The Theosophical Movement 1875-1998

Offered in commemoration of the inauguration of the modern Theosophical Movement. Dallas TenBroeck, November 17, 1998

"Theosophy is the "Wisdom-religion," or "Divine Wisdom." The substratum and basis of all the world-religions and philosophies, taught and practiced by a few elect ever since man became a thinking being. In its practical bearing, Theosophy is purely divine ethics...."

"Theosophical Glossary," p. 328

[Theosophy is] Intellectually, an attitude; practically, a method; ethically a spirit; and religiously, a life... Its creed is loyalty to Truth, and its ritual "to honor every Truth by use."

"Theosophical Movement," Vol. 2, p. 86

Theosophist is "a name by which mystics at various periods of history have called themselves. The Neo-Platonists of Alexandria were Theosophists; the Alchemists and Kabalists during the medieval ages were likewise so called... All real lovers of Divine Wisdom and Truth had, and have a right to the name."

"Theosophical Glossary," p. 328

The principles of a group called Theosophical would be:

  1. "Brotherhood of man, without distinction of race, color, religion, or social position.
  2. The serious study of the ancient world-religions for purposes of comparison and the selection therefrom of universal ethics; [and]
  3. the study and development of the latent divine powers in man..."
"Theosophical Glossary," p. 328

There is a universal Divine Revelation called the Perennial Philosophy, or the "Wisdom Religion" and its traces can be found in the teachings, however fragmentary and incomplete, that are partially contained in ancient texts belonging to the Hindu, the Zoroastrian, the Chaldean, the Egyptian religion, to Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and to Christianity, but to none exclusively. The Secret Doctrine is the essence of all these. Sprung from it in their origins, the various religious schemes are now made to merge back into their original element, out of which every mystery and dogma has grown, developed, and become materialized."

"The Secret Doctrine," I viii

What is the history of the "Wisdom Religion ?" It has its origins with thinking man. It is the one religion which underlies all the now-existing creeds. That "faith" which being primordial, and revealed directly to human kind by their progenitors and informing Egos required no "grace," nor blind faith to believe, for it was knowledge... It is on this Wisdom Religion that Theosophy is based." (T. Glossary p. 343). It is an "unveiling" of old, very old, truths to minds hitherto ignorant of them, ignorant even of the existence and preservation of any such archaic knowledge."

"Key to Theosophy," p. 30

"The Wisdom-Religion was ever one, and being the last word of possible human knowledge, was, therefore, carefully preserved. It preceded by long ages the Alexandrian Theosophists, reached the modern, and will survive every other religion and philosophy. It was preserved among the Initiates of every country; among profound seekers after truth--their disciples; and in those parts of the world where such topics have always been most valued and pursued: In India, Central Asia, and Persia."

"Key to Theosophy," p. 7

"We can assert, with entire plausibility, that there is not one of the many sects--Kabalism, Judaism, and our present Christianity included--but sprang from the two main branches of that one mother-trunk, the one universal religion, which antedated the Vedic ages--we speak of that prehistoric Buddhism which merged later into Brahmanism." (Isis II p. 123). By Buddhism... we mean that religion signifying literally the doctrine of wisdom, and which, by many ages, antedates the metaphysical philosophy of Siddharta Sakyamuni."

"Isis Unveiled," II p. 143

Hinting at the future, HPB says that none of the opponents of Theosophy and its Truth-bearing mission will be able to "uproot Theosophy, nor even upset her Society, if only its members hold together."

"If Theosophy prevailing in the struggle, its all-embracing philosophy strikes deep roots in the minds and hearts of men,...then indeed will dawn a new day of joy and gladness for all who suffer and are outcast. For real Theosophy is ALTRUISM, and we cannot repeat it too often. It is brotherly love, mutual help, unswerving devotion to truth. If men do but realize that in these alone can true happiness be found, and never in wealth, possessions or any selfish gratification, then the dark clouds will roll away, and a new humanity be born upon earth. Then the GOLDEN AGE will be there, indeed."

"W.Q.J. Articles," I p. 381

"Striving thus in unison with your Higher Self, your efforts must and will be fruitful of good to the Society, to yourselves, to Humanity. Coming years will show a steady, healthy growth, a strong, united organization, a durable, reliable, and efficient instrument ready to the Masters' hands. Once united in real solidarity, in the true spirit of Universal Brotherhood, no power can overthrow you, no obstacle bar your progress, no barrier check the advance of Theosophy in the coming century...there is a power behind the society which will give us the strength we need, which will enable us to move the world, if we will but Unite and Work as one mind, one heart. The Masters require only that each shall do his best, and, above all, that each shall strive in reality to feel himself one with his fellow workers...a true, hearty, earnest devotion to our cause which will lead each to help his brother to the utmost of his power to work for that cause, whether or not we agree as to the exact method of carrying on that work. The only man who is absolutely wrong in his method is the one who does nothing; each man can and should cooperate with all and all with each in a large-hearted spirit of comradeship to forward the work of bringing Theosophy home to every man and woman in the country."

