch can be discerned only by the eye of the awakened soul—by our spiritual senses; it blinds the eye of the materialist as the sun blinds that of the owl....
Theosophy...examines the reverse side of every apparent truth. It tests and analyses every fact put forward by physical science, looking only for the essence and the ultimate and occult constitution in every cosmical or physical manifestation, whether in the domain of ethics, intellect or matter. In a word, Theosophy begins its researches where materialists finish theirs.
It is because of this that "each person who enters the Theosophical Society can find therein a science and an occupation to his taste."
An astronomer could make more scientific discoveries by studying the allegories and symbols relating to each star, in the old Sanskrit books, than he could ever make by the aid only of Academies. A doctor who had intuition would learn more from the works of Charaka, translated into Arabic in the eighth century, or in the dusty manuscripts to be found in the Adyar Library—not understood like all the rest—than in modern works on physiology. Theosophists interested in medicine, or the art of healing, might do worse than consult the legends and symbols revealed and explained through Asclepios or Aesculapius. For, just as Hippocrates consulted the votive tablets at the temple of Epidaurus (surnamed the Tholos) at Cos, so could they find therein prescriptions for compounding remedies unknown to the modern pharmacopoeia. From thenceforth they might perhaps cure, instead of killing.
Finally, "the Beacon-light of Truth is Nature without the veil of the senses." We can see why "the investigation of the unexplained laws of Nature and the psychical powers latent in man" was one of the objects of the Theosophical Society.
Every one of us possesses the faculty, the interior sense, that is known by the name of intuition, but how rare are those who know how to develop it! It is, however, only by the aid of this faculty that men can ever see things in their true colours. It is an instinct of the soul, which grows in us in proportion to the employment we give it, and which helps us to perceive and understand the realities of things with far more certainty than can the simple use of our senses and exercise of our reason...."We begin with instinct, we end with omniscience," says Professor A. Wilder.
Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control. We cannot have a light heart if our minds are a woeful cauldron of fear and ambition.
Do you wish to be invincible? Then don't enter into combat with what you have no real control over. Your happiness depends on three things, all of which are within your power: your will, your ideas concerning the events in which you are involved, and the use you make of your ideas.
Authentic happiness is always independent of external conditions. Vigilantly practice indifference to external conditions. Your happiness can only be found within.
How easily dazzled and deceived we are by eloquence, job title, degrees, high honours, fancy possessions, expensive clothing, or a suave demeanour. Don't make the mistake of assuming that celebrities, public figures, political leaders, the wealthy, or people with great intellectual or artistic gifts are necessarily happy. To do so is to be bewildered by appearances and will only make you doubt yourself....
Stop aspiring to be anyone other than your own best self: for that does fall within your control.