Thursday, 5 November 2015

Theosophy Basics - Blavatsky's Ten Fundamental Propositions

Blavatsky's Ten Fundamental Propositions of Oriental Philosophy from Isis Unveiled caught on quite well, and remain a pretty good universal summary of principles of a traditional world view:
To comprehend the principles of natural law involved in the various phenomena already described, the reader must keep in mind the fundamental propositions of Oriental philosophy which we have elucidated, as yet. Let us recapitulate very briefly:
  1. There is no miracle. Whatever happens is the result of law — eternal, immutable, ever active. The evidenced miracle is but the operation of forces antagonistic to what Dr. W. B. Carpenter, F. R. S. — a man of great learning but little Knowledge — calls "the well-ascertained laws of nature." Like many of his class, Dr. Carpenter ignores the fact that there may be laws which were once "known", but are known to science, nowadays.
  2. Nature is triune: there is a visible, objective nature; an invisible, indwelling, energizing nature, the exact model of the former one, and its vital principle; and, above these two, SPIRIT, source of all forces, alone eternal, and indestructible. The lower two constantly change; the third one, the higher, never does.
  3. Man is, also, triune: he has his objective, physical body; his vitalizing astral body (or soul), the real man; and these two are hatched together and illuminated by the third — the supreme, the immortal spirit. When real man succeeds in merging himself with the latter, he becomes an immortal entity.
  4. Magic, as a science, is the knowledge of these principles, and of the way in which the omniscience and omnipotence of the spirit and its control over nature's forces may be acquired by the individual while still in physical life. Magic, as a technique, is the application of this knowledge in practice.
  5. Arcane knowledge if misapplied, is sorcery; beneficently used, it is true magic or WISDOM.
  6. Mediumship is the opposite of adeptship; the medium is the passive instrument of external influences, the adept actively controls himself and all inferior forces.
  7. All things that ever were, are, or will be, are recorded on the astral light, or tablet of the invisible universe. The initiated adept, through insight, is in a position to know all that has been ever known or may be known in the future.
  8. Human races differ in spiritual gifts as they differ in color, stature, or any other external attribute; among some people seership prevails innately; among others, mediumship. Some are overpowered by black magic, and, as a result, transmit its secret rules of practice from generation to generation, with a range of psychical phenomena, more or less known.
  9. One phase of magical skill is the voluntary and conscious withdrawal of the inner man (astral body) from the outer man (physical body). In the case of some mediums withdrawal occurs, but it is unconscious and involuntary. When this happens, the body is more or less dormant; but with the adept the absence of the astral body would not be noticed, as the physical senses are alert, and the individual appears only as if absent-minded —in a state of " brown study," as many people call it.
  10. The corner-stone of MAGIC is profound, practical knowledge of magnetism and electricity, their qualities, correlations, and potencies. Especially necessary is a familiarization with their effects in and upon the animal kingdom and man.
To sum up: MAGIC is spiritual Wisdom; nature is the material ally, pupil and servant of the magician. One common vital principle pervades all things, and this is controllable by the perfected human will...
(Isis Unveiled, Vol. ΙΙ, 587-590)
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