Where to start?
[The symbol is the radiant AUM! of William Judge’s Path of the 1890s and the Winged Soul or Globe from Theosophy, a magazine from 1912 by his pupil and friend Robert Crosbie.]
The first four articles on this page will give you a sound overview of the philosophy and make it accessible in under an hour of unhurried reading.
- Outlines of Theosophy
PROEM: PAGES FROM A PRE-HISTORIC PERIOD. AN Archaic Manuscript—a collection of palm leaves made impermeable to water, fire, and air, by some specific unknown process—is before the writer’s eye. On the first page is an immaculate white disc within a dull black ground … continue reading
Theosophy, the Wisdom-Religion, has existed from immemorial time. It offers us a theory of nature and of life which is founded upon knowledge acquired by the Sages of the past, more especially those of the East; and its higher students claim that this knowledge is not imagined or inferred … continue reading
- The key doctrine of Reincarnation
- Theosophy and other spiritual teachings
Having completed these four articles, you may like to continue reading the “An Epitome of Theosophy” and take up one or both of these two books, using their contents and indexes to guide you:
- Books for further reading
The classic by H. P. Blavatsky written to explain some essential principles, especially on the aims, history and ethics of Theosophy, in a question and answer dialogue.
The Ocean is the “The Secret Doctrine” in miniature, an outline of Theosophy’s main ideas but in a short and very accessible form.
Hardback or paperback copies can be purchased from the ULT on the ‘Library’ page.
In addition to the intellectual aspect, its companion study, the Heart Doctrine, should be taken, so to bring balance and depth. Two of the best known classics of this devotional Path are the Voice of the Silence (HPB’s translation of the ancient esoteric Buddhist “Book of the Golden Precepts“), and The Bhagavad Gita translated by William Q Judge from the Sanskrit.*
Another recommended text is Light on the Path. All these appeal to “the inner faculties rather than to the ordinary comprehension of the physical brain” as Mme Blavatsky wrote in the Secret Doctrine; when the reader’s intuition and higher faculties are engaged they become able fathom their allegories.
ULT meetings are generally started with a 5 minute reading from one of these books so as to strike notes of universality, dispassion, and skill in action.
* If the Indian names in the Gita appear hard a first, recall that its story is purely metaphorical and symbolic, all the events that Arjuna and his four brothers, the Pandu Princes, are taken through are emblems for the spiritual journey of discovery that is common to every seeker, much in the same way as pilgrimages of old times were analogues for an inner journeying through ‘new lands’… or states of consciousness and ways of viewing the world.
Try the Notes on the Gita by WQJ and Robert Crosbie for how to ‘read between the lines’ and decode its meaning; as you study and appreciate esoteric psychology – the knowledge of our inner life – the significance of what is written becomes self-evident: it speaks with a wordless but resounding force.