Ageless Wisdom teachings
The Ageless Wisdom teachings are associated with Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Alice A.Bailey and Helena Roerich. Before Madame Blavatsky, these esoteric teachings are said to have only been shared with people who were carefully selected by the Masters of Wisdom.
- We are dissipating superstition, ignorance and fear. We are forging courage, will and knowledge. Every striving toward enlightenment is welcome. Every prejudice, caused by ignorance, is exposed.
- Agni Yoga Teachings, New Era Community,
- If thou shouldst say, 'It is enough, I have reached perfection,' all is lost. For it is the function of perfection to make one know one's imperfection.
- Suffice it to say, that I am a Tibetan disciple of a certain degree, and this tells you but little, for all are disciples from the humblest aspirant up to, and beyond, the Christ Himself... I am a brother of yours, who has travelled a little longer upon the Path than has the average student, and has therefore incurred greater responsibilities. I am one who has wrestled and fought his way into a greater measure of light than has the aspirant who will read this article, and I must therefore act as a transmitter of the light, no matter what the cost... The books that I have written are sent out with no claim for their acceptance. They may, or may not, be correct, true and useful. It is for you to ascertain their truth... Neither I nor A.A.B. is the least interested in having them acclaimed as inspired writings, or in having anyone speak of them (with bated breath) as being the work of one of the Masters. If... the information given raises the aspiration and the will-to-serve from the plane of the emotions to that of the mind (the plane whereon the Masters can be found) then they will have served their purpose... If the statements meet with eventual corroboration, or are deemed true under the test of the Law of Correspondences, then that is well and good. But should this not be so, let not the student accept what is said.
- These ancient mysteries were originally given to humanity by the Hierarchy, and were – in their turn – received by the Hierarchy... They contain the clue to the evolutionary process, hidden in numbers and in words; they veil the secret of man's origin and destiny, picturing for him in rite and ritual the long, long path which he must tread. They provide also, when rightly interpreted and correctly presented, the teaching which humanity needs in order to progress from darkness to Light, from the unreal to the Real, and from death to Immortality. . .
- What are some of these newer truths for which I am responsible as transmitting agent...? Let me briefly state them in the order of their relative importance:
1. The Teaching on Shamballa...
2. The Teaching on the New Discipleship...
3. The Teaching of the Seven Rays...
4. The Teaching on the New Astrology...
5. Information about the New Group of World Servers and their work...
- Alice Bailey and the Master DK, in The Rays & the Initiations (1960)
- This book is intended to place in the hands of the general reader an epitome of theosophical teachings, sufficiently plain to serve the elementary student, and sufficiently full to lay a sound foundation for further knowledge. It is hoped that it may serve as an introduction to the profounder works of H.P. Blavatsky, and be a convenient stepping stone to their study. Those who have learned a little of the Ancient Wisdom know the illumination, the peace, the joy, the strength, its lessons have brought into their lives. That this book may win some to consider its teachings, and to prove for themselves their value, is the prayer with which it is sent forth into the world. Preface
- Annie Besant in The Ancient Wisdom (1897)
- Right thought is necessary to right conduct, right understanding to right living, and the Divine Wisdom – whether called by its ancient Sanskrit name of Brahma Vidyā, or its modern Greek name of Theosophia, Theosophy – comes to the world as at once an adequate philosophy and an all-embracing religion and ethic. It was once said of the Christian Scriptures by a devotee that they contained shallows in which a child could wade and depths in which a giant must swim. A similar statement might be made of Theosophy, for some of its teachings are so simple and so practical that any person of average intelligence can understand and follow them, while others are so lofty, so profound, that the ablest strains his intellect to contain them and sinks exhausted in the effort.
- Annie Besant in The Ancient Wisdom (1897)
- The sacred books of the East are the best evidence for the greatness of their authors, for who in later days or in modern times can even approach the spiritual sublimity of their religious thought, the intellectual splendour of their philosophy, the breadth and purity of their ethic? And when we find that these books contain teachings about God, man, and the universe identical in substance under much variety of outer appearance, it does not seem unreasonable to refer to them to a central primary body of doctrine. To that body we give the name Divine Wisdom, in its Greek form: Theosophy.
