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Until recently, only registered students were granted full editorial access to PDFs. From 17 November 2015 onwards access to new PDFs will be available to everyone. Security restrictions from old titles can be removed by entering the case-sensitive password Gupta-Vidya.
Headings and side captions function as subtitles: when read sequentially, they are designed to impart the salient points of the entire compilation. Selections for which no side captions were thought necessary are differentiated from the editors' text by a wider left margin.
Authorities and annotations are marked by bold, superscripted Hindu-Arabic numerals. References to frequently quoted works are abridged as indicated in Compassion, the Spirit of Truth and the other Major Works.
The North American usage of double quotation marks and punctuation is adopted throughout: commas and periods are kept inside quotation marks; colons and semicolons, outside. As every selection is strictly speaking a quotation, inverted commas are omitted unless a particular selection was a quotation in the first place. Greek accents and breathings are being gradually abandoned.
Train of Thoughts and Table of Contents entries in long documents double as hyperlinks. When hovering over any such entry, the cursor changes into a hand with an outstretched index finger, suggesting an underlying link that can be activated.
Illustrations are selected by the Series Editors and are varied from time to time.
Study notes are revised regularly; the latest version reference and date are displayed in the footer.
Study Notes Overview
Last modified on 17 November 2015
Study Notes is a growing online collection of Theosophical articles, compilations, analyses, and commentaries by ancient and modern thinkers; plus presentations, charts, diagrams, and drawings by several hands. Their purpose is to aid individual as well as group study. The diligent student will be able to derive considerable benefit by testing his understanding of Theosophy against our series, particularly those examining the philosophical basis of the three fundamental propositions of The Secret Doctrine.
Supplements to the Rise and Demise of Atlantis, our third Major Work.
Atlantis was a global configuration of islands and abode of humanity's Fourth Root-Race. Soon after the separation of the sexes, Karma forced the creative gods to incarnate in mindless men. In this process, angels fell but not men. The Titans and Cyclopes of old belonged to that Race; they are symbolised collectively by Prometheus, the pre-eminent Atlantean hero and philanthropist. Though perfected in materiality, the island-dwellers degenerated in spirituality, and Atlantis was sunk about 856,000 years ago, coinciding with the elevation of the Alps.
Black versus White Magic
The ceaseless struggle and strife of life echoes the Great Wars in Heaven and Earth.
Occultism is colourless. It is motive and motive alone that colours thoughts and deeds: black, for personal gain; white, for the common good. Black Magic is arcane knowledge misapplied by the Brothers of Shadow. White Magic is the same knowledge beneficently used by the Brothers of Light. When exercised by mediums, hypnotists, and vivisectionists, Black Magic can be unconscious sorcery; conscious, when practised by voodoos or dugpas. The latter is Black Tantra or selfish psychic power; the former, pure psychic force.
Madame Blavatsky speaks such a few can speak. Hark!
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 well over a thousand articles spanning seventeen years, eclectic thinkers are still in the process of assimilating such an awesome outpouring of privileged knowledge. We can only present here only few examples of her genius. For a complete set of her works we recommend H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, as compiled and edited by Boris de Zirkoff. Alternatively, our x64 Upgrade of the Theosophical Classics CD-ROM, a searchable database of most of Blavatsky's writings, can be downloaded from here. For further information, see Nexus.
Tributes to Madame Blavatsky by those who knew her.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831–1891) is the great intellectual radiance of our epoch, accomplished metaphysician, philosopher, occultist, and mystic. She is one of humanity's true lovers and indefatigable servant. One hundred and forty years have passed like a dream, with much heart-sore and soaring hope, since she founded the Theosophical Society on 17 November 1875 in New York. We have decided to commemorate this auspicious date by releasing a series of hitherto private study notes and analyses of Madame Blavatsky's Esoteric Section Instructions. The True Colours of Man is the pivotal study, amplifying and clarifying Instructions I and II. This little volume is our tribute to her merit. She being dead yet speaketh.
Buddhas and Initiates
Exemplars of charity and virtue are the living Buddhas and Christs.
The real Christ is Sol-omon or the Christ-Sun. His temple is the awakened soul. He lives in the heart of every man from the time when Prometheus endowed animal man with the soul-spark of intelligence. His ultimate aim is to assist those who are ready to resurrect their spirit and thus die no more. Raja-Yoga or Theurgy marks the end point of an individual soul, poised to be re-united with the Universal Soul, by awakening latent spiritual powers. Would-be aspirants may wish to consult Stars and Stones on the Path for advice and direction.
