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The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky Vols. I & II eBook

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The scope of The Secret Doctrine in Mdme. Blavatsky's own words: "The first of these Seven chapters has been attempted and is now finished. However incomplete and feeble as an exposition, it is, at any rate, an approximation — using the word in a mathematical sense — to that which is the oldest basis for all the subsequent Cosmogonies. The attempt to render in a European t The scope of The Secret Doctrine in Mdme. Blavatsky's own words: "The first of these Seven chapters has been attempted and is now finished. However incomplete and feeble as an exposition, it is, at any rate, an approximation — using the word in a mathematical sense — to that which is the oldest basis for all the subsequent Cosmogonies. The attempt to render in a European tongue the grand panorama of the ever periodically recurring Law — impressed upon the plastic minds of the first races endowed with Consciousness by those who reflected the same from the Universal Mind — is daring, for no human language, save the Sanskrit — which is that of the Gods — can do so with any degree of adequacy. But the failures in this work must be forgiven for the sake of the motive. As a whole, neither the foregoing nor what follows can be found in full anywhere. It is not taught in any of the six Indian schools of philosophy, for it pertains to their synthesis — the seventh, which is the Occult doctrine. It is not traced on any crumbling papyrus of Egypt, nor is it any longer graven on Assyrian tile or granite wall. The Books of the Vedanta (the last word of human knowledge) give out but the metaphysical aspect of this world-Cosmogony; and their priceless thesaurus, the Upanishads — Upa-ni-shad being a compound word meaning “the conquest of ignorance by the revelation of secret, spiritual knowledge” — require now the additional possession of a Master-key to enable the student to get at their full meaning." These volumes will provide the serious student with that "Master-key".


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The scope of The Secret Doctrine in Mdme. Blavatsky's own words: "The first of these Seven chapters has been attempted and is now finished. However incomplete and feeble as an exposition, it is, at any rate, an approximation — using the word in a mathematical sense — to that which is the oldest basis for all the subsequent Cosmogonies. The attempt to render in a European t The scope of The Secret Doctrine in Mdme. Blavatsky's own words: "The first of these Seven chapters has been attempted and is now finished. However incomplete and feeble as an exposition, it is, at any rate, an approximation — using the word in a mathematical sense — to that which is the oldest basis for all the subsequent Cosmogonies. The attempt to render in a European tongue the grand panorama of the ever periodically recurring Law — impressed upon the plastic minds of the first races endowed with Consciousness by those who reflected the same from the Universal Mind — is daring, for no human language, save the Sanskrit — which is that of the Gods — can do so with any degree of adequacy. But the failures in this work must be forgiven for the sake of the motive. As a whole, neither the foregoing nor what follows can be found in full anywhere. It is not taught in any of the six Indian schools of philosophy, for it pertains to their synthesis — the seventh, which is the Occult doctrine. It is not traced on any crumbling papyrus of Egypt, nor is it any longer graven on Assyrian tile or granite wall. The Books of the Vedanta (the last word of human knowledge) give out but the metaphysical aspect of this world-Cosmogony; and their priceless thesaurus, the Upanishads — Upa-ni-shad being a compound word meaning “the conquest of ignorance by the revelation of secret, spiritual knowledge” — require now the additional possession of a Master-key to enable the student to get at their full meaning." These volumes will provide the serious student with that "Master-key".

30 review for The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky Vols. I & II eBook