As the origin and basis of all religions, it cannot be the antagonist of any: it is indeed their purifier, revealing the valuable inner meaning of much that has become mischievous in its external presentation by the perverseness of ignorance and the accretions of superstition; but it recognises and defends itself in each, and seeks in each to unveil its hidden wisdom.
- Annie Besant, The Ancient Wisdom (1897)
- The habit of quiet, sustained, and sequential thought, directed to non-worldly subjects, of meditation, of study, develops the mind-body and renders it a better instrument; the effort to cultivate abstract thinking is also useful, as this raises the lower mind towards the higher, and draws into it the subtlest materials of the lower mental plane.
- Annie Besant, The Ancient Wisdom (1897)
- The main preparation to be made for receiving in the physical vehicle the vibrations of the higher consciousness are: its purification from grosser materials by pure food and pure life; the entire subjugation of the passions, and the cultivation of an even, balanced temper and mind, unaffected by the turmoil and vicissitudes of external life; the habit of quiet meditation on lofty topics, turning the mind away from the objects of the senses, and from the mental images arising from them, and fixing it on higher things; the cessation of hurry, especially of that restless, excitable hurry of the mind, which keeps the brain continually at work and flying from one subject to another; the genuine love for the things of the higher world, that makes them more attractive than the objects of the lower, so that the mind rests contentedly in their companionship as in that of a well-loved friend.
- Annie Besant, The Ancient Wisdom (1897)
- The aim of this work may be thus stated: to show that Nature is not “a fortuitous concurrence of atoms,” and to assign to man his rightful place in the scheme of the Universe; to rescue from degradation the archaic truths which are the basis of all religions; and to uncover, to some extent, the fundamental unity from which they all spring; finally, to show that the occult side of nature has never been approached by the Science of modern civilization.
- There is a question that a warrior has to ask, mandatorily: Does this path have a heart?... All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. However, a path without a heart is never enjoyable. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy - it does not make a warrior work at liking it; it makes for a joyful journey; as long as a man follows it, he is one with it.
- Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (1968)
- The more God is in all things, the more He is outside them. The more He is within, the more without.
- ... the metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical to, divine Reality; the ethic that places man's final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent Ground of all being; the thing is immemorial and universal. Rudiments of the perennial philosophy may be found among the traditional lore of primitive peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions. A version of this Highest Common Factor in all preceding and subsequent theologies was first committed to writing more than twenty-five centuries ago, and since that time the inexhaustible theme has been treated again and again, from the standpoint of every religious tradition and in all the principal languages of Asia and Europe.
- The world as it appears to common sense consists of an indefinite number of successive and presumably causally connected events, involving an indefinite number of separate, individual things, lives and thoughts, the whole constituting a presumably orderly cosmos. It is in order to describe, discuss and manage this common-sense universe that human languages have been developed.
Whenever, for any reason, we wish to think of the world, not as it appears to common sense, but as a continuum, we find that our traditional syntax and vocabulary are quite inadequate. Mathematicians have therefore been compelled to inventradically new symbol-systems for this express purpose. But the divine Ground of all existence is not merely a continuum, it is also out of time, and different, not merely in degree, but in kind from the worlds to which traditional language and the languages of mathematics are adequate. Hence, in all expositions of the Perennial Philosophy, the frequency of paradox, of verbal extravagance, sometimes even of seeming blasphemy.
Nobody has yet invented a Spiritual Calculus, in terms of which we may talk coherently about the divine Ground and of the world conceived as its manifestation. For the present, therefore, we must be patient with the linguistic eccentricities of those who are compelled to describe one order of experience in terms of a symbol-system, whose relevance is to the facts of another and quite different order. Ch 3
- So far, then, as a fully adequate expression of the Perennial Philosophy is concerned, there exists a problem in semantics that is finally insoluble. The fact is one which must be steadily borne in mind by all who read its formulations. Only in this way shall we be able to understand even remotely what is being talked about. Ch 3
- Theosophy is that ocean of knowledge which spreads from shore to shore of the evolution of sentient beings; unfathomable in its deepest parts, it gives the greatest minds their fullest scope, yet, shallow enough at its shores, it will not overwhelm the understanding of a child. It is wisdom about God for those who believe that he is all things and in all, and wisdom about nature for the man who accepts the statement found in the Christian Bible that God cannot be measured or discovered, and that darkness is around his pavilion. Although it contains by derivation the name God and thus may seem at first sight to embrace religion alone, it does not neglect science, for it is the science of sciences and therefore has been called the wisdom religion. For no science is complete which leaves out any department of nature, whether visible or invisible, and that religion which, depending solely on an assumed revelation, turns away from things and the laws which govern them is nothing but a delusion, a foe to progress, an obstacle in the way of man's advancement toward happiness. Embracing both the scientific and the religious, Theosophy is a scientific religion and a religious science.
