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The Key to Theosophy | by H. P. Blavatsky



Written in the form of question and answer, The Key to Theosophy is an excellent introduction for the inquirer. After the publication of Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine, the author was deluged with questions about the human constitution, spiritual and psychological; the mysteries of periodic rebirths; and the difference between fate, destiny, free will, and karma. These and many other questions on the basic theosophical concepts are answered simply and directly. The work is enhanced by a 60-page glossary of philosophical terms drawn from Sanskrit, Hebrew, and classical literature.

TitleThe Key to Theosophy
AuthorH. P. Blavatsky
PublisherBlavatsky
Year1889
Copyright1889, H. P. Blavatsky
AmazonThe Key to Theosophy by H. P. Blavatsky
-Preface
The purpose of this book is exactly expressed in its title, The Key to Theosophy, and needs but few words of explanation. It is not a complete or exhaustive ...
-Theosophy and The Theosophical Society
The Meaning of the Name Q. Theosophy and its doctrines are often referred to as a newfangled religion. Is it a religion? A. It is not. Theosophy is Divine ...
-The Policy Of The Theosophical Society
Q. In the days of Ammonius there were several ancient great religions, and numerous were the sects in Egypt and Palestine alone. How could he reconcile them? A.
-The Wisdom-Religion, Esoteric In All Ages
Q. Since Ammonius never committed anything to writing, how can one feel sure that such were his teachings? A. Neither did Buddha, Pythagoras, Confucius, ...
-Theosophy Is Not Buddhism
Q. You are often spoken of as Esoteric Buddhists. Are you then all followers of Gautama Buddha? A. No more than musicians are all followers of Wagner. Some of ...
-Exoteric and Esoteric Theosophy. What the Modern Theosophical Society is Not
Q. Your doctrines, then, are not a revival of Buddhism, nor are they entirely copied from the Neo-Platonic Theosophy? A. They are not. But to these questions I ...
-Theosophists And Members Of The T.S
Q. This applies to lay members, as I understand. And what of those who pursue the esoteric study of Theosophy; are they the real Theosophists? A. Not ...
-The Difference Between Theosophy And Occultism
Q. You speak of Theosophy and Occultism; are they identical? A. By no means. A man may be a very good Theosophist indeed, whether in or outside of the Society, ...
-The Difference Between Theosophy And Spiritualism
Q. But do you not believe in Spiritualism? A. If by Spiritualism you mean the explanation which Spiritualists give of some abnormal phenomena, then decidedly ...
-Why Is Theosophy Accepted?
Q. I understand to a certain extent; but I see that your teachings are far more complicated and metaphysical than either Spiritualism or current religious ...
-The Working System of the T.S. The Objects of the Society.1)
Q. What are the objects of the Theosophical Society ? A. They are three, and have been so from the beginning. 1. To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood ...
-The Common Origin Of Man
Q. How? A. Simply by demonstrating on logical, philosophical, metaphysical, and even scientific grounds that: (a) All men have spiritually and physically the ...
-Our Other Objects
Q. Will you now explain the methods by which you propose to carry out the second object? A. To collect for the library at our headquarters of Adyar, Madras-and ...
-On The Sacredness Of The Pledge
Q. Have you any ethical system that you carry out in the Society? A. The ethics are there, ready and clear enough for whomsoever would follow them. They are ...
-The Relations of the T.S. to Theosophy. On Self-Improvement
Q. Is moral elevation, then, the principal thing insisted upon in your Society? A. Undoubtedly! He who would be a true Theosophist must bring himself to live ...
-The Abstract And The Concrete
Q. Please elucidate this difference a little more. A. The Society is a great body of men and women, composed of the most heterogeneous elements. Theosophy, in ...
-The Fundamental Teachings of Theosophy. On God and Prayer
Q. Do you believe in God? A. That depends what you mean by the term. Q. I mean the God of the Christians, the Father of Jesus, and the Creator: the Biblical ...
-Is It Necessary To Pray?
Q. Do you believe in prayer, and do you ever pray? A. We do not. We act, instead of talking. Q. You do not offer prayers even to the Absolute Principle? A. Why ...
