What is Theosophy?

Theosophy is the name Mme Blavatsky gave to that portion of knowledge that she brought out of Tibet from the masters to the world. It comes from the term "Theosophia" used by the Neoplatonists to mean literally "knowledge of the divine."


"Theosophy" comes from the Greek "Theos" and "sophia" meaning literally "Divine Knowledge". It is a body of knowledge - accumulated since time immemorial - that answers the great questions of life - Who am I, Where am I going, What am I doing here, What is the nature of the soul, What is the origin of the universe and What can be said about the nature of divinity.

The term theosophy (in its Greek and other forms) had been used about 100 or so times over two millennia in western civilization before Madame Blavatsky. The term came to be the most appropriate word to describe her teachings and so, with a capital "T", Theosophy came to be the name given to that which she taught in the 19th century.

Some have, quite understandably, extended the meaning of the word to cover that entire body of knowledge known to Blavatsky's teachers - a portion of which was imparted to her. Some academics have taken to using the word to mean "comparative religion", now that the word has become well known - but this certainly dilutes the specific meaning it acquired during the time of Blavatsky. And regrettably, some writers in the 20th century have based themselves on her writings but subtly altered the teachings and then continued to call their writings Theosophy - misleading any number of students in the process.

It is the intent of Theosophy Foundation, Inc., through Blavatsky.net, to offer reliable source material for all that is theosophical as a guidepost for students, offering clarity for some of the misleading statements that have arisen in the course of time.