- It is not a belief or dogma formulated or invented by man, but is a knowledge of the laws which govern the evolution of the physical, astral, psychical, and intellectual constituents of nature and of man. The religion of the day is but a series of dogmas man-made and with no scientific foundation for promulgated ethics; while our science as yet ignores the unseen, and failing to admit the existence of a complete set of inner faculties of perception in man, it is cut off from the immense and real field of experience which lies within the visible and tangible worlds. But Theosophy knows that the whole is constituted of the visible and the invisible, and perceiving outer things and objects to be but transitory it grasps the facts of nature, both without and within. It is therefore complete in itself and sees no unsolvable mystery anywhere; it throws the word coincidence out of its vocabulary and hails the reign of law in everything and every circumstance.
- William Quan Judge, The Ocean of Theosophy (1893)
- The teachings of Theosophy deal for the present chiefly with our earth, although its purview extends to all the worlds, since no part of the manifested universe is outside the single body of laws which operate upon us. Our globe being one of the solar system is certainly connected with Venus, Jupiter, and other planets, but as the great human family has to remain with its material vehicle — the earth — until all the units of the race which are ready are perfected, the evolution of that family is of greater importance to the members of it. Some particulars respecting the other planets may be given later on. First let us take a general view of the laws governing all.
- William Quan Judge, The Ocean of Theosophy (1893)
- "There is a school of philosophy still in existence of which modern culture has lost sight." In these words Mr. A.P. Sinnett began his book, The Occult World, the first popular exposition of Theosophy, published thirty years ago.... During the years that have passed since then, many thousands have learned wisdom in that school, yet to the majority its teachings are still unknown, and they can give only the vaguest of replies to the query, "What is Theosophy?" Two books already exist which answer that question: Mr. Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism and Dr. Besant's The Ancient Wisdom. I have no thought of entering into competition with those standard works; what I desire is to present a statement, as clear and simple as I can make it, which may be regarded as introductory to them.
- It is at once a philosophy, a religion and a science. It is a philosophy, because it puts plainly before us an explanation of the scheme of evolution of both the souls and the bodies contained in our solar system. It is a religion in so far as, having shown us the course of ordinary evolution, it also puts before us and advises a method of shortening that course, so that by conscious effort we may progress more directly towards the goal. It is a science, because it treats both these subjects as matters not of theological belief but of direct knowledge obtainable by study and investigation. It asserts that man has no need to trust to blind faith, because he has within him latent powers which, when aroused, enable him to see and examine for himself, and it proceeds to prove its case by showing how those powers may be awakened... for the teachings which it puts before us are founded upon direct observations made in the past, and rendered possible only by such development. As a philosophy, it explains to us that the solar system is a carefully-ordered mechanism, a manifestation of a magnificent life, of which man is but a small part... it takes up that small part which immediately concerns us, and treats it exhaustively under three heads—present, past and future.
- C. W. Leadbeater, A Textbook of Theosophy (1912)
- It deals with the present by describing what man really is, as seen by means of developed faculties. It is customary to speak of man as having a soul. Theosophy, as the result of direct investigation, reverses that dictum, and states that man is a soul, and has a body—in fact several bodies, which are his vehicles and instruments in various worlds. Man has an existence in several of these, but is normally conscious only of the lowest, though sometimes in dreams and trances he has glimpses of some of the others. What is called death is the laying aside of the vehicle belonging to this lowest world, but the soul or real man in a higher world is no more changed or affected by this than the physical man is changed or affected when he removes his overcoat. All this is a matter, not of speculation, but of observation and experiment.
