Truth is the One Light for All
Unperceived by the multitude, a stream of Truth runs through the foundation of all religions, philosophies, and ancient lore: from the infant days of humanity to the present day. It springs from the Universe's eternal fountain of Noetic Light or “Causeless One Cause.” Here are some typical references for Truth, a forever inconceivable, unknown, and unknowable Reality or Perfect Consciousness: a perpetually reasoning Divinity that animates, motivates, and sustains all that lives:
Parabrahman of the Vedantist, That of the Chhandogya Upanishad, The Absolute of Hegel, The One Life of the Buddhist.
Emanating from the inmost realms of sentient existence, and irrigated by Compassion and Charity immortal, there has always been a constant outpouring of higher knowledge explaining the interplay of being, of not-being, and of becoming. It is the quintessence of our spiritual inheritance. This corpus of inner wisdom has been variously referred to as:
Archaic Wisdom-Religion, Aletheia, Eclectic Philosophy, Esoteric Knowledge, Heart or Secret Doctrine, Theosophia. 1 For further aspects, epithets, and synonyms of Higher or Inner Knowledge after H.P. Blavatsky, see “Theosophia: Fountain, Perspectives, Practice” in our Theosophy and Theosophists Series.
By unravelling the mysteries of Unconsciousness, Consciousness, and Self-Consciousness, sincere and pure minds can begin to apprehend the science of life and practise the art of living. Or as Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of the modern Theosophical Movement, suggests
. . . one eternal Truth, and one infinite changeless Spirit of Love, Truth and Wisdom in the Universe, as one Light for all, in which we live and move and have our Being. . . . We are all Brothers. Let us then love, help, and mutually defend each other against any Spirit of untruth or deception, “without distinction of race, creed or colour.” 2 Blavatsky Collected Writings, (ONE ETERNAL TRUTH) XIII p. 269. Cf. “For ‘In him we live, and move, and have our being;' as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.' ” Acts xvii, 28; (Paul quoting Aratus' Phainomena.)
These are not mere words, they are verities eternal. They sustain heaven and earth. Their veracity has been corroborated by the experience of an unbroken line of avatars and adepts, mystics and thinkers. They are being promulgated from generation to generation by word of mouth, ideograms, and certain texts which, because of the reverence in which they are held as well as their antiquity, are referred to as sacred: they uplift the mind and enlighten the heart.
When, through effortful contemplation upon the Truth of truths and unselfish conduct, a soul sets about ascending towards its divine counterpart, it can be said that its homewards journey has begun in earnest. However, only those of exceptional purity and virtue may approach the “Sacred Majesty of Truth” and hear within the sanctuary of the Heart “The Voice of the Silence.”
The Secret Doctrine
Pre-eminent in the firmament of Eternal Ideals and Truths that have been brought into the open for the first time by the authors of The Secret Doctrine 3 De Zirkoff B (Comp.). Blavatsky Collected Writings [Unnumbered Series]: The Secret Doctrine. (1st ed. 1888). Seventh [Adyar] ed. 1979 [3 vols.]; Madras: Theosophical Publishing House, 1987 are three divine conceptions, three stars guiding and lighting humanity's or the “Great Orphan's” 4 Cf. Mahatma Letter 8 (15), p. 32; 3rd Combined ed. homeward journey. They inform and confirm all other doctrines. Their philosophy may be summarised as follows: 5 Excerpted from: Bartzokas CA. Compassion: the Spirit of Truth. Gwernymynydd: Philaletheians, 2009; pp. 35-38; [full text in our Major Works Series.]
Cosmogenesis (First Proposition). The Universe is underpinned by an Omnipresent Reality, One and Secondless, Attributeless, Eternal, Impersonal, Perfect Consciousness. Although Parentless Itself, It is the Universal Parent of All. It is That of the Chhandogya Upanishad, the Parabrahman of the Vedantist, The One Life of the Buddhist, The Absolute of Hegel. That contains within Itself the root of self-consciousness and the substratum of matter, different aspects of which It, the Infinite, exhibits periodically “to the perception of finite Minds” 6 Secret Doctrine, II p. 487 through:
- First Logos: Unconscious Universal Mind, or Divine Intelligence in potentia, an ever-concealed fount and origin of powers and potencies.
- Second Logos: Semi-conscious Universal Mind, or Dawn of Intelligence.
- Third Logos: Conscious Universal Mind, or Light of Intelligence and Life, a Son of Necessity.
On the plane of manifestation, Spirit and Matter or duality preeminently, are two illusionary aspects of One Reality. They are inseparable, interdependent, and interchangeable permutations of One Consciousness, the One and only Capacity of Perception eternally reflecting upon Itself through the self-modifying apperceptions of lower minds.
Law governs Universe and Man (Second Proposition). Volitional impulses from a quenchless desire for self-analysing reflection give rise to an eternal procession of Divine Consciousness unfolding from Darkness to Light, through countless worlds and planets, cycles and epicycles. At the end of a premeditated duration, the objective world withdraws and regresses Klein bottle-like into the subjectivity of Itself.
The appearance and disappearance of the Universe are pictured as outbreathing and inbreathing of the “Great Breath,” which is eternal, and which, being Motion, is one of the three aspects of the Absolute; Abstract Space and Duration being the other two. 7 Cf. Secret Doctrine, I p. 43
Periodicity is indissolubly linked with Necessity. Compassion, Necessity and Periodicity constitute the highest “deity” or LAW that human intellect can ever hope to approximate. Their unmanifested essence is Universal Love and Harmony. And the ever-pulsating Great Heart that in contracting forgets and in expanding remembers the Truth of truths, brings about the “Eternity of the Pilgrim” or Man.
