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Author Topic: Theosophy  (Read 4510 times)
Watches-Crows
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« Topic Start: April 01, 2007, 05:37:31 am »


What is your esteem of theosophy? Does it play an important roll? Is it acurate? Is it a useful construct? Is it valid, or fabricated?
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« Reply #1: April 01, 2007, 07:06:57 pm »

What is your esteem of theosophy? Does it play an important roll? Is it acurate? Is it a useful construct? Is it valid, or fabricated?

Theosophy isn't of particular interest to me, so I can't really answer any of those questions.  I would, however, ask this: an important role in what?
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« Reply #2: April 01, 2007, 07:50:21 pm »

 Is theosophy's roll an important one in the pagan community? She denounces the Catholic church, and exposes the development of religious thought.  She's written a cohesive narrative of the development of sacred knowledge and divine wisdom, and gives one a context to research religion and its deeper meaning. It's in accord with what it allegedly claims to draw from. Some of it may be fabricated, but it's a useful construct. Does anyone have any criticism of Blavatsky's life and research, or does she go under the radar. She truly risks it, because most people "don't want to read about bull-shit." Though, her work is multifariously corroborated by life, history and her religious sources. Her work opens the door.
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« Reply #3: April 01, 2007, 10:33:28 pm »

There are multiple usages and groups that have used the term "theosophy."  You seem to be referring to Blavatsky & company's philosophy, but I hate making assumptions.  If you tell me which version you're talking about, I'll tell you my thoughts.

However, I've never had a discussion about theosophy, and I'm having to do research on the principles involved.  I've never seen a discussion about it on any Pagan board, or any non-Pagan board for that matter.  Therefore, its role prior to this discussion in my personal experience of the Pagan community is, well, nonexistant.

Also, I'd like you to clarify if you mean theistic or non-theistic theosophy, so that I can clarify my response.
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« Reply #4: April 01, 2007, 10:39:07 pm »

Is theosophy's roll an important one in the pagan community?

Not really, as far as I can tell.
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« Reply #5: April 01, 2007, 10:54:38 pm »

There are multiple usages and groups that have used the term "theosophy."  You seem to be referring to Blavatsky & company's philosophy, but I hate making assumptions.  If you tell me which version you're talking about, I'll tell you my thoughts.

However, I've never had a discussion about theosophy, and I'm having to do research on the principles involved.  I've never seen a discussion about it on any Pagan board, or any non-Pagan board for that matter.  Therefore, its role prior to this discussion in my personal experience of the Pagan community is, well, nonexistant.

Also, I'd like you to clarify if you mean theistic or non-theistic theosophy, so that I can clarify my response.

I love Blavatsky's narrative. Her main points are about our descent from the Golden age, and our return to it; the sublime nature; metaphysics and cosmic accord of the individual. She expounds that for the war in heaven, lucifer/the demiurge there's a seperation of good and evil, material and immaterial, and that hence was physicality. Drawing from various religions, mainly hinduism, she estabillishes a cosmic callendar, by yugas, that leads man to higher states of consciousness, and then at the end the universe returns to the kosmic womb.

I've read indipendant books on the religions and areas she writes about and I don't think she misrepresents anyone. I am theistic. I consider myself a poet who's tasted the sublime. I come to metaphysical truths in my writings and I esteem good allegories.

What is  your criticism of her life and work? I like being able to reference antiquity as a timeless sort of culture. One cannot trust philosophers. One can only do his best to grasp the cosmic mechanism and to put himself in accord. I appreciate how Blavatsky elucidates occult matters and establishes a manageable context to study religion and seek enlightenment. I feel I would be more inclined to be "eating hand to mouth" as Goethe said. She exposes how christianity exploits and manipulates its source documents, and how wisdom has been maintained. Do you think I am mislead? If you need me to say anything more in particular address the issues further.
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« Reply #6: April 02, 2007, 03:06:46 am »

I've read only summaries of Blavatsky's work.  I'll go to a library Monday or Tuesday and try to find her works, but in the meantime, these are the impressions I've gotten:

Firstly, I would like independant confirmation of the history of theosophy, although the history of it is not necessarily reflective of the philosophy.