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gregg

    When I first considered reading the The Secret Doctrine, I thought I had a pretty good back ground in the understanding of esoteric interpretations of nature. I quickly realized that if I read the material at that point, I would only attain a C-average understanding. This for me would be unacceptable. I knew that there would need to be a lot of mental upgrading. I first picked out 10 books that would get me from where I was, to where I needed to be, here are the books in the order that I read th When I first considered reading the The Secret Doctrine, I thought I had a pretty good back ground in the understanding of esoteric interpretations of nature. I quickly realized that if I read the material at that point, I would only attain a C-average understanding. This for me would be unacceptable. I knew that there would need to be a lot of mental upgrading. I first picked out 10 books that would get me from where I was, to where I needed to be, here are the books in the order that I read them - The Astral plane, This Dynamic Universe , The solar system , A Geometry of Space Consciousness , Eckankar, The key to Secret Worlds , How you can explore Higher dimensions of Space & Time, The Evolution of Consciousness, The Secret Doctrine-The abridge version. Along with this mental preparation came a fair amount of physical preparation. There was the every other day 5 mile bike ride, the in between days of various fitness training, as well as a reduction in my intake of stress. I looked at these books as my intellectual Mt-Everest. One would not try to climb Mt. Everest without adequate preparation. I had to get used to the sentence structure, the phraseology , as well as the profoundness of the material. I found the volume on Cosmogenesis to be the most interesting. The postulate that the universe existed before it was aware of itself brought a tear to my eye. The belief that God had to figure out a way to create itself from "nothing", was a high non-pareil. Also when you begin to study the mechanics of non-being, this can only hasten ones journey back to the source (non-being). The reading of the text, The solar system by A.E Powell, really helped me to understand vol two, Anthropogensis. The concepts, the wording, and the time line were very similar. Volume two allowed me to unite all the mythologies of all the cultures into one homogeneous whole. I will have more to say in part two of my review. I want to detail more of the ideals expressed. The first volume Cosmogenesis deals with the mechanics of how God created itself. Like all of us , God had existence before it was aware of itself. We had life after conception, but we did not have self awareness until around the age of 3 or 4. The same is true for all entities, and non entities. The treaties on Cosmogenesis goes into detail as to how God created itself from the great potential. Before anything can exist the "potential" has to exist first, even when it comes to God. Before God could actualize itself, it had to create the tools of existence. It first had to create space, and then it had to create time, and then it had to create form (geometry) or matter, (which is just folded space). Imagine space as a flat table cloth, now imagine that you twist up a little piece of the table cloth, there you have a disturbance, and that disturbance or "change" is matter. Matter is to space, what Ice is to water. Oh yes, what say you. From these manifestations God poured itself into its newly created universe, and this act represented a type of self awareness for God. I liked how the author interpreted the more arcane text,(stanzas) of the various religions into a practical explanation for a contemporary audience. The section on non-being which predates existence, starts on page 44. It was the non-beings that yearned to exist that caused creation to "be". It was because these non-existence creatures of nothing, seeking to understand the absent of reality, that a potential God brought forth a secondary reality to give them expression in the great actualization we call the Metaverse. The reading is slow and tedious, but when that ah moment of intellectual illumination surges through your being, the time invested is a small price to pay. I could not find any holes in the logic of her presentations, and the route she takes the reader on shows the mark of a true teacher. Another section that tickled my fancy was that on the subject of sacred geometry. The first "thing" that was created, were patterns in the void. These shapes define what is in the shape, and what is outside. This sets up a differentiation in the symmetry of nothing. From there the phenomenon of motion was introduce, and that became the bases for a type of life. Pythagoras was a great teacher of sacred geometry, and I would recommend his teachings to further your understanding of the subject. I cannot say enough about the debt humanity owes to Madam Blavatsky. "Her" ideals as they are expressed in the text are a great boom to our understanding of what is, and a profound boost to aid us in our journey home. The text on anthropogenesis deals mainly with human consciousness, and the forms it has had to function through. It talks about the different changes and rounds as well as the root races, and sub races, and how those races brought out different characteristics of awareness, that the developing consciousness had to unfold to become aware of the laws of nature, which is called evolution. The text states that as consciousness dabbled in physical reality it became more engrossed in the forms it began to inhabit. At some point this consciousness began to forget its true home, because in the physical form they could feel more alive, if only in a limited physical sense . At this stage the young consciousness cannot function on its own plane (the 5th dimension) it must work its way up. Its like being able to do more under the influence of some substance, and you come to think that is normal, and the old dull way is abnormal and is to be avoided. To some schools of thought this came to be known as the "fall" of mankind, as the soul (consciousness) became enmeshed in physical reality, which was the natural course of evolution. When the young consciousness or souls saw the quagmire they had made, some of them refused to complete the cycle of their curriculum of learning, this was known as the rebellion, or the war in heaven. It would be like a child refusing to complete the rest of the school year, because of one rough day. These young souls supposedly were lead by one entity who sought to "modify" the plan of nature. This entity was known as the bringer of knowledge (choice). Why, it thought, should we be giving free will, and we can't use it ? This adventurous young soul came to be known as Lucifer in the various religions and myths. If I'm to understand the readings this being was one of the saviors of humanity by being the first to "use" free will as compare to just intellectualizing it. We see this being bringing choice to other human creations. In the "story" of Adam and Eve they were just automatons who were basically robots with no chance for advancement. Ask yourself, what did Adam and Eve do in the garden all day, remember they had all eternity to do it!! Could they feel pain ? mentally or physically ? could they get bored ? could they leave the garden ? did they have hunger pangs, if so then it wouldn't be paradise. Lucifer/Satan as the parable goes, offered Adam and Eve a "choice" stay here and remain ignorant, or exercise your free will and explore the wonders of existence, with responsibilities and consequences. The only true freedom is to be more than that which created you. One ideal the text ends with is describing the next race (not skin color) that will bring about other traits of consciousness, that of intuition and empathy . This round, or period will last about 700 years. The secret Doctrine does a good job in explaining these scenarios from a Theosophical point of view. Whether you agree with such esoteric views is secondary to the fact that at least you're open minded enough to at least considered them. For this we should be thankful that Madam Blavatsky presented these interpretations in what I think are a very lucid and pragmatic way, and for this I give her all the stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bayandur

