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The Theosophical Society

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The Theosophical Society[1]

The Theosophical Society was founded in New York City on November 17, 1875 by H. P. Blavatsky, Colonel H. S. Olcott, William Q. Judge, and several others.

The original “Preamble and By-laws” state its objectives as “to collect and diffuse a knowledge of the laws which govern the universe.” Over time its objects have been somewhat enlarged to:

  1.  to diffuse among men a knowledge of the laws inherent in the universe;
  2.  to promulgate the knowledge of the essential unity of all that is, and to demonstrate that this unity is fundamental in nature;
  3.  to form an active brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color;
  4.  to study ancient and modern religion, science, and philosophy; and
  5.  to investigate the innate human powers.

The Theosophical Societies at present existing in the world are parts of a spiritual and intellectual movement which, known or unknown, has been active in all ages. Indeed, this movement took its rise in the earliest origins of self-conscious humanity. At times this movement has disappeared from sight, during “periods of spiritual barrenness,” as Plato expressed it, yet its work continues, although not always recognized and known. The aims and purposes of the Society are religious, philosophical, and scientific, as well as distinctly humanitarian or philanthropic: it aims to restore to mankind its ancient heritage of wisdom — knowledge of the truths of being — and to inculcate in human hearts and minds the great worth and intrinsic beauty of its lofty ethical code. The Theosophical Society is nonpolitical and nonsectarian. It has members belonging to different races who may or may not be likewise members of other religious or philosophical bodies. It has no creed or dogmas in the modern sense, and its members are essentially searchers and lovers of truth.

Blavatsky announced from almost the very beginning of her public work that she had been commissioned by the Mahātma M[2] and KH[3] to form a nucleus of a universal brotherhood of mankind, and the formation of the Theosophical Society was the first fruit of her labors to this end. The dissemination of the teachings of the wisdom-religion now called theosophy was the main purpose of the Society. Writing to A. P. Sinnett, KH said: “The chief object of the T. S. is not so much to gratify individual aspirations as to serve our fellow men”[4]; and M wrote: “The sun of Theosophy must shine for all, not for a part. There is more of this movement than you have yet had an inking of, and the work of the T. S. is linked in with similar work that is secretly going on in all parts of the world.”[5]

 

  1. From the Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary (ETG) – available online only. [<<]
  2. “M”Known as Master Morya [<<]
  3. “KH” Known as Master Kut Humi (or Koot Hoomi) Lal Singh [<<]
  4. The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett p. 7-8 [<<]
  5. Ibid. p. 271 [<<]