- C. W. Leadbeater, A Textbook of Theosophy (1912)
- Put shortly, and in the language of the man of the street, this means that God is good, that man is immortal, and that as we sow so we must reap. There is a definite scheme of things; it is under intelligent direction and works under immutable laws. Man has his place in this scheme and is living under these laws. If he understands them and co-operates with them, he will advance rapidly and will be happy; if he does not understand them—if, wittingly or unwittingly, he breaks them, he will delay his progress and be miserable. These are not theories, but proved facts. Let him who doubts read on, and he will see.
- C. W. Leadbeater, A Textbook of Theosophy (1912)
- This is a school in which no pupil ever fails; every one must go on to the end. He has no choice as to that; but the length of time which he will take in qualifying himself for the higher examinations is left entirely to his own discretion. The wise pupil, seeing that school-life is not a thing in itself, but only a preparation... endeavours to comprehend as fully as possible the rules of his school, and shapes his life in accordance with them as closely as he can, so that no time may be lost in the learning of whatever lessons are necessary.
- Charles Webster Leadbeater, A Textbook of Theosophy, Chapter VII, (1912)
- You are sure to encounter a certain kind of person who flies into a frenzy at the mere mention of the Masters. Such people are ready to put their trust in any shameless stock market speculation, they are ready to believe in any swindle, but for them the idea of the Common Good is inadmissible. Gaze into the pupils of such people’s eyes, and you will find a restless shadow. They will not be able to stand your gaze for long. These people are secret dugpas. Often they are more dangerous than their colleagues who openly practice black magic... If you brought these seemingly well-meaning people to the very edge of Our Abode, they would declare that they were seeing a mirage. It might seem that this is all due to ignorance, but the real reason is far worse. Beware of them! Most of all, protect the children. These people are the cause of many of the disorders that children suffer. They manage to get into schools. Historical fact and the law of knowledge do not exist for them. 340.
- Morya, Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, Illumination, (1925)
- The lampooners and denunciators of our time have as little succeeded in shaking the faith of believers in the reality and value of mystical initiation, as did their precursors in the olden times that of their believing contemporaries. It has been simply the array of conjecture against experience, of surmise against knowledge. The wise have had but a feeling of contemptuous pity for the army of critics whose conclusions have rested upon wholly mistaken premises, and whose verdict has been colored by exaggerated prejudice and foolish mistrust.
There is not an example recorded of anyone speaking irreverently of the course of initiation after having passed through it. On the other hand, the most divine characters in history who have been so blessed, have unanimously expressed their joy at having entered "The Path" and pursued it bravely to the end. Their testimony is that, until man has had this evolution, he cannot conceive of the nature of truth or the possibilities latent in humanity.
- H. S. Olcott The Source and Value of the "Mysteries", The Theosophist, (January 1888)
- Patanjali tells us that the... local deities will assail such a Yogi [one who is only in the rudimentary stage], and will endeavor to divert him from the religious abstraction which he has attained, by bringing before him sensual gratifications, or by exciting in his mind thoughts of personal aggrandizement, but he should partake of these gratifications without interest, for if these deities succeed in exciting desire in the mind, he will be thrown back to all the evils of future transmigrations. The next European philosopher who applies himself to the study of the mysteries, would do well to familiarize himself with the Yoga Philosophy before committing himself to such jejune hypotheses as were put forth by those who have been mentioned above.
- H. S. Olcott, The Source and Value of the "Mysteries", The Theosophist , (January 1888)
- Is there no recompense for those who fail in initiation through miscalculation of their power to realize the ideal psychic development? Certainly there is. The attainment of perfection is but postponed to a future birth. Every preliminary step in self-conquest and self-knowledge is so much experience and developed power, stored up psychic energy, for the use of the individuality in its next incarnation. The Divine Krishna answers Arjuna, who had put this very question: Doth not the fool who is found not standing in the path of Brahm, and is thus, as it were, fallen between good and evil, like a broken cloud, come to nothing? Krishna says: A man whose devotions have been broken off by death, having enjoyed for an immensity of years the rewards of his virtues in the regions above [This idea is developed by Mr. Sinnett in Esoteric Buddhism.] at length is born again in some holy and respectable family, or perhaps in the house of some learned Yogi ... Being thus born again, he is endued with the same degree of application and advancement of his understanding that he held in his former body, and here he begins again to labor for perfection in devotion.