-Prayer Kills Self-Reliance
Q. But did not Christ himself pray and recommend prayer? A. It is so recorded, but those prayers are precisely of that kind of communion just mentioned with ...
-On The Source Of The Human Soul
Q. How, then, do you account for man being endowed with a Spirit and Soul? Whence these? A. From the Universal Soul. Certainly not bestowed by a personal God.
-The Buddhist Teachings On The Above
Q. What does Buddhism teach with regard to the Soul? A. It depends whether you mean exoteric, popular Buddhism, or its esoteric teachings. The former explains ...
-Theosophical Teachings as to Nature and Man. The Unity of All in All
Q. Having told me what God, the Soul and Man are not, in your views, can you inform me what they are, according to your teachings? A. In their origin and in ...
-Evolution And Illusion
Q. But who is it that creates each time the Universe? A. No one creates it. Science would call the process evolution; the pre-Christian philosophers and the ...
-On The Septenary Constitution Of Our Planet
Q. I understand that you describe our earth as forming part of a chain of earths? A. We do. But the other six earths or globes, are not on the same plane of ...
-The Septenary Nature Of Man
Q. Is it what we call Spirit and Soul, and the man of flesh? A. It is not. That is the old Platonic division. Plato was an Initiate, and therefore could not go ...
-The Distinction Between Soul And Spirit
Q. Do you really teach, as you are accused of doing by some Spiritualists and French Spiritists, the annihilation of every personality? A. We do not. But as ...
-The Greek Teachings
Q. We have magnificent Greek and Latin, Sanskrit and Hebrew scholars. How is it that we find nothing in their translations that would afford us a clue to what ...
-On the Various Postmortem States. The Physical and the Spiritual Man
Q. I am glad to hear you believe in the immortality of the Soul. A. Not of the Soul, but of the divine Spirit; or rather in the immortality of the ...
-On Eternal Reward And Punishment, And On Nirvana
Q. It is hardly necessary, I suppose, to ask you whether you believe in the Christian dogmas of Paradise and Hell, or in future rewards and punishments as ...
-On The Various Principles In Man
Q. I have heard a good deal about this constitution of the inner man as you call it, but could never make head or tail on't as Gabalis expresses it. A. Of ...
-On Reincarnation or Rebirth. What is Memory According to Theosophical Teaching?
Q. The most difficult thing for you to do, will be to explain and give reasonable grounds for such a belief. No Theosophist has ever yet succeeded in bringing ...
-Why Do We Not Remember Our Past Lives?
Q. You have given me a bird's eye view of the seven principles; now how do they account for our complete loss of any recollection of having lived before? A.
-On Individuality And Personality
Q. But what is the difference between the two? A. Even Col. Olcott, forced to it by the logic of Esoteric philosophy, found himself obliged to correct the ...
-On The Reward And Punishment Of The Ego
Q. I have heard you say that the Ego, whatever the life of the person he incarnated in may have been on Earth, is never visited with postmortem punishment. A.
-On the Kamaloka and Devachan. On the Fate of the Lower Principles
Q. You spoke of Kamaloka, what is it? A. When the man dies, his lower three principles leave him forever; i.e., body, life, and the vehicle of the latter, the ...
-Why Theosophists Do Not Believe In The Return Of Pure "Spirits"
Q. What do you mean? Why should this interfere with their bliss? A. Simply this; and here is an instance. A mother dies, leaving behind her little helpless ...
-A Few Words About The Skandhas
Q. What becomes of the other, the lower Skandhas of the personality, after the death of the body? Are they quite destroyed? A. They are and yet they are not-a ...
-On Postmortem And Postnatal Consciousness
Q. But if human self-consciousness survives death as a rule, why should there be exceptions? A. In the fundamental principles of the spiritual world no ...
-What Is Really Meant By Annihilation
Q. I have heard some Theosophists speak of a golden thread on which their lives were strung. What do they mean by this? A. In the Hindu Sacred books it is said ...
-Definite Words For Definite Things
Q. Don't you think it is because there are no definite and fixed terms to indicate each principle in man, that such a confusion of ideas arises in our minds ...
-On the Nature of Our Thinking Principle. The Mystery of the Ego
Q. I perceive in the quotation you brought forward a little while ago from The Buddhist Catechism a discrepancy that I would like to hear explained. It is ...
