Petersburg, Poltava, and Saratov[ edit ] After a return to rural Ukraine, Pyotr was posted to Saint Petersburg , where the family moved in Her reasons for doing so were unclear, although she later claimed that she was attracted by his belief in magic. The escorts accompanied her to Poti and then Kerch , intending to continue with her to Odessa. Blavatsky claimed that, fleeing her escorts and bribing the captain of the ship that had taken her to Kerch, she reached Constantinople.
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The world and everything in it is said to alternate between periods of activity manvantaras and periods of passivity pralayas. Each manvantara lasts many millions of years and consists of a number of Yugas , in accordance with Hindu cosmology. Blavatsky attempted to demonstrate that the discoveries of "materialist" science had been anticipated in the writings of ancient sages and that materialism would be proven wrong.
Cosmic evolution: Items of cosmogony[ edit ] In this recapitulation of The Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky gave a summary of the central points of her system of cosmogony. Here Blavatsky says of this principle that it is "the One homogeneous divine Substance-Principle, the one radical cause. It is the omnipresent Reality: impersonal, because it contains all and everything.
Its impersonality is the fundamental conception of the System. It is latent in every atom in the Universe, and is the Universe itself. This item presents the idea that the One unconditioned and absolute principle is covered over by its veil, Mulaprakriti, that the spiritual essence is forever covered by the material essence.
The fourth item is the common eastern idea of Maya. Blavatsky states that the entire universe is called illusion because everything in it is temporary, i. The fifth item reiterates the third fundamental proposition see above , stating that everything in the universe is conscious, in its own way and on its own plane of perception.
Because of this, the Occult Philosophy states that there are no unconscious or blind laws of Nature, that all is governed by consciousness and consciousnesses. The sixth item gives a core idea of theosophical philosophy, that "as above, so below". This is known as the "law of correspondences", its basic premise being that everything in the universe is worked and manifested from within outwards, or from the higher to the lower, and that thus the lower, the microcosm, is the copy of the higher, the macrocosm.
Just as a human being experiences every action as preceded by an internal impulse of thought, emotion or will, so too the manifested universe is preceded by impulses from divine thought, feeling and will.
This item gives rise to the notion of an "almost endless series of hierarchies of sentient beings", which itself becomes a central idea of many theosophists. The law of correspondences also becomes central to the methodology of many theosophists, as they look for analogous correspondence between various aspects of reality, for instance: the correspondence between the seasons of Earth and the process of a single human life, through birth, growth, adulthood and then decline and death.
Volume two Anthropogenesis [ edit ] The second half of the book describes the origins of humanity through an account of "Root Races" said to date back millions of years. The first root race was, according to her, "ethereal"; the second root had more physical bodies and lived in Hyperborea.
The third root race, the first to be truly human, is said to have existed on the lost continent of Lemuria and the fourth root race is said to have developed in Atlantis. According to Blavatsky, the fifth root race is approximately one million years old, overlapping the fourth root race and the very first beginnings of the fifth root race were approximately in the middle of the fourth root race. She began with three fundamental propositions, of which she said: Before the reader proceeds … it is absolutely necessary that he should be made acquainted with the few fundamental conceptions which underlie and pervade the entire system of thought to which his attention is invited.
These basic ideas are few in number, and on their clear apprehension depends the understanding of all that follows…  The first proposition is that there is one underlying, unconditioned, indivisible Truth, variously called "the Absolute", "the Unknown Root", "the One Reality", etc. Everything in the universe is informed by the potentialities present in the "Unknown Root," and manifest with different degrees of Life or energy , Consciousness, and Matter.
These Monads undergo a process of evolution where consciousness unfolds and matter develops. This evolution is not random, but informed by intelligence and with a purpose. Evolution follows distinct paths in accord with certain immutable laws, aspects of which are perceivable on the physical level. One such law is the law of periodicity and cyclicity; another is the law of karma or cause and effect.
The steps in this evolution are called rootraces, seven in all. Earlier rootraces exhibited completely different characteristics: physical bodies first appearing in the second rootrace and sexual characteristics in the third. Some have emphasized passages and footnotes that claim some peoples to be less fully human or spiritual than the "Aryans".
For example, "Mankind is obviously divided into god-informed men and lower human creatures. The intellectual difference between the Aryan and other civilized nations and such savages as the South Sea Islanders , is inexplicable on any other grounds.
No amount of culture, nor generations of training amid civilization, could raise such human specimens as the Bushmen , the Veddhas of Ceylon , and some African Tribes , to the same intellectual level as the Aryans, the Semites , and the Turanians so called. We are the hot-house, artificially quickened plants in nature, having in us a spark, which in them is latent" The Secret Doctrine, Vol.
When discussing "sterility between two human races" as observed by Darwin , Blavatsky notes: "Of such semi-animal creatures, the sole remnants known to Ethnology were the Tasmanians , a portion of the Australians and a mountain tribe in China, the men and women of which are entirely covered with hair. They were the last descendants in a direct line of the semi-animal latter-day Lemurians referred to. There are, however, considerable numbers of the mixed Lemuro- Atlantean peoples produced by various crossings with such semi-human stocks — e.
Flower among Aryans! Blavatsky also asserts that "the occult doctrine admits of no such divisions as the Aryan and the Semite , accepting even the Turanian with ample reservations.
Semites, especially the Arabs , are later Aryans — degenerate in spirituality and perfected in materiality" The Secret Doctrine, Vol. She also prophesies of the destruction of the racial "failures of nature" as the "higher race" ascends: "Thus will mankind, race after race, perform its appointed cycle-pilgrimage.
Climates will, and have already begun, to change, each tropical year after the other dropping one sub-race, but only to beget another higher race on the ascending cycle; while a series of other less favoured groups — the failures of nature — will, like some individual men, vanish from the human family without even leaving a trace behind" The Secret Doctrine, Vol.
The Secret Doctrine, Vol. Study of the Secret Doctrine[ edit ] According to PGB Bowen, Blavatsky gave the following instructions regarding the study of the Secret Doctrine: Reading the SD page by page as one reads any other book she says will only end us in confusion. Follow that up by study of the Recapitulation — the numbered items in the Summing Up to Vol.
I Part 1. Then take the Preliminary Notes Vol. II and the Conclusion Vol. II  Theosophist Writings about "The Secret Doctrine"[ edit ] Alice Bailey : "But those of us who really studied it and arrived at some understanding of its inner significance have a basic appreciation of the truth that no other book seems to supply. None of my books would have been possible had I not at one time made a very close study of The Secret Doctrine. Behind her [H. Fritze has written that The Secret Doctrine presents a "series of far-fetched ideas unsupported by any reliable historical or scientific research.
She claimed to have received her information during trances in which the Masters of Mahatmas of Tibet communicated with her and allowed her to read from the ancient Book of Dzyan. The Book of Dzyan was supposedly composed in Atlantis using the lost language of Senzar but the difficulty is that no scholar of ancient languages in the s or since has encountered the slightest passing reference to the Book of Dzyan or the Senzar language.
Historian Hannah Newman has noted that the book "denigrates the Jewish faith as harmful to human spirituality".
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