Published by The Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2000.
From Long-Sealed Ancient Fountains
The Origin of Modern Theosophy
Compiled from the Writings of H.P. Blavatsky
and the Mahatmas M. and K.H.
When, years ago, we first travelled over the East, exploring the penetralia of its deserted sanctuaries, two saddening and ever-recurring questions oppressed our thoughts: Where, WHO, WHAT is GOD? Who ever saw the IMMORTAL SPIRIT of man, so as to be able to assure himself of man's immortality? HPB, ISIS I vi
From the moment when the foetal embryo is formed until the old man, gasping his last, drops into the grave, neither the beginning nor the end is understood by scholastic science; all before us is a blank, all after us chaos. For it there is no evidence as to the relations between spirit, soul, and body, either before or after death. The mere life-principle itself presents an unsolvable enigma, upon the study of which materialism has vainly exhausted its intellectual powers. In the presence of a corpse the skeptical physiologist stands dumb when asked by his pupil whence came the former tenant of that empty box, and whither it has gone. The pupil must either, like his master, rest satisfied with the explanation that protoplasm made the man, and force vitalized and will now consume his body, or he must go outside the walls of his college and the books of its library to find an explanation of the mystery. HPB, ISIS I 336
It was while most anxious to solve these perplexing problems that we came into contact with certain men, endowed with such mysterious powers and such profound knowledge that we may truly designate them as the sages of the Orient. To their instructions we lent a ready ear. HPB, ISIS I vi
The work now submitted to public judgment is the fruit of a somewhat intimate acquaintance with [these] Eastern adepts and study of their science. HPB, ISIS I v
There are, scattered throughout the world, a handful of thoughtful and solitary students, who pass their lives in obscurity, far from the rumors of the world, studying the great problems of the physical and spiritual universes. They have their secret records in which are preserved the fruits of the scholastic labors of the long line of recluses whose successors they are. The knowledge of their early ancestors, the sages of India, Babylonia, Nineveh, and the imperial Thebes; --- all this, and much more, is recorded on indestructible parchment, and passed with jealous care from one adept to another. HPB, ISIS I 557-558
From the first ages of man, the fundamental truths of all that we are permitted to know on earth was in the safe keeping of the adepts of the sanctuary. Those guardians of the primitive divine revelation, who had solved every problem that is within the grasp of human intellect, were bound together by a universal freemasonry of science and philosophy, which formed one unbroken chain around the globe. HPB, ISIS I 37-38
By the training of faculties we all possess, but which they alone have developed to perfection, [these Adepts] have entered in spirit these various [superphysical] planes and states. For long ages, one generation of Adepts after another has studied the mysteries of being, of life, death, and re-birth, and all have taught in their turn some of the facts so learned. HPB, KEY 217
Their spiritual visions, real explorations by, and through, physical and spiritual senses untrammelled by blind flesh, were systematically checked and compared one with the other, and their nature sifted. All that was not corroborated by unanimous and collective experience was rejected, while that only was recorded as established truth which, in various ages, under different climes, and throughout an untold series of incessant observations, was found to agree and receive constantly further corroboration. The methods used by our scholars and students of the psycho-spiritual sciences do not differ from those of students of the natural and physical sciences. Only our fields of research are on two different planes, and our instruments are made by no human hands, for which reason perchance they are only the more reliable. The retorts, accumulators, and microscopes of the chemist and naturalist may get out of order; the telescope and the astronomer's horological instruments may get spoiled; our recording instruments are beyond the influence of weather or the elements. HPB, KEY 86-87
For thousands of years, one initiate after another, one great hierophant succeeded by other hierophants, has explored and re-explored the invisible Universe, the worlds of the interplanetary regions, during long periods when his conscious soul, united to the spiritual soul and to the ALL, free and almost omnipotent, left his body. The mysteries of life as well as death, of the visible and invisible worlds, have been fathomed and observed by initiated adepts in all epochs and in all nations. They have studied these during the solemn moments of union of their divine monad with the universal Spirit, and they have recorded their experiences. Thus by comparing and checking the observations of one with those of another, having been able to ascertain that the visions of adepts who lived 10,000 years ago are invariably corroborated and verified by those of modern adepts, to whom the writings of the former never do become known until later --- the truth has been established. A definite science, based on personal observation and experience, corroborated by continuous demonstrations, containing irrefutable proofs, for those who study it, has thus been established. HPB, CW V 50-51
The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages, and its cosmogony alone is the most stupendous and elaborate system. The facts have actually occupied countless generations of initiated seers and prophets to marshal, to set down and explain. The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated into the very kernel of matter, and recorded the soul of things there.
The [Esoteric] system is no fancy of one or several isolated individuals. It is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity. For long ages, the "Wise Men" of the Fifth Race had passed their lives in learning by checking, testing, and verifying in every department of nature the traditions of old by the independent visions of great adepts; i.e., men who have developed and perfected their physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual organisations to the utmost possible degree.
No vision of one adept was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the visions --- so obtained as to stand as independent evidence --- of other adepts, and by centuries of experiences. HPB, SD I 273-273
Every word of [esoteric] information found in my writings comes from the teachings of our Eastern Masters; and many a passage in these works has been written by me under their dictation. In saying this no supernatural claim is urged, for no miracle is performed by such a dictation. Space and distance do not exist for thought; and if two persons are in perfect mutual psycho-magnetic rapport, and of these two, one is a great Adept in Occult Sciences, then thought-transference and dictation of whole pages, become as easy and as comprehensible at the distance of ten thousand miles as the transference of two words across a room. HPB, "My Books," Lucifer, May, 1891.
Great Adepts and Trained Seers: Knowledge of Spiritual Facts by Personal Experience and from Actual Observation
[Note: The above extracts have been transcribed from the original sources but some text has been silently deleted. The original texts, however, can be found from the bibliographical references. Explanatory words added by the editor are enclosed within brackets.]
The Fountain Source of Modern Theosophy
Psychic VERSUS Initiate Visions & Knowledge
Various Theosophical Traditions and New Students of Theosophy
Madame Blavatsky's Occult Status & the Claims of Latter-Day Messengers of the Masters
On Pseudo-Theosophy & Pseudo-Adepts
Theosophical Claims after HPB's Death