Homophones and troublesome words elucidated.
This is a little collection of troublesome words that have confused many a student. They are unravelled and unriddled, contrasted and counterpointed. H.P. Blavatsky often ascribes alternative spellings to certain metaphysical terms, e.g., Aether and Ether, Kosmos and Cosmos, to distinguish between their higher and lower aspects.
Constitution of Man
Insights to the septenary nature of man, citizen of the universe.
Defining compilations and analysis of the constitution of man, from birth to death, after-death, and rebirth are supplemented by the ideas of Plutarch and other pagan authorities. In these series, the dual act of Oedipus and Sphinx is revealed. Several texts that are a must for every serious student of human nature are also presented: e.g., Scipio's and Synesius' Dreams, J. Ralston Skinner's Key to the Hebrew-Egyptian Mystery, and Bhagavan Das' The Science of the Emotions. In a bold and insightful analysis of the continuum of desire-thought-action, Pandit Das demonstrates that thoughts, emotions, and feelings, mostly mixed and lumped together by the ignoramus, are none other than the workings of this mysterious triplet, which manifest as physical movements towards pleasure, or away from pain, in expectation and imagination.
Down to Earth
Lucifer lives here on earth, not in the infernal regions of the churches.
Metaphysics and ethics are different tongues for the same process. “The grand ethics taught in the secret Aryasanga schools are not for the benefit or perfection of saints, but verily of sinners who need moral and intellectual help,” says H.P. Blavatsky. The only God whom we should serve is Humanity, and our only cult should be the Love of our fellow man. This is our religion and dogma. When we deny our brotherly duties and refuse to consider others as brothers, we deny God. Doing evil towards our brother, wounds God and make us all suffer.
Hellenic and Hellenistic Papers
Reflections of the Light of India in Greece and the Western World.
We here present compilations on Orpheus, who brought the Indian Mysteries of Initiation to Greece nine millennia before Homer and Hesiod, selections from Plato and Neo-Platonic philosophers, pagan and modern thinkers, plus valuable commentaries by H.P. Blavatsky and Thomas Taylor, the English Platonist. This series also features Edward Pococke's India in Greece or Truth in Mythology, a treatise that establishes beyond doubt India as the Mother of Classical Greece. Scepticism as to the veracity of these ideas is a malady due to a malformation of the physical brain, and has existed in every age, says Blavatsky.
Higher Ethics and Devotion
Only Devotional Love can free the Spiritual Self from the clutches of the Psychic.
By transmuting personal good to common good, true love destroys the illusion of separateness and consigns individuals to the Universal Self. There are three kinds of love:
- Divine Love or Compassion is the Great Law of Universal Sympathy and Sacrifice or, metaphysically speaking, the Homogeneity of the Unmanifested thrown into the heterogeneity of manifestation by the same Law: It dies periodically so that Its ideation can live. The crowning achievement of this Great Sacrifice is Divine Consciousness embodied in Man, the Love of Gods.
- Worldly Love or Selfishness is the Path of Action, the descending arc of Consciousness towards objectivity and materiality, leading to Love of self apart from all.
- Devotional Love or Bhakti is the Path of Renunciation, the ascending arc of Consciousness towards subjectivity and spirituality, culminating in its highest point as Love of all for The One.
Living the Life
What clears the inner sight and unites self with Self?
A pledge to abandon sin forever and to act virtuously for the benefit of all living beings will, in time, clear the inner vision and unite Son with Father. Occultism is the Science of Life and Art of Living. The latter is informed and guided by charity in action; and by teaching, not preaching. Complete and utter renunciation of the personality or false individuality, and genuine concern for the welfare of all beings, whether sentient or not, are the hallmarks of every seeker of Truth. There is plenty of food for thought here and practical advice to aspirants by some of the world's greatest minds.
Mystic Verse and Insights
True Mystics belong to the Silent Brotherhood of the Elect of Thought.
If Mystic Philosophy is grains of gold downstream, Occult Philosophy is the parent deposits upstream. Moreover, there is no essential difference between Mystics, Theosophists-Esotericists, and Eastern Occultists, except in degrees of cognition and ability to teach. On the other hand, there is a great difference between Theoretical Occultism or Theosophy, and Occult Science or Raja-Yoga; and between intellectual study of ancient scriptures, and mystic study. Only Buddhi-Manas or Divine Intuition, a sovereign faculty superior to reason, can help man to tell apart unselfish from selfish thoughts, truth from falsehood.
