Considering the history of Atheist Movements, one finds that their main proposition was basically based on a skeptical campaign against text authenticity, religious canon, the history of Fathers, saints, jurists, apostles and prophets depending on philosophical views, metaphysical imagination, comparative theology, history of ideas, historical criticism, scientific theory and the creed of Masonry in addition to contemporary debating including Positivism, Existentialism, and Deconstruction. Atheist sites state that Abrahamic Religions are not free from mythological influences and that their holy teachings are nothing but a manifestation of outdated traditions. They also state that the prophets of the three Grand Abrahamic Religions did not agree on a single holy canon. On the contrary, the ethnic and doctrine strife among their followers stresses their failure which urged human mind to support science and spiritual philosophy believing in Creative Deity without scripture, prophets or priesthood authority that hinders freedom of thought and prevents man from leading a life style according to his own personal prospective. This widespread view is known as Theosophy that was always in disguise under several doctrines and creeds in the past. This is why we have to shed light on its essence and uncover its basics.
Outset and Development of Theosophy
Due to the fact that the term Theosophy was not well–known among cultured people and that it was subject to misapprehension and confusion in most references listing it among thoughts of secret sects, suspicious creeds and atheist tendencies as a result of its relation with esoteric sects and lodges as those of Masonry, Satanism and séance, I found it a must to shed light on this philosophical movement depending on original sources before uncovering its impact on contemporary thinkers either from the east or the west as well as their endorsement of its teachings.
Specialized dictionaries and encyclopedias agree that Theosophy is a trend, religion or inclination that comprises scientific approach, spiritual values and philosophy in a single framework. It associates physical empirical knowledge with rational views and abstract inspiration in order to arrive at a conclusion on the one hand and acclimatizing human conduct on the other hand.
Theosophists state that Theosophy is an instinct creed that dates back to the descending of man on earth where he depended on godly illumination received from the World of Divinity or Acting Mind (Divine Mind) before separation from that world. This led Theosophists to confuse Theosophy with other interrelated terms as Instinct Religion , Natural Religion, Rational Mysticism, and meticulous spiritualism and make it the basic background for religion, philosophy and science and the supreme essence of Divine and earthly beliefs.
Theosophists deny the claim that their creed or philosophy is mere diverse views, ideas and conceptions gathered and reformulated in a way which is similar to other ideologies that claim the possession of Absolute Truth. They stress that their apparently contradictory ideas, values and beliefs are just a single manifestation of Divine Truth. According to the Greek philosopher, Heraclites (535–475 BC), perfection comprises apparent contradictions and encompasses paradoxes ([i]).
Linguistically speaking, the term Theosophy consists of the two Greek words ‘Theo‘ and ‘sophy‘ meaning godly wisdom. As a philosophical term, Theosophy appeared in the Scholastic philosophy of Alexandria in the writings of Ammonius Saccas (175 – 242 BC). At the time, it denoted the interrelation between Divine Knowledge, reasonable philosophy, spiritual and intuitional views and inspiration. Earlier, the philosophy of Philo of Alexandria (25 BC – 50 AD) contributed to compromise between the Bible and Greek philosophy depending on symbolic analogy. Late Pythagoreans followed the same tradition as they mixed religious values and beliefs with mathematical and physical sciences together with philosophical and spiritual theories in one single framework.
Webster Dictionary defines Theosophy as ‘the art of communication and realization of godly facts’ describing it as ‘a perfect mechanism for connection between man and Deity’. According to Fujian in the Encyclopedia Britannica, a theosophist is a philosopher, scientist, priest, or prophet that can transfer godly wisdom from Divinity to humans via insight to reform their behavior and improve their circumstance.
As for Diogenes Laërtius (180–240), he traces Theosophy back to the ancient Egyptian thought considering the views of Priest but Amun about spiritual inspirations and Divine Wisdom. Then earlier Christian Gnosticians followed the Theosophist teachings starting from the second till the eighth century AD. Most Christian Theosophical views developed from the basic belief in the possibility of direct spiritual contact with the Acting Mind (Deity) via knowledge and virtue and the belief that there are purified individuals characterized by intuitional Divine Illumination which enables them to address Deity and get inspiration from Him. In this respect, those people resemble the Living Christ who was never crucified nor died being the savior of man from satanic evils (Demiurge) ([ii]). Ammonius Saccas and Neo–Platonists in Alexandrian Scholasticism pointed out these teachings and glad tidings and developed their cognitive framework. Moreover, they started a community group named “Truth–Lovers” while teachers called it Interpreters or “Analogists” because of their efforts in precognition, interpretation through visionaries and mythology and their attempts to verify their interpretation in actual life in addition to this group’s call for a monotheistic creed in which one single deity has originated the whole world and manages the universe. They called for purifying Scriptures from unreasonable superstitions which contradict ethics as well. Ammonius Saccas and his students also called for avoiding strife and conflicts hoping that people may enjoy social and political peace so that love and happiness prevail on earth.
