“I fully expect to see the pragmatist view of truth run through the classic stages of a theory’s career. First, you know, a new theory is attacked as absurd; then it is admitted to be true, but obvious and insigniﬁcant; ﬁnally it is seen to be so important that its adversaries claim that they themselves discovered it.” (William James, Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking, 1907, pg. 192)
“In view of the strangeness of the teachings, and of many a doctrine which from the modern scientific stand-point must seem absurd, some necessary and additional explanations have to be made. The theories contained in the Second Part of the Stanzas are even more difficult to assimilate than those which are embodied in Vol. I, on Cosmogony. Theology, therefore, has to be questioned here, as Science will be in the Addenda (Part III.). Since our doctrines differ so widely from the current ideas of both Materialism and Theology, the Occultists must be ever prepared to repel the attacks of either or of both.
The reader can never be too often reminded that, as the abundant quotations from various old Scriptures prove, these teachings are as old as the world; and that the present work is a simple attempt to render, in modern language and in a phraseology with which the scientific and educated student is familiar, archaic Genesis and History as taught in certain Asiatic centres of esoteric learning. They must be accepted or rejected on their own merits, fully or partially; but not before they have been carefully compared with the corresponding theological dogmas and the modern scientific theories and speculations.
One feels a serious doubt whether, with all its intellectual acuteness, our age is destined to discover in each western nation even one solitary uninitiated scholar or philosopher capable of fully comprehending the spirit of archaic philosophy. Nor can one be expected to do so, before the real meaning of these terms, the Alpha and the Omega of Eastern esotericism, the words Sat and Asat, — so freely used in the Rig-Veda, and elsewhere — is thoroughly assimilated. Without this key to the Aryan Wisdom, the Cosmogony of the Rishis and the Arhats is in danger of remaining a dead letter to the average Orientalist (…)” (Helena Blavatsky. The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2., 1888, pg. 449)
As it has.
“(…) The whole of the present work is an endeavour to prove this truth. The ancient adepts have solved the great problems of science, however unwilling modern materialism may be to admit the fact. The mysteries of Life and Death were fathomed by the great master-minds of antiquity; and if they have preserved them in secresy and silence, it is because these problems formed part of the sacred mysteries; and, secondly, because they must have remained incomprehensible to the vast majority of men then, as they do now. If such teachings are still regarded as chimeras by our opponents in philosophy, it may be a consolation to the Theosophists to learn, on good proofs, that the speculations of modern psychologists — whether serious Idealists, like Mr. Herbert Spencer, or wool-gathering pseudo-Idealists — are far more chimerical. Indeed, instead of resting on the firm foundation of facts in Nature, they are the unhealthy will-o’-the-wisps of materialistic imagination, of the brains that evolved them — and no more. While they deny, we affirm; and our affirmation is corroborated by almost all the sages of antiquity. Believing in Occultism and a host of invisible Potencies for good reasons, we say: Certus sum, scio quod credidi; to which our critics reply: Credat Judaeus Apella. Neither is converted by the other, nor does such result affect even our little planet. E pur se muove!
Nor is there any need of proselytizing. As remarked by the wise Cicero, “Time destroys the speculations of man, but it confirms the judgment of nature.” Let us bide our time. Meanwhile, it is not in the human constitution to witness in silence the destruction of one’s gods, whether they be true or false. And as theology and materialism have combined together to destroy the old gods of antiquity and seek to disfigure every old philosophical conception, it is but just that the lovers of old wisdom should defend their position, by proving that the whole arsenal of the two is, at best, formed of new weapons made out of very old material.” (Helena Blavatsky. The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2., 1888, pg. 451)