Theosophy, literally "wisdom of the divine" (in the Greek language), designates several bodies of ideas. Philosophers such as Emanuel Swedenborg and Jacob Boehme are commonly called theosophists. The word was revived in the nineteenth century by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky to designate her religious philosophy which holds that all religions are attempts by humanity to approach the absolute, and that each religion therefore has a portion of the truth. Together with Henry Steel Olcott, William Quan Judge, and others, Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society in 1875. This society has since split into a number of organizations, some of which no longer use the term "theosophy".
A formal definition from the Concise Oxford Dictionary describes Theosophy as "any of various philosophies professing to achieve a knowledge of God by spiritual ecstasy, direct intuition, or special individual revelation; esp. a modern movement following Hindu and Buddhist teachings, and seeking universal brotherhood." Madame Blavatsky's theosophy would, however, not fall under this definition, as it is non-theistic.
Adherents of Theosophy maintain that it is a "body of truth" that forms the basis of all religions. Theosophy, they claim, represents a modern face of Sanatana Dharma, "the eternal truth," as the proper religion.
All down the ages there is a record of good motive, but power and zeal misused, for want of knowledge. Theosophy is the path of knowledge. It was given out in order, among other things, that good motive and wisdom might go hand in hand.
The Friendly Philosopher
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