"H.P.B. Five Messages," p. 24

"The problem of true Theosophy and its great mission are, first, the working out of clear unequivocal conceptions of ethic ideas and duties such as shall best and most fully satisfy the right and altruistic feelings in men; and, second, the molding of these conceptions for their adaptation into such forms of daily life, as shall offer a field where they may be applied with most equitableness.

Such is the common work placed before all who are willing to act on these principles... Do not indulge personally in unbrotherly comparison between the task accomplished by yourself and the work left undone by your neighbor or brothers. In the fields of Theosophy none is held to weed out a larger plot of ground than his strength and capacity will permit him. Do not be too severe on the merits or demerits of one who seeks admission among your ranks, as the truth about the actual state of the inner man can only be known to Karma, and can be dealt with justly by that all seeing LAW alone."

"Theosophy," Vol. 70, p. 242

"It is the Master's work to preserve the true philosophy, but the help of the companions is needed to rediscover and promulgate it. Once more the elder brothers have indicated where the truth--Theosophy--could be found, and the companions all over the world are engaged in bringing it forth for wider currency and propagation."

"Ocean of Theosophy," p. 6

"We have offered to exhume the primeval strata of man's being, his basic nature, and lay bare the wonderful complications of his inner Self...and demonstrate it scientifically... It is our mission to plunge and bring the pearls of Truth to the surface; theirs [men of science] to clean and set them into scientific jewels... For countless generations hath the adept builded a fane of imperishable invite the elite of mankind to cooperate with him and help in his turn enlighten superstitious man...until that day when the foundations of a new continent of thought are...firmly built..."

"The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett," p. 51

"The main and underlying effort of the work...should be to furnish a real and philosophical basis for ethics... Opposition to dogma is not opposition to truth, and hence the Society is a builder up and not a mere destroyer of old beliefs... The philosophy put reasonable explanations of life, of man, and of nature: tends to remove superstition by showing what psychical phenomena are, and why they occur...meets all the facts and solves them, and shows how man may, if he will, reach to the power hinted at by all the great teachers of the world."

"Theosophical Movement," Vol. 28, p. 85-86

"...learn that you may teach, acquire spiritual knowledge and strength that the weak may lean on you...make your home one of the most important centers of spiritualizing influence in all the world...encouraging the visits of your fellow members and of enquirers and by holding meetings of the more congenial for study and instruction...constantly advise with your associates in the Council how to make the general meetings of the Lodge interesting. New members should be taken in hand from the first...and instructed throughly in what you have already learnt, so that they may be capable of participating intelligently in the proceedings...keep in correspondence with all others [who] need your help...your Branch can, and should circulate [the Mother Society's] publications and to have them translated into other languages when worthy of it... Deeds are what we want and demand... Think you the truth has been shown to you for your sole advantage? That we have broken the silence of centuries for the profit of a handful of dreamers only? The converging lines of your Karma have drawn each and all of you into this Society as to a common focus that you may each help to work out the results of your interrupted beginnings in the last birth."

"Letters from Masters of Wisdom," 1st Series, p. 20-24

"...the plan is to keep [the Movement] alive as an active, free, unsectarian body during the time of waiting for the next great messenger, who will be herself beyond question... And in this time of waiting the Master, that great Initiate, whose single will upholds the entire movement, "will have his mighty hand spread wide behind the Society."

"W.Q.J. Articles," II, p. 153

"...the ethics of Theosophy are more important than any divulgement of psychic laws and facts...the Ethics sink into and take hold of the real man--the reincarnating Ego... Learn well, then, the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation, and teach, practice and promulgate that system of life and through which alone can save the coming races."

"H.P.B. Five Messages," p. 26

"Theosophists are of necessity the friends of all movements...for the amelioration of the conditions of mankind...[to] seek to lift a little of the tremendous weight of misery that is crushing down the poor... The function of Theosophists is to open men's hearts and understandings to charity, justice, and generosity, attributes which belong to the human kingdom and are natural to man when he has developed the qualities of a human being. Theosophy teaches the animal-man to become a human-man."

"H.P.B. Five Messages," p. 8-9

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