The question is asked: “Do you believe in God?”
THEOSOPHIST. “That depends what you mean by the term.”
“… We believe in a Universal Divine Principle, the root of ALL, from which all proceeds, and within which all shall be absorbed at the end of the great cycle of Being.”
This week we begin section V on page 61 of the original text covering:
“THE FUNDAMENTAL TEACHINGS OF THEOSOPHY.
ON GOD AND PRAYER
ENQUIRER. Do you believe in God?
THEOSOPHIST. That depends what you mean by the term.
ENQUIRER. I mean the God of the Christians, the Father of Jesus, and the Creator: the Biblical God of Moses, in short.
THEOSOPHIST. In such a God we do not believe. We reject the idea of a personal, or an extra-cosmic and anthropomorphic God, who is but the gigantic shadow of man, and not of man at his best, either. The God of theology, we say — and prove it — is a bundle of contradictions and a logical impossibility. Therefore, we will have nothing to do with him.
ENQUIRER. State your reasons, if you please.
THEOSOPHIST. They are many, and cannot all receive attention. But here are a few. This God is called by his devotees infinite and absolute, is he not?
ENQUIRER. I believe he is.
THEOSOPHIST. Then, if infinite — i. e., limitless — and especially if absolute, how can he have a form, and be a creator of anything? Form implies limitation, and a beginning as well as an end; and, in order to create, a Being must think and plan. How can the ABSOLUTE be supposed to think — i. e., to have any relation whatever to that which is limited, finite, and conditioned? This is a philosophical, and a logical absurdity. Even the Hebrew Kabala rejects such an idea, and therefore, makes of the one and the Absolute Deific Principle an infinite Unity called Ain-Soph. * In order to create, the Creator has to become active; and as this is impossible for ABSOLUTENESS, the infinite principle had to be shown becoming the cause of evolution (not creation) in an indirect way — i.e., through the emanation from itself (another absurdity, due this time to the translators of the Kabala) ** of the Sephiroth.
ENQUIRER. How about those Kabalists, who, while being such, still believe in Jehovah, or the Tetragrammaton?
THEOSOPHIST. They are at liberty to believe in what they please, as their belief or disbelief can hardly affect a self-evident fact. The Jesuits tell us that two and two are not always four to a certainty, since it depends on the will of God to make 2 X 2 = 5. Shall we accept their sophistry for all that?
ENQUIRER. Then you are Atheists?
THEOSOPHIST. Not that we know of, and not unless the epithet of “Atheist” is to be applied to those who disbelieve in an anthropomorphic God. We believe in a Universal Divine Principle, the root of ALL, from which all proceeds, and within which all shall be absorbed at the end of the great cycle of Being.
ENQUIRER. This is the old, old claim of Pantheism. If you are Pantheists, you cannot be Deists; and if you are not Deists, then you have to answer to the name of Atheists.
THEOSOPHIST. Not necessarily so. The term “Pantheism” is again one of the many abused terms, whose real and primitive meaning has been distorted by blind prejudice and a one-sided view of it. If you accept the Christian etymology of this compound word, and form it of pan, “all,” and theos, “god,” and then imagine and teach that this means that every stone and every tree in Nature is a God or the ONE God, then, of course, you will be right, and make of Pantheists fetish-worshippers, in addition to their legitimate name. But you will hardly be as successful if you etymologise the word Pantheism esoterically, and as we do.
* Ain-Soph, (Hebrew: “the endless one”) the endless, or boundless, in and with Nature, the non-existent which IS, but is not a Being.
** How can the non-active eternal principle emanate or emit? The Parabrahm of the Vedantins does nothing of the kind; nor does the Ain-Soph of the Chaldean Kabala. It is an eternal and periodical law which causes an active and creative force (the logos) to emanate from the ever-concealed and incomprehensible one principle at the beginning of every maha-manvantara, or new cycle of life.”
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Link to Google’s digitised original text of “The Key to Theosophy” from 1889:
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