- H. S. Olcott The Source and Value of the "Mysteries", The Theosophist, (January 1888)
- Let us glance at the entire immensity of the night sky. In our thoughts let us fly over the innumerable worlds and the hidden depths of infinite space. Thought in its substance is infinite, and only our consciousness attempts to limit it. Therefore, without delay, let us start the next step—broadening of consciousness. The most ancient wisdom of India says: "Thought is the primary source of world creation." The Great Buddha pointed out the meaning of thought which builds our essence. He taught his pupils to broaden their consciousness. Lao Tze, Confucius, Christ—all Teachers of spirit and great thinkers taught the same thing.
- Helena Roerich, Letters of Helena Roerich I, (Letters I)
- Sometimes I feel so much like being with you physically, so that I might share the joy of your creative tension. You know already that the attraction of possibilities is inevitable when all the forces are strained. The law is one in the whole Cosmos. And we have already learned to love the obstacles, and we know that "the obstacles which produce weakness of spirit will produce failure, while the obstacles which call forth all the fire of spirit to battle act like a creative element." The ancient wisdom says: "Welcome the day of battle; do not turn away from obstacles." When there is deviation there is only detention, not salvation. The one who is not afraid to become a participant of eternal and infinite motion, truly, can accept the part of a fighter. The readiness, the undeferred rhythm will rush him into the radiance of Cosmos. Notice: "Fear and hesitation are as dams to the spirit."
- Helena Roerich, Letters I, Letters I, (15 January 1930)
- I wish to send you a few words from my heart. The Ancient Wisdom says that sincere words can never be flowery. Therefore, in all simplicity, I tell you that we are profoundly touched by your steady striving toward the Teaching and by your creative work, which is so full of beautiful feeling.
- Helena Roerich, Letters I, (24 April 1931)
- I may cheer you up by saying that, although the path of preparatory discipleship is long and there are many obstacles and trials on this path, the mastering of these difficulties bring its own joy, achievement and revelation. Also, you must know that these tests are not artificially created but deal with the inner attitude and presence of mind of the disciple, giving him a chance to show how he will act in cases of sudden difficulty and amid general trying circumstances. In Theosophical literature seven years is usually mentioned as the first period of trial, followed by the next period of seven years. But these periods can be shortened or prolonged indefinitely. All depends upon the karma of the disciple and on his inner development and aspiration. For one must achieve the gradual opening of the higher centers; otherwise it is impossible to become an accepted disciple. But remember that until the age of thirty years is reached, not all the centers can be awakened without terrible harm to the organism. To force their opening is equal to suicide.
- Helena Roerich, Letters I, (29 August 1934)
- The ancient wisdom says, "Name your enemies, and I shall tell who you are." And the Teaching says, "Without slander grateful humanity would have interred the most vital manifestations." We should add to this the wisdom of Christ, "A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house." (St. Mark 6:4). This truth has been repeated by all the hounded and persecuted benefactors of mankind, during all times and in all nations, but, alas, it will remain as strong as ever until humanity goes through the fiery baptism of the spirit. Thus, I am not afraid of anathema, and hardly anyone who is truly devoted to the Teaching and to the evolution of the spirit is afraid of it. Hence, I shall never renounce my convictions: I believe in the Unutterable Divine Principle, which abides in each human being, and I believe in the birth of Christ in the human soul on its way to perfection. Moreover, every educated man knows the significance of the terms Krestos or Kristos (Christ), and that they were taken from the pagan vocabulary... Krestos was the designation given to a neophyte who was on probation as a candidate for the degree of Hierophant. Only after a disciple went through all the sufferings and passed all the tests, in the last ritual of initiation he was anointed and became according to the language of the Mysteries, Christ, "the purified."...
