United Lodge of Theosophists, London, UK

FAQs


[Coppery-headed Emerald, image kind courtesy Glenn Bartley]

Like the humming bird, humanity can also cultivate the skills to develop a rich and rewarding life.

However, while the animal kingdom’s development is largely physical, the present aim of humanity ought to be to master the principle of mind.

This is a twofold process, starting with the taming of the lower desires (the fourth principle, Kama) and then becoming empowered to develop the compassionate and intelligent mind (Manas, the fifth principle, higher mind). The latter is what raises us above the purely animal and its acquirement should be the defining characteristic and attribute of all who desire to live as responsible members in a tolerant, well-informed and joyful society.

Answers to these frequently asked questions are offered with that aim.

Questions on

      • How to approach Theosophy and Alchemy etc
      • The Methods of Research the Masters use
      • Thinking things all the way through (to touch the void)
      • Who has the truth & who can be trusted?
      • On raising the Kundalini
      • Group and individual study
      • The Essence of spiritual philosophy
      • On Metaphysics
      • On states of consciousness
      • On psychic and mental well-being (new Aug 20)

 

 

How to approach Theosophy & Alchemy etc

 

Q: Where can I find truth, I’ve read the Alchemists, Rosicrucians, modern second generation theosophists…

While your approach to the original teachings has come at a tangent to them, that is not so unusual.

Students have very different journeys – it is one’s past karma aids or hinders us depending on the use made of our opportunities ‘last time around.’ This is an important consideration for how we live and conduct ourselves in our present life.

Now there is a crucial point to consider about the original teachings, the Perennial Wisdom – the original uncut Theosophy given from those who founded the TS: it is to appreciate and investigate for yourself what reliable esoteric material was in print before 1875 when the TS was started…
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The Ancient Source: Advanced Methods & High Standards of Research

In answer to the question “Where does Theosophy get its information?” the text below, known as The Ancient Source, describes the methods of research employed by the close-knit fraternity of the trans-Himalayan Mahatmas.

 

 

Thinking things all the way through (to touch the void)

 

Q: How can I carry my lines of thinking through to their rational end?

This is rare and if continued in is brave and worthy; this selection from William Q Judge is a good way to start, its discipline is simple and very practical:

So well am I convinced there are too many superfluous books in our particular field, that, if I had a youth to train in that department, I should confine him to the Bhagavad-Gita, the Upanishads, and the Secret Doctrine for a very long time, until he was able to make books for himself out of those, and to apply the principles found in them to every circumstance and to his own life and thought.

They… are beginning to see that a few books well read, well analysed, and thoroughly digested are better than many books read over once.*

They have learned how all that part of a book which they clearly understand at first is already their own, and that the rest, which is not so clear or quite obscure, is the portion they are to study, so that it also, if found true, may become an integral part of their constant thought.**

“Much reading little thought” by William Brehon (W. Q. Judge), The Path, June 1890

* Ask yourself if you have the discipline and strength to stay with the text you have consciously selected and to prize back the outer crust with which all esoteric works are protected from casual readers.

** Read the final paragraph “They have learned…” several times through with patience; the lower mind may at first rebel.

One can control it, like the charioteer a wild horse. Perhaps commit it to memory. Constancy and devotion are needed, there is no mindless path to Moksha, this is an old corruption common in Adwaita Vedanta and Zen and has been picked up by populists from Krishnamurti to the modern pseudo-mindfulness practitioners.

 


 

Who has the truth & who can be trusted?

 

A question from an inquirer reads:

Q: Is archeosofica similar to Theosophy? The best regards!

Many requests for information on New Age and other beliefs are really asking “Who can be trusted?”

It may save some correspondence and valuable time to give a reply sometimes sent to inquirers.

The organisation mentioned is not known to us. Asking questions of others is easy….
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On the best approach to Kundalini

 

Q: What happens if I find unwanted side effects?