    This book is complete garbage. The author's incompetence is obvious, she just took everything that was known of Eastern religious and philosophic systems in the 19th century Europe, everything the pseudo-intellectual mass wanted to believe, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Anti-Semitic and Aryan ideologies - everything that wanted to be believed and wasn't systematized yet. She spoke of mahatmas from Hinduism, though there are none there: there are Wise Men - the Rishi, but their role is different This book is complete garbage. The author's incompetence is obvious, she just took everything that was known of Eastern religious and philosophic systems in the 19th century Europe, everything the pseudo-intellectual mass wanted to believe, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Anti-Semitic and Aryan ideologies - everything that wanted to be believed and wasn't systematized yet. She spoke of mahatmas from Hinduism, though there are none there: there are Wise Men - the Rishi, but their role is different from that of Blavatsky's Mahatmas, and actually the idea of Mahatmas was borrowed from Jainism, where they perform a similar guiding, enlightening role and are called Jaina. Also, Blavatsky was a master of mystification, she acted as a medium and performed magic tricks like "materialization", to prove her ideas were right - something most modern theosophists would rather omit. She didn't accept the aid of doctors, "healing herself" by letting a white dog to sleep on her foot. Nevertheless, she died at the age of 59 of complications from influenza and Bright's disease - chronic stuff, that could be easily prevented. Also, the Nazi used many of Blavatsky's ideas in their Eugenics ideology. E. g. Blavatsky supported the idea of major and minor races, and that nature will see the "minor races" (including Semites, Africans and Roma people) destroyed, as nature wants to "clear itself". Though, later writers on Theosophy are much worse.