- Helena Roerich, Letters II,(22 July 1935)
- The Ageless Wisdom refers to an ancient body of teachings regarding the nature of our cosmos, the laws by which it operates, and humanity’s evolutionary role within it. It is the source of all spiritual teachings and religious traditions. Its primary focus is on the energetic structure of the universe, the evolution of consciousness, the spiritual reality of our lives as humans, and the development of “right human relations.” Its emphasis on all life as energy is being confirmed by the current work in cosmology and quantum physics. No student of the Ageless Wisdom is expected to accept any of the teachings without testing them. As the Tibetan says, “If the teaching conveyed calls forth a response from the illumined mind of the worker in the world, and brings a flashing forth of intuition, then let that teaching be accepted. But not otherwise.”
- Men of science in former ages worked in secret, and instead of publishing their discoveries, taught them in secret to carefully selected pupils. Their motives for adopting that policy are readily intelligible... let us consider the position of the adepts as they now exist... They constitute a Brotherhood, or Secret Association, which ramifies all over the East, but the principal seat of which for the present I gather to be in Tibet... The great fraternity is at once the least and the most exclusive organization in the world, and fresh recruits from any race or country are welcome, provided they possess the needed qualifications. The door, as I have been told by one who is himself an adept, is always open to the right man who knocks, but the road that has to be travelled before the door is reached is one which none but very determined travellers can hope to pass.
- Alfred Percy Sinnett, in The Occult World, Fifth American edition, (1888)
The Ancient Wisdom, by Annie Besant, (1897) edit
- The Unity underlying all Religions. Right thought is necessary to right conduct, right understanding to right living, and the Divine Wisdom — whether called by its ancient Sanskrit name of Brahma Vidy^, or its modern Greek name of Theosophia, Theosophy — comes to the world as at once an adequate philosophy and an all-embracing religion and ethic. It was once said of the Christian Scriptures by a devotee that they contained shallows in which a child could wade and depths in which a giant must swim. A similar statement might be made of Theosophy, for some of its teachings are so simple and so practical that any person of average intelligence can understand and follow them, while others are so lofty, so profound, that the ablest strains his intellect to contain them and sinks exhausted in the effort. (Introduction)
- In the present volume an attempt will be made to place Theosophy before the reader simply and clearly, in a way which shall convey its general principles and truths as forming a coherent conception of the universe, and shall give such detail as is necessary for the understanding of their relations to each other. An elementary text-book cannot pretend to give the fulness of knowledge that may be obtained from obstruser works, but it should leave the student with clear fundamental ideas on his subject, with much indeed to add by future study but with little to unlearn. Into the outline given by such a book the student should be able to paint the details of further research. (Introduction)
- It is admitted on all hands that a survey of the great religions of the world shows that they hold in common many religious, ethical and philosophical ideas. But while the fact is universally granted, the explanation of the fact is a matter of dispute. Some allege that religions have grown up on the soil of human ignorance tilled by imagination, and have been gradually elaborated from crude forms of animism and fetichism; their likenesses are referred to universal natural phenomena imperfectly observed and fancifully explained, solar and star worship being the universal key for one school, phallic worship the equally universal key for another; fear, desire, ignorance and wonder led the savage to personify the powers of nature, and priests played upon his terrors and his hopes, his misty fancies and his bewildered questionings; myths became scriptures and symbols facts, and as their basis was universal the likeness of the products was inevitable.
- Thus speak the doctors of “ Comparative Mythology,” and plain people are silenced but not convinced under the rain of proofs; they cannot deny the likenesses, but they dimly feel: Are all man’s dearest hopes and loftiest imaginings really nothing more than the outcome of savage fancies and of groping ignorance? have the great leaders of the race, the martyrs and heroes of humanity, lived, wrought, suffered, and died deluded, for the mere personifications of astronomical facts and for the draped obscenities of barbarians?(Introduction p. 4)
- The second explanation of the common property in the religions of the world asserts the existence of an original teaching in the custody of a Brotherhood of great spiritual Teachers, who — Themselves the outcome of past cycles of evolution — acted as the instructors and guides of the child-humanity of our planet, imparting to its races and nations in turn the fundamental truths of religion in the form most adapted to the idiosyncrasies of the recipients. According to this view the Founders of the great religions are members of the one Brotherhood, and were aided in Their mission by many other members, lower in degree than Themselves, Initiates and disciples of various grades, eminent in spiritual insight, in philosophic knowledge, or in purity of ethical wisdom. These guided the infant nations, gave them their polity, enacted their laws, ruled them as kings, taught them as philosophers, guided them as priests; all the nations of antiquity looked back to such mighty men, demi-gods and heroes, and they left their traces in literature, in architecture, in legislation.