Secondly, from what I can tell, it seems too structured for my personal tastes.  The concept of all religions containing some part of the one universal truth is one I've considered before, and even to an extent believe.  I am a pantheist, which means that I believe that all of Existence is the Divine.  Therefore, any religion that pays homage to some part of Existence pays homage to some part of the Divine, which means that from my point of view they approach the truth.  Still, I'd like to find my own path to an extent.  Socratic guidance (helping me find the questions) is appreciated.  Telling me the answers is worse than useless, because it doesn't let me learn anything but what the person thinks is the answer.

Thirdly, I've also always rather liked the cyclical nature of the Hindu worldview, although I don't espouse it.  My cycles of choice are that of the four seasons and that of life, death, and rebirth.

Finally, I do appreciate Blavatsky's attempts to guide thought into the exploration of the cosmic mechanisms, but I prefer to find my own way to explore Existence, Faith, and Truth.
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« Reply #7: April 02, 2007, 07:39:56 am »

I love Blavatsky's narrative. Her main points are about our descent from the Golden age, and our return to it; the sublime nature; metaphysics and cosmic accord of the individual. She expounds that for the war in heaven, lucifer/the demiurge there's a seperation of good and evil, material and immaterial, and that hence was physicality. Drawing from various religions, mainly hinduism, she estabillishes a cosmic callendar, by yugas, that leads man to higher states of consciousness, and then at the end the universe returns to the kosmic womb.

I've read indipendant books on the religions and areas she writes about and I don't think she misrepresents anyone. I am theistic. I consider myself a poet who's tasted the sublime. I come to metaphysical truths in my writings and I esteem good allegories.

What is  your criticism of her life and work? I like being able to reference antiquity as a timeless sort of culture. One cannot trust philosophers. One can only do his best to grasp the cosmic mechanism and to put himself in accord. I appreciate how Blavatsky elucidates occult matters and establishes a manageable context to study religion and seek enlightenment. I feel I would be more inclined to be "eating hand to mouth" as Goethe said. She exposes how christianity exploits and manipulates its source documents, and how wisdom has been maintained. Do you think I am mislead? If you need me to say anything more in particular address the issues further.

As far as how she intersects with my religion, I'd say not at all.

I don't believe that we have descended from some kind of golden age and that this is a fallen time.  I think that's an allegory for childhood.  Once everything was taken care of - now we have to do it ourselves.  We look back with rose-colored glasses and forget just how much we wanted to grow up.

I don't believe in Ascended Masters that we need to court or great conspiracies to constrain the masses.  And I don't believe we're fallen.  Take that out of it, and theosophy is pretty hollow for me.
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« Reply #8: April 02, 2007, 07:57:19 am »

Is theosophy's roll an important one in the pagan community? She denounces the Catholic church, and exposes the development of religious thought.

I would say that theosophy isn't important to me, and as far as I know, it isn't generally important to the majority of Pagans.  I haven't met any who had an interest in Theosophy.  As far as denouncing the Catholic church, Catholicism is hardly the source of all evil.
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« Reply #9: April 02, 2007, 09:40:16 am »

I love Blavatsky's narrative. Her main points are about our descent from the Golden age, and our return to it; the sublime nature; metaphysics and cosmic accord of the individual. She expounds that for the war in heaven, lucifer/the demiurge there's a seperation of good and evil, material and immaterial, and that hence was physicality. Drawing from various religions, mainly hinduism, she estabillishes a cosmic callendar, by yugas, that leads man to higher states of consciousness, and then at the end the universe returns to the kosmic womb.


From what I'm gathering, it sounds like she's created her own religion. Fallen angels, heaven, hell, good, evil... a struggle to be one of the enlightened persons helping bring about this higher consciousness rather than one of the blind masses.

There are a lot of groupings in paganism.  Very few of them have much effect on traditions that aren't their own. 
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« Reply #10: April 02, 2007, 09:45:57 am »

I've read only summaries of Blavatsky's work.  I'll go to a library Monday or Tuesday and try to find her works, but in the meantime, these are the impressions I've gotten:

Firstly, I would like independant confirmation of the history of theosophy, although the history of it is not necessarily reflective of the philosophy.