-The Complex Nature Of Manas
Q. But you wanted to tell me something of the essential nature of Manas, and of the relation in which the Skandhas of physical man stand to it? A. It is this ...
-The Doctrine Is Taught In St. John'S Gospel
Q. To this the adherents to this belief might answer, that if even the orthodox dogma does promise the impenitent sinner and materialist a bad time of it in a ...
-On the Mysteries of Reincarnation. Periodical Rebirths
Q. You mean, then, that we have all lived on earth before, in many past incarnations, and shall go on so living? A. I do. The life cycle, or rather the cycle ...
-What Is Karma?
Q. But what is Karma? A. As I have said, we consider it as the Ultimate Law of the Universe, the source, origin, and fount of all other laws which exist ...
-What Is Karma? Continued
Evil is an infraction of the laws of harmony governing the universe, and the penalty thereof must fall upon the violator of that law himself. Christ uttered ...
-Who Are Those Who Know?
Q. Does this hold equally of ourselves as of others? A. Equally. Aa just said, the same limited vision exists for all, save those who have reached in the ...
-The Difference Between Faith And Knowledge, Or Blind And Reasoned Faith
Q. You say that they accept and believe in the doctrines of Theosophy. But, as they do not belong to those Adepts you have just mentioned, then they must ...
-Has God The Right To Forgive?
A. To the Doctrine of Atonement; I allude to that dangerous dogma in which you believe, and which teaches us that no matter how enormous our crimes against the ...
-What is Practical Theosophy? Duty
Q. Why, then, the need for rebirths, since all alike fail to secure a permanent peace? A. Because the final goal cannot be reached in any way but through life ...
-The Relations Of The T.S. To Political Reforms
Q. The Theosophical Society is not, then, a political organization? A. Certainly not. It is international in the highest sense in that its members comprise men ...
-On Self-Sacrifice
Q. Is equal justice to all and love to every creature the highest standard of Theosophy? A. No; there is an even far higher one. Q. What can it be? A. The ...
-On Charity
Q. How do you Theosophists regard the Christian duty of charity? A. What charity do you mean? Charity of mind, or practical charity in the physical plane? Q. I ...
-Theosophy For The Masses
Q. And you think that Theosophy would, by stepping in, help to remove these evils, under the practical and adverse conditions of our modern life? A. Had we ...
-How Members Can Help The Society
Q. How do you expect the Fellows of your Society to help in the work? A. First by studying and comprehending the theosophical doctrines, so that they may teach ...
-What A Theosophist Ought Not To Do
Q. Have you any prohibitory laws or clauses for Theosophists in your Society? A. Many, but-alas!-none of them are enforced. They express the ideal of our ...
-On the Misconceptions About the T.S
Theosophy and Asceticism Q. I have heard people say that your rules require all members to be vegetarians, celibates, and rigid ascetics; but you have not told ...
-Theosophy and Marriage
Q. Now to another question; must a man marry or remain a celibate? A. It depends on the kind of man you mean. If you refer to one who intends to live in the ...
-Theosophy and Education
Q. One of your strongest arguments for the inadequacy of the existing forms of religion in the West, as also to some extent the materialistic philosophy which ...
-Why Then is There So Much Prejudice Against the T.S.?
Q. If Theosophy is even half of what you say, why should there exist such a terrible ill-feeling against it? This is even more of a problem than anything else.
-Is the Theosophical Society A Money-Making Concern?
Q. Agreed. Well, have either of the Founders, Colonel H.S. Olcott or H.P. Blavatsky, ever made any money, profit, or derived any worldly benefit from the T.S., ...
-The Working Staff of the T.S
Q. These men, I have heard, are great Adepts, Alchemists, and what not. If, then, they can change lead into gold and make as much money as they like, besides ...
-The "Theosophical Mahatmas". Are They "Spirits of Light" or "Goblins Damned"?
Q. Who are they, finally, those whom you call your Masters ? Some say they are Spirits, or some other kind of supernatural beings, while others call them myths.
-The Abuse of Sacred Names and Terms
Q. Then, what I have heard, namely, that many of your Theosophical writers claim to have been inspired by these Masters, or to have seen and conversed with ...
