A mystical philosophy seeking universal truths through intuition and meditation.

Theosophy, an occult movement with its foundations in the 19th century, traces its roots back to ancient Gnosticism and Neoplatonism. The term itself, derived from the Greek words for god (theos) and wisdom (sophia), suggests a pursuit of divine wisdom. This movement encompasses a broad spectrum of beliefs and practices, all aimed at understanding the deeper spiritual reality that underlies the physical world. Theosophy teaches that through intuition, meditation, revelation, or other transcendent states, one can establish direct contact with this spiritual reality, gaining insight into the mysteries of nature and the essence of humanity.

The movement was officially founded in New York City in 1875 by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, and William Quan Judge, marking the beginning of the contemporary theosophical movement. Blavatsky, a Russian aristocrat with a deep interest in spiritual studies, emerged as a central figure in theosophy, with Olcott, an American lawyer and journalist, serving as the society’s first president. The Theosophical Society aimed to promote study, form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity, and explore the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in humanity.

Theosophical beliefs emphasize the existence of a single, underlying truth that connects all of humanity and the universe, a concept that has influenced various esoteric and spiritual movements. Theosophists hold that all religions contain an inner teaching, hidden from the uninitiated, which can be uncovered through esoteric study. This belief in a monistic reality, where all of existence is viewed as a manifestation of a single, divine principle, aligns with the theosophical view that reality is constituted of mind or spirit. Theosophy has inspired the creation of numerous related movements and has had a significant impact on the New Age movement of the 1970s and 1980s.

The Theosophical Society also draws from a diverse array of philosophical and religious traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Western esotericism, forming a synthesis of spiritual ideas aimed at promoting an understanding of the divine wisdom. Following Blavatsky’s death, the society experienced splits and reorganizations, but it continues to operate through various branches around the world, with headquarters in Adyar, India. The society’s objectives include forming a universal brotherhood without distinction, encouraging the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science, and investigating unexplained laws of nature and psychic abilities​​​​.

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