Man is that noble endogenous plant which grows, like the palm, from within without. 8 Cf. Emerson: Uses of Great Men, par. 6, p. 716
Amnesia and memory of the One Reality alternate within us cyclically as day and night, consciousness and unconsciousness. Life goes around in circles like the flow of blood that, when the Central Spiritual Heart contracts, is thrust away from Be-ness; and when It expands, Life returns the experience of Being into the adytum of Non-Being.
Anthropogenesis (Third Proposition). Once more, from the Circle of Infinity or Zero arises a Circle of Necessity or relative finiteness. It marks the dawn of another Manvantara, or Consciousness' recurring pilgrimage to the deepest recesses of materiality before rising from the bowels of the underworld, onward and upward, to higher realms of enlightened spirituality.
By successive incarnations and by the toils and drudgery of life, souls keep spiralling up toward their immortal counterpart. Individually, men are companions along a journey of Self-discovery, of finding Self through self. Collectively, Man is One, a Son of Necessity.
Starting upon the long journey immaculate; descending more and more into sinful matter, and having connected himself with every atom in manifested Space — the Pilgrim, having struggled through and suffered in every form of life and being, is only at the bottom of the valley of matter, and half through his cycle, when he has identified himself with collective Humanity. This, he has made in his own image 9 Cf. Secret Doctrine, I p. 268 . . . and acquired individuality, first by natural impulse, and then by self-induced and self-devised efforts (checked by its Karma). 10 Cf. Secret Doctrine, I p. 17
This periodic apostasy of the Great Mind from the asylum of unconscious subjectivity to the discord of conscious objectivity (that we all know too well) endows every part with
. . . Infinite Potency born from the concealed Potentiality. 11 Blavatsky Collected Writings, (E.S. INSTRUCTION No. II) XII p. 552
Eventually, those who understood the fundamental integrity and purpose of life will begin renouncing their worldly egos by acting altruistically for the whole. Only then will they be able to identify anew with the “Over Soul” of Love, Truth, and Wisdom, and bring back the nectar of personal experience to the Spiritual Heart. This onward and upward march “from mineral and plant, up to the holiest archangel” 12 Cf. Secret Doctrine, I p. 17 is our Natural Duty, Religion and Ultimate Destiny. Metaphysically, humanity is an emanation of the World's Soul here on Earth; Mystically, she is the “Love of Gods.” 13 Oxyrhynchus Papyrus, 1380.109 (ii AD)
To sum up, we are dual aspects of One Reality. Our consciousness is an individualised modification of One Consciousness, ever alternating between wakefulness and dreamless sleep, forgetfulness and remembrance, life and death. Recognition of our core identity with the One Mind and Soul inspires loyalty to the “heart of all mankind” by inward exertions and loving thoughts and deeds towards each other — untainted by personal interest. For, we are our brothers' keepers. This is what is meant by living Theosophy. A true Theosophist “is one who makes Theosophy a living power in his life.” 14 Cf. Blavatsky Collected Writings, (“GOING TO AND FROM IN THE EARTH”) XII p. 28
Sketching out the principal teachers and doctrines of the Alexandrian School of Philosophy, Platonist Alexander Wilder notes that:
Ammonius Saccas, the great teacher, who would seem to have been raised up for the work of reconciling the different systems, was a native of Alexandria, and the son of Christian parents, although associating much with those who adhered to the established religion of the empire. He was a man of rare learning and endowments, of blameless life and amiable disposition. His almost superhuman ken and many excellencies won for him the title of theodidaktos, or God-taught; but he followed the modest example of Pythagoras, and only assumed the title of philaletheian, or, lover of the truth.
The name by which Ammonias Saccas, designated himself and his disciples, was that of Philaletheians, or, lovers of the truth. They were also sometimes denominated Analogeticists, because of their practice of interpreting all sacred legends and narratives, myths and mysteries, by a rule or principle of analogy and correspondence, so that events which were related as having occurred in the external world were regarded as expressing operations and experiences of the human soul. It has, however, been usual to speak of them by the designation of Neoplatonists or New Platonists, and, indeed, by this name they are generally known. 15 Cf. Wilder A. New Platonism and Alchemy. Albany, NY: Weed, Parsons & Co, Printers, 1869; p. 4; [full text in our Theosophy and Theosophists Series.]
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831–1891) is the founder and leading exponent of the modern Theosophical Movement launched in 1875, great intellectual radiance of our epoch, acclaimed philosopher and mystic, humanity's true lover and indefatigable servant.
Theosophy has greatly enhanced our apprehension and appreciation of the mysteries of the Universe, Nature, and Man: mysteries that were previously hinted at, but not disclosed, to the public at large. Two generations after Blavatsky expounded the world's sciences, religions, and philosophies in Isis Unveiled (1877), integrated them in The Secret Doctrine (1888), and elaborated upon them in close to a thousand articles spanning seventeen years, eclectic thinkers are still in the process of assimilating such an awesome outpouring of privileged knowledge.
We hope that our compilations from HP Blavatsky Collected Writings, The Mahatma Letters to AP Sinnett, our selections of commentaries by ancient and modern philosophers, and our charts, drawings and study notes, may assist fellow travellers along the way.