There is a close connection between Spiritism and Theosophy. The latter devotes a great deal of space to the former subject. It is of interest to note that Swedenborg was in principle a Theosophist. He was also a spiritist. As a matter of fact, Theosophy is a form of Spiritism. Madame Blavatsky for years before she became one of the founders of modern Theosophy had been one of the earliest of spiritistic mediums. She herself admitted that Theosophy was Spiritism, “but under another name.” Theosophists secure information by means of “clairvoyant investigation” which furnishes them with geographical knowledge, so that they are able to produce accurate maps of the world as it was 800,000 years ago! But if the spirits cannot get the chronology of the world straight, how can they be so sure of its pre-deluvian surface contours? Man, according to this alleged philosophy, is a tripartite being, having physical, astral and mental parts, all occupying the same space as a goldfish bowl filled with a sponge and water. By means of his “astral body” he can enter the spirit world. He is his own spirit medium. Theosophical publications advertise books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the British spiritist. Spiritism is said to be evolving in the direction of Theosophy.
Theosophy proceeds on the basis of evolution in every sense of the word. It pretends to be as graded as the stream of evolution. For all religions have their origin in “God,” and all of them flow from him and appear in the world in an ascending scale from Animism, Fetishism, Spiritism and nature worship to Theosophy and, eventually, the realm of angels. Thus pantheistic evolution reveals that humanity has always been panting after “God.” (Esoteric Christianity, 4)
Theosophy like Freemasonry is a syncretistic system which claims to be not a religion, but to embrace the essential truth and unity of all religions, science, and philosophy. It claims to cull the good of Gnosticism, with which it begins, of Spiritism, pantheism, evolutionism, monism-dualism, occultism (a synonym for theosophy), Astrology, Buddhism, Christianity, Freethought, Hinduism, Islamism, Judaism, Kabbalism and Zoroastrianism. It seeks to reconcile these and all religions, except for the Christian religion, which it thoroughly despises as a “blasphemous and sorry caricature of the Ever-Unknowable” (The Secret Doctrine, I, 43f). “Members of the. Theosophical Society are free to profess whatever religion or philosophy they like, or none if they so prefer, provided they are in sympathy with, and ready to carry out one or more of the three objects of the association. The society is a philanthropic and scientific body for the propagation of the idea of brotherhood on practicalinstead of theoretical lines.” Members “may be Christians, Mussulmen, Jews, Parsees, Buddhists, Brahmins, Spiritualists or Materialists, it does not matter . . .” (Key to T., 19). The object is to erect a great “Century Twenty-One” Temple of Misunderstanding.
The Theosophical Society has three main objects: (1) to form the nucleus of the universal brotherhood of man, embracing all races, creeds, sexes, castes and colors; (2) to encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy and science; (3) to investigate the unexplained laws of nature, and the powers hidden in man. These are exactly the aims of liberalism and ecclesiastical modernism.
Theosophy invites the outsider, if he likes, to regard its writings as fairy tales, or as the phantasies of dreamers, nevertheless claiming to be as scientific as some of the latest scientific hypotheses and far more philosophical and probable (S.D., I, 88). The present writer interprets this to mean that if you read any theosophy, that is your misfortune; if you continue to read it, that is your fault; and if you read more, that is your folly. As a sample of what we find in Theosophy’s “The Secret Doctrine” by Madame H.P. Blavatsky, the following, selected at random, may we impose upon the patience of the reader! “Thus is repeated on earth the mystery enacted, according to the Seers, on the divine plane. The ‘Son’ of the Immaculate Celestial Virgin (or the undifferentiated Cosmic Protyle, Matter in its infinitude) is born again on earth as the Son of the terrestrial Eve, our mother Earth, and becomes Humanity as a total—past, present and future—for Jehovah, or Jod-He-Vau-He, is androgyne, or both male and female. Above, the Son is the whole kosmos; below, he is MANKIND. The Triad or Triangle becomes Tetraktys, the sacred Pythagorean number, the perfect Square, and a six faced Cube on earth. The Macroprosopus (the Great Face) is now Microprosopus (the Lesser Face); or, as the Kabalists have it, the Ancient of Days, descending on Adam Kadmon whom he uses as his vehicle to manifest through, gets transformed into Tetragrammaton” (S.D. 129). Is the reader enlightened? Enough, certainly to give such blasphemy the burial of .an ass (Jer. 22:19).
