Theosophy: Its Founder and Teaching

A. J. Pollock

The word Theosophy is compounded of two Greek words, Theos, God, and sophia, wisdom; and is intended to describe a teaching which professes to bring the soul into touch with God.

It is a very pertinent inquiry as to who is the promulgator of this system. God presents His truth through clear and holy channels, through vessels meet for His use. Who would drink water out of a filthy cup? We cannot dissociate a system from its founder, and so to inquire into the character of the founder of this society is reasonable and just. We will deal with facts. If Theosophy is of God we cannot afford to be without it, if it is not of God it is of the devil and the widest berth we can give it the better.

Bible teaching at once would lead us to suspect a system of religion begun and headed by a woman. Seventh Day Adventism was begun by Mrs. White, a neurotic woman, subject to cataleptic seizures; Christian Science by Mrs. Eddy, a woman likewise subject to cataleptic seizures and a spiritualistic medium to boot. Theosophy was begun by a woman—Madame Helena Petrova Blavatsky, a spiritualistic medium born at Ekaterinoslow, South Russia, in 1831.

The “Modern English Biography” (F. Boase) tells us that she married General Blavatsky, an aged man nearer seventy than sixty years old, when only seventeen years old, but that she deserted him three months alter marriage. As the Russian law does not allow divorce, she led a Bohemian life, marrying again when forty-nine years old a mere boy of sixteen, who went mad the day after marriage. She kept a gambling hell in Tiflis in 1863.

Between October, 1848, and May, Madame Blavatsky professed to visit Tibet and to learn the secret of the Mahatmas, said by her to be reincarnated beings, evolved through many generations to a high spiritual state, and who, she affirms, were able to precipitate messages from their inaccessible Tibetan homes to their affinities in New York, London, etc.

Their importance in this system may be gauged by the fact that Mrs. Besant, the present high priestess of Theosophy, admits:

“If there are no Mahatmas the Theosophical Society is an absurdity” (Lucifer, Dec 15th, 1890).

In 1871 Madame Blavatsky set up a spiritualistic society in Cairo. There she got into trouble for tricking the public and fleecing them of their money by deception. Note this is fourteen years after she professed to come from Tibet with the Mahatmas’s religion. Why, we may ask, did she not bring out Theosophy at once? The fact is it was not the subject of revelation but of laborious growth. She is stated to have practised spiritualism from 1863 to 1875.

She founded the Theosophical Society in New York in 1875. Col. Olcott, connected with the American Army, was associated with the Society in its inception, and in time became its President, but was eventually driven out of the Society. On the death of Madame Blavatsky Wm. Q. Judge, of New York, claimed the leadership of the Society. It split into two, if not three separate societies, each one contending that the original afflatus of its founder had descended upon it exclusively.

In 1884 the Psychical Research Society sent a gentleman named Hodgson to India to inquire into Theosophy. He published a report accusing Madame Blavatsky of trickery.

Mr. Coleman affirms that he found in Madame Bavatsky’s great book on Theosophy, “Isis Unveiled,” no less than two thousand plagiarisms culled from over one hundred volumes.

Experts have declared that the letters Madame Blavatsky affirmed she received from the two Mahatmas she introduced into her system, and those of Madame Blavatsky herself, were in the same handwriting, and trickery was discovered in the cabinets in which these supposed Mahatmas’s letters were deposited.

In 1887 Madame Blavatsky came to London, and in 1891 died and was cremated at Woking.

In appearance she was masculine and repulsive, of violent temper, and would express herself in language that would defile our pages to repeat. She incessantly smoked cigarettes, and was found guilty of trickery and lying.

Mrs. Besant, ex-infidel and ex-socialist, was her greatest convert. Attired in flowing white robes of Theosophic design, an eloquent speaker, Mrs. Besant draws crowds in the largest halls in London.

The Society has hundreds of branches throughout the world, its London Temple alone costing £ 50,000 [a significant amount at the time].

The “Encyclopedia Britannica” (11th edition) tells us that Theosophy was founded in order:—

  • To establish a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity.
  • To promote the study of comparative religion and philosophy.
  • To make a systematic investigation into the mystic potentialities of life and matter, or what is usually termed “occultism.”

The Theosophist’s theory of universal brotherhood is based upon a mystical conception of “the One Life”—an idea derived from and common to various forms of Eastern thought, Vedic and Buddhist.

They have selected from various sources—Vedic, Buddhist, Greek, and Cabalistic—certain extracts for the purpose of exposition and illustration.

Theosophy is an attempt to popularize Buddhism in Western lands, and behind this it is Satanic, enthralling and enslaving its dupes.

One word will explain it. Mrs. Besant, in a Daily Chronicle review (April 9th, 1894), states:—

“I confined myself to the Hindu scriptures, and in all cases I stated that I regarded these scriptures and the Hindu religion as the origin of all the scriptures and all the religions. This was the position learned from Madame Blavatsky, and which I have held since I joined the Theosophical Society.”

Arthur Lille writes:—

“Theosophy proclaims that, at death the individual becomes practically two individuals, one of which takes off all the good qualities to the ‘rosy slumber’ of Devachan or Paradise. The second with all its bad qualities remains on the earth plane, attends seances, deceives spiritualists, and is by and by annihilated. By the first, perfection, even with an atrocious murder, is obtained at the second of death, a perfection greater than that of the Angel Gabriel, for the smallest blemish will be removed. By the second, Paul will be 1,200,000 years obtaining perfection.”