-Conclusion
The Future of the Theosophical Society Q. Tell me, what do you expect for Theosophy in the future? A. If you speak of Theosophy, I answer that, as it has ...
-Esoteric Glossary: A
Absoluteness. When predicated of the Universal Principle, it denotes an abstraction, which is more correct and logical than to apply the adjective absolute to ...
-Esoteric Glossary: B
Beness A term coined by Theosophists to render more accurately the essential meaning of the untranslatable word Sat. The latter word does not mean Being, for ...
-Esoteric Glossary: C
Cabala (Heb.) The hidden wisdom of the Hebrew Rabbis of the middle ages derived from the older secret doctrines concerning divine things and cosmogony, which ...
-Esoteric Glossary: D
Deist One who admits the possibility of the existence of a God or gods, but claims to know nothing of either, and denies revelation. An agnostic of olden times.
-Esoteric Glossary: E
Ecstasis (Gr.) A psycho-spiritual state; a physical trance which induces clairvoyance, and a beatific state which brings on visions. Ego (Lat.) I ; the ...
-Esoteric Glossary: F
Ferho (Gnostic). The highest and greatest creative power with the Nazarene Gnostics (Codex Nazaraeus). Fire-Philosophers The name given to the Hermetists and ...
-Esoteric Glossary: G
Gautama (Sans.) A name in India. It is that of the Prince of Kapilavastu, son of Sudhodana, the S‚kya King of a small territory on the borders of Nepal, born ...
-Esoteric Glossary: H
Hades (Gr.), or Aides, the invisible, the land of shadows; one of whose regions was Tartarus, a place of complete darkness, as was also the region of profound ...
-Esoteric Glossary: I-J
Iamblichus A great Theosophist and an Initiate of the third century. He wrote a great deal about the various kinds of demons who appear through evocation, but ...
-Esoteric Glossary: K
Kamaloka (Sans.) The semi-material plane, to us subjective and invisible, where the disembodied personalities, the astral forms called Kamarupa, remain until ...
-Esoteric Glossary: L
Labro, St. A Roman Saint solemnly beatified a few years ago. His great holiness consisted in sitting at one of the gates of Rome night and day for forty years, ...
-Esoteric Glossary: M
Macrocosm (Gr.) The Great Universe or Kosmos, literally. Magic The great Science. According to Deveria and other Orientalists, Magic was considered as a sacred ...
-Esoteric Glossary: N
Nazarene Codex The Scriptures of the Nazarenes and of the Nabotheans also. According to sundry Church Fathers, Jerome and Epiphanius especially, they were ...
-Esoteric Glossary: O
Occultism See Occult Sciences. Occult Sciences The science of the secrets of nature-physical and psychic, mental and spiritual; called Hermetic and Esoteric ...
-Esoteric Glossary: P
Panaenus A Platonic philosopher in the Alexandrian school of the Philaletheians. Pandora In Greek Mythology, the first woman on earth, created by Vulcan out of ...
-Esoteric Glossary: Q-R
Quaternary The four lower principles in man, those which constitute his personality (i.e., Body, Astral Double, Prana or life, organs of desire, and lower ...
-Esoteric Glossary: S
Sacred Science The epithet given to the occult sciences in general, and by the Rosicrucians to the Cabala, and especially to the Hermetic philosophy. Samadhi ...
-Esoteric Glossary: T
Taijas (Sans.) From tejas fire, meaning the radiant, the luminous, and referring to the Manasa-Rupa, the body of Manas, also to the stars, and the star-like ...
-Esoteric Glossary: U-V
Universal Brotherhood The subtitle of the Theosophical Society, and the first of the three objects professed by it. Upadhi (Sans.) Basis of something, ...
-Esoteric Glossary: W-Z
Wisdom-Religion The same as Theosophy. The name given to the secret doctrine which underlies every exoteric scripture and religion. Yoga (Sans.) A school of ...
-Appendix. The Theosophical Society: Information For Inquirers
The Theosophical Society was formed at New York, November 17th, 1875. Its founders believed that the best interests of Religion and Science would be promoted ...
-The Legal Status of the Theosophical Society
The following Official Report, on which was granted a Decree of Incorporation to the St. Louis Theosophical Society, is an important document, as putting on ...









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