The Theosophist emblem, in part, is that of a serpent circled around a star of David. In the center of this star is an ansated cross, the Tau cross with a loop or a handle at the top. At the peak of the cross is a circled swastika. The serpent in primitive symbology was a guardian god, a symbol of majesty and dominion. In Egypt, only the rulers wore the serpent on the head to signify absolute sovereignty. Almost universally the serpent represented the sun-god incarnate. The serpent was regarded as the great life-restorer. After all, it was the serpent who “assured” mankind, “Ye shall not surely die!” The serpent was also the great enlightener. After all, the serpent gave mankind the knowledge of good and evil! “Ye shall be as Elohim, knowing good and evil.” Undoubtedly there is much more secret “wisdom” available in connection with the meaning of the serpent. Indeed, “professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible . . . creeping things” (Rom. 1:22f). According to our secret wisdom (I Cor. 2:7), that serpent is a dead serpent. Even primitive mythology represents it as such. For a living serpent is not stretched out in the form of a complete circle. That can be done only with a dead serpent—dead because struck by lightning (secret wisdom: the wrath of God). The lightning struck serpent encircles the Tau cross, the Egyptian emblem of generation. Thus the serpent’s brood. The Tau or T represents Tammuz, and the circle-handle the fact that Tammuz was the sun-god. He was the father of all. Here the cross represents a condemned race, the seed of the serpent. The swastika was thought to represent a flame of sacred fire, the sun in its daily rotation—another sun-god emblem. It is a Buddhist inscription in India, a Celtic inscription in Britain, a Tibetan symbol and an American Indian symbol. The word “swastika” is Sanscrit meaning “well-being,” i.e., good luck. The swastika cross inscribed within a circle represents a pantheistic phallicism. Recall that Freemasonry has its heathen trinity, Jah, Bul and On. Jah, a deity removed from its polytheistic environment, was made a special national God in an attempt to invent a monotheism. That name in the first chapters of Genesis is said to be androgynous, and denominates a priapic god (S.D., 72f). We are also informed that 3.1416 = Pi = circle with horizontal diameter = the encircled swastika = the androgynous Logos (the Jesus-Mary). This is a monster tale out of Plato’sSymposium. It is also a revolting denial of the truth revealed in Gen. 1:27; Matt. 1:20, 23; Heb. 2:14.
The Christian trinity “had its origin from the triangle, in the archaic occultism and symbology of the heathen” (S.D., 173). A refutation of this allegation may be found in the article on Jehovah’s Witnesses. “The Christian ‘who says ‘God is a living (sic) fire,’ and speaks of the Pentecostal ‘Tongues of Fire’ and of the ‘Burning Bush’ of Moses, is as much a fire-worshiper as any other ‘heathen.'” (ibid., 180). THE CREATOR, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: “in such a God Theosophy does not believe . . . We reject the idea of a personal, or an extra-cosmic God . . . The God of theology . . . is a bundle of contradictions and a logical impossibility. Therefore, we will have nothing to do with Him” (K. to T., 61). Although Theosophy rejects with all the revulsion it can muster the “contradictions” and “impossibilities” of the orthodox Christian church, it does hold most tenaciously to the teaching that “God” is at the same time “Be-ness” and “Nothingness.” CHRIST was not a unique personality, but the firstfruits of humanity, and every man can become a Christ. The Son of God is not a distinct person, but the New Testament revelation of the one-person God, who took the body of the man Jesus, and dwelt therein for three years (Esot. Chr., 98f). Christ has no objective being or personality, nor is He the Saviour of the world. Man is not destined “to be saved by an external Christ, but to be glorified into an inner Christ” (ibid., 187). THE DOCTRINE OF THE ATONEMENT is a dangerous, cruel dogma. “We believe neither in vicarious atonement, nor in the possibility of the remission of the smallest sin by any god, not even by a personal Absolute or Infinite, if such a thing could have existence” (Key, 135). Atonement is conceived in the Christian Science manner, an at-one-ment, a unifying force by which individual lives know their merger with the divine (E.C., 150). THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST is nothing more than humanity “consciously recognizing itself as the Son of God” (ibid., 186). PRAYER is rejected. Theosophists never pray. They boast of acting, “instead