The Aims of the Original Theosophical Mission

“The Occultists . . . believe the time has come to give everyone his due.”

"...the secret doctrines of the Magi, of the pre-Vedic Buddhists, of the hierophants of the Egyptian Thoth or Hermes, and of the adepts of whatever age and nationality, including the Chaldean kabalists and the Jewish nazars, were identical from the beginning. When we use the term Buddhists, we do not mean to imply by it either the exoteric Buddhism instituted by the followers of Gautama-Buddha, nor the modern Buddhistic religion, but the secret philosophy of Sakyamuni, which in its essence is certainly identical with the ancient wisdom-religion of the sanctuary, the pre-Vedic Brahmanism (...) By Buddhism, therefore, we mean that religion signifying literally the doctrine of wisdom, and which by many ages antedates the metaphysical philosophy of Siddhartha Sakyamuni." (Helena Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Vol. 2, 142-43.)

"We repeat again, Buddhism is but the primitive source of Brahmanism. It is not against the primitive Vedas that Gautama protests. It is against the sacerdotal and official state religion of his country. (...) Gautama Buddha's philosophy was that taught from the beginning of time in the impenetrable secrecy of the inner sanctuaries of the pagodas." (Helena Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Vol. 2, pg. 169)

"What we desire to prove is, that underlying every ancient popular religion was the same ancient wisdom-doctrine, one and identical, professed and practised by the initiates of every country, who alone were aware of its existence and importance. To ascertain its origin, and the precise age in which it was matured, is now beyond human possibility. A single glance, however, is enough to assure one that it could not have attained the marvellous perfection in which we find it pictured to us in the relics of the various esoteric systems, except after a succession of ages. A philosophy so profound, a moral code so ennobling, and practical results so conclusive and so uniformly demonstrable is not the growth of a generation, or even a single epoch. Fact must have been piled upon fact, deduction upon deduction, science have begotten science, and myriads of the brightest human intellects have reflected upon the laws of nature, before this ancient doctrine had taken concrete shape." (Helena Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Vol. 2, 99.)

Giovanni Battista Moroni. Portrait of a Man holding a Letter.

Theology and Churchianism would fain trouble the clear spring that fed them from the first, to prevent posterity from looking into it and thus seeing their reflection. The Occultists, however, believe the time has come to give everyone his due. As to our other opponents — the modern sceptic and the epicurean, the cynic and the Sadducee — they may find our answer to their denials in our earlier writings (See Isis Unveiled, Vol. 1, p. 535). We say now what we said then, in reply to the many unjust aspersions thrown on the ancient doctrines:

“The thought of the present-day commentator and critic as to the ancient learning, is limited to and runs around the exotericism of the temples; his insight is either unwilling or unable to penetrate into the solemn adyta of old, where the hierophant instructed the neophyte to regard the public worship in its true light. No ancient sage would have taught that man is the king of creation, and that the starry heaven and our mother earth were created for his sake.”

When we find such works as Rivers of Life and Phallicism [Rivers of Life, or Sources and Streams of the Faith of Man in all Lands, etc., by Maj.-General James George R. Forlong. London, 1883; 2 Vols.; and Phallicism, by Hargrave Jennings. London: George Redway, 1884.] appearing in our day in print, under the auspices of Materialism, it is easy to see that the day for concealment and travesty has passed away. Science in philology, symbolism, and comparative religions has progressed too far to deny any longer, and the Church is too wise and cautious not to be now making the best of the situation. Meanwhile, the “rhombs of Hecate” and the “wheels of Lucifer,” (E. de Mirville, Des Esprits, Vol. III, p. 267 et seq.) daily exhumed on the site of Babylon, can no longer be used as a clear evidence of Satan-worship, since the same symbols are shown in the ritual of the Latin Church. The latter is too learned to be ignorant of the fact that even the later Chaldees, who had gradually fallen into dualism, reducing all things to two primal principles, had no more worshipped Satan or idols than have the Zoroastrians, who are now accused of the same, but that their religion was as highly philosophical as any; their dual and exoteric Theosophy be-came the heirloom of the Jews, who, in their turn, were forced to share it with the Christians. Parsīs are charged to this day with heliolatry, and yet in the Chaldean Oracles, under the “Magical and Philosophical Precepts” of Zoroaster, the following is found:

“Direct not thy mind to the vast measures of the earth; For the plant of truth is not upon ground. Nor measure the measures of the sun, collecting rules, for he is carried by the eternal will of the father, not for your sake. Dismiss the impetuous course of the moon; for she runs always by the work of necessity. The progression of the stars was not generated for your sake.”

There is a vast difference between the true worship taught to those who showed themselves worthy, and the state religions. The Magians are accused of all kinds of superstition, but the Chaldean Oracle proceeds:

“The wide aerial flight of birds is not true, nor the dissections of the entrails of victims; they are all mere toys, the basis of mercenary fraud: flee from these if you would open the sacred paradise of piety where virtue, wisdom, and equity, are assembled.” (see Psellus, 4, no. cxliv, Isaac Cory, Ancient Fragments, pg. 269, 2nd ed., London, 1832.)

