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The term "Theosophy" means knowledge of things divine or quite literally, god-wisdom.




Theosophy Origins, History of the Theosophical Movement & H.P. Blavatsky

The term "Theosophy" is derived from the Greek word theosophia, meaning "knowledge of things divine", or quite literally, "god-wisdom". The term also appears in Neoplatonism, and used as the adjective for "wise in divine things" by Indian yogis or sadhus. Finally, the word was revived in the nineteenth century by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky to designate a religious philosophy which holds that all religions are attempts by humanity to approach the absolute, and that each religion therefore has a portion of the truth. Together with Henry Steel Olcott, William Quan Judge, and others, Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society in 1875.

The Theosophical Society was an organization formed in 1875 to advance the spiritual principles and search for Truth known as Theosophy. Theosophy is an active belief system today, and through a process of schism has also given rise to many other mystical beliefs and organisations.

The Theosophical Society was founded in New York City by Helena Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, William Quan Judge and others. Its initial objective was the investigation, study and explanation of mediumistic phenomena. After a few years Olcott and Blavatsky moved to India and established the International Headquarters at Adyar, Madras (Chennai). There, they also became interested in studying Eastern religions, and these were included in the Society's agenda. After several iterations the Society's objectives have evolved to be:

  • 1. to form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or colour.
  • 2. to encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science.
  • 3. to investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man.
In addition to the stated objectives, as early as 1889 Blavatsky purportedly had told a group of Theosophical students that the real purpose of establishing the Society was to prepare humanity for the reception of the World Teacher when he appeared again on earth. This was repeated again more publicly by Annie Besant in 1896, five years after Blavatsky's death. In Blavatsky's own writings, the only reference to a similar idea indicated that it would not be for at least a century.

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