of talking.” God is the totality of the visible world. No time is wasted in addressing the universe. Prayer was a superstition invented by the Jews and popularized by the Pharisees (Key: 67). Christian prayer is like an apple picker sitting under a tree wishing that his employer would do all the work, which he all the while does do (ibid., 72). The comfort of prayer is said to be no different: from that which comes from Christian Science’s self-hypnotism, the power of suggestion, the advice of psychology or the effusions of a spiritist medium (ibid., 73). The theosophist does not pray. He exhorts himself. He commands the god within. THE HUMAN SOUL is “certainly not bestowed by a personal God” (ibid., 75). The soul has no such origin, but comes from its environment, the universe, just as the mushy substance of the jelly-fish comes from the ocean which surrounds it! True, Theosophy is not a religion, nor does it, strictly, have to do with any god whatsoever, except that which a man might care to think himself to be. It is rather pantheistic evolution, another form of atheism. THE RESURRECTION of the body in the flesh is decidedly rejected. Body and soul blend back into the natural essence of the universe, as a raindrop falls into the ocean. HEAVEN as described in the Bible, being the conception of uneducated Christians, with its truncated angels, silver trumpets, golden harps, and palm-bearing resurrected saints in white robes, presents a picture like a fairy scene at a Christmas pageant (ibid., 171). THE ULTIMATE DESTINY OF MAN is not a Heaven presided over by God, but the gradual dispersal of matter into the primordial element, Spirit.
Theosophy makes these evaluations of history. The Protestant Reformation was a part of the Theosophical movement. Masonry was also, standing for tolerance (except tolerance for orthodox Christianity—RCH), religious and intellectual liberty. The American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence were a great step forward in the Theosophical movement. Slavery was the real issue in the American Civil War as well as in the Russian Revolution. Abraham Lincoln made for the Rights of Man, as opposed to the forces of reaction. The atheist Robert G. Ingersoll, and the Unitarian W.E. Channing to a large extent did much to break the hold of bigotry and intolerance. (Here the opprobrium intends the historic Protestant church). The writings of Spencer, Dickens, Tolstoy, et al., fought more for the unrestricted domain of the individual conscience than any “thus saith the Lord” dogma. Agnosticism and infidelity were but laudable attempts to snap the shackling fetters of orthodox Christianity. “The world needs no sectarian church, whether of Buddha, Jesus, Mohamet, Swedenborg, Calvin or any other . . . Man requires but one church—the temple of God within” him. (Theosophical Movement, Dutton & Co., N.Y.C., 1925, 37). “The drift of modern thought is palpably in the direction of liberalism in religion as well as in science. Each day brings the reactionists nearer to the point where they must surrender the despotic authority over the public conscience which they have so long exercised and enjoyed” (ibid., 48).
As we know, the main object of the Theosophical Society is to promote brotherhood among all races and religions of man. To accomplish this utopian dream, man’s natural selfishness, his ferocious and irresistible self-centeredness must be uprooted and eradicated. “Theosophy alone can eradicate” these malicious hindrances. Just how successful has Theosophy been to this end? Its own history reveals the very opposite of brotherliness. It is one relentless furor of conniving and back-stabbing among its leaders: Madame Blavatsky vs. Olcott, Annie Besant vs. W.Q. Judge, Old vs. Judge, etc. It is full of their fears, doubts, dissents, jealousies, quarrels, frictions, estrangements, and mutual depositions. It is a history permeated with suspicion of falsehood, fraud, and treachery. Page after page records their secret meetings, their plots for revenge, and conspiracies to ruin one another. Then there are the suits for libel. Also charges of carousing were made against one of the most prominent of Theosophists, Col. H.S. Olcott. In his middle life he had been a “man of clubs, drinking parties and mistresses,” as he had himself publicly stated (T.M., 332). Charges of grave immorality, homosexuality (p. 685), forgery, and spurious writings also flew back and forth. The history further records Olcott’s and Besant’s gross violations of their own solemn pledges . . . Like teeming maggots fighting and chewing one another over a festering and rotting carcase which long baited the trap of the devil!