(lit. divine wisdom), a mystic philosophy of very difficult definition which hails from the East, and was introduced among us by Madame Blavatsky, a Russian lady, who was initiated into its mysteries in Thibet by a fraternity there who professed to be the sole custodiers of its secrets as the spiritual successors of those to whom it was at first revealed. The radical idea of the system appears to be reincarnation, and the return of the spirit to itself by a succession of incarnations, each one of which raises it to a higher level until, by seven stages it would seem, the process is complete, matter has become spirit, and spirit matter, God has become man, and man God, agreeably somewhat to the doctrine of Amiel, that "the complete spiritualisation of the animal element in us is the task of our race," though with them it seems rather to mean its extinction. The adherents of this system, with their head-quarters at Madras, are numerous and wide-scattered, and form an organisation of 300 branches, having three definite aims: (1) To establish a brotherhood over the world irrespective of race, creed, caste, or sex; (2) to encourage the study of comparative philosophy, religion, and science; and (3) to investigate the occult secrets of nature and the latent possibilities of man. The principal books in exposition of it are, "The Secret Doctrine," "Isis Unveiled," "The Key to Theosophy," by Mme. Blavatsky; "Esoteric Buddhism," "The Occult World," &c., by Sinnett; "The Ancient Wisdom," "The Birth and Evolution of the Soul," &c., by Annie Besant.

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. . 1907.

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  • Theosophy — • A term used in general to designate the knowledge of God supposed to be obtained by the direct intuition of the Divine essence Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Theosophy     Theosophy …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Theosophy — The*os o*phy, n. [Gr. ? knowledge of things divine, fr. ? wise in the things of God; ? God + ? wise: cf. F. th[ e]osophie.] Any system of philosophy or mysticism which proposes to attain intercourse with God and superior spirits, and consequent… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • theosophy — (n.) 1640s (implied in theosophical), knowledge about God and nature obtained through mystical study, from M.L. theosophia (c.880), from Late Gk. theosophia (c.500, Pseudo Dionysus) wisdom concerning God or things divine, from Gk. theosophos one… …   Etymology dictionary

  • theosophy — ► NOUN ▪ a philosophy maintaining that a knowledge of God may be achieved through spiritual ecstasy, direct intuition, or special individual relations. DERIVATIVES theosophical adjective theosophist noun. ORIGIN from Greek theosophos wise… …   English terms dictionary

  • theosophy — [thē äs′ə fē] n. [ML theosophia < LGr, knowledge of divine things < theosophos, wise in divine matters < Gr theos, god + sophos, wise: see THEO & SOPHY] [also T ] a religious or semireligious set of occult beliefs rejecting Judeo… …   English World dictionary

  • Theosophy — This article is about the philosophy introduced by Helena Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society. See Theosophy (history of philosophy) for other uses. The emblem of the Theosophical Society Theosophy, in its modern presentation, is a spiritual… …   Wikipedia

  • theosophy — theosophical /thee euh sof i keuhl/, theosophic, adj. theosophically, adv. theosophism, n. theosophist, n. /thee os euh fee/, n. 1. any of various forms of philosophical or religious thought based on a mystical insight into the divine nature …   Universalium

  • THEOSOPHY —    a MYSTICAL TRADITION propagated by the THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY. Theosophy is a FORM of MONISM which teaches spiritual EVOLUTION and seeks REALITY through mystical experience based on finding ESOTERIC MEANINGS in the SACRED writings of the world …   Concise dictionary of Religion

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