United Lodge of Theosophists, London, UK

Where to Start?

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Where did Theosophy come from?

PROEM TO THE SECRET DOCTRINE: 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

Who are the Sages?

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 doctrine of Reincarnation
  • https://www.theosophy-ult.org.uk/articles/reincarnation-a-logical-necessity/
  • Theosophy and other spiritual teachings
  • https://www.theosophy-ult.org.uk/articles/a-letter-on-how-to-approach-theosophy

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You may now like to read An Epitome of Theosophyby William Q. Judge, which gives a most accessible overview of the philosophy for new enquirers. Although only 30 pages long it is regarded as one of the most complete overviews of the Wisdom Tradition.

 

Alternatively, if your interest is more in historic evidence of these doctrines, as shown in archaeology, architecture and ancient symbolism, then you may read with benefit “A Land of Mystery” by H. P. Blavatsky on the Americas (III:410) and “Vast Works of the Past” by William Q Judge (II:91).

 

  • Further reading

After these, two books are recommended, “The Key to Theosophy” and “The Ocean of Theosophy.” The Key to Theosophy (PDF)  Key to Theosophy
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. Currently “The Key” is being studied in the Tuesday online class and in the Wednesday meeting at Queen’s Gardens, see Weekly Study Classes
The Ocean of Theosophy (PDF) judge-ocean-of-theosophy
“The Ocean” is the “The Secret Doctrine” in miniature, an outline of Theosophy’s principal ideas in a short, accessible form. Judge is recognised as a writer who conveys complex ideas with an easy simplicity that loses nothing of the original. Hardback and paperback copies can be purchased by email see the ‘Library’ page and Price List.


This course of reading gives a deep and wide ranging introduction which concerns the doctrine’s intellectual aspects, the Movement’s raison d’être, its history over many millennia, and its philosophy and altruistic aims.
However the study method the ULT follows is to balance the intellect of head learning with its complementary aspect, the Heart Doctrine. The development of ‘head and heart’ or rational thought and intuition (with its sense of responsibility), is the real goal of the development of the human character in all its wonder and many dimensions, and is first step in practical altruism and well a directed compassion.
Two of the best known classics of the devotional path are the Voice of the Silence (H. P. Blavatsky’s translation of the ancient esoteric Buddhist text “The Book of the Golden Precepts“), and The Bhagavad Gita translated by William Q. Judge from the Sanskrit. Another is Light on the Path.
All of these will appeal to “the inner faculties rather than to the ordinary comprehension of the physical brain” as Mme Blavatsky wrote. It is only when the reader’s intuition and higher faculties of reason are engaged that they are able to properly fathom allegory and metaphor.
ULT events are often started with a short reading from one of these books, with their themes of brotherly Universality, dispassion, and skill in action.
The Notes on the Gita by W. Q. Judge and Robert Crosbie has been written to show how to read between the lines and interpret the Gita’s meanings, its commentaries are especially helpful for Western students.
As Esoteric Psychology – primarily a knowledge of our inner life and being – is studied, its significance becomes self-evident, and most importantly in the Kali Yuga, known for its false appearances, it is made reliable by being checked against other well-regarded sources.
It will then speak quietly with wordless but resounding meaning, asking us to harmonise our outer nature to our true innermost nature; a sacred place beyond the personal.
This is the promise made as one studies with both head and heart in balance.

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