Secondly, from what I can tell, it seems too structured for my personal tastes.  The concept of all religions containing some part of the one universal truth is one I've considered before, and even to an extent believe.  I am a pantheist, which means that I believe that all of Existence is the Divine.  Therefore, any religion that pays homage to some part of Existence pays homage to some part of the Divine, which means that from my point of view they approach the truth.  Still, I'd like to find my own path to an extent.  Socratic guidance (helping me find the questions) is appreciated.  Telling me the answers is worse than useless, because it doesn't let me learn anything but what the person thinks is the answer.

Thirdly, I've also always rather liked the cyclical nature of the Hindu worldview, although I don't espouse it.  My cycles of choice are that of the four seasons and that of life, death, and rebirth.

Finally, I do appreciate Blavatsky's attempts to guide thought into the exploration of the cosmic mechanisms, but I prefer to find my own way to explore Existence, Faith, and Truth.

I went into her work knowing most about Hinduism, having had read the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, the Dhamapada, the Rig Veda and Krsna, the beautiful legend of God. I've also read abridgements of epics that aren't fully available that were vacuous redactions devoid of wisdom.

I've read Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine. Isis Unveiled get's behind the claims, and isn't a mythology in itself- It's more research, but it has a message.
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« Reply #11: April 06, 2007, 09:13:06 pm »

Before I really was set on choosing neopaganism/Wicca as my spiritual path, Theosophy appealed to me the most at first glance.

However, I ended up deciding that while I think that Theosophy is based on good intention, I think it is a bit of a contradiction, because their phrase (tagged on their symbol) is "No religion higher than truth," but from the way I look at it, HP Blavatsky ignored her own catchphrase because Theosophy (or at least her brand of it), has a lot of guidelines and structure that could be seen as "dogma."  All of the talk about ascended masters, the importance of the number 7 and how it correlates to our world, etc...  It was almost as if the tagline should have read "There is no religion higher than truth (but our religion IS the truth)"

One of the other detractors that made me second-guess Theosophy was reading about they discovered a young boy (J. Krishnamurti) who they truly believed would be the next "Great teacher" of the world, and as such their mouthpiece, and when he grew up, he basically turned his back on Theosophy and everything it stood for.  He still became pretty famous for his philosophical thoughts, but not as a cheerleader for Theosophy as had been expected.

Also, while I do suspect that Blavatsky was sincere with her Theosophical endeavors, my research showed me that it is hard to deny that she was at one time widely regarded as a fraudulent "medium" who did party tricks to impress people, at one point I believe her own people ousted her from the head of the Theosophical society for similar reasons, so her credibility is hurt a little bit from that.
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« Reply #12: September 10, 2007, 12:06:20 am »

Just realize that this approaches being an ad hominem criticism. I've critiqued Blavatsky's work to a degree; I've read a number of external scripts referenced, and what she's done with them is valid and good.

Before I really was set on choosing neopaganism/Wicca as my spiritual path, Theosophy appealed to me the most at first glance.

However, I ended up deciding that while I think that Theosophy is based on good intention, I think it is a bit of a contradiction, because their phrase (tagged on their symbol) is "No religion higher than truth," but from the way I look at it, HP Blavatsky ignored her own catchphrase because Theosophy (or at least her brand of it), has a lot of guidelines and structure that could be seen as "dogma."  All of the talk about ascended masters, the importance of the number 7 and how it correlates to our world, etc...  It was almost as if the tagline should have read "There is no religion higher than truth (but our religion IS the truth)"

One of the other detractors that made me second-guess Theosophy was reading about they discovered a young boy (J. Krishnamurti) who they truly believed would be the next "Great teacher" of the world, and as such their mouthpiece, and when he grew up, he basically turned his back on Theosophy and everything it stood for.  He still became pretty famous for his philosophical thoughts, but not as a cheerleader for Theosophy as had been expected.

Also, while I do suspect that Blavatsky was sincere with her Theosophical endeavors, my research showed me that it is hard to deny that she was at one time widely regarded as a fraudulent "medium" who did party tricks to impress people, at one point I believe her own people ousted her from the head of the Theosophical society for similar reasons, so her credibility is hurt a little bit from that.
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