This group was the first philosophical assembly to intermingle the ancient Egyptian religion with Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Olympic deity, Stoicism, Platonic philosophy and Judaism in one framework based on the pretext that Divine Truth is just one and only and that the disagreement among these religions was due to the way of contact with Divinity and the uneven ability to receive revelation, inspiration and Divine Illumination. They even elected a Supreme Analogist for this secret religion like the supreme priest of all ancient religions of the time. This spiritual group believed in the singleness of the unseen deity who has a mere mind that never influences creation. All things in the universe are molded according to their instinct disposition to contact him and their love and affection for fusion with him. Accordingly, he did not create the world and consequently has no influence on individuals’ options nor does he guide or direct them. Early Theosophy assumed belief in reincarnation, transmigration and connection with the Spiritual World (angels, souls of humans, jinn, and demons). Its followers consider purity of soul, artfulness, body cleanness and good manners a condition without which the human soul cannot approach the Spiritual World with Universal Truths and Divinity. Accordingly, only very few of those purified individuals acquire special faculties, skills and abilities through contact or fusion with Divine Wisdom. Among those are prophets, philosophers, scientists, wizards, men of miracles, those of supernatural abilities, creative people and inventors. In addition, they can foresee incidents and predict the future. Some of them even claimed to have actually seen Deity ([iii]).
Scholastic literature contributed to the rise of Theosophy. This literature includes writings by fathers such as Simon the Persian Wizard (+65 AD), Valintinus (+269 AD) and Proclus (+319 AD) and others among ancient philosophers influenced by Gnostic and Heretic thought in addition to Meister Eckhart (1220 – 1338) and Nicholas of Kues (1401–1464) in the Middle Ages and Basil (1493–1541) and Giordano Bruno (1548–1600) in the Renaissance Age ([iv]).
Theosophists divided themselves into three classes, the highest being Priests, Guides and Masters, the second being students and followers, and the third being beginners. Masters are not allowed to disclose secrets of Divinity to their juniors. Nor are they allowed to narrate what they have seen in the Spiritual World. Theosophists justify this by stressing that predisposition for reception, assimilation and response is not the same in all humans. This highlights the individual differences as there are leaders who can receive revelation and in take it via intuition while others are restricted to knowledge based on reason, logic and direct analogy and still others who believe only in physical realization. Since moving from one class into another required much practice, contemplation, effort and guiding, it was necessary for each class to keep their knowledge and visions for themselves as stressed by the Alexandrian philosopher Plotinus since his to headship of classic Theosophy.
Neotheosophists were influenced by these writings as confirmed by the Russian philosopher Helena Blavatsky (1831–1891), the founder of the first Theosophist society in contemporary and modern thought in the US in 1875. Spiritual Encyclopedias consider this philosopher of the greatest theorists of Theosophy due to the richness of her writings either on laying its philosophical principles or on the historical field of study which authenticates its ideas, values and beliefs. Her most famous books in the field are The Secret Doctrine 1888, The Voice of the Silence 1879, The Key to Theosophy 1889 and Nightmare Tales published after her death. Blavatsky investigated different sources. She reviewed most eastern philosophies, especially, the Egyptian and Hindu ones and the Mystic legacy of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in addition to the Greek and Hellenic Philosophy such as the philosophy of Heraclites, Pythagoras, Plato of the Hellenic Age and Plotinus and Stoicism, Alexandrian Scholasticism (Neo– Platonism) and Chinese philosophy, hence the Taoism of Laozi. Thanks to Blavatsky, several societies were founded in India 1882 and London. It was reported that she had visited Egypt at the time of Khedive Ismael founding a school for her own teachings within many Mason Lodges. Consequently, many modern thinkers and philosophers were influenced by her thoughts such as Gandhi, Mohammed Iqbal, Abdul–Qader Al–Jazaeri and Ahmed Zaki Abu Shadi in addition to members of the Egyptian Spiritual Societies as Ahmed Fahmy Abul–Khair, Hassaan Halim Damus, Naseef Ishaq, Zaki El–Azizi, Victoria Dawood, Azeeza Azab, Mustafa Al–Kaik, Sabir Gabarah, Ali Abdul–Galeel Radi, Kamel Nakhlah, Aziz Jorji Al–Manqabadi, Rabih Lutfi Gomaa, Abdul Raziq Nofal and Ismael Mazhar. The American Mysticist, William Q. Judge (1851–1896), succeeded Blavatsky in the leadership of Theosophic societies. Then he was succeeded by Katherine Tingley (1847–1929) who managed to change the Theosophical trend from theory and philosophical views into practical projects and applied philosophy in a framework of intuitional knowledge and ethical prospective. Likewise, she managed to reflect the Masonic principles on the societies discarding the Indian philosophy in general.