And that perfection is—ANNIHILATION.

The Theosophist is at least candid when it says:—

“We do not at all deny the charge of Atheism, the word being used in the ordinary theistic sense” (September, 1882).

How far the Bible is derived from the Hindu religion may be seen when it is stated that Theosophy denies the Father, Son and Holy Ghost; scouts the idea of the precious atoning work of Christ; refuses salvation by grace, and makes it a matter of attainment and works; that in Christian lands it propagates heathenism, allowing its teachers to uphold the use of Hindu idols; whilst in heathen lands it comes out boldly in its true colours and ridicules Christianity. Verily there is no truce between God and Satan.

Theosophy takes the opportunity given by the widespread expectation of the Lord’s personal return by the Christian community to proclaim “The Coming One,” and institutes a Society, “The Order of the Star in the East” to enrol members to wait for him. Their “Coming One” is a young theosophic Hindu and a Mahatma, by name Krisnamurti, the Lord Maitreza, in whose body they claim the Buddha, their Christ, will be reincarnated.

Meanwhile the father of Krisnanuzrti has instituted law proceedings against Mrs. Besant, in order to obtain possession of his own son, who was a minor, and has won his suit. But Scripture warns us:

“There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect”(Matt. 24:24).

I have before me a book entitled “Theosophy,” by Rudolf Steiner, translated with the permission of the author from the third German edition. An extract or two from it will suffice to complete this brief article. This book is a standard work on the subject. It has 212 pages, and contains the name of God twice and death a few times, a phenomenon that cannot well be ignored. The names—Lord Jesus Christ—are never once mentioned either singly or collectively; the Holy Spirit is never mentioned, nor is SIN once alluded to, It is a pitiable system that cannot grapple with the question of sin and all that it means.

Theosophy professes to have discovered seven parts in the earthly man. For sheer twaddle commend me to Mr. Steiner’s list.

“The expressions used in theosophical literature are as follows:

  • Physical Body (Sthula Sharira).
  • Ether or life-body (Zinga Sharira).
  • Sentient-soul body (Astral Body, Kama Rupa).
  • Intellectual—soul (Lower Manas, Kaina Manas).
  • Spirit-filled consciousness – soul (Higher Manas).
  • Life-spirit (Spiritual-body, Budhi).
  • Spirit-man (Atma)” (p. 53)

Then again he tells us:—

“One has to distinguish between three lower and three higher regions of the soul world. These are linked by a fourth, so that there results the following division of the soul world:—

  • Region of Burning Desires.
  • Region of Flowing Excitability.
  • Region of Wishes.
  • Region of Attraction and Repulsion
  • Region of Soul Light.
  • Region of Active Soul Force.
  • Region of Soul Life.

Upon what evidence or proof is this house of cards, this juggling with words, this Satanic delusion, based? Hear the naivéte of our author:—

“It might be said, in objection to what has been stated before, that it is pure spinning of thoughts, and such external proof might be demanded as one is accustomed to in ordinary natural science. The reply to this is that the re-embodiment of the spiritual human being is, naturally, a process which does not belong to the region of external physical facts, but is one that takes place entirely in the spiritual region. And to this region no other of our ORDINARY powers of intelligence has entrance save that of THINKING” (p. 66).

In other words, to learn Theosophy the poor dupe will have to resign himself to THINKING THOUGHTS presented to him, however fantastic and without any proof, and once the victim surrenders his individuality and will, and submits to be plastic clay in the hands of an unknown potter, it is only to be sport in the hands of demoniacal spiritualism with an Eastern colour.

Certain words familiar in Spiritualism are used, such as “spirit land,” human “aura,” etc. Steiner tells us colour tones enable the theosophist to compare the “aura” or astral body—a sort of spook or ghost. He says:—

“The colour effects which the ‘spiritual eye’ can perceive raying out round the physical man and enveloping him like a cloud (somewhat egg-shaped) are called the HUMAN aura. The size of this aura differs in different people. But one can form an idea of it by picturing that the WHOLE man is in the average twice as long and four times as broad as the physical man” (p. 269).

With unconscious humour he gravely tells us:—

“One can notice that as intelligence increases the green tones become more and more abundant” (p. 170).

With this we quite agree. The full blown theosophist must be decidedly green to believe all this nonsense. We are told that knowledge shows itself in yellow tones, so that the highly informed man must look as if he had a bad attack of jaundice. Sensual thoughts express themselves in red tones, unselfish love in “glorious rose-pink.” An inventor who applies his thoughts to the satisfaction of his sensual passions shows “dark blue-red shades,” whilst the inventor who applies his thoughts to the service of an interest outside of himself shows “light reddish blue colour tones.” The difference appears to us to be between tweedle-de and tweedle-dum. “Blue is the sign of piety.”

Much more of this childish folly could be enumerated, but we forbear.

The reading of the book leaves one utterly unconvinced and with the firm conviction that Theosophy is but a snare of the devil. How any sensible person can be beguiled by such nonsense can only be explained by the crafty way in which souls may be engulfed in Satan’s toils. Mrs. Besant, who found it impossible to believe the Bible, now swallows wholesale and without difficulty this lie of the devil.

We believe the great safeguard of the Christian today is the study, persistent and prayerful, of the Word of God. To bring Theosophy to the test of the Scriptures is like bringing straw soaked with petroleum into the fire—it is soon destroyed.

May God use this brief article of warning against this subtility of Satan, and to deliver many who are already ensnared.