34 Facts About Theosophy


Theosophy is a religion established in the United States during the late 19th century.

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Theosophy teaches that the purpose of human life is spiritual emancipation and claims that the human soul undergoes reincarnation upon bodily death according to a process of karma.

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Theosophy was established in New York City in 1875 with the founding of the Theosophical Society by Blavatsky and Americans Henry Olcott and William Quan Judge.

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Theosophy's sought to produce purportedly supernatural phenomena to support her claims regarding the Masters, although was repeatedly accused of fraudulently doing so.

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Theosophy played a significant role in bringing knowledge of South Asian religions to Western countries, as well as in encouraging cultural pride in various South Asian nations.

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Theosophy has an international following, and during the 20th century had tens of thousands of adherents.

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That Theosophy should not be labeled a religion is a claim that has been maintained by Theosophical organizations, who instead regard it as a system that embraces what they see as the "essential truth" underlying religion, philosophy, and science.

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The historian of religion Wouter Hanegraaff noted that Theosophy helped to establish the "essential foundations for much of twentieth-century esotericism".

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That is to say, Theosophy is not Eastern thought in the West, but Western thought with an Eastern flavour.

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Blavatsky's Theosophy is not the only movement to use the term "theosophy" and this has resulted in scholarly attempts to differentiate the different currents.

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Theosophy's claimed that these Masters were the source of many of her published writings.

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Theosophy's promoted the idea that ancient societies exhibited a unity of science and religion that humanity has since lost, with their achievements and knowledge being far in excess of what modern scholars believe about them.

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Theosophy's stated that this ancient religion would be revived and spread throughout humanity in the future, replacing dominant world religions like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.

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Theosophy tended to emphasize the importance of ancient texts over the popular ritual and custom found within various religious traditions.

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Theosophy promotes an emanationist cosmology, promoting the belief that the universe is an outward reflection from the Absolute.

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Theosophy's claimed that there were different levels of evolution, from mineral on to vegetable, animal, human, and then to superhuman or spiritual.

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Theosophy teaches that human evolution is tied in with this planetary and wider cosmic evolution.

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Theosophy's claimed that some Atlanteans were giants, and built such ancient monuments as Stonehenge in southern England, and that they mated with "she-animals", resulting in the creation of gorillas and chimpanzees.

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Theosophy's believed that the fifth Race would come to be replaced by the sixth, which would be heralded by the arrival of Maitreya, a figure from Mahayana Buddhist mythology.

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Theosophy's further believed that humanity would eventually develop into the final, seventh Root Race.

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Theosophy teaches that the Spiritual Soul and the Spirit do not reside within the human body alongside the other components, but that they are connected to it through the human soul.

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Theosophy's promoted the idea that uniting with this "higher self" results in wisdom.

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Theosophy espouses the existence of karma as a system which regulates the cycle of reincarnation, ensuring that an individual's actions in one life affect the circumstances of their next one.

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Theosophy's oversaw an expansion of the Adyar property, from 27 to 253 acres.

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Theosophy's established the New India newspaper, and after continuing to promote Indian independence in the paper's pages during the First World War she was interned for several months.

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Theosophy subsequently took control of the boy's instruction for two years.

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Campbell noted that Theosophy appealed to educated Asians, and particularly Indians, because it identified Asia as being central to a universal ancient religion and allowed Asians to retain traditional religious beliefs and practices within a modern framework.

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Campbell suggested that Theosophy could be seen as a "grandfather" movement to this 20th century growth in Asian spirituality.

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Theosophy was an influence over a number of early pioneers of abstract art.

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Theosophy had abandoned his previous allegiance to Christian Science to join the Theosophical faction led by Tingley, joining the Society in 1923 and settling at the Point Loma community.

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Terms and ideas created or mediated by spokespersons of the Theosophical Society have over time become household words, and the advent of Theosophy thus marked a fundamental change in the religious lives of countless individuals.

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Theosophy noted that most of these works treated Theosophical doctrine as if it were a fixed entity and provided little or no discussion of how they have changed over the decades.

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Many early scholars of religion dismissed Theosophy as being not worthy of study; Mircea Eliade for instance described Theosophy as a "detestable 'spiritual' hybridism".

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Hammer lamented that while scholarship on Theosophy was developing, it had not focused on the reformulation of Theosophy by Leadbeater and Besant or with the developing ideas of post-Theosophical writers such as Steiner or Bailey.

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