As for the Indian Theosophy, it reserved its classical legacy thanks to the efforts of Mysticist, Annie Besant (1847–1933). In 1909, the American Mysticist, Robert Crosbie, founded the International Headquarter for Theosophy in Los Angles. Meanwhile, Grass of Nuuk founded a society for Theosophical studies in California. In 1911, Mysticist, Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895–1986), proclaimed himself the World Teacher for Hindu Theosophical philosophy and claimed that he became one of the greatest contacts with Divinity and an inspired receiver of revelation from the Supreme Deity. This contributed to the dominance of his teachings and the spread of his books among spiritual societies in addition to the influence of his writings on the development of many Buddhist doctrines and beliefs, the–I–am–Movement and Rosicrucianism which is a spiritual doctrine that interprets the beginning of the universe, philosophy of mind, Personalism and the Liberal Christian theology in Europe and America ([v]). Esoteric Hasidic Judaism does not lack the Theosophical influence as is the case with Khlysty group founded in the seventeenth century, Habad Movement founded 1788 in Belarus, and Ajwadth Group founded in 1922 in the United States ([vi]).
Theosophy started to have several research centers, societies, universities and mass media institutes which undertake to accomplish its mission and publish its classics through publications and periodicals (such as the American magazine Sunrise and the Theosophy Magazine. Western Theosophy is still under the influence of Masonic lodges regarding them with loyalty, respect and veneration all over the world. American and German intelligence agencies used doyen Theosophists to reorient the subconscious, snoop on ideas stored in the human brain and interpret unusual incidents. Undoubtedly, the practice of magic and séance by some Theosophists made them be accused of several criminal charges such as sorcery and black magic at least.
The most important concepts and views can be summed up as follows:
Theosophy stresses the common grounds of religions as Divine Truth does not differ from one religion to another as it is the core or origin while religions, either Abrahamic or non–Abrahamic, affect one another and get influenced by the cultures of origin. This necessarily means that no religion is above Divine Truth. Theosophy was influenced by several mystic theories among which are the Unity of Religion, Muhammad’s illumination and some other esoteric groups of which Ismaeli Group is the most significant in addition to being influenced by the emanation theory of Plotinus.
Man and Deity are one entity as the spirit of Deity pervaded souls and as such they became humans. Similarly, the spirit of Deity pervaded all creatures so that they took their different physical realization (mountains – rivers –planets – animals – earth – spiritual entities [jinn and demons] and thus man is a reflection of Deity and his body perishes and changes into another form while the soul keeps its nature for good. In this respect, Theosophy agrees with Indian philosophy, especially in relation to Karma and pantheism and Mysticists who believe in immanentism and pantheism.
The reason why ancient eastern philosophers surpassed their counterparts lies in their enormous aptitude for reception of Divine Inspiration which is embodied in a collective reflection of science, ethics, religion and art in one single framework. This justifies the backwardness of the later generations and their inability to assimilate these esoteric intuitive inspirations so that they deviated from the right path, were misled, got confused and lost ethics. They had different views and interpretations about the universe. Consequently, philosophers divided into positivist materialists, idealist rationalists and intuitive spiritualists. In the future, man will realize that what he thought to be purely materialistic has something to do with spirit. He will also realize that what he thought to be sense-based is coated with feelings and intuition as solid bodies do not totally lack life and jinn and demons are not just superstitious illusions but reality. In this respect, Theosophy confuses revelation, inspiration, and intuitional views. It does not distinguish a creative scientist from a reflective philosopher, a designated prophet from a knowledgeable Mysticist, or an apostle of marvels and wonders from an inspired artist or a genius scholar as all of them have contacted the Divine Mind and the creative spirit of Deity has pervaded their souls but in different grades according to the degrees of purity of their inner selves, their ability to assimilate Divine Truth and Illumination and their closeness to the Holy Borderlines and Divinity.
