Group Snapshot: Theosophy

You would think that any group whose name means “divine wisdom” would be a pretty good thing. Unfortunately, this is not so. Instead, the Theosophical Society is a hodge-podge of Eastern mysticism, occult philosophy, evolutionary theory, and spiritualistic practice. And it is not something good for the Christian, or anyone else for that matter.

Theosophy, as it is often called, is the brainchild of a rather deceived mind, that of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, or H.P.B. as she was known to her admirers. Blavatsky began her spiritual journey in one of the most popular spiritual movements of the 19th century—Spiritualism. She demonstrated quite a knack for spiritual communication and psychic phenomena. She supposedly was quite adept at being a medium, and was the channel for a number of spirits “on the higher plane.” She also traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia, visiting many holy sites from various religions, and allegedly communing with the great spiritual leaders of the age.

By the 1870’s she had landed in New York City. It was there that she founded the Theosophical Society in 1875. This society was instituted to bring spiritual enlightenment to the world. Based on her own experience, she formed Theosophy into a spiritual organization that mixed elements of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism, the Kabbalah, Hermeticism, Gnosticism, Alchemy, Freemasonry, racial theory, magic, goddess worship, and heretical Christianity. While mixing up this witches brew of Eastern religion, occultism and heresy, Blavatsky also managed to author two huge volumes of occult and arcane theory: Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine. She also reportedly received and passed on the wisdom of the Ascended Masters, demigods who guard the spiritual progress of humanity, and are currently preparing us for the next great World Teacher who will usher in a New Age of enlightenment.

Although never huge in terms of membership, the Theosophical Society has nevertheless had a huge impact on religious movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. Many occult groups look to Blavatsky and her writings for their understanding of spiritual truth. Her racial views and theories of history have influenced a number of movements, including Hitler and the Nazis. And perhaps most significantly, H.P.B. and her doctrines are one of the key foundations of what would become the New Age Movement.

Summary of Beliefs

God: Essentially an Eastern pantheistic view of God. All is one, all is divine.
Jesus: Jesus was an avatar of God, one among many, but not the unique Son of God. He did not
offer substitutionary atonement for our sins.
Salvation: Comes from spiritual enlightenment. Based on works and effort, not grace.
Human nature: Man is basically good. We are divine beings with limitless potential.
Sin: There is no such thing as original sin. Man’s problem is error, not sin.
Afterlife: Strong belief in reincarnation. Salvation consists of being released from this cycle.
Scripture: The writings of Blavatksy, as well as the spiritual works of many religions, occult texts.
Truth: Relative to the individual person or group; also, there is a secret doctrine that has been
guarded and passed down through the ages, of which Theosophy is now the dispenser.

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