  3. 4 out of 5

    AirWind

    A must reference book for serious seekers and researchers of esoteric philosophies and modern occultism! Not necessarily an easy read. HP Blavatsky's writing style was a bit crude as her native language is not English. But the ideas presented, I believe, formed the basis of the modern occult movement - both eastern and western. I started reading this one when I was still in senior high school and finally "finished" reading it a few years back. Its like it took me 15 years to read it! :) But Im n A must reference book for serious seekers and researchers of esoteric philosophies and modern occultism! Not necessarily an easy read. HP Blavatsky's writing style was a bit crude as her native language is not English. But the ideas presented, I believe, formed the basis of the modern occult movement - both eastern and western. I started reading this one when I was still in senior high school and finally "finished" reading it a few years back. Its like it took me 15 years to read it! :) But Im not yet sure if I fully comprehended all the ideas presented! (Yet, esoterically, this can be an excellent exercise in abstract thinking as a prelude to occult meditation practice). This is an exhaustive occult treatise on the beginning of the universe from the unmanifested supreme intelligence to its manifestation of the planes of nature and its expansion and emanations forming galaxies, suns, and planets (Part 1- Cosmogenesis). The second part deals with anthropogenesis or the origin of life on earth, and the various root races and civilizations that materialized and developed in our planetary scheme. These are not HPB's own original ideas but she just distilled the ancient wisdoms down the ages into this work, coming from the world's scriptures, myths, and other writings, some of which are hidden such as the Stanzas of Dzyan. Thus, HPB, with the help of some Masters of Wisdom, was given access to this manuscripts. She did not use any form of spirit channeling or mediumistic abilities to write this down. The paperback edition is in two volumes (I don't recommend the abridged 1-volume version) but the older editions in hard cover consisted of around 5 to 7 volumes in all. Interestingly, aside from the encyclopedic occult cosmology she presented, is her theory of polar shifting as the 3rd movement of the earth (in addition to rotation and revolution). I believe it's already the current scientific theory but amazingly she postulated that in this book as early as the late 18th century when it was not yet the current thinking. I guess this is relevant now in our times of climatic changes and natural upheavals as we near 2012. But it is sad how the occult concept of root races were abused and probably deliberately misquoted and misinterpreted by racist ideologies and political movements of our time to suit their objectives. Hitler's "Aryan race" concept was definitely a grave misunderstanding and the term was only lifted out of this book without the proper context. And because of this, the SD became one of the most maligned books of our time due to criticisms by people who haven't even read it, or those who have read it on a piecemeal basis but never grasped the big picture, or those who simply relied on other people's prejudiced critiques. Nowhere can you find in the Secret Doctrine (SD) any reference to justify or tolerate genocide or mass murder of certain sub-races or root races. The disappearances of the root races were caused by natural upheavals as a by-product of the evolutionary process of the planet. The 3rd root race - which is called the "lemurians" disappeared naturally through volcanic upheavals after humanity (reincarnating as a whole) had already outgrown the need for that type of physical body and culture. The 4th root race (Atlanteans) disappeared via what remained in the myths of world religions as the great flood (Tale of Noah's ark in the Bible). We are now in the 5th root race, and the dominant sub-race is the Anglo-Saxon. But it does not imply that the dominant culture would have to exterminate other sub-races or "stragglers" of the previous root races that are presently co-existing with them just to ensure "dominance". Many are trying to twist and mal-interpret this teaching to demonize the SD and HPB. The above-mentioned teaching concerning the root-races is not anti-semitic at all and has no intention of marginalizing any races as "minor", which nature needed to destroy or eliminate from the face of the Earth. There is a need to understand the context on how the SD and our society define a "race". The SD or the ageless wisdom views man as a spiritual being, a Soul or a Divine Spirit, and not the physical body belonging to any race. Therefore, the bodies or the groups of people we call races or cultures are nothing but vehicles of manifestation for the reincarnating Soul. These races being described in the SD are the groups of people belonging to different epochs and are settled in different continents under differing earthly conditions. They existed even BEFORE our present "root-race" which historically only began about 10,000 to 5,000 BC. THEY WERE ALSO US, AS REINCARNATING SOULS, BUT OCCUPYING A DIFFERENT BODY AND LIVING A DIFFERENT CULTURE BACK THEN. But as lessons were learned from past cultures or past ways of life and past bodies in different earthly conditions, we human souls have to move on. We need new experiences to evolve, thus the need for new Earth conditions, environment, cultures, and even new form of physical bodies. Thus, old forms or races or cultures disappear through the working of nature's laws and upheavals to give way to new ones. In the future, our present race or culture will also be outgrown, and a new one will be forthcoming to replace us. The bodies or appearances and ways of life may be very different from the present. But we remain as Souls occupying these bodies. Presently, the 5th root race or the Aryan root race or the Aryan culture is the composite of all the existing races on Earth. Be it Anglo-saxon, African, Asian, Latin-american, Semite, etc etc. But the races' roots can be traced back (its origins) in pre-Aryan races. Remember, we are the Souls and we are just tracing back the clothes or vehicles we used in the past. The fact that we are alive today means we evolved this far, at par with the other Souls occupying different bodies, regardless of race. If we are inferior or did not pass the evolutionary ladder, we could have been reincarnated in another younger planetary scheme, and not Earth. But there are also stragglers belonging to very primitive cultures. The fact that they are born together with us means, they still have a chance of catching up. The dominant culture should act as their teacher and guide, instead of their oppressors. What is then considered a "minor" race? There is no such thing as a minor race in the SD. Probably they are referring to sub-root races. Here is a list: 1st Root race and sub-races - Polarian. (No physical bodies yet as we know it now) 2nd Root race and sub-races - Hyperborean. (No physical bodies yet as we know it now) 3rd - Lemurian root race (Physical bodies as we know it appeared for the first time) (Sub root races included those that started in Africa, Southern India, and the East Indies. Their descendants include the Capoid race, the Congoid race, the Dravidians, and the Australoid race.) 4th - Atlantean root race (The seeds of emotions were born to this race) (Sub root race included the Rmoahal, the Tlavati (Cro-Magnons), the Toltec, Turanian, the (original) Semites (e.g., the Phoenicians), the Akkadians, and the Mongolian, which migrated to and colonized East Asia. The descendants today include those of the Mongolian race, the Malayan race, and the American Indian race as well as some "olive-skinned" Mediterranean race.) 5th - the present Aryan root race (the seeds of the mind were born to the race) (Sub races included (1) the Hindu, 2) the arabian, 3) the persians, 4) the Celts, and 5) the present dominant culture- the Teutonic-Anglo-Saxon. 6th sub root race- ??? it is speculated it will start somewhere in the NZ-Aus region. 7th- ???) 6th root race - ??? (seed of intuition will be born to the race) 7th root race -??? (seed of spiritual Will will be born to the race) Thus, it can be seen here, that the semitic race is not singled out for "destruction". Many other sub-root races that existed in the past will be gradually "phased out" through natural upheavals. Not by edicts of governments or ruling bodies. But by us- we, the evolving Souls- who will be needing more advanced types of bodies or races or cultures in the distant future...like, millions of years from now! :) My suggestion to those wishing to read this for the first time (so that it won't bore them to death or take them 15 years to read it! lol!) is to read it in parallel with other books written by authors who were serious students of the HPB books, and have the capacity to digest and breakdown her ideas to more organized and readable forms. For me, the following books are good complements: Basic Theosophy by Geoffrey Hodson (This is a bit over-simplified but still a useful motivation to read the SD.) Fundamentals of Esoteric Philosophy by G. de Purucker (a thick restatement of SD) Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception by Max Heindel (For me, this is still SD written from a clairvoyant's point of view. The problem in reading this is the confusion arising from difference in the terminologies/jargon used. HPB made use of a lot of annoying sanskrit terms and Heindel tried to change them into English or used an entirely different occult vocabulary. One may get lost in the process. Or one better approach is to read this first, then jump into the SD of HPB!) But if you are new into esoteric philosophy or occultism and would want something 'lighter' to start your readings, and introduce yourself to the various facets of occultism or the ageless wisdom, try: "Cosmos in Man" by Torkom Saraydarian Torkom condensed the entire SD into about 2 chapters! And his writing style is cool and accessible to new readers.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Hennessey

    It was in volume 3 of the secret doctrine that I found the issues that 1930's nazi Germany found pleasing in Blavatskys work .. in the chapter on Root Races ... but volume 1 still remains an important and very ancient contribution to 21st Century chaos theory [logos-outpouring-vehicles:] - the suppressed law of emergence written up in Hindu terminology

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael Riedyk

    Poorly written junk. Mrs. Blavatsky (who later in life turned out to be a fraud) mixed concepts of different religions and added a massive amount of fantasy resulting in a book that has NOTHING to do with reality, truth, philosophy or spirituality (unless you missed the last 100 years in science and philosophy). It does not contain any valuable life lesson. Don't waste your time on this.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Van Derek

    Compulsory reading for theosophists or anyone interested in esoteric philosophy or spiritualism. Theosophical thinking has changed the direction of many lives including the poet William Butler Yeats. This is a highly creative work of spiritualism, to be absorbed and IMHO not to be taken too literally.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Brings together a great deal of mythological, 19th-century scientific, and religious material to show the unity behind human traditions throughout time and culture. Principles are universal, whatever one may think of the details.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    Madame Blavatsky was a very learned woman from her time, and did a lot to identify the root races and other metaphysical topics. I had already read part of this years ago, and it is worth the read if you have an open mind and believe that all religions are the same and have a core tenet of love.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

    Absolute must for any Theosophy scholar or mystic.

  10. 4 out of 5

    A.

    Here lies one of the biggest roots of modern syncretism, "new-age" and pseudo-spirituality. A real malignent tumor. René Guénon swept the floor pretty well with all this business indeed with his Theosophy: History of a Pseudo-Religion and The Spiritist Fallacy. Both books are a must. Quotes from the Guénon book : "‘Our goal,’ as Mme Blavatsky used to say, ‘is not to restore Hinduism, but to sweep Christianity from the surface of the earth .’" - Declaration made by Alfred Alexander and published in Here lies one of the biggest roots of modern syncretism, "new-age" and pseudo-spirituality. A real malignent tumor. René Guénon swept the floor pretty well with all this business indeed with his Theosophy: History of a Pseudo-Religion and The Spiritist Fallacy. Both books are a must. Quotes from the Guénon book : "‘Our goal,’ as Mme Blavatsky used to say, ‘is not to restore Hinduism, but to sweep Christianity from the surface of the earth .’" - Declaration made by Alfred Alexander and published in The Medium and Daybreak, London, January 1893, P23. "A Theosophist has expressly declared that The Secret Doctrine would not have been published if the theory of evolution had not come to light in the human brain - Les Cycles, by Amaravella, in Lotus Bleu, April 27, 1894, p78); we would say, rather, that without it, it would not have been imagined." At the seventeenth convention of the Theosophical Society, held at Adyar in December 1891, Colonel Olcott said the following: ‘I helped HPB in the compilation of her Isis Unveiled, while Keightley, with several others, did the same for the Secret Doctrine. Each of us knows full well how far from infallible are parts of these books, owing due to our collaboration, not to mention those parts written by HPB. P.S. : A special quote here from the "Secret Doctrine" by Blavastky, for it is truly one of the most hilariously ignorant statements on the Quran that I have ever heard : "The mystic word Alm, which the prophet Mahomet prefixed to many chapters of the Koran, alludes to her [female aspect of that universal Spirit] as the Alm, the immaculate Virgin of the heavens. And -- the sublime ever falling into the ridiculous -- it is from this root Alm that we have to derive the word Almeh -- the Egyptian dancing-girls." !!!!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Chouinard

    Best introduction to The Secret Doctrine : http://theosophy.katinkahesselink.net... Best introduction to Madame Blavatsky: The Inscrutable Madame Blavatsky: An Interview with Gary Lachman https://www.newdawnmagazine.com/artic...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Fostergrants

    i liked this for what i learned about so many alternative belief systems. this woman has a complicated brain! if you don't stop reading once in a while to go for a walk or get some fresh air you will fry quickly.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Murset

    This mostly went over my head, but what I understood I liked.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Glenn Horne

    Profoundly interesting, poorly written

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jim Amy

    This book concerns Blavatsky's esoteric guesses about the Mystical side of the evolution of Earth and Humanity. These ae subjects that, at least physically, we know far more about in the terms of 21st Century Science than she ever could have known in the Nineteenth Century. The book is obscure and very hard to believe. Her concept of planetary rounds is interesting. That of Humanity's Root Races, less so. Perhaps I should have started with Isis Unveiled.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jake Jaqua

    Blavatsky's "Secret Doctrine" stands alone and unique in the field. It is further separated from later imitators by the couple thousand References to Scriptures, ancient literature, science of her time and magazines, she uses in support of her premises that there used to be a universal Wisdom Religion over the earth shared by all in its essence.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gianetta

    Very intriguing. Very intense. It took all my brain power on an intellectual level, but I connected at a deeper, core level much more readily. Though, I can't say that every concept and principle resonated, the overall work assimilated well to the grander scheme of all I've learned thus far on the subjects.

  18. 4 out of 5

    M. Joseph Murphy

    A truly fascinating read whether you believe any of it or not. Blavatsky's view of the world is more interesting and fantastical than anything you'll find out there. Warning, however, it's not an easy read. This was my fourth or fifth time reading this.

  19. 4 out of 5

    John Laidlaw

    A staggeringly great piece of work by a much maligned (as well as revered) woman. A number of reviews here are attempted 'hatchet' jobs...well, believe what you wish...those who have eyes to see, let them see. As to the Mahatmas, claimed by some as non-existent, really?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Abbadon

    Anyone that wants to read this should be strongly advised to read first "Theosophy: History of a Pseudo-Religion" by René Guénon. It explains why this book is crap and why you shouldn't waste your time with it nor with Theosophy altogether.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Kendall

    HP Blavatsky was truly the mother of modern occultism. Almost as complex and confusing as the vedas.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Walter

    Is a book you have to wade through, but it is well worth the effort you put into it. It is very enlightening.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tamara Orlando

    Complex thought! From an amazingly fascinating woman.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Grace Zales

    Light reading, interesting for a gullible reader. Not for an skeptical person. A part history of magic collection do.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

    The better edition for having a huge separate index/bibliography volume, plus many corrections, notes and Introduction by the editor Boris de Zirkoff.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    allegedly part of basis for 3rd Reich's rationale for Aryan race, according to natgeotv.com program called Hitler and the Occult

  27. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    This book defined the modern esoteric tradition. Straight from the sane/insane Source of All.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Pretty much everything New Age is just versions of this theory. This is one of the most amazing treasures, if you don't mind a long book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robert Ingram

    Blavatskys mind vomited. For almost an instant, I believed I could feel the earth vibrating. It's a good thing I was stoned at the time, or I might have believed it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    AirWind

    A must reference book for serious seekers and researchers of esoteric philosophies and modern occultism! Not necessarily an easy read. HP Blavatsky's writing style was a bit crude as her native language is not English. But the ideas presented, I believe, formed the basis of the modern occult movement - both eastern and western. I started reading this one when I was still in senior high school and finally "finished" reading it a few years back. Its like it took me 15 years to read it! :) But Im n A must reference book for serious seekers and researchers of esoteric philosophies and modern occultism! Not necessarily an easy read. HP Blavatsky's writing style was a bit crude as her native language is not English. But the ideas presented, I believe, formed the basis of the modern occult movement - both eastern and western. I started reading this one when I was still in senior high school and finally "finished" reading it a few years back. Its like it took me 15 years to read it! :) But Im not yet sure if I fully comprehended all the ideas presented! (Yet, esoterically, this can be an excellent exercise in abstract thinking as a prelude to occult meditation practice). This is an exhaustive occult treatise on the beginning of the universe from the unmanifested supreme intelligence to its manifestation of the planes of nature and its expansion and emanations forming galaxies, suns, and planets (Part 1- Cosmogenesis). The second part deals with anthropogenesis or the origin of life on earth, and the various root races and civilizations that materialized and developed in our planetary scheme. These are not HPB's own original ideas but she just distilled the ancient wisdoms down the ages into this work, coming from the world's scriptures, myths, and other writings, some of which are hidden such as the Stanzas of Dzyan. Thus, HPB, with the help of some Masters of Wisdom, was given access to this manuscripts. She did not use any form of spirit channeling or mediumistic abilities to write this down. The paperback edition is in two volumes (I don't recommend the abridged 1-volume version) but the older editions in hard cover consisted of around 5 to 7 volumes in all. Interestingly, aside from the encyclopedic occult cosmology she presented, is her theory of polar shifting as the 3rd movement of the earth (in addition to rotation and revolution). I believe it's already the current scientific theory but amazingly she postulated that in this book as early as the late 18th century when it was not yet the current thinking. I guess this is relevant now in our times of climatic changes and natural upheavals as we near 2012. But it is sad how the occult concept of root races were abused and probably deliberately misquoted and misinterpreted by racist ideologies and political movements of our time to suit their objectives. Hitler's "Aryan race" concept was definitely a grave misunderstanding and the term was only lifted out of this book without the proper context. And because of this, the SD is one of the most maligned books of our time due to criticisms by people who haven't even read it, or those who have read it on a piecemeal basis but never grasped the big picture, or those who simply relied on other people's prejudiced critiques. Nowhere can you find in the Secret Doctrine (SD) any reference to justify or tolerate genocide or mass murder of certain sub-races or root races. The disappearances of the root races were caused by natural upheavals as a by-product of the evolutionary process of the planet. The 3rd root race - which is called the "lemurians" disappeared naturally through volcanic upheavals after humanity (reincarnating as a whole) had already outgrown the need for that type of physical body and culture. The 4th root race (Atlanteans) disappeared via what remained in the myths of world religions as the great flood (Tale of Noah's ark in the Bible). We are now in the 5th root race, and the dominant sub-race is the Anglo-Saxon. But it does not imply that the dominant culture would have to exterminate other sub-races or "stragglers" of the previous root races that are presently co-existing with them just to ensure "dominance". Many are trying to twist and mal-interpret this teaching to demonize the SD and HPB. The above-mentioned teaching concerning the root-races is not anti-semitic at all and has no intention of marginalizing any races as "minor", which nature needed to destroy or eliminate from the face of the Earth. There is a need to understand the context on how the SD and our society define a "race". The SD or the ageless wisdom views man as a spiritual being, a Soul or a Divine Spirit, and not the physical body belonging to any