Only Mysticists perceive with their hearts, minds, and senses the summoning of their diminutive souls before the Awesome Divinity reflected via immanentism and pantheism. They know that the Divine Spirit is reflected through all entities. This was apprehended by Indian wise men, Stoicist Philosophers preceded by earlier Egyptian, Assyrian and Babylonian priests for universal entities are not to be considered individually and Divine Wisdom is the Eternal Truth that never changes.
Inspired intuitional Illuminated Knowledge is not to be revealed to all humans as it is surrounded by Holy Borderlines, secrets and barriers that only very few humans with special ethics, intellects, perception and senses can surpass. This makes them different from other philosophers, scientists, fortune-tellers, priests and other disciples who inquire about Universal Truths and pursue perfection ([vii]). These ideas are not different from the views of philosophers who believe in Natural Religion, natura naturans and natura naturata. Nor are they different from the views of intuitional philosophers and Spiritualists on the one hand and Masonic thought on the other hand.
Theosophy and Mason Metaphysics
The Spiritual Encyclopedia considers Theosophic inclination the cornerstone of several disciplines as it comprises, as mentioned above, religion, philosophy, values, science, art, and spiritualties in addition to its adoption of many slogans and beliefs which are well-known in modern and contemporary thoughts like Natural Religion, Unity of Religion, principles and teachings of Masonry, Baha’i Faith, Qadianism, Satanism, and societies of human rights and Mystic Practice in addition to being influenced by Taoist ideas, Modern Confucianism, contemporary Buddhism and Jainism, Necromancy and the Psychological interpretation of Scriptures.
It might be philosophical richness and momentum that made many critics call Theosophy Mason Metaphysics. This is due to the Masonic viewpoint specially the spiritual aspect as Masonic leaders always stress that the principles and values they present are just inspirations and illuminations revealed to them via direct contact between leaders and the Divine Mind that possesses absolute truth or Divine Wisdom. This is clearly noticed in the principles which can be summed up as follows:
Satan is the indirect reason for existence of man on earth which necessitates his respect and veneration not ousting and despising him depending on the Syriac, Babylonian and Indian mythology, Greek views, Hermes Teachings and Gnosticism which confirm that the human soul was accompanied by Deity enjoying Divine Grace where Sacred Truth existed. Then it separated from Divinity in response to satanic incitement or its infatuation with materialism. This necessitates expelling it from Heaven and throwing it into earth to dominate the other entities on earth due to its rational nature. If Satan was responsible for ousting Adam and Eve from heaven according to Scriptures, it was him that gifted humanity freedom of choice based on a free will that goes with the nature of each individual and his or her ability to respond in conformity with the Divine Truth and achieve balance between Divinity and the requirements of living as time goes by. Theosophy literature discloses that the Theosophical evidence on the existence of a creative deity or universe originator is by no means a new doctrine, but rather an accumulative legacy of the philosophical effort, mythology and religious beliefs across ages. As for the atheist view that denies the existence of deity and hence returns existence to physical conditions, it reflects nothing but inability to surpass the Holy Borderlines separating it from the World of Secrets and hence from Truth and Divinity ([viii])
Theosophists stress the detection of laws and direct and indirect raison d’ȇtre as scientific facts and theories cannot prove that the universe has been controlled by a transmutation or that beings existed just by accident. On the contrary, Nature itself reveals that creativity implies an innovative originator or inventive creator who is Deity ([ix]).
Theosophy was influenced by Animism which believes in the existence of Spiritual Beings that control the universe and creatures including man’s will. Edward Burnett Tylor carried on propaganda for this trend by the end of the nineteenth century in his book Primitive Culture published in 1871 in which he indicates that worshipping the Universal Eternal Spirit is the origin of all religions and the only source of all sciences and knowledge. He also stresses that each being in the universe has a spiritual nonconcrete Companion that provides knowledge of the future, surpasses Holy Borderlines and travels long distances during immobility of beings or human’s sleep. Dreams, for instance, are messages which could not be decoded by reason. Only those with overwhelming spiritual faculties can interpret, see or realize them in a way similar to physical realization. In his book, The Threshold of Religion 1914, the English anthropologist R.R. Marett developed the beliefs of this group illustrating that human behavior is not only dominated by the Companion’s will, but by the surrounding environment and the prevailing culture as well because the spiritual energy represented by the Spiritual Companion cannot totally dominate human intellect which is greatly affected by his temperament, whims, and desires. According to the positive or negative response of individuals to the spiritual teachings of Spiritual Companions, man chooses with his free will what achieves the happiness he or she presumes. The secret teachings of Masonry were greatly affected by these views. So was the Indian Theosophy due to its consistency with the metaphysical nature of the eastern philosophies in general ([x]).