- That such men lived it seems difficult to deny in the face of universal tradition, of still existing scriptures, and of prehistoric remains for the most part now in ruins, to say nothing of other testimony which the ignorant would reject. The sacred books of the East are the best evidence for the greatness of their authors, for who in later days or in modern times can even approach the spiritual sublimity of their religious thought, the intellectual splendour of their philosophy, the breadth and purity of their ethic? And when we find that these books contain teachings about God, man and the universe identical in sub- stance under much variety of outer appearance, it does not seem unreasonable to refer them to a central primary body of doctrine. To that body we give the name of the Divine Wisdom, in its Greek form: Theosophy. (Intro p. 6)
- A heavy task lies before us, and beginning on the physical plane we shall climb slowly upwards, but a bird’s eye view of the great sweep of evolution and of its purpose may help us, ere we begin our detailed study in the world that surrounds us. (Intro p. 48)
- Narrowing down our view to the chain of which our globe is one, we see life-waves sweep round informing the kingdoms of nature, the three elemental, the mineral, vegetable, animal, human. Narrowing down our view still further to our own globe and its surroundings, we watch human evolution, and see man developing self-consciousness by a series of many life-periods; then centering on a single man we trace his growth and see that each life-period has a threefold division that each is linked to all life periods behind it reaping their results, and to all life-periods before it sowing their harvests, by a law that cannot be broken; that thus man may climb upwards with each life period adding to his experience, each life-period lifting him higher in purity, in devotion, in intellect, in power of usefulness, until at last he stands where They stand who are now the Teachers, fit, to pay to his younger brothers the debt he owes to Them. (Intro p. 50)
- If it be admitted that the soul of the savage is destined to live and evolve, and that he is not doomed for eternity to his present infant state, but that his evolution will take place after death and in other worlds, then the principle of soul-evolution is conceded, and the question of the place of evolution alone remains.
- Were all souls on earth at the same stage of evolution, much might be said for the contention that further worlds are needed for the evolution of souls beyond the infant stage. But we have around us souls that are far advanced, and that were born with noble mental and moral qualities. p. 108
- Human evolution is the evolution of the Thinker... At first, as little conscious as a baby’s earthly body, he almost slept through life after life, till the experiences playing on him from without awakened some of his latent forces into activity; but gradually he assumed more and more part in the direction of his life, until, with manhood reached, he took his life into his own hands, and an ever-increasing control over his future destiny. p. 131
- We are now in a position to study one of the pivotal doctrines of the Ancient Wisdom, the doctrine of reincarnation. Our view of it will be clearer and more in congruity with natural order, if we look at it as universal in principle, and then consider the special case of the reincarnation of the human soul.
- In studying it, this special case is generally wrenched from its place in natural order, and is considered as a dislocated fragment, greatly to its detriment. For all evolution consists of an evolving life, passing from form to form as it evolves, and storing up in itself the experiences gained through the forms; the reincarnation of the human soul is not the introduction of a new principle into evolution, but the adaptation of the universal principle to meet the conditions rendered necessary by the individualisation of the continuously evolving life. p. 180
- A life of extreme hardship, of ceaseless struggle with nature, will develop very different powers from those evolved amid the luxuriant plenty of a tropical island; both sets of powers are needed, for the soul is to conquer every region of nature, but striking differences may thus be evolved even in souls of the same age, and one may appear to be more advanced than the other, according as the observer estimates most highly the more “practical” or the more “contemplative” powers of the soul, the active outward-going energies, or the quiet inward-turned musing faculties. The perfected soul possesses all, but the soul in the making must develop them successively, and thus arises another cause of the immense variety found among human beings. For again, it must be remembered that human evolution is individual. p. 202
Isis Unveiled: A Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology, H.P. Blavatsky, (1877)]] edit
