Course Guidance and Welcome
An enthusiastic tern chick, by Faisal Alnomas.
Congratulations on signing up for the Correspondence Course on the original writings of H. P. Blavatsky and William Q Judge.
You are invited to read carefully these notes and guidance on the course, it will show you how to approach the topics to get the most from them, to answer the questions thoughtfully, and to start undertaking well-directed reading and research.
If there are any questions please get in touch, in the meantime we wish you every success in your studies,
The United Lodge of Theosophists
“Satyât Nâsti paro dharmah”
[There Is No Religion Higher Than Truth]
“We take nothing on faith, and we go beyond and higher than any dogmatic religion
or materialistic physical science, since that is our motto.”
H. P. Blavatsky
The ancient foundations of knowledge
A true knowledge of nature has been sought by many of the great minds of the past and they discovered and recorded the means to open man’s spiritual insight. They taught that there are faculties in man, often quite latent, called in Theosophy and in the East, Buddhi and Manas, and in the West spiritual intuition and higher mind, the right study of which raises our consciousness and thus refines our perceptions, intelligence and sympathies.
The study of Theosophy firstly trains our reason along philosophic and rational lines but also shows the natural basis of altruism and necessity to develop the virtues. A persevering and faithful dwelling on high and noble themes cannot fail to stimulate our intuition into action since it is there in all people, awaiting the right conditions.
It is the aim of the course to bring this about and change our too automatic ways of thinking for better, more conscious ones. To discover this knowledge and to put it to good use, so becoming its responsible custodians, is a natural part of man’s evolution to which our participation is invited.
Methods of study
Much of the coursework is to read and make notes on the topic material, so here are a few words on methods which have worked for many. One of the best ways is to start by reading the topic straight through quickly to get an overview of it, not being too concerned if some of the details are unclear.
Have a look at the first set questions at the end of the topic and as you start the second reading look out for what is said about them, and make notes in the margins and take up any linked references on the ideas which spark your interest or which feel are unclear.
It requires a little time to be put aside, and try to keep to times when you won’t be disturbed. Have patience with yourself and the system being presented, your perseverance will be rewarded as many students have been, who have gone before you.
To set aside a regular time each day is best, even if it’s only 15-20 minutes. A good time is before sleeping as it helps us retain what has been read, but if that’s not possible be flexible in establishing your patterns of study.
Printing the topics
Many students find it helpful to print the topic material so notes can be made on it, and to keep it with your answers in a course file like the one pictured at the bottom.
Completing the topics and answers
You are asked to provide brief answers to the questions at the end of the topic. Don’t be put off, it is only short answers that are needed and they are not marked, although we may comment on them to clarify any queries.
Notes made in the margins may help clarify the ideas you think are important and inform you about the themes asked in the questions.
Copy out the numbered questions and answer them based on the topic material and – importantly – your own experience, reasoning and common sense.
If you are new to Theosophy you may prefer to only answer the first set of questions, you can also leave any questions you are unsure of and go only as far as you feel able.
If your written English is not fluent you may make shorter answers or leave out the more difficult questions. Writing out answers is a very good exercise and the effort helps clarity of thought which is the real goal, which we should try to continuously develop!
When you are ready just send in your answers, in an editable text document (like LibreOffice “Writer” or MS “Word,” not a PDF) and ask for the next topic.
Some background reading of the references provided and other theosophical writings is also most recommended, it also allows you to start exploring subjects that are of interest to you.
To research a subject look in the “The Key to Theosophy“ by H.P. Blavatsky and “The Ocean of Theosophy” by William Q Judge. Both have excellent indexes at the rear, which are sometimes better than simple word searches.
To collate several quotations on one aspect will show more of the various facets of the subject and is one of the best methods of learning.
These two books, The Key and The Ocean, are some of the best written as they followed years of work among theosophists by the founders and give simple and clear statements of the philosophy and how it can be applied and lived.
The Theosophical Glossary is also a helpful source of explanations and definitions and is easy to use.
Sending in your answers
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By post: The Theosophy Correspondence Course
62 Queen’s Gardens, London W2 3AH, United Kingdom
By fax: +44 (0)8445 834 714
Phone: 020 7723 0688 or 07753 619 953
Book ordering and payment
PDFs are available below and from the Book library page which has the Price List.
The Indian paperback editions are under £3 and good value, the American hardbacks are a little harder wearing, at around £8.
The Indian paperbacks are £3.50 and exceptional value, the American hardbacks are £18.
A 20 part Index for filing your notes is available and well recommended. It allows you to file the course material and your notes under the topic headings in for future reference, details here.