Theosophy did not manage to get rid of the mythical metaphysical impact which is clearly indicated in its belief in the possibility of contacting jinn, demons, devils and Satan through necromancy, magic craft, spells and other ways as prescribed by Necromancy originating from ancient cultures (i.e. Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Syriac, Greek, Roman, Italian) known as Black Magic Clergy or Underworld Relations in the Middle Ages. Classical Theosophists were greatly influenced by these views as is clear in the teachings of Knights Templar, a doctrine that encompasses Masonry, Theosophy and Satanism([xi]).
Satanism was of the secret Metaphysical teachings that influenced Theosophy. This can be summed up in two points. The first is the rejection of the religious theories that consider Satan the chief responsible for immoral behavior, evil motives, guilt or strife among humans. All these are due to weakness of human souls that could not reach Universal Truth. Instead, they fell in individual interests and physical pleasures which are beyond the views of Satan who did not call for any of them according to Satanists. The second is the usefulness of Satanic brainpower to arrive at facts and develop human intellect taking it to horizons of creative potentials. This is in addition to contemporary technological applications that spy on everything stored in the human mind including information, data, images and imagination and hence control and direct it([xii]).
Religion is viewed as an attempt to return man back to the World of Truth or Divine Wisdom from which his soul or its spiritual aspect detached, either through rational contemplation or ethical promotion. Thus all religions are nothing but accumulative human experiences pursuing one end which is to return back to the mainspring or origin. Accordingly, the teachings of prophets, reformers, and philosophers are not more than channels for contact with the World of Divinity, abstract notions and ideal values ([xiii]).
The ethics and values that Masonry calls for and considered of the Theosophic basics are just mere manifestation of Divine Wisdom as the call for justice, freedom, equality and fraternity are of the basic values agreed upon by all religions and philosophies considering them of the unquestionable truths and the fundamental rights of man in addition to fraternity and globalization. Human cooperation is a commitment religions cannot dispense with as it is a godly end. Also depending on reason and science to explore the universe and its secrets is a virtue as Deity has made reasoning an obligation on man to examine what happens around him and get sure of His existence, his Supreme Power and the greatness of His creation as the Supreme Creator ([xiv]).
In her book, The Key to Theosophy, Blavatsky stresses that the human soul is one entity even if it is scattered in different bodies controlled by ethnicity, kinship, races and genders. This does not affect its divine nature taken from where it originated. Similarly, world peace aspired by Theosophy is a godly end because it means returning back to the origin where the human soul and Divine Spirit were unified in a single entity with different images and forms([xv]).
Disagreement civility, rationality of dialogue and the call for forgiveness are of the basics of the philosophy of the other which Theosophy and Masonic societies call for in the framework of their applied philosophy and defending human rights and the freedom of disclosure, criticism and disagreement. According to Blavatsky, the worship of Nature Spirit cannot be put into practice except by free minds, decent personalities and souls that do not suffer from suppression or social, political or religious restrictions. An actual religion is that which gives followers the freedom of choosing the way through which natura naturans (Supreme Deity) and natura naturata (i.e. existence where we live) guide them. The true Theosophist is the Mysticist and philosopher whose soul has been freed from everything except its desire to possess Divine Truth and merge with it. Indian Theosophy depends on Reincarnation and Karma to stress human freedom. The principle “As ye sow, so shall ye reap” makes man responsible for his future as well as responsible for freeing himself from inherited errors and ideas that prevent his soul from going ahead towards wider horizons and the world of virtuous people, beauty, and salvation from the torture of materialism([xvi]).
Dogmatism, i.e. decisive views, and Chauvinism, i.e., exaggerated admiration of oneself and egoism, are of the most significant obstacles that prevent the Theosophist from going ahead towards the Spiritual World. They also prevent individuals from melting in fraternity and push humans to war, violence, tyranny and other evils which never give space for any kind of happiness or human salvation. Religion and science are two sides of the same metaphysical Truth as science needs religion in order not to be directed to the destruction of humanity and religion needs science so that it does not turn into a superstition or a tyrant authority that deprives mind from freedom of thought. Philosophy feeds each of the two sides with the approaches that help them to develop and last. Theosophy believes in the existence of Deity as natura naturans of the universe personified and pervading in all beings and that all the ethical values in individuals’ behaviors are constrained by the Karma law which means ‘As ye sow, so shall ye reap’. It believes in reincarnation and pantheism as time goes by in its way to returning back to reunite with Divine Truth. It also stresses that development is a universal practice that cannot be denied. But all these beliefs cannot be assimilated through science only or just through religion away from philosophy. Therefore, we do not come across a Theosophist who denies the Universal Spirit that control the universe, the law of cause and effect or the existence of Spiritual Beings. This is clearly stated in writings by Goethe (1832-1749), Schopenhauer (1860-1788), Shelley (1792-1822) Emerson (1803-1882) and Walt Whitman (1819-1892). Similarly, we do not find a Humanist philosopher who denies that fraternity and teamwork for achieving justice, equality and spreading the spirit of love not only among humans but also towards all beings in the universe- are the real objective of all Theosophic societies according to the two Wise Theosophists, Moria and Kotomi as they state: “the aim of our society is not confined to serving certain individuals or groups, but it is to serve all humans as the illumination of Divine Wisdom has to reach all without exception as it is not restricted to anybody”.
Fanaticism and rigidity which befell religions is the real cause of atheism as denying Divinity can never be an outcome of scientific research or mere sensible contemplation. It is definitely otherwise because the human soul was instinctively originated on the basis of admitting the existence of the Universal Spirit or the Acting Mind. Hence atheism becomes a mere symptom or rather a disease which inflicts human minds due to misrepresentation and distortion of Divine Truth so that it is by no means accepted by mind or science.
A Theosophist is that artist contemplating the surrounding beings with an inspired soul which does not care about external appearance of things. Moreover, the insight of this artist enables him to directly get through the essence of all creatures which are nothing more than souls graded according to their degree of purity. This justifies why the Theosophist does not perceive what can be ugly, contemptible or wicked. The souls of demons, Devils, human-repellant images, envious souls, the deeds of what we consider fools, wicked or criminals are not exceptions in this respect. This is because all of them bear a portion of the Spirit of Deity, but their abilities do not enable them to perceive, assimilate or be aware of Divine Wisdom and Universal Truths. Hence the Theosophist has to give them a hand considering them patients, handicapped or ignorant. This is to be done by advice, guiding, and invocation that they may be guided later. Contemporary Theosophists tend to prepare for tens of programs in Human Development, spiritual purification, mental development, assessing the subconscious, and faculty polishing. Helena Blavatsky refers to this in her book, The Secret Creed, saying that those who claim that God lies in heaven do not really know Him. He is actually realized in all beings and we have to recognize Him and see Him clearly in the souls of all creatures around us. It is also incorrect to think that the absolute is not immanent in the relative. While esoteric, it comprises it at the same time. Furthermore, differences among creatures are not crucial. They are mere diverse external appearances as they all originated from one single spirit to which they all return back later. Accordingly, Blavatsky indicates that our physical senses cannot realize Universal and Abstract Truths. Only intuition, Esoteric Knowledge, heart insight, magnificent feelings, and souls that adore the Supreme Being can do this. Actual awareness cannot be complete except by considering physical realization and mental knowledge just thresholds of Spiritual Gnosticism and intuitional assimilation, from which only we can pursue and dissolve in certainty which is the Absolute Truth. As for the way to perfection, it has to start with investing our energy, Chakra, starting with contemplation as the first step. This does not mean only self-contemplation but contemplating all beings to find that hidden link which makes the whole universe one single unit. Blavatsky stresses that only the eye of the affectionate adorer is able to encompass paradoxes and contradictions in one single consistent indisputable frame. A perfect action sets out from a conscious free will aiming at achieving the greatest extent of interest for all humanity or rather the whole universe. At this point, undoubtedly, depression, sadness, regret, the feeling of estrangement and alienation, the feeling of transgression and self-contempt set out only from souls which lose their way to the reunion with the Universal Spirit, souls that think that their benefit lies only in individual interest, physical pleasures, and personal greed. Man has always to remember that happiness is to be in the future. If his soul is imprisoned in a mortal body, it is to be transformed into a butterfly, a flower, a breeze, a wave then energy to reunite with the concealed spirit and hence gets rid of the torture of materialism in a way which is proportionate to its sacrifice for the sake of others ([xvii])
Between Masonry and Theosophy
Now, the only point left is the relationship between Theosophy as an esoteric spiritual inclination and Mason thought:
Contemporary western philosophical studies which tackle most ideologies of secret esoteric societies conclude that Mason thinkers have realized that the constraints and predominance of Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic religions over the eastern and the western cultures cannot be totally eradicated except by reintroducing them and promoting a new substitute creed that encompasses ancientness, spiritual tendency, and religious values in addition to scientific views and philosophical analysis in one single cognitive framework. In this way, it has got rid of belief legacy, Scriptures, religious and creed fanaticism after its failure to dismantle established religions via introducing new sects and doctrines which divide these religions into striving sects. They realized that this way will not overthrow these religions but will enrich and spread them instead. It will provide a better ground for its strife which will never give the chance for any of them to overthrow any of the others. Considering the Theosophical principles, teachings and beliefs, we notice that they include most of the spiritual principles including Necromancy, Satanism, Animism, Monasticism, Mysticism, Black Magic and séance and other things of what we call mythical metaphysics. Masons did their best to give the Theosophic Inclination distinguished labels ( i.e., science, philosophy, Divine Truth) in addition to the adoption of slogans of collective importance such as fraternity, equality, freedom, justice, world peace, salvation, eternal happiness. They did so without rituals or definite constraints except for the secret teachings taken from the Master that controls the world. This justifies the Masonic tendency to spread extremist and fanatic dispositions in all fields to prove that traditional religions did not manage to refine man or guide him to the right path that enables him to put into practice the values of achieving world peace on earth as claimed by religions. It is noticed that contemporary cultural and mass media content betray the Masonic scheme starting from the distribution of explicit sexual content on the Internet and the spread of atheist societies, sorcery, violent movies, materialist philosophies, scientific rumors, legendary tales and games which promote what we call virtual community, besides daydreams and other things which lead to what we call psychiatric disorder or rebellion against firmly established traditions. This is in addition to making human ego the standard for everything and their propaganda describing Masonry as the only possessor of the lost truth or Secreta Secretorum (i.e. the secret of secrets).
The Encyclopedia of Theosophy refers to several similarities between the Masonic trend and the ideas, beliefs and secret teachings of Theosophy and the esoteric movements in general on the one hand and spiritual philosophies and Mysticism in specific on the other hand. It does not deny the relationship between Blavatsky and the Masonic Lodges as some writings state that Blavatsky joined Masonry as a consequence of being influenced by the writings of the American Mason John Yarker. This is revealed by her propaganda for Masonry in most her writings about Theosophy. However, the Encyclopedia of Theosophy indicates that the Masonic influence on her dates back to an earlier time and due to her reading of tens of books in the library of her Mason Grandfather. According to the encyclopedia, her sympathy with Masons was betrayed by allowing only them to join the Theosophic societies and participate in the esoteric teaching which is one of the secrets of the Theosophic Creed.
In spite of the above-mentioned, Blavatsky repeatedly criticized politicized western Masonic Lodges, especially those who practically contradict the spiritual philosophies and their values which pursue the dominance of love, fraternity, peace, and equality among humans. This made her abandon the Masonic Lodges run according to the Zionist schemes and the extremist rightist Jewish groups, and get more interested in the Indian Theosophic societies which preserved their spiritual and philosophical nature. ([xviii])
Griake Stewart illustrates that the relationship between Masonry and Theosophy cannot be denied as most theorists of modern Theosophy were Masons such as Helena Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, and William Chewan. They mixed the spiritual teachings, Mystic beliefs, esoteric trends, and mythological contexts with the Masonic teachings included in their exposed discourse while the secret Masonic teachings became highly confidential especially those presented in the teaching sessions in Western societies and the Theosophic secret teachings presented in the Hindu Lodges.
French Theosophists developed their teachings so that Theosophic philosophy represented the metaphysical aspect of Masonry on the one hand and the applied aspect of its spiritual philosophy on the other hand. Consequently, we find Yed Peter stress that although Masonry cannot be considered a non-Abrahamic religion, he has to consider it so after adopting the Theosophic teaching as part of its secret beliefs. Rudolf Steiner asserts that the penetrating esoteric Mystic trend satiated the emotional, sentimental and spiritual aspects for those who belong to the various Masonic Lodges([xix]).
German Masonic Lodges uncovered the connection between the secular movements that called for enlightenment in Europe starting from the seventeenth century and the Zionist Satanist Groups and Theosophic Masonic Lodges. They even pointed out that this merge between the views and ideas of these trends was not random. It was deliberately and precisely done in a way that made them originally share the fundamental principles of Masonry in general as is the case with Gnostic Thought, Black Magic, pantheism and the call for globalization.
