• Brother Allen

CGS and Theosophy: What is Theosophy? Part 1

Updated: Sep 23

Theosophy refers to various movements; but our interest is the theosophy movement founded by Helen Blavatsky, which has become the common use of the word. She devolved a large movement and organization known as theosophy, spanning across several countries. Blavatsky erected lodges where members would meet, and published writings to advance the ideas of the organization. Though religious studies experts claim theosophy is a part of the occultist stream of Western esotericism, Blavatsky claimed it was not a religion, but a way by which to look on life, for any religion could be a member of the society.[1] One of the main goals of the society is to replace the major religions of the world with an ancient religion that has only been maintained in secret.[2]

Relying heavily upon Neoplatonism and Asian religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, theosophy claims that major religions of today are fragments of the one true ancient religion of the past known to Plato.[3] Knowledge of this ancient religion is still preserved in a secret brotherhood known as ‘The Masters.’[4] These masters will eventually eclipse the world religions with the restoration of the one true ancient religion, of which the truths of the world religions are a mere fragment. However, theosophists do not claim to be part of a religion, but latch on to other religions in which they incorporate their theosophy.[5] This is on account of the fact that, though they have many beliefs, such as reincarnation and karma, they do not profess any theological dogmas.[6] The only decree to which one must submit in order to be a member, is the desire “to form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color.”[7] This is merely another way of saying that one’s obligations to humanity are superior to our obligations to one’s religion – or to God.

Evolution is a central doctrine of the theosophists, which is not only applied to the spirit but also the body. They believe through these types of evolution man will evolve into a higher being and eventually into God. Just as man will attain different types of souls through different stages of evolution, so too will he acquire different moral codes and laws as he moves toward evolutionary perfection. The morality of the theosophist is not static and eternal, but one that can change and evolve along with the soul. This is manifest in a quotation from one of the leading theosophists, Alice Bailey:

“There was really no reason because a priest or teacher six hundred years ago interpreted the Bible in one way (probably suitable for his time and age) that it should be acceptable now in a different time and age, under a different civilization and with widely different problems. If God’s truth is truth then it will be expansive and inclusive, and not reactionary and exclusive. If God is God, then His divinity will adapt itself to the emerging divinity of the sons of God, and a son of God today may be a very different expression of divinity from a son of God five thousand years ago.” Alice A. Bailey, The Unfinished Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey, Lucis Publishing Company, 1951, pg. 142

Though theosophists are found in different religions, their esoteric tendencies frustrate the orthodox followers of various world religions. Even the anti-Christian and religious studies Professor Max Mueller felt that Blavatsky was distorting Asian Religions.[8] Theosophy was less concerned with doctrines and teachings, but more heavily focused on the ancient texts.[9] It was more of a search for truth in each religion, than seeing each individual religion as a source of truth. This has caused the theosophists to latch on to, and distort the major religions of the world including Christianity.

The ‘Liberal Catholic Church’ is an organization which the theosophists created to incorporate the liturgical and sacramental aspects of Catholicism into theosophy.[10] Though they have many of the outward appearances of Catholicism, morally and doctrinally they have completely deviated from Christian principles. They go so far as to claim that other great religions of the world are divinely inspired and another valid method of worshiping God. Clearly theosophy is just another form of Gnosticism.

“So-called gnosis’ was an enormous temptation in the early Christian Church. By contrast, persecution, even the bloodiest, posed far less of a threat to the Church’s continuing purity and further development. Gnosticism had its roots in late antiquity, drew on oriental and Jewish sources, and multiplied into innumerable esoteric doctrines and sects. Then, like a vampire, the parasite took hold of the youthful bloom and vigor of Christianity. What made it so insidious was the fact that the Gnostics very often did not want to leave the Church. Instead, they claimed to be offering a superior and more authentic exposition of Holy Scripture, though, of course, this was only for the ‘superior souls’ (‘the spiritual’, ‘the pneumatic’); the common folk (‘the psychic’) were left to get on with their crude practices. It is not hard to see how this kind of compartmentalizing of the Church’s members, indeed of mankind as a whole, inevitably encouraged not only an excited craving for higher initiation, but also an almost unbounded arrogance in those who had moved from mere ‘faith’ to real, enlightened ‘knowledge’.” ― Hans Urs Von Balthasar, The Scandal of The Incarnation

We can see that this theosophy is an organization that wishes to appear good externally, but seeks to undermine that which is truly good and holy. In future posts, we shall reveal its connections to Maria Montessori and the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. It will be shown, that, ultimately theosophy claims Satan is the god who is both good and evil:

“Satan represents metaphysically simply the reverse or the polar opposite of everything in nature. He is the 'adversary,' allegorically, the 'murderer,' and the great Enemy of all, because there is nothing in the whole Universe that has not two sides—the reverses of the same medal. But in that case, light, goodness, beauty, etc., may be called Satan with as much propriety as the Devil, since they are the adversaries of darkness, badness, and ugliness.” Blavatsky 1888b, ‘The Secret Doctrine’ p. 389 http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/sd-pdf/SecretDoctrineVol2_eBook.pdf



Endnotes


[1] Lachman, Gary (2012). Madame Blavatsky: The Mother of Modern Spirituality. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin. ISBN 978-1-58542-863-2.^ p. 137. [2] Campbell, Bruce F. (1980). Ancient Wisdom Revived: A History of the Theosophical Movement. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520039681. p. 36. [3] Campbell, Bruce F. (1980). Ancient Wisdom Revived: A History of the Theosophical Movement. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520039681. p. 36. [4] Campbell, Bruce F. (1980). Ancient Wisdom Revived: A History of the Theosophical Movement. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520039681. p. 54. [5] Dixon, Joy (2001). Divine Feminine: Theosophy and Feminism in England. The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-6499-2. p. 4. [6] Campbell, Bruce F. (1980). Ancient Wisdom Revived: A History of the Theosophical Movement. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520039681. p. 191. [7] Dixon, Joy (2001). Divine Feminine: Theosophy and Feminism in England. The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-6499-2. p. 3-4. [8] Dixon, Joy (2001). Divine Feminine: Theosophy and Feminism in England. The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-6499-2. p. 4. [9] Dixon, Joy (2001). Divine Feminine: Theosophy and Feminism in England. The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-6499-2. p. 4. [10] Campbell, Bruce F. (1980). Ancient Wisdom Revived: A History of the Theosophical Movement. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520039681. p. 196.