The word Theosophy is derived from the Greek words meaning "man-wisdom". Theosophy is a body of belief which holds that all religions are attempts by man to ascertain "the Divine", and as such each religion has a portion of the truth.
Theosophy, as a coherent belief system, developed from the writings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Together with Henry Steel Olcott, William Quan Judge and others, she founded the Theosophical Society in 1875.
A more formal definition from the Concise Oxford Dictionary describes theosophy as "any of various philosophies professing to achieve a knowledge of God by spiritual ecstasy, direct intuition, or special individual relations, esp. a modern movement following Hindu and Buddhist teachings and seeking universal brotherhood."
Adherents of theosophy maintain that it is a "body of truth" that forms the basis of all religions.
Theosophy, they claim, represents a modern face of Sanatana Dharma, "the Eternal Truth", as the proper religion of man.
Christian Theosophy is a term used to designate the knowledge of God and of Jesus obtained by the direct intuition of the Divine essence.
The five prominent symbols visible in the Seal of the Theosophical Society are the Star of David, the Ankh, the Swastika, the Ouroboros, and above the seal is the Aum. Around the seal are written the words: "There is no religion higher than truth".
According to Theosophy, nature does not operate by chance. Every event, past or present, happens because of laws which are part of a universal paradigm. Theosophists hold that everything, living or not, is put together from basic building blocks evolving towards consciousness. H.P. Blavatsky's Theosophy is non-theistic, however some of her followers seem closer to theistic attitudes.
Man is "provisionally" immortal:
Theosophists believe that all human beings in their "higher selves" are immortal, but their lower personalities are unconscious of the link with their eternal spiritual nature and will perish.
Reincarnation is universal:
Like esoteric Buddhism, from which much of Theosophical thought springs, Theosophy teaches that beings have attained the human state through myriad reincarnations, passing through the mineral, plant and animal stages since before the birth of life on earth. However, Theosophy differs from the esoteric belief that regression is possible. Human beings cannot reincarnate as animals or plants again except in the rare cases of disintegrating "lost souls." Conversely, people are considered only the epitome of physical life on Earth and not the end stage of evolution, which continues for further stages, including the form of the Dhyani Chohans or Buddhic beings.
Theosophy teaches that every thing of whatever kind is from one divine source.
Theosophists believe that religion, philosophy, science, the arts, commerce, and philanthropy, among other "virtues," lead people ever closer to "the Absolute." Planets, solar systems and even galaxies are seen as conscious beings, fulfilling their own evolutionary paths. The spiritual units of the universe are the monads, which at different times may manifest as planets, angels, human beings or in various other forms.
Theosophists also believe that human civilization, like all other parts of the universe, develops through cycles of seven stages. Thus, in the first age, humans were pure spirit; in the second age, they are known as Hyperboreans; in the third as Lemurians; and in the fourth, Atlanteans. Since Atlantis was the nadir of the cycle, the present fifth age is a time of reawakening humanity's psychic gifts.
Famous people who investigated Theosophy include:
W. B. Yeats
T. S. Eliot
Sir Conan Doyle
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Abner Doubleday - Father of Baseball