race. Therefore, the bodies or the groups of people we call races or cultures are nothing but vehicles of manifestation for the reincarnating Soul. These races being described in the SD are the groups of people belonging to different epochs and are settled in different continents under differing earthly conditions. They existed even BEFORE our present "root-race" which historically only began about 10,000 to 5,000 BC. THEY WERE ALSO US, AS REINCARNATING SOULS, BUT OCCUPYING A DIFFERENT BODY AND LIVING A DIFFERENT CULTURE BACK THEN. But as lessons were learned from past cultures or past ways of life and past bodies in different earthly conditions, we human souls have to move on. We need new experiences to evolve, thus the need for new Earth conditions, environment, cultures, and even new form of physical bodies. Thus, old forms or races or cultures disappear through the working of nature's laws and upheavals to give way to new ones. In the future, our present race or culture will also be outgrown, and a new one will be forthcoming to replace us. The bodies or appearances and ways of life may be very different from the present. But we remain as Souls occupying these bodies. Presently, the 5th root race or the Aryan root race or the Aryan culture is the composite of all the existing races on Earth. Be it Anglo-saxon, African, Asian, Latin-american, Semite, etc etc. But the races' roots can be traced back (its origins) in pre-Aryan races. Remember, we are the Souls and we are just tracing back the clothes or vehicles we used in the past. The fact that we are alive today means we evolved this far, at par with the other Souls occupying different bodies, regardless of race. If we are inferior or did not pass the evolutionary ladder, we could have been reincarnated in another younger planetary scheme, and not Earth. But there are also stragglers belonging to very primitive cultures. The fact that they are born together with us means, they still have a chance of catching up. The dominant culture should act as their teacher and guide, instead of their oppressors. What is then considered a "minor" race? There is no such thing as a minor race in the SD. Probably they are referring to sub-root races. Here is a list: 1st Root race and sub-races - Polarian. (No physical bodies yet as we know it now) 2nd Root race and sub-races - Hyperborean. (No physical bodies yet as we know it now) 3rd - Lemurian root race (Physical bodies as we know it appeared for the first time) (Sub root races included those that started in Africa, Southern India, and the East Indies. Their descendants include the Capoid race, the Congoid race, the Dravidians, and the Australoid race.) 4th - Atlantean root race (The seeds of emotions were born to this race) (Sub root race included the Rmoahal, the Tlavati (Cro-Magnons), the Toltec, Turanian, the (original) Semites (e.g., the Phoenicians), the Akkadians, and the Mongolian, which migrated to and colonized East Asia. The descendants today include those of the Mongolian race, the Malayan race, and the American Indian race as well as some "olive-skinned" Mediterranean race.) 5th - the present Aryan root race (the seeds of the mind were born to the race) (Sub races included (1) the Hindu, 2) the arabian, 3) the persians, 4) the Celts, and 5) the present dominant culture- the Teutonic-Anglo-Saxon. 6th sub root race- ??? it is speculated it will start somewhere in the NZ-Aus region. 7th- ?) 6th root race - ??? (seed of intuition will be born to the race) 7th root race -??? (seed of spiritual Will will be born to the race) Thus, it can be seen here, that the semitic race is not singled out for "destruction". Many other sub-root races that existed in the past will be gradually "phased out" through natural upheavals. Not by edicts of governments or ruling bodies. But by us- we, the evolving Souls- who will be needing more advanced types of bodies or races or cultures in the distant future...like, millions of years from now! :) My suggestion to those wishing to read this for the first time (so that it won't bore them to death or take them 15 years to read it! lol!) is to read it in parallel with other books written by authors who were serious students of the HPB books, and have the capacity to digest and breakdown her ideas to a more organized and readable form. For me, the following books are good complements: Basic Theosophy by Geoffrey Hodson (This is a bit over-simplified but still a useful motivation to read the SD.) Fundamentals of Esoteric Philosophy by G. de Purucker (a thick restatement of SD) Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception by Max Heindel (For me, this is still SD written from a clairvoyant's point of view. The problem in reading this is the confusion arising from difference in the terminologies/jargon used. HPB made use of a lot of annoying sanskrit terms and Heindel tried to change them into English or used an entirely different occult vocabulary. One may get lost in the process. Or one better approach is to read this first, then jump into the SD of HPB!) Total newbies may want to start lite with: "Cosmos In Man" by Torkom Saraydarian Torkom condensed the entire SD into 2 chapters! I also found the reading list Self-study guide on the Ageless Wisdom to be very helpful to DIY persons.

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