The above-quoted stanzas form a rather strange teaching to come from those who are universally believed to have worshipped the sun, and moon, and the starry host, as Gods. The sublime profundity of the Magian precepts being beyond the reach of modern materialistic thought, the Chaldean philosophers are accused, together with the ignorant masses, of Sabaeanism and sun-worship, cults which were simply those of the uneducated masses.

Things of late have changed, true enough; the field of investigation has widened; old religions are a little better understood; and, since that memorable day when the Committee of the French Academy, headed by Benjamin Franklin, investigated Mesmer’s phenomena but to proclaim them charlatanry and clever knavery, both “heathen philosophy” and mesmerism have acquired certain rights and privileges, and are now viewed from quite a different standpoint. Is full justice rendered them withal, and are they appreciated any better? We are afraid not.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, “The Denials and Mistakes of the Nineteenth-Century,” Collected Writings, Vol. XIII., pp. 224-42)


“…The British T. S. does not progress one step practically. They are of the Universal Brotherhood but in name, and gravitate at best towards Quietism — that utter paralysis of the Soul. They are intensely selfish in their aspirations and will get but the reward of their selfishness.”—K.H., The Mahatma Letters, Letter 28, 1881. “There is more of this movement than you have yet had an inkling of, and the work of the T.S. is linked in with similar work that is secretly going on in all parts of the world.”—Morya, The Mahatma Letters, Letter 47, Allahabad March 3, 1882. “Eastern initiates maintain that they have preserved records of the racial development and of events of universal import ever since the beginning of the fourth race – that which preceded being traditional.”—Helena Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, pg. 646. “The exact extent, depth, breadth, and length of the mysteries of nature are to be found only in Eastern esoteric sciences. So vast and so profound are these that hardly a few, a very few of the highest initiates – those whose very existence is known but to a small number of adepts – are capable of assimilating the knowledge. Yet it is all there, and one by one facts and processes in nature’s workshops are permitted to find their way into the exact sciences, while mysterious help is given to rare individuals in unravelling its arcana.”—Helena Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, pg. 611-12.

The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated wisdom of the ages (…) the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of seers (…) For long ages, the “wise men” of the fifth race (…) passed their lives in learning, not teaching (…) by checking, testing, and verifying in every department of nature the traditions of old by the independent visions of great adepts; i.e., men who have developed and perfected their physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual organisations to the utmost possible degree.”—Helena Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, pg. 272. “Adeptship is a logical necessity in the natural order of human development.”—Helena Blavatsky, Collected Writings, Vol. 11, pg. 399.

Our cause is the cause of humanity, of true religion, of education, of enlightenment and spiritual elevation (…)”—Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, C. Jinarajadasa (comp.), TPH, 1973/77, Vol. 2, pp. 97-98); and our “MASTERS (…) are simply holy mortals (…) higher than any in this world, morally, intellectually and spiritually.”—Blavatsky Collected Writings, Vol. 7, pg. 242. “Every bogus swindling Society, for commercial purposes, now claims to be guided and directed by “masters,” often supposed to be far higher than ours! (…) We theosophists were, unfortunately, the first to talk of these things, to make the fact of the existence in the East of “adepts” and “masters” and occult knowledge known (…).”—Helena Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy. “Do you think that we have broken the silence of centuries for the profit of a handful of dreamers only?”—K.H., written 1884, Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, C. Jinarajadasa (comp.), TPH, 1973/77, Vol. 1, pg. 20. “For thousands of years, one initiate after another, one great hierophant succeeded by other hierophants, has explored and re-explored the invisible universe, the worlds of the interplanetary regions, during long periods when his conscious soul, united to the spiritual soul and to the ALL, free and almost omnipotent, left his body. (…) The mysteries of life as well as of death, of the visible and invisible worlds, have been fathomed and observed by initiated adepts in all epochs and in all nations. They have studied these during the solemn moments of union of their divine monad with the universal Spirit, and they have recorded their experiences. (…) A definite science, based on personal observation and experience, corroborated by continuous demonstrations, containing irrefutable proofs, for those who study it, has thus been established.”—Helena Blavatsky, Collected Writings, Vol. 5, pg. 50-1.

They all rob nature instead of enriching her, and will all in the degree of their intelligence find themselves accountable. Exact experimental Science has nothing to do with morality, virtue, philanthropy, therefore can make no claim upon our help, until it blends itself with the metaphysics. Being but a cold classification of facts outside man, and existing before and after him, her domain of usefulness ceases for us at the outer boundary of these facts; and whatever the inferences and results for humanity from the materials acquired by her methods, she little cares.”—K.H., The Mahatma Letters, Letter no. 1 to A.O. Hume, Amritsur, Nov. 1, 1880. However, “Spheres of usefulness [in scientists and philosophers]§ can be found everywhere. The first object of the Society is philanthropy. The true Theosophist is a philanthropist who—‘not for himself but for the world he lives’…”This, and philosophy—the right comprehension of life and its mysteries—will give the ‘necessary basis’ and show the right pathway to pursue. Yet the best ‘sphere of usefulness’ for the applicant is now in his own land.”—K.H. for Dr. Hübbe Schleiden, Letter 68 (see here).


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