Theosophy

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Will
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Will » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:28 pm

However odd Theosophy may appear nowadays, in India of late 19th century it had a beneficent effect. Here is the first year of the monthly journal The Theosophist. It contained stories, and interfaith articles about Jainism, Buddhism, Vedanta etc.

https://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/th ... eos-hp.htm
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Will
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Will » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:34 am

Upasaka Olcott wrote a little book that endeared him to all Buddhists of Ceylon and South Asia. Since the teachings of Buddha were so clearly set forth, many Mahayana sages accepted this book as solid Dhamma:

Buddhist Catechism.pdf
(103.85 KiB) Downloaded 5 times

It is still in print, I think.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Will
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Will » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:42 pm

There is an offshoot of Blavatsky's theosophy, which is scholarly, proper & scorns Blavatsky. It is called the Perennial Philosophy.
The self-validating certainty of direct awareness cannot in the very nature of things be achieved except by those equipped with the moral 'astrolabe of God's mysteries'. If one is not oneself a sage or saint, the best thing one can do, in the field of metaphysics, is to study the works of those who were, and who, because they had modified their merely human mode of being, were capable of a more than merely human kind and amount of knowledge.
Aldous Huxley
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

chownah
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Re: Theosophy

Post by chownah » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:11 am

There is an offshoot of Blavatsky's theosophy........... It is called the Perennial Philosophy.
I think this is a misrepresentation.
chownah

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Will
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Will » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:24 am

chownah wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:11 am
There is an offshoot of Blavatsky's theosophy........... It is called the Perennial Philosophy.
I think this is a misrepresentation.
chownah
Rene Guenon Theosophy: History of a Pseudo-Religion (Le Théosophisme – Histoire d'une pseudo-religion, 1921)

The ground covered by Blavatsky is the same (yet more vast) as that of Guenon, his predecessors and followers. It is just that the charlatan labeling of HPB scared away most scholars, so a purified group was formed with a Traditionalist or Perennialist label.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Will
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Will » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:28 am

The first 19 chapters of Huxley's work which was his commentary on many old or ancient sources:
Chapter i That Art Thou 7
ii The Nature of the Ground 29
in Personality, Sanctity, Divine Incarnation 45
iv God in the World 69
v Charity 95
vi Mortification, Non-Attachment, Right Livelihood 113
vii Truth 145
vin Religion and Temperament 168
ix Self-Knowledge 185
x Grace and Free Will 190
xi Good and Evil 202
xn Time and Eternity 212
xin Salvation, Deliverance, Enlightenment 230
xiv Immortality and Survival 242
xv Silence 247
xvi Prayer 251
xvn Suffering 260
xvm Faith 268
xix God is not mocked 273
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Will
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Will » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:33 am

His first chapter begins:
In studying the Perennial Philosophy we can begin either at
the bottom, with practice and morality; or at the top, with a
consideration of metaphysical truths; or, finally, in the middle,
at the focal point where mind and matter, action and thought
have their meeting place in human psychology.

The lower gate is that preferred by strictly practical teachers
men who, like Gautama Buddha, have no use for speculation
and whose primary concern is to put out in men's hearts the
hideous fires of greed, resentment and infatuation. Through
the upper gate go those whose vocation it is to think and speculate
the born philosophers and theologians. The middle gate
gives entrance to the exponents of what has been called
spiritual religion the devout contemplatives of India, the Sufis
of Islam, the Catholic mystics of the later Middle Ages, and,
in the Protestant tradition, such men as Denk and Franck and
Castellio, as Everard and John Smith and the first Quakers and
William Law.

It is through this central door, and just because it is central,
that we shall make our entry into the subject matter of this
book. The psychology of the Perennial Philosophy has its
source in metaphysics and issues logically in a characteristic
way of life and system of ethics. Starting from this mid-point
of doctrine, it is easy for the mind to move in either direction.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Kim OHara
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Re: Theosophy

Post by Kim OHara » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:04 am

A quick overview of the Perennial Philosophy for those who don't know it: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Perennial_philosophy
rationalwiki wrote:According to perennial philosophy each world religion or spiritual tradition, independent of its cultural or historical context, is simply a different interpretation of a single universal truth. It affirms that a direct insight into the nature of reality is a universal possibility whether gained after practice of spiritual disciplines and study of scriptures or through a wholly unanticipated illuminating experience of union with God or the "Ultimate".[1] Aldous Huxley, who wrote a book on the subject titled The Perennial Philosophy defined it as:

“”The metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical to, divine Reality; the ethic that places man's final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent Ground of all being; the thing is immemorial and universal. Rudiments of the perennial philosophy may be found among the traditional lore of primitive peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions." (The Perennial Philosophy, p. vii).
:reading:

Here - http://www.religioperennis.org/document ... ialism.pdf - is a longer outline of their ideas, written from within the group (i.e. there may not be much critical distance, let's say, between the writer and the history).

:reading:
Kim

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