Regarding the Kundalini rising, it can be natural during a specific and certain well-regulated process of spiritual development which some Eastern esoteric Schools teach; but more often than not it comes about from Hatha Yoga or other methods and as such is warned about as it will often cause harm and imbalance. This is the opposite of adeptship, which is complete control of one’s own nature, followed by an informed and compassionate control – or better to say guidance – of the dynamics of greater Nature, much loved but little understood in many parts of the New Age Movement…
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On group and individual study

 

Q1: What are the Three Objects of the movement?

The Three Declared Objects of the Theosophical Movement are:

  • To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or colour.
  • The study of ancient and modern religions, philosophies and sciences, and the demonstration of the importance of such study.
  • The investigation of the unexplained laws of nature and the psychical powers latent in man.

Q2: What are the methods of work?

“But no one method is to be insisted on. Each man is a potency in himself, and only by working on the lines which suggest themselves to him can he bring to bear the forces which are his… 
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The Essence of Spiritual Philosophy

 

Q1: What is God?

“Our Deity is the eternal, incessantly evolving not creating builder of the universe, that universe unfolding out of its own essence, not being made.”

In the Indian philosophy of the Upanishads this same question, “What is god?” is asked by the pupil. Step by step the teacher brings the realisation of the great truth to the mind of his pupil – “Thou art That.” We ourselves in one part of our nature, in that part which is divine and spiritual, are God. Shri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, “I am seated in the hearts of all beings.”…[3 pages]
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Q2: What is Karma & Reincarnation?

Questions with regard to Karma and re-births are constantly offered, and a great confusion seems to exist upon this subject. Those who are born and bred in the Christian faith, and have been trained in the idea that a new soul is created by God for every newly-born infant, are among the most perplexed…[2 pages]
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Q3: What is death? (most helpful for those in bereavement)

“What you are now passing through I myself felt and knew, as you will remember. And ‘passing through’ is the correct term, believe me, though just now the shock and exhaustion of grief make movement of any kind seem impossible indeed… [4 pages]
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On metaphysics

 

Q1: How are nature, science & religion connected The Ten Points of Isis Unveiled?

To comprehend the principles of natural law involved in the several phenomena hereinafter described, the reader must keep in mind the fundamental propositions of the Oriental philosophy which we have successively elucidated. Let us recapitulate very briefly…
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Q2: Are there some basic ideas?

BEFORE the reader proceeds to the consideration of the Stanzas from the Book of Dzyan which form the basis of the present work, it is absolutely necessary that he should be made acquainted with the few fundamental conceptions which underlie and pervade the entire system of thought to which his attention is invited. These basic ideas are few in number and on their clear apprehension depends the understanding of all that follows; therefore no apology is required for asking the reader to make himself familiar with them first, before entering on the perusal of the work itself…[2 pages]
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Q3: How to practically apply philosophy?

Anything that is to appear to us as Truth must be seen as such within the range of our own experience. To accept a statement as authoritative is folly. To believe on the statement of any person, or on the records of any book, or because of opinions held by any number of persons, is also folly. For belief is not knowledge; it is a confession of ignorance. Knowledge is gained through observation and experience, and in no other way. When we have the experience, we have the knowledge; and beliefs are no longer of any moment to us, one way or the other…[3 pages]
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On states of consciousness

 

Q1: What are Three Planes of Human Life?

I speak of ordinary men. The Adept, the Master, the Yogi, the Mahatma, the Buddha, each lives in more than three states while incarnated upon this world, and they are fully conscious of them all, while the ordinary man is only conscious of the first ~ the waking-life, as the word conscious is now understood. Every theosophist who is in earnest ought to know the importance of these three states, and especially how essential it is that one should not lose in Sushupti, nor in Jagrata those of Swapna, and vice versa…[2 pages]
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Q2: What are the Seven Kinds of Dreams?

WE may roughly divide dreams also into seven classes, and subdivide these in turn…
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On psychic and mental well-being

 

Q1: How can I deal with psychic or mental disturbance?

The founders of the Theosophical Society said that at certain points in our life difficulties of a mental or psychic nature may manifest themselves and that with the right advice they can be overcome.
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