Nahum Goldman (1895-1982), the most famous Zionist philosopher, stresses two facts: the first is the strength of the relation between Zionist principles and Masonic teachings. The second is that the term Zio-freemason is now evident as a concept in all academic institutes. This concept is responsible for the emergence of most contemporary movements which merge Mysticism, science, and philosophy in one single framework just to oust classical religions either Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic. This also accounts for affiliating Druze, Baha’is, Qadianis, Anarchists and Atheist groups, Satanists, Post-modernists, and contemporary Deconstructionist philosophers in addition to the leaders of Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist groups to Masonic Lodges dominated by Zionist mentality([xx]).
Stressing the similarities between Theosophic Masonic Lodges and most political movements and non-Abrahamic contemporary and modern religions, we evade that exaggeration which made Zio-freemasonry the central melting pot for most ideas and cultural, philosophical, religious, artistic and social trends all over the world. These similarities can be summed up as follows:
There exists a world leadership that manages the universe led by the Supreme Guide or the World Master, the creative mastermind that produces most ideas embraced by human communities in a given period of time. This master is surrounded by genius leaders in the various fields of human knowledge. These leaders develop all the ideas, theories, doctrines in discourse contexts conformed with the Masonic principles on the one hand and the environment in which this discourse is intended to dominate on the other hand. Then comes the need for a vast majority of followers that carry on propaganda for the general Masonic discourse, i.e. Freedom, forgiveness, justice, fraternity, globalization, science, enlightenment, ethics, peace, love. For the public, this is an attractive discourse. It is also convincing to all those of revolutionary and reforming inclinations, in politics, sociology, and religion as it makes the connection with God of spiritual nature free from authority, rituals, compulsiveness or law constraints. It also paves the way for freedom calling in its various senses. This enables it to attract different groups all over the world regardless of the secret teachings which make so many people suspicious about their purposes. This is why many historians accuse Zio-masonic Lodges of being behind the emergence of most extremist and secret groups which threaten world security and stability. It is also believed to be directly responsible for political and economic instability.
We can conclude that Masonry managed to a great extent to formulate an integrated framework for what we can call “liquid religion”, a religion free from rites, rituals, priesthood, or creed restraints – a bright looking religion but internally hollow and dark. I think that this century will witness the predominance of Theosophic slogans and that Masonry will greatly help them spread all over Europe and the Middle East to get rid of the Orthodox Creed as a representative of the conservative church on the one hand and get rid of Islam viewed as the green giant slipping to Europe and America preventing the predominance of extreme inclinations and unoriginal doctrines on the other hand.
Professor Esmat Nassar
Head-department of philosophy, Beni Suef university, Egypt.
References and bibliography:
[i])( G. de Purucker, Occult Glossary : A compendium of oriental and theosophical terms, Theosophical University Press , P.p41
[ii]) فراس السواح : الشيطان كخالق للعالم (مقدمة في الغنوسية) ، مقال بموقع الأوان ، 14/5/2007.
[iii])( المرجع نفسه ، صـ59
[iv])( ENCYCLOPDIA BRITANNICA , Theosophy : kids.britanica.com
[v]) المرجع نفسه.
[vi]) بليل عبدالكريم : الحركات الباطنية اليهودية الحديثة (الحركة الحسيدية) ، مقال بموقع الألوكة ، 15/5/2010.
[vii]( H.P. Blavatsky : , The secret doctrine, theosophical University Press 1888
[viii])( blavatskytheosophy.com , Satan is the only god
[ix])( Dr. Stephen Palmquist : Philosophy of religion – ENCYCLOPDIA BRITANNICA
[x])( George Kerlin Park : animism , ENCYCLOPDIA BRITANNICA
[xi])( Lindsay Jones : Encyclopedia of Religion Published by THOMSON/GALE, 2004 , volume 10 NECROMANCY
[xii])( James R. Lewis : Satanism Today: An Encyclopedia of Religion, Folklore, and Popular Culture – December 7, 2001
[xiii])( R.W.B./V.H.C. : by the Theosophical Publishing House, Manila, theosopedia
[xiv])( V.H.C. : by the Theosophical Publishing House, Manila, theosopedia
[xv])( H. P. BLAVATSKY: THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, Theosophical University Press 1889.
[xvi])( J.A : by the Theosophical Publishing House, Manila, theosopedia
[xvii]) موقع معابر ، سالمون لانكري
[xviii]) J.A : freemasonry , theosopedia , by the Theosophical Publishing House, Manila
[xix]) Greg Stewart : freemasonry and theosophy , freemasoninformation.com ,April 2011
3) إبراهيم فؤاد عباس : الماسونية تحت المجهر – دار الرشاد ، جدة ، 1988م – صـ33 وما بعدها.