- Basing all his doctrines upon the presence of the Supreme Mind, Plato taught that the nous, spirit, or rational soul of man, being “generated by the Divine Father,” possessed a nature kindred, or even homogeneous, with the Divinity, and was capable of beholding the eternal realities. This faculty of contemplating reality in a direct and immediate manner belongs to God alone. The aspiration for this knowledge constitutes what is really meant by philosophy—the love of wisdom. The love of truth is inherently the love of good; and so predominating over every desire of the soul, purifying it and assimilating it to the divine, thus governing every act of the individual, it raises man to a participation and communion with Divinity, and restores him to the likeness of God.“ This flight,” says Plato in the Theeetetus, “ consists in becoming like God, and this assimilation is the becoming just and holy with wisdom.” Vol. I, Before the Veil, xv
- The doctrine of Metempsychosis has been abundantly ridiculed by men of science and rejected by theologians, yet if it had been properly understood in its application to the indestructibility of matter and the immortality of spirit, it would have been perceived that it is a sublime conception. Should we not first regard the subject from the stand-point of the ancients before venturing to disparage its teachers? The solution of the great problem of eternity belongs neither to religious superstition nor to gross materialism. The harmony and mathematical equiformity of the double evolution — spiritual and physical — are elucidated only in the universal numerals of Pythagoras, who built his system entirely upon the so-called "metrical speech" of the Hindu Vedas. Vol. I, Ch. I, p.8
- If the Pythagorean metempsychosis should be thoroughly explained and compared with the modern theory of evolution, it would be found to supply every "missing link" in the chain of the latter. But who of our scientists would consent to lose his precious time over the vagaries of the ancients. Notwithstanding proofs to the contrary, they not only deny that the nations of the archaic periods, but even the ancient philosophers had any positive knowledge of the Heliocentric system. The "Venerable Bedes," the Augustines and Lactantii appear to have smothered, with their dogmatic ignorance, all faith in the more ancient theologists of the pre-Christian centuries. But now philology and a closer acquaintance with Sanskrit literature have partially enabled us to vindicate them from these unmerited imputations. In the Vedas, for instance, we find positive proof that so long ago as 2000 B.C., the Hindu sages and scholars must have been acquainted with the rotundity of our globe and the Heliocentric system. Hence, Pythagoras and Plato knew well this astronomical truth; for Pythagoras obtained his knowledge in India, or from men who had been there, and Plato faithfully echoed his teachings. Vol. 1, Ch. I, p.8,
- There was not a philosopher of any notoriety who did not hold to this doctrine of metempsychosis, as taught by the Brahmans, Buddhists, and later by the Pythagoreans, in its esoteric sense, whether he expressed it more or less intelligibly. Origen and Clemens Alexandrinus, Synesius and Chalcidius, all believed in it; and the Gnostics, who are unhesitatingly proclaimed by history as a body of the most refined, learned, and enlightened men, were all believers in metempsychosis. Socrates entertained opinions identical with those of Pythagoras; and both, as the penalty of their divine philosophy, were put to a violent death.... Aristotle, notwithstanding that for political reasons of his own he maintained a prudent silence as to certain esoteric matters, expressed very clearly his opinion on the subject. It was his belief that human souls are emanations of God, that are finally re-absorbed into Divinity. Zeno, the founder of the Stoics, taught that there are “ two eternal qualities throughout nature: the one active ; or male, the other passive, or female: that the former is pure, subtile ether, or Divine Spirit; the other entirely inert in itself till united with the active principle. Vol. 1, Ch. I, p. 14
- There was not a philosopher of any notoriety who did not hold to this doctrine of metempsychosis, as taught by the Brahmans, Buddhists, and later by the Pythagoreans, in its esoteric sense, whether he expressed it more or less intelligibly. Origen and Clemens Alexandrinus, Synesius and Chalcidius, all believed in it; and the Gnostics, who are unhesitatingly proclaimed by history as a body of the most refined, learned, and enlightened men, were all believers in metempsychosis. Socrates entertained opinions identical with those of Pythagoras; and both, as the penalty of their divine philosophy, were put to a violent death. The rabble has been the same in all ages. Materialism has been, and will ever be blind to spiritual truths. These philosophers held, with the Hindus, that God had infused into matter a portion of his own Divine Spirit, which animates and moves every particle. Vol. I, The veil of Isis, p.12,