The name Theosophy stems from the Greek 'Theos' and 'Sophia' meaning Divine Wisdom. However, Theosophy is not a religion. It is a philosophy of life, which offers to every human being the possibility to find a solution to the many problems of life.
Theosophy is called Divine Wisdom because, among other things, one finds the explanation for the motivations of the human soul, its origin, destination and relation with the cosmos.
Theosophy, also called Secret Doctrine or Esoteric Philosophy, contains firstly the principles of morality, with directives for human thought and action. This morality can be extrapolated from a monumental number of teachings about the laws in the Universe and the structure of Man and the Universe. The teachings are not based upon belief, but upon knowledge.
Theosophy stimulates independent thinking and the search for truth. Science, philosophy and religion, the three different ways to investigate and explain life, are contained in Theosophy. In this way Theosophy gives explanations as to the how, why and the what of life. The answer to the question regarding the purpose of life can be found in Theosophy.
The Three Fundamental Propositions
Theosophy is based on three fundamental principles that form the basis of all other thoughts within Theosophy:
- An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE
on which all speculation is impossible,
since it transcends the power of human conception and could only be dwarfed by any human expression or similitude. (...)
One absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested, conditioned, being.
- The Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane;
periodically "the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing,"
called "the manifesting stars," and the "sparks of Eternity." (...)
“The appearance and disappearance of Worlds is like a regular tidal ebb of flux and reflux.”
- The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul,
the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root;
and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul—a spark of the former—
through the Cycle of Incarnation (or "Necessity")
in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law, during the whole term.
(Source: H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine Vol. I, p. 14-17)
The basis of Theosophy
Theosophy does not assume there to be a highest God, who has created the Universe out of nothing and supplies the soul to the human being. Neither does Theosophy accept that the Universe developed in a mechanical way out of primordial matter, in which life is the consequence of the processes in matter and external influences.
Opposite to this is the fundamental thought of Theosophy:
Life or consciousness is the cause of all that exists.
This basic thought stems from the assumption that there is one omnipresent, eternal, boundless and immutable PRINCIPLE. It transcends the power of human comprehension and can only be impaired by any human expression or similitude.
This Principle of Life is the Causeless Cause of all manifested limited being. This Principle is neither a God nor a force.
The consequences of Theosophy for human life
Theosophy reveals the essential unity behind the great variety of forms and expressions of life. This unity is the basis of all natural life. This is why Theosophy teaches Universal Brotherhood of all beings as a fact of Nature. This thought of Brotherhood is not based upon sentiment, but upon the structure of the Universe, in which everything is inextricably interconnected and cooperates with each other. Herein lies the explanation of the principles of morality for daily life. These are charity, compassion, cooperation and brotherhood without any distinction made concerning colour, race, nationality, social status or religious conviction.
Theosophy teaches that all that lives does so according to Universal Laws. One of these laws is Re-embodiment, which means that Man will be repeatedly born again. In conjunction with this is the law of Cause and Effect, which points to strict justice in the Universe, in which there is no room for chance, good- and/or bad luck. The character of every human being and the conditions under which he or she lives, are the natural consequences of one's own actions and thinking in past lives.
Man governs his own destiny. That means that every human being is capable, if so desiring, to change his own life and character and attain his own beatitude. The way that is shown to achieve that lies in living out the ideal of a human brotherhood by practising the principles of morality in daily life.