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“The Key to Theosophy” Book study – 3

“Is there a God? What happens when we die? Have we lived before?”

This week in our book study of “The Key to Theosophy” we cover the following questions:

  • How these ancient teachings reached humanity in our current time?
  • How were these sacred teachings preserved?
  • Where and how were they preserved?
  • Can proof be offered that they are indeed esoteric?
  • Can the “Secret Wisdom” be attained simply by study?

From personal experience alone, I humbly add to the last question above; It is only my understanding that it is from the application of the teachings, pure selfless motive and deep compassion for ALL beings that these teachings can be accessed, even then, it is still an infinitesimal reach from the divine spark within ~ toward the boundless and unfathomable Eternal.

I agree with the many wise students who have come before, it is true that the more we study, the more we realise how VERY LITTLE we actually know. However, there is something crucial here in these timeless divine wisdoms… something so vitally important that it feels crushingly imperative that they be shared, up and off of the dusty shelves and into the world so that everyone may have access, especially now.

It is my understanding that all that who can hear are worthy. It is time, for Humanity, for our beautiful blue planet and for All.

YOU are your own guru. You don’t have to pay dues, follow anyone, commit exclusivity, pay fees or belong to a public or secret society or organisation. Please, feel free to access these texts from the free sources below, study and apply them, meditate on and implement them in your own time and in your own life.

I have also included a link to Alex Gendler’s brilliant Ted Ed video on Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” (from book seven of “The Republic”) exploring man’s unending queries: What is knowledge? What is reality? What is the meaning of life? I highly recommend clicking on the link below and having a look.



Now, on to book study three of “The Key to Theosophy”


ENQUIRER. Since Ammonius never committed anything to writing, how can one feel sure that such were his teachings?

THEOSOPHIST. Neither did Buddha, Pythagoras, Confucius, Orpheus, Socrates, or even Jesus, leave behind them any writings. Yet most of these are historical personages, and their teachings have all survived. The disciples of Ammonius (among whom Origen and Herennius) wrote treatises and explained his ethics. Certainly the latter are as historical, if not more so, than the Apostolic writings. Moreover, his pupils — Origen, Plotinus, and Longinus (counsellor of the famous Queen Zenobia) — have all left voluminous records of the Philaletheian System — so far, at all events, as their public profession of faith was known, for the school was divided into exoteric and esoteric teachings.

ENQUIRER. How have the latter tenets reached our day, since you hold that what is properly called the WISDOM-RELIGION was esoteric?

THEOSOPHIST. The WISDOM-RELIGION was ever one, and being the last word of possible human knowledge, was, therefore, carefully preserved. It preceded by long ages the Alexandrian Theosophists, reached the modern, and will survive every other religion and philosophy.

ENQUIRER. Where and by whom was it so preserved?

THEOSOPHIST. Among Initiates of every country; among profound seekers after truth — their disciples; and in those parts of the world where such topics have always been most valued and pursued: in India, Central Asia, and Persia.

ENQUIRER. Can you give me some proofs of its esotericism?

THEOSOPHIST. The best proof you can have of the fact is that every ancient religious, or rather philosophical, cult consisted of an esoteric or secret teaching, and an exoteric (outward public) worship. Furthermore, it is a well-known fact that the MYSTERIES of the ancients comprised with every nation the “greater” (secret) and “Lesser” (public) MYSTERIES — e.g. in the celebrated solemnities called the Eleusinia, in Greece. From the Hierophants of Samothrace, Egypt, and the initiated Brahmins of the India of old, down to the later Hebrew Rabbis, all preserved, for fear of profanation, their real bona fide beliefs secret. The Jewish Rabbis called their secular religious series the Mercavah (the exterior body), “the vehicle,” or, the covering which contains the hidden soul. — i.e., their highest secret knowledge. Not one of the ancient nations ever imparted through its priests its real philosophical secrets to the masses, but allotted to the latter only the husks. Northern Buddhism has its “greater” and its “lesser” vehicle, known as the Mahayana, the esoteric, and the Hinayana, the exoteric, Schools. Nor can you blame them for such secrecy; for surely you would not think of feeding your flock of sheep on learned dissertations on botany instead of on grass? Pythagoras called his Gnosis “the knowledge of things that are,” Greek text, and preserved that knowledge for his pledged disciples only: for those who could digest such mental food and feel satisfied; and he pledged them to silence and secrecy. Occult alphabets and secret ciphers are the development of the old Egyptian hieratic writings, the secret of which was, in the days of old, in the possession only of the Hierogrammatists, or initiated Egyptian priests. Ammonius Saccas, as his biographers tell us, bound his pupils by oath not to divulge his higher doctrines except to those who had already been instructed in preliminary knowledge, and who were also bound by a pledge. Finally, do we not find the same even in early Christianity, among the Gnostics, and even in the teachings of Christ? Did he not speak to the multitudes in parables which had a two-fold meaning, and explain his reasons only to his disciples? “To you,” he says, “it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven; but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables” (Mark iv. 11). “The Essenes of Judea and Carmel made similar distinctions, dividing their adherents into neophytes, brethren, and the perfect, or those initiated” (Eclec. Phil.). Examples might be brought from every country to this effect.

ENQUIRER. Can you attain the “Secret Wisdom” simply by study? Encyclopaedias define Theosophy pretty much as Webster’s Dictionary does, i. e., as “supposed intercourse with God and superior spirits, and consequent attainment of superhuman knowledge by physical means and chemical processes.” Is this so?

THEOSOPHIST. I think not. Nor is there any lexicographer capable of explaining, whether to himself or others, how superhuman knowledge can be attained by physical or chemical processes. Had Webster said “by metaphysical and alchemical processes,” the definition would be approximately correct: as it is, it is absurd. Ancient Theosophists claimed, and so do the modern, that the infinite cannot be known by the finite — i.e., sensed by the finite Self — but that the divine essence could be communicated to the higher Spiritual Self in a state of ecstasy. This condition can hardly be attained, like hypnotism, by “physical and chemical means.”‘

Thank you, I love you. xx

FREE Theosophical eBooks

“Isis Unveiled”

“The Secret Doctrine”

Thomas Sheehan – Stanford – Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave”