THEOSOPHY, Vol. 47, No. 3, January, 1959
(Pages 114-115; Size: 4K)


AT the opening of her Key to Theosophy, H. P. Blavatsky points out that the literal translation of "Theosophy" must be amplified. Theosophy, she says, does not mean "divine wisdom" in the sense of a wisdom beyond man -- the supreme knowledge suggested by the word "omniscience" in reference to the Christian deity. In Theosophy, she affirms, is wisdom "such as that possessed by the gods," and we may take this to mean an affirmation that men may acquire the highest wisdom there is.

The "gods," as the ancients seemed to have known full well, were simply representatives of various degrees of fulfillment in understanding and power. It is the primary Theosophical affirmation that such fulfillment is within the reach of every human being -- because he has the capacity to attain to more wisdom than that which he presently possesses.

In every religious tradition there is an implicit assumption that emulation of a Buddha or a Christ supplies the most effective basis for morality. While neither Buddha nor Jesus would have countenanced any such persuasion, it has nonetheless been a dominant belief in Christianity and a sometimes intrusive belief in Buddhism. The Theosophical emphasis is unique in its suggestion that the path to the good life is the path of philosophy. The fundamental principles of the philosophy of Theosophy have a direct bearing upon those attitudes which we consider to be ethical. The implication of the First Proposition is that there is That, in every self-conscious being, capable of reaching beyond any present degree of knowledge, or relative perfection of behavior. As a corollary of this, one may assume that the presence within each human form of "the Higher Self, unsectarian, colorless, sexless, and cosmopolitan," means that the man of perverse beliefs or habits may at any time see beyond them. The Second Proposition of the Secret Doctrine, in its simple emphasis upon the universality of periodicity, suggests that the tides of growth in individual humans bring alternations of obscurity and clarity regarding the purposes of soul. The man of destructive influence is destructive now, not forever, and he becomes a law unto himself in the sense that he and he alone can "manifest" higher capacities as his cycle permits.

The Third Proposition, "the pivotal doctrine of the Esoteric philosophy," combines the implications to be derived from the First and Second. For if the aim of evolution be defined as the acquirement of individuality, and if that individuality grows only to the extent that one perceives the significance of his interrelationships with other beings, man's destiny involves the disciplines of philosophy. The educative aim in life is not so much to prevent one's self from thinking or doing evil, as commonly classified, but to understand the ingredients of evil and of good, and to see in both good and evil the ties which bind the destiny of one "soul" to that of all others.

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