We will post various passages from helpful sources to aid in our study of the Secret Doctrine here.

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“The Secret Doctrine” has a fivefold aim:

#1. “to show that Nature is not “a fortuitous concurrence of atoms”,”
#2. “to assign to man his rightful place in the scheme of the Universe;”
#3. “to rescue from degradation the archaic truths which are the basis of all religions;”
#4. “to uncover, to some extent, the fundamental unity from which they all spring;”
#5. “to show that the occult side of Nature has never been approached by the Science of modern civilization.”

From HPB


This is indeed a mighty set of tasks.    I wonder how much things have changes in the last 125 years in regards to item 5?  How much is Science leaning in the esoteric direction?


Not far it seems.


These five points remind me of idea that the theosophical movement is an effort to effect the Manas and the Buddhi of the race.


From B.P. Wadia's Studies in the Secret Doctrine

The active centre of consciousness in this age is Kama-Manasic. It is built up of experiences which fluctuate between the pairs of opposites — cold and heat, pleasure and pain, fame and ignominy. The knowledge which such experience yields is relative, therefore unstable. It is very necessary that each student meditate for a while on his own “knowledge, experience, and consciousness,” for thus will he protect himself by noting in advance his proclivities and tendencies. The Secret Doctrine is altogether sui generis. It is necessary therefore for the student to refrain from arguing that the statements made by H.P.B. are not in accordance with what other people have said or written, or with his own ideas upon the subject, or that, again, they are apparently contrary to any accepted system of thought or philosophy. The student must endeavour as much as possible to free his mind while studying from all ideas which he may have derived by heredity, from education, from surroundings, or from other “authorities.” His mind should be made perfectly free from all other thoughts so that the true interpretation of the statements of The Secret Doctrine is arrived at. Otherwise there is a constant risk of his ideas becoming as coloured with preconceived notions as those of so many early students of H.P.B. who have made the occult tenets subservient to modern science or have degraded them by pulling them down to the level of religious creeds.


This is the point I was trying to make earlier: "for thus will he protect himself by noting in advance his proclivities and tendencies."  Gaining clarity and honesty in this department takes work and effort.

Secondly I think there is a difference between believing what ever we read in the SD and refraining from arguing about its not agreeing with what we already think or what some current system says (Vedanta, Buddhism, Quantum Physics).  It seems like step one is getting a clear grasp of what the tenet or idea is that is being presented in the SD.  The Sui Generis idea throws off a lot of people.  We are apt to forget that the Real Secret Doctrine, is the source of all the subsequent traditions and philosophies, most of which have been distorted or changed from their origins by ordinary people who are not as wise as those who delivered them like Buddha or Plato.


Knowing the proclivities of the instrument with which we are investigating the Secret Doctrine only seems logical.  What would looking at the Secret Doctrine with Kama immobilized and the mind unfettered by desire be like?


From Mr. Judge's Article How to Study Theosophy:

It is often asked: How should I or my friend study theosophy?

In beginning this study a series of “don’ts” should first engage the student’s attention. Don’t imagine that you know everything, or that any man in scientific circles has uttered the last word on any subject; don’t suppose that the present day is the best, or that the ancients were superstitious, with no knowledge of natural laws. Don’t forget that arts, sciences, and metaphysics did not have their rise with European civilization; and don’t forget that the influence of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle of ancient Greece is still imposed upon the modern mind. Don’t think that our astronomers would have made anything but a mess of the zodiac if the old Chaldeans had not left us the one we use. Don’t forget that it is easy to prove that civilization of the highest order has periodically rolled around this globe and left traces great and small behind. Don’t confuse Buddhism with Brahmanism, or imagine that the Hindus are Buddhists; and don’t take the word of English or German sanscrit scholars in explanation of the writings and scriptures of eastern nations whose thoughts are as foreign in their form to ours as our countries are. One should first be prepared to examine with a clear and unbiased mind.

But suppose the enquirer is disposed at the outset to take the word of theosophical writers, then caution is just as necessary, for theosophical literature does not bear the stamp of authority. We should all be able to give a reason for the hope that is within us, and we cannot do that if we have swallowed without study the words of others.


