The Theosophical Society was founded by in New York City in 1875 by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, William Quan Judge, and a few others. It was formed to investigate, study, explain, and advance spiritual awareness, and to search for the Truth instead of blindly following religious dogmas, and superstition.
Theosophy means “divine wisdom.” It is derived from the Greek word, “the” (divine) and “Sophia” (wisdom). Its philosophy is a modern day presentation of wisdom derived through the ages from the worlds’ religions, sciences, and philosophies. The Society does not impose beliefs on its members, and members are encouraged to find the meaning of life through study, reflection, self-responsibility, and loving service.
Books on Theosophy are not a revelation or final authority but rather serve as a guide to the individuals’ search; ideas of value are to be absorbed while discarding the superfluous concepts. The motto of the Society is, “There is no religion higher than truth”. The purpose of this motto is simple and direct, that is to open our minds by not simply accepting what is being taught and/or of a hypocritical nature just because it is from a holy text; but to approach it with an open and enquiring mind plus realise that there are other religions, philosophies, science, and conscious aspects you need to consider on your spiritual journey.
The three objects of the society are:
1. To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color; and
2. To encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science; and
3. To investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man.
Those seeking to join need not belong to any particular religion, as the Society is unsectarian, and non-political, and open to anyone regardless of race, creed, gender, caste, or color. Theosophy’ aim is to aid humanity, and not to promote the self-interests of members.
Shortly after H P Blavatsky’s passing, the Society split into two. The original organization led by H S Olcott and Annie Bessant based its international headquarters known as “Theosophical Society – Adyar” at Chennai (formerly Madras), India. W Q Judge seceded, took most of the American Section with him and formed the “The Theosophical Society – International Headquarters”, which is based in Pasadena, California today. The American Section has further split into a few other organizations – a family tree of this development is available from the website for “The Theosophical Society in America”.
The contribution of the founders of Theosophy was to encourage open-minded inquiry, to make humankind realize that there is a path for spiritual self-transformation, and for the realization of universal brotherhood so that we are free to pursue our destiny in harmony and at peace with everyone.
Theosophy is the insight fundamental all religions when they are stripped of accumulations and superstitions. It offers a rationality which renders life clear and shows that Justice and adoration direct the universe. Its teachings help the unfoldment of the inactive otherworldly nature in the individual, without reliance or fear.The society forces no conviction and reason presence by connecting with themselves in study, reflection, immaculateness of life and adoring administration.
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