Theosophy is a metaphysical philosophy derived from the writings of Helena Blavatsky ("Madame Blavatsky"). Theosophy offers explanations for the origin, working and ultimate fate of the universe.
For Theosophists, the basic units of consciousness are monads that manifest in various forms, including in human beings.
Individual human monads progress through reincarnation. Monads are guided in their development by the wisdom of the Great White Brotherhood, also called the Ascended Masters.
Humans are evolving through a series of seven root races (stages of development), each lasting millions of years. In the first root race, humans were pure spirit. In the second, they were sexless beings on the lost continent of Hyperborea. In the third, they were giants on Lemuria. Modern humans developed during the fourth root race, on Atlantis.
Most people now belong to the fifth root race. The fifth root race will evolve into the spiritually more advanced sixth root race on a reemerging Lemurian continent.
Theosophy has been influential in the shaping the modern metaphysical movement. It influenced many prominent teachers, including Rudolf Steiner (Anthroposophy), Guido von List (Ariosophy), and Nicholas and Helena Roerich (Agni Yoga). Other metaphysical teachers have incorporated elements of Theosophy into their work.
- Alice Bailey (1880-1949)
- Annie Besant (1847-1933)
- Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891)
- Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986)
- William Quan Judge (1851-1896)
- C. W. Leadbeater (1854-1934)
- G. R. S. Mead (1863-1933)
- Henry Steel Olcott (1832-1897)
Organizations & Societies
- Theosophical Society, founded 1875 in New York City
- (Madame) Helena Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled (1877)
- (Madame) Helena Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (1888)