Excellent advice :)

I've been wondering if I should finish reading 'Isis Unveiled' before continuing with 'The Secret Doctrine',...any advice would be great. I've been active at a Christian discussion forum for some years, and often share more liberal spiritualist/theosophic insights, but try to avoid the more harsh criticism's against Christian dogma, approaching it more in a 'universalist' way, bringing things back to 'first principles' which is what any true theosophist would do. Thanks for any advice and recommendations for navigating the site here,....I've just begun posting. Thanks to Gerry too, for his help in introducing.



Brother Paul;

By all means finish it.  Coincidentally I am just finishing with one thing and I want to go through Isis anew and will be starting in April.  So I will begin as you are ending.  Good luck with the Chrisitian discussion group. Personal God idea, Vicarious atonement, original sin, one life doctrine, concepts of Satan and Hell, creationsim and intolerance of other religions...... you have a lot to push back against. I respect the Universalists a lot but sometimes I think they just want everyone to stop arguing and hold hands or something. I recommend you participate in our Art of Living and Ocean of Theosophy groups.  We could use you.


Hi Gerry,

Awesome! I figured 'Isis Unveiled' being first,.....thought to go 'chrono', but skipping around on particular subjects treated by Theosophy is ok too. Yes,...the whole 'blood atonement' thing is hard for some fundies to get over. I may respond soon in the 'Key to theosophy' group, on the first fundamental of 'God'. Also, downloaded a pdf of 'Ocean of Theosophy' to my Kindle Fire and listening to the audio book on Youtube (from GreatAudioBooks). Sometimes I like to just read it though as opposed to listening to an audio-book, what usually works best for you? theres a different dynamic kinda, from reading/hearing....or combining the two.

I am known somewhat for being the 'Resident Theosophist' or 'Eclectic' on the Theologyonline.com forum,...so try to represent well, but my eclecticity goes way beyond, so some think I'm kinda "out there" lol. Thanks.


Paul it seems to me what is most important is not so much which books we read but rather that we deepen our conceptions and applications of the fundamental and underlying principles of Theosophy.  If we see the SD, Isis, Key to Theosophy, Ocean to Theosophy, Universal Theosophy books for example as treatments and exploration of a core group of concepts that are applicable to all departments of life we will have benefited deeply from our study.

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Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on April 14, 2015 at 11:19pm

Tribute to HPB from B.P. Wadia

H. P. Blavatsky has written two large works each in two volumes comprising thousands of pages — Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine. They discuss outworn theology and modern science; they treat of philosophy, speculative and practical; of symbols, emblems, myths; of every branch of advancing “exact” science; of the birth and evolution of solar systems; of the origin and genesis of collective humanity; of races of mankind, ethnological and psychological; of man, physical and psychical and spiritual; of matter and mind and soul; of languages and crafts unknown or little known or wrongly known; of ancient traditions and modern culture; of gods and atoms; of solar physics and occult chemistry; of chronology and calendars, old and new; of the science of numbers; of Indian Puranas and Egyptian Pyramids; of lost continents and legends of surviving ones; of — glance at the Contents of these four Volumes and at the Index to each of the two works.

But something more: H. P. Blavatsky was a prodigious writer of magazine and newspaper articles in French and English besides in her own mother-tongue of Russian. Not only on spiritualism and mysticism, on occultism and occult arts, but also on magic and masonry; on yoga and yogis, on dying tribes of Todas and Mulakarambhas and modern movements like Arya and Brahmo Samaj; on Indian metaphysics and European hierophants; on dreams and facts, on phenomena, physical and psychical, on Jews and Gentiles and Heathens and Christians. Read by her, A Modern Panarion, The Caves and Jungles of Hindustan, turn over the numerous volumes of The Theosophist, Lucifer, The Path and several other periodicals and make note of the variety of subjects handled; their masterly treatment.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on April 19, 2015 at 4:21pm

Prodigious is a good word to use for HPB.  She has earned our highest gratitude for her unfailing efforts to lift up the Buddhi and the Manas of the race.  And so much of her work was done under so much hardship.

Permalink Reply by Alex Papandakis on May 7, 2015 at 7:56am

HPB is responsible for creating a gate that allows us to enter the Esoteric Sciences where before there was nothing but a wall.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on May 23, 2015 at 8:50am

From Mr. Judge's Hidden Hints on the Secret Doctrine

THE ABSOLUTE NOT UNDERSTOOD by the Dhyan Chohans. p. 51, Vol. I, line 16. And yet some theosophists ask to have definitions or explanations of the Absolute. We heard of one who claimed to have “communed with the Absolute.”