Understanding Religions in the World – Part 15: What is Theosophy?

Dear friends, how are we doing? I’m Clark, and welcome back to this series! Today we continue the “Understanding Religions” series with part 15: What is Theosophy? As I have mentioned way back in part 1 itself (gosh, that was a long time ago wasn’t it?), Theosophy is a pseudo-religion. Just like religions, pseudo-religions usually have a founder, principal text, liturgy and faith-based beliefs, but they are non-mainstream. Pseudo-religion is usually used as a derogatory term.

Anyway, here’s part 14 of the series. If you want to read other parts of this series, you can visit my Series page and look under the “UNDERSTANDING RELIGIONS series” section. Now without further ado, let’s get into it.

Theosophy Core Beliefs

Theosophical organizations have long maintained that Theosophy is not a religion, but instead a system that accepts the truth. Hence, Theosophists are allowed to follow other religions. Theosophists believe this was once a universal ‘religion’ and will once again replace all existing religions.

Theosophists believe in the existence of an ancient brotherhood of secretive spiritual adepts (Masters) in Tibet. These Masters are also known as Mahatmas, Adepts, Masters of Wisdom, Masters of Compassion and Elder Brothers, and are believed to have great wisdom and supernatural powers such as clairvoyance (psychic power) and the ability to project their soul from their body to another location.

Theosophists believe in a single, divine Being, and the purpose of life is spiritual liberation. They believe that a human being consists of seven segments – Body, Vitality, Astral Body, Animal Soul, Human Soul, Spiritual Soul and Spirit. The Spiritual Soul and Spirit reside outside, but are connected to the human body by the Human Soul.

The Human Soul, Spiritual Soul and Spirit are immortal. Theosophists believe that when we die we are reincarnated based on our karma (positive and negative deeds). Theosophists believe in a universal brotherhood as well as social improvements.

Who is the Founder?

Helena Blavatsky, a Russian immigrant in the U.S., is widely accepted as the founder of Theosophy, although to most Theosophists themselves, the Masters are the real founders. Theosophists derive their beliefs from Blavatsky’s writings (she wrote the books Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine) but she claimed that her information were received from the Masters. According to Blavatsky, Theosophy has existed for a long time and it was once a universal ‘religion’. Abraham, Jesus, Buddha, Confucius and Lao Tze are claimed to be some of the aforementioned Masters.

Theosophy became established in the late 19th century when the Theosophical Society was formed by Blavatsky and Americans Henry Olcott and William Quan Judge. In the 20th century, Theosophy had tens of thousands of followers globally. Theosophy still exists but there are fewer followers nowadays.

Stay Tuned, Sisters and Brothers!

That’s it for part 15! I hope you’ve enjoyed the return of this series, and do come back often for I am publishing new content always. Subscribe to my emails and you will get a free personal development book! And finally, if you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to leave them below and I’ll get back to you ASAP. Thanks a lot!

Part 16: What is the Nation of Islam?

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