We will split the remaining pages of the Introductory section into two parts.  Please read the pages listed above and add your questions and comments.  The following are some thought provoking passages taken from this section.

"Thus, while new discoveries are daily made of great arts and sciences having existed far back in the night of time, even the knowledge of writing is refused to some of the most ancient nations, and they are credited with barbarism instead of culture. Yet the traces of an immense civilization, even in Central Asia, are still to be found. This civilization is undeniably prehistoric"

p.xxxii

" To recapitulate. The Secret Doctrine was the universally diffused religion of the ancient and prehistoric world. Proofs of its diffusion, authentic records of its history, a complete chain of documents, showing its character and presence in every land, together with the teaching of all its great adepts, exist to this day in the secret crypts of libraries belonging to the Occult Fraternity."

p.xxxiv

"The danger was this: Doctrines such as the planetary chain, or the seven races, at once give a clue to the seven-fold nature of man, for each principle is correlated to a plane, a planet, and a race; and the human principles are, on every plane, correlated to seven-fold occult forces—those of the higher planes being of tremendous power. So that any septenary division at once gives a clue to tremendous occult powers, the abuse of which would cause incalculable evil to humanity. A clue, which is, perhaps, no clue to the present generation—especially the Westerns—protected as they are by their very blindness and ignorant materialistic disbelief in the occult; but a clue which would, nevertheless, have been very real in the early centuries of the Christian era, to people fully convinced of the reality of occultism, and entering a cycle of degradation, which made them rife for abuse of occult powers and sorcery of the worst description."

p. xxxv

"More than one great scholar has stated that there never was a religious founder, whether Aryan, Semitic or Turanian, who had invented a new religion, or revealed a new truth. These founders were all transmitters, not original teachers. They were the authors of new forms and interpretations, while the truths upon which the latter were based were as old as mankind. Selecting one or more of those grand verities—actualities visible only to the eye of the real Sage and Seer—out of the many orally revealed to man in the beginning, preserved and perpetuated in the adyta of the temples through initiation, during the MYSTERIES and by personal transmission—they revealed these truths to the masses. Thus every nation received in its turn some of the said truths, under the veil of its own local and special symbolism; which, as time went on, developed into a more or less philosophical cultus, a Pantheon in mythical disguise."

p. xxxvi

"....the SECRET DOCTRINE is not a treatise, or a series of vague theories, but contains all that can be given out to the world in this century."

p. xxxviii

Your thoughts, comments, questions.

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"Thus every nation received in its turn some of the said truths, under the veil of its own local and special symbolism; which, as time went on, developed into a more or less philosophical cultus, a Pantheon in mythical disguise."

Perhaps we can take this to mean that each of the main spiritual traditions which contain "some of the said truths" can act - at least potentially - as a path way towards the greater Truths even though none of them contain the whole Secret Doctrine. The same would apply to us as students of Theosophy, who have only been given fragments to study - grand as these may appear to us.

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Good point Peter.  Here is an idea to add to that.  Just because we have the Gita, or the Voice, or the SD or the Tao Te Ching does not mean that we understand it fully.  Each one of us has a partial understanding of what has been given out.  (We are each a container of 'sad truths".) So it would be the aspiration of the study to complete the puzzle so to speak.

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The subject of our having only pieces or fragments of some larger truth is a very interesting one.

Perhaps one way to look at this subject is to think in terms of analogy.  You know the saying - 'as above, so below'.  To have a fragment may be to have quite a lot, provided we can infer from the fragment, the whole.

 

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That's a really nice way to look at it, Don Petros, and a very optimistic perspective.  We may only have fragments of the Doctrine but these are by no means mere morsels.   Analogy and correspondence can give us a glimpse of the greater via the lesser.  

There is another side to this though.  For it is due the power of analogy and correspondence that there are good reasons for the Teachers not to reveal the full doctrines.  As HPB writes in the passages given in our study section above:

"The danger was this: Doctrines such as the planetary chain, or the seven races, at once give a clue to the seven-fold nature of man, for each principle is correlated to a plane, a planet, and a race; and the human principles are, on every plane, correlated to seven-fold occult forces—those of the higher planes being of tremendous power. So that any septenary division at once gives a clue to tremendous occult powers, the abuse of which would cause incalculable evil to humanity. . ."  (SD I xxxv)


So, I don't think it's just a question of completing the puzzle via our aspirations, as Gerry suggests, although this is certainly requirement made of the student.  There are some puzzles we won't be allowed to complete until it is safe for us to do so. 

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Peter,

Thanks for the quote - and the comment about it.  Funny as this sounds, that very quote was one that my wife and I were thinking about only yesterday. I was somewhat stumped by this quote and had let it alone, but I get the meaning more clearly now following your comment and on more reflection.  I guess the matter had to stew awhile longer... 

Everything in due time as you say :)

 

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"For in the twentieth century of our era scholars will begin to recognize that the Secret Doctrine has neither been invented nor exaggerated, but, on the contrary, simply outlined; and finally, that its teachings antedate the Vedas." (The Secret Doctrine, vol. 1, p. xxxvii)

Here is what the old commentary on the Samkhya-karika that was translated into Chinese in the sixth century C.E. says about the original Samkhya teachings, teachings that were much later summarized in the Samkhya-karika:

"That knowledge was established for the first time before the four Vedas had appeared. It is by that knowledge that the four Vedas and all the religious schools have been established." (commentary on verse 70)

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I think you can find most of those concepts present in most religious traditions - the SD principles pretty much correspond to what is called the Great Chain of Being:

http://www.kheper.net/topics/greatchainofbeing/index.html

There's also the notion of the Golden Chain, prevalent in various esoteric traditions:

http://www.worldwisdom.com/public/products/0-941532-61-5_Golden_Cha...

The idea of secret fraternity of adepts is probable more prevalent in oriental traditions, but I think there's a reference by Sinesius in his Egyptian Tale on Providence that refers to this notion.

Thomas Taylor's History of the Restoration of Platonic Theology deals with these themes as well as the notion of the need to preserve esoteric knowledge in certain periods of strife:

http://books.google.ca/books?id=eJgfAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA213&lpg=P...

There's also the concept of a philosophia perennis :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perennial_philosophy