Ten Teachings Concerning Man
by Geoffrey Hodson (1886-1983)
[Note: The word "man" is used in the generic sense of man, a human being, and therefore inclusive of both men and women.]
- Man is that being in whom highest spirit (Monad) and lowest matter (body) are united by intellect.
- The etheric double is the connecting link or "bridge" between the superphysical and the physical person.
- Man's spiritual Self perpetually unfolds potential capacities, this being the result of his existence.
- This process culminates in the attainment of perfected manhood, Adeptship.
- The method of human evolution is by means of successive and progressive physical lives, or rebirth.
- Human conditions and experiences are the results of human conduct under the Law of Cause and Effect, or Karma. Kindness brings health and happiness. Cruelty brings disease and misery.
- The processes of evolution can be delayed by self-indulgence and cruelty, proceed normally, or be hastened by following a kindly, helpful, and self-controlled mode of life. The Kingdom of Heaven can be taken by storm [by means of Yoga]. This calls especially for self-training, regular meditation, and selfless service.
- Century by century a perfect man or woman arises, the rare efflorescence or "flowering" of the human race. Perfected men and women — Adepts — exist on earth.
- Ages ago, and ever since, certain Adepts shared Their discovered wisdom and knowledge with humanity. This is named Brahma Vidya and Theosophia.
- The Theosophical Society was founded in 1875 to "popularize a knowledge of Theosophy" in order to "ameliorate the condition of man".
from Light of the Sanctuary, p. 401
The Study of Basic Theosophy
by Geoffrey Hodson
I suggest that the "study of basic Theosophy" include:
- the sevenfold nature of man — a spiritual being in vehicles of will, wisdom, abstract intelligence, thought, emotion, ether and flesh
- the spiritual relationship of each individual to every other (shared spiritual life, brotherhood, family)
- the purpose of man's existence (evolution to super-humanity)
- how achieved (reincarnation)
- law governing every human experience (cause and effect — karma)
- cause of all human sorrow (unwisely expressed desire)
- assurance of health and happiness (genuinely experienced and intelligently expressed love and sympathy for all sentient beings)
- the existence on Earth of perfected men and women (the Adept Brotherhood and its ministrations to mankind as ever-available instructors, the Masters of Wisdom)
- examples of Adeptic ministrations (ever-available knowledge and dissemination of Theosphia, the ever-open pathway of discipleship and initiation to the end of greater effectiveness in wisely chosen service; the Mystery Tradition)
from Sharing the Light, Volume 2, p. 463 (footnote 2)
What Theosophy Is
by Charles W. Leadbeater (1854-1934)
[Theosophy] 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. These worlds are not separate in space; they are simultaneously present with us, here and now, and can be examined; they are the divisions of the material side of Nature – different degrees of density in the aggregation of matter.... 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.
from A Textbook of Theosophy, pp. 2-3
The Growth of the Inner Nature
by Annie Besant (1847-1933)
Nothing is so fatal to progress, nothing so discouraging to the growth of the inner nature, as the continual repetition of that which is not true: that we are fundamentally and essentially wicked, not divine. It is poison at the very heart of life; it stamps one with a brand which is hard indeed to throw off. If we want to give even the lowest and most degraded a sense of inner dignity, which will enable them to climb out of the mud in which they are plunged to the dignity of a divine human nature, we must tell them of their essential divinity, that in their hearts they are righteous and not foul. For it is just in proportion that we do so, that within them there will be faint stirrings of the spirit, so overlaid that they are not conscious of it in their ordinary life. If there is one duty of preachers of religion more vital than another, it is that all who hear them shall feel the stirring of the Divine within themselves.
from The Spiritual Life
A Message on Theosophy
by Helena P. Blavatsky (1831-1891)
[Note: The word "men" is used in the generic sense of men, human beings, and therefore inclusive of both men and women.]
On the day when Theosophy will have accomplished its most holy and most important mission—namely to unite firmly a body of men of all nations in brotherly love and bent on a pure altruistic work, not on a labor with selfish motives—on that day only will Theosophy become higher than any nominal brotherhood of man. This will be a wonder and a miracle truly, for the realization of which Humanity is vainly waiting for the last eighteen centuries, and which every association has hitherto failed to accomplish.
from Five Messages from H. P. Blavatsky to the American Theosophists, 1888
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (HPB)
Founder of the Theosophical Society, 1875
Produced by the Valencia (Spain) Theosophical Studies Group
Used with permission