Planetary Rounds and Globes
Divine Consciousness evolves along a chain of seven man-bearing globes.
A single passage through 7 globes is termed Planetary Round, in the course of which 49 Root-Races of Humanity emerge. Every life-cycle on earth is composed of 7 Root-Races. Commencing with the ethereal and ending with the spiritual, each Race progresses along a double line of physical and moral evolution: from the beginning of the Terrestrial Round to its close. Mankind, from the first down to the last or Seventh Root-Race, is composed of one and the same company of actors, who have descended from higher spheres to perform their artistic tour on this, our Planet Earth. For deeper perspectives see our Secret Doctrine's Proposition 2 Series.
Secret Doctrine's Proposition 1
The Universe is underpinned by an Omnipresent Reality.
This Reality is attributeless, eternal, impersonal, and omnipresent Perfect Consciousness, as well as the rootless root of self-consciousness in the mayavic world we live in. It, the Infinite, projects periodically aspects of Itself to the perception of finite minds, through the duality of Spirit-Matter, illusionary aspects of the One Reality that veil Its ineffable splendour. These two ever-opposing forces are inseparable, interdependent, and interchangeable permutations of the One Life and Consciousness. See also Modifications of Consciousness.
Secret Doctrine's Proposition 2
Immutable Law governs Universe and Man.
Volitional impulses from a quenchless desire for self-analysis and reflection give rise to an eternal procession of Divine Consciousness unfolding from within without, from the darkness of be-ness to the light of sentient being, through countless worlds and planets, cycles and epicycles. Compassion, Necessity, and Periodicity constitute the highest Deity or Law that human intellect can ever hope to approximate. Their ever-concealed essence is Universal Peace, Love, and Harmony. For an in-depth analysis of the Triune Law see Compassion, the Spirit of Truth, chapters 3 and 4.
Secret Doctrine's Proposition 3
What is That, which lives and thinks in man and survives that frame, the masterpiece of physical evolution?
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 objectiveness. 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 ends up surrounded by darkness and despair when he begins identifying himself with Parentless Humanity, the Great Orphan. By successive incarnations and by the toils and drudgery of life, the purified soul spirals up towards its immortal counterpart. See also drawings in our Planetary Rounds and Globes Series.
The Masque of Love
The World's Saviours are Trees of Salvation grown out of One Seed.
Humanity at large is the vehicle of the Universal Principle's primary Breath; and of countless breaths proceeding from that One Breath, in its secondary differentiations towards planes of ever deepening materiality. The primary Breath informs the higher Hierarchies; the secondary, the lower Hierarchies on constantly descending planes. “The Masque of Love” is the keynote paper in this series. It is supported by a drawing of the Compassionate Hierarchy's descent, which is examined from seven philosophical perspectives. For an in-depth analysis of Divine Love see Compassion, the Spirit of Truth, and The True Colours of Man, in our Major Works Series.
The Masters Speak
Fragments from the Teachings of the cis-Himalayan Mahatmas.
We here present selections from the formerly private letters of the Masters of Wisdom, Founders and Force behind the Modern Theosophical Movement. This series includes the all-important letter “Mahatma Letter No. 10” where Maha-Chohan gives to Master K.H. several good reasons as to why the Theosophical Society should be a Brotherhood of Man. Those who act up to the Masters' teachings and live the Life of which They are the best exemplars, will never be abandoned by Them and will always find Their beneficent help whenever needed.
Theosophy and Theosophists
The Light of Theosophy differs greatly from its shadows.
Theosophy is the World's Divine Soul and highest grade of Esoteric Knowledge; the Theosophical Society, its imperfect body. Useless are those members who have neither an inclination nor the courage to live the Life. This series also features a specially designed True Type font, consisting of a family of 180 theosophical symbols and ideographs, inspired by the works of H.P. Blavatsky. They are showcased in the “Keys to the Mystery Language.” For a quick overview of Divine Wisdom see Theosophia, Inner Wisdom.
A Word of Advice
The majority of books, articles, and excerpts therefrom presented on this website are already in the public domain. However, our compilations, diagrams, drawings, and other learning aids are neither self-explanatory, nor easy to understand, for they are intended solely for the use of advanced students of Theoretical Occultism. Those who may stumble across such works unprepared will not be able to benefit as much. Even so, we are always happy to help out fellow travellers along the way, regardless of whether they are registered students or not, and we have done so on many occasions.
Joseph-Louis de la Ville de Boussac
Secretary to the Board of Trustees