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THEOSOPHY BASIC BELIEFSTheosophists believe that religion, philosophy, science and philanthropy lead people ever closer to "the Absolute."
Basic Tenets of Theosophy
Theosophists trace the origin of Theosophy to the universal striving for spiritual knowledge that existed in all cultures. It is found in an unbroken chain in India but existed in ancient Greece and also in the writings of Plato (427-347 BCE), Plotinus (204-270) and other neo-Platonists, as well as Jakob Boehme (1575-1624). Some relevant quotations:
The Socrates of Plato, Phaedrus
To the philosopher, the body is "a disturbing element, hindering the soul from the acquisition of knowledge..."
...what is purification but...the release of the soul from the chains of the body?
Theosophists believe that religion, philosophy, science, the arts, commerce, and philanthropy, among other "virtues," lead people ever closer to "the Absolute." Planets, solar systems, galaxies, and the cosmos itself are regarded as conscious entities, fulfilling their own evolutionary paths. The spiritual units of consciousness in the universe are the Monads, which may manifest as angels, human beings or in various other forms. According to Blavatsky, the Monad is the reincarnating unit of the human soul, consisting of the two highest of the seven constituent parts of the human soul. All beings, regardless of stature or complexity, are informed by such a Monad.
Theosophical writings propose that human civilizations, like all other parts of the universe, develop cyclically through seven stages. Blavatsky posited that the whole humanity, and indeed every reincarnating human monad, evolves through a series of seven "Root Races". Thus in the first age, humans were pure spirit; in the second age, they were sexless beings inhabiting the now lost continent of Hyperborea; in the third age the giant Lemurians were informed by spiritual impulses endowing them with human consciousness and sexual reproduction. Modern humans finally developed on the continent of Atlantis. Since Atlantis was the nadir of the cycle, the present fifth age is a time of reawakening humanity's psychic gifts. The term psychic here really means the realization of the permeability of consciousness as it had not been known earlier in evolution, although sensed by some more sensitive individuals of our species.
Blavatsky claimed that "The occult doctrine admits of no such divisions as the Aryan and the Semite, accepting even the Turanian with ample reservations. The Semites, especially the Arabs, are later Aryans degenerate in spirituality and perfected in materiality." However, this statement was not made in a spirit of attacking any ethnicity.Note: The neutrality of this information is disputed. It has been said the main purpose of the Theosophical Society is "To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or colour", and the Society's membership actually includes members of all nations, races and religions.
Theosophists opine that the most material of the vestures of the Soul are interpenetrated by the particles of the more subtle vesture. For example they claim that -The "Sthula-Sarira" or most material body, is, as science is aware, mostly space at its atomic level (as all matter is known to be), and these interstitial spaces are inhabited by those subtler particles of the Astral Body or Linga sarira, and so on for the other more energy-like envelopes of the Soul. The important thing about this interpenetration of each sheath, is that we see the inner person as a fluid and unbroken continuity, although varying in density/flexibility and energy and therefore more and more susceptible to the behest of the Real Person - the Soul/Higher Self since they are less and less encumbered by material boundaries. Perhaps the image of a suspension or colloid in chemistry is an apt perspective. And since matter is merely the material counterpart of consciousness (ultimately our aspect being pure consciousness), this interpenetration of sheaths allows for consciousness to interpenetrate Man's nature and explains how we are sensitive to what we think of as external stimuli, through the five senses. Theosophy, as well as many other esoteric groups and occult societies, claims in their esoteric cosmology that the universe is ordered by the number seven. The reincarnating consciousness of the monad utilizes spirit/matter forms in seven bodies: