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Introduction

 

We have divided this section on Literature in three categories. Please realize that, naturally, categories are not absolute, and another editor might have done it differently. Under Fundamental Theosophical Literature we have made links to works of a most essentialcharacter, composed by a limited number of Theosophical writers since the founding of The Theosophical Society in 1875. Their writings form the foundation of all later Theosophical literature.  Under this section is a subheading to Esoteric Theosophical Literature. There is also a subheading to what we named “Clairvoyant Theosophical Literature.” Under Secondary Theosophical Literature we have placed links to authors and writings within the framework of the theosophical movement about Theosophy who were directly inspired by the teachings contained in the first section. We have done this without partially as to the origin or organization from which this literature sprouted or to which the author belonged.

Under Genuine Spiritual Literature of all Ages we place or link to ancient literature of all ages and cultures which we think are most interesting for theosophical students and inner searchers. Necessarily this is a limited choice and we restrict ourselves mainly – at least for now – to what is available in the English language. Investigation and translation of scriptures in ancient languages we have leave to scholars in the their field. Of course not everything that is old is ‘spiritual’ and valuable, but we are aware that very much translation work on secondary subjects has to be done by the present and coming generations. All this is and, we expect, will increasingly become the basis of the new global culture to grow in the coming ages. It is to theosophists now and in the future to distinguish, the valuable from the misleading, the true from the false, the deep from the shallow. The ancient literature is our intellectual training ground – and time itself will teach us to practice. See also Early Classics, a site on which you find collected many fundamental spiritual works which are available online.

You find also added Theosophical periodicals, for which we simply link through to an Australian website which has already done the work. Throughout the website you may find links inserted leading to relevant articles on the subject under treatment.

A category greatly lacking from this list is ‘Theosophy’ of the period before 1875. The terms theosophist and theosophy come down to us from the Greek period, and is was Ammonius Saccas (of Alexandria, third century AD) who framed the term in the modern sense of comparing and seeking the depths of truths within distinct religions. The reason for leaving this out is lack of expertise from our side, and the vastness of the subject. Modern Rosicrucians are doing very much and valuable work in the field of Hermetic philosophy and European esotericism – and among them more specifically the Dutch. In Amsterdam in the last decades have been brought together the world’s most valuable ancient and modern western esoteric literature in the famous Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica (BPH). It contains sections on Hermetism ancient Rosicrucianism, Alchemy, Gnosis and Esotericism, and Comparative Religion. At the Humanities Faculty of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) research to the European esoteric traditions and Theosophy is done under the heading History of  Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents within a scientific and historical approach, and BA and MA programs are offered to students.  Other important movements have been and are ancient and modern Freemasonry, ancient and some branches of modern Druidism, Native American thought, ancient and modern Sufism, and others. Then there are many sects and movements, some of which have been highly influenced by modern Theosophy or are directly derived from the modern theosophical movements by various interpreters – either of high quality from which radiates a strong positive influence for humanity in their field of specialization, or semi-popular, ‘weakened’ or right-away erroneous and harmful.   In all these fields are workers at work. We advice you to tap from their sources, on internet and in libraries.

Genuine Theosophy, under whatever name or form, is always characterized by universality (i.e. not for restricted groups of people or section of the society), in its essence not bound to particular periods of time or history, and is always based on unselfish and profitless effort to further the noble cause of humanity now and in the future, in accordance with Nature – physical and divine – and the natural evolutionary path of humanity at large. These are criteria by which one can distinguish genuine Theosophy (under whatever name) from lesser efforts and activities.

 

Go to:

03.1 Fundamental Theosophical Literature

03.2 Secondary Theosophical Literature

03.3 Genuine Spiritual Literature of all Ages

03.4 Campbell’s list of literature and periodicals

 

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