The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy

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Cambridge University Press, May 19, 2011 - History - 852 pages
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Ukrainian-born Madame Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891) was a powerful and controversial member of the spiritualist world and for a time famous for her powers as a medium. She was a co-founder of the theosophy movement in the United States, which she later extended to Europe and India, drawing from her extensive global travels and her familiarity with a broad range of belief systems, from Asian religions to New Orleans voodoo, as well as secret societies such as the Freemasons. Drawing from Hinduism and Buddhism, theosophy aimed to understand the mystic powers of the universe and promote the study of other religions. In The Secret Doctrine, published in 1888, Blavatsky aims to explain the spiritual origins of the world. Volume 2 looks at the creation of humans and animals, and considers the lost world of Atlantis.
 

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Contents

Preliminary Notes page
1
PART II
13
Beginnings of Sentient Life
22
Two Antediluvian Astronomers
47
The Chronology of the Brahmins
66
Attempts to Create Man
75
Creation of the First Races
86
The Evolution of the Second Race
109
The Fifth Race and its Divine Instructors
351
Additional Fragments from a Commentary on the Verses
423
Conclusion
437
PART II
447
Prometheus the Titan
448
Its Degradation
459
On the Myth of the Fallen Angel in its various
475
Is Pleroma Satans Lair?
506

The Evolution of the Sweatborn
131
From the SemiDivine down to the First Human Races
161
Evolution of the Animal Mammaliansthe First
180
The Final Evolution of Man
191
Edens Serpents and Dragons 302
202
The Sons of God and the Sacred Island 330
220
The History of the Fourth Race
227
Archaic Teachings in the Puranas and Genesis
251
A Panoramic View of the Early Races
263
Continued
271
Are Giants a Fiction?
277
The Races with the Third Eye
289
The Primeval Manus of Humanity
307
The Civilization and Destruction of the Fourth
316
Cyclopean Ruins and Colossal Stones as Witnesses to Giants
341
EnoichionHenoch
529
The Symbolism of the Mystery Names Iao and Jehovah
536
The Upanishads in Gnostic Literature
563
The Cross and the Pythagorean Decade
573
The Mysteries of the Hebdomad
590
PART III
643
Giants Civilizations and Submerged Continents traced
644
The Fossil Relics of Man and the Anthropoid Ape
675
Duration of the Geological Periods Race Cycles
690
c Esoteric Geological Chronology
709
Organic Evolution and Creative Centres
731
The European Paleolithic Raceswhence and how distributed
738
a Statements about the Sacred Islands
760
Scientific and Geological Proofs of the Existence
778
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About the author (2011)

A cofounder in 1875 of the Theosophical Society and its principal catalyst and intellectual force, Helena Blavatsky has had perhaps a greater influence than any other single person on modern occultism and alternative spirituality. Born Helena de Hahn of an aristocratic Russian family, she married Nikofor Blavatsky in 1848 but soon left him to travel widely. While the details of her wandering years are not entirely clear, it is evident that she augmented natural psychic and spiritualist interests with much esoteric lore. In 1874 Blavatsky came to New York, where she met Henry Steel Olcott, who became the first president of the Theosophical Society upon its establishment in the following year as a vehicle for the study of arcane wisdom and the promotion of human brotherhood. In 1877 Blavatsky published her first book Isis Unveiled. In 1878-79, she and Olcott moved to India, where the new movement met with both success and controversy. Returning to Europe, she settled in London in 1887, where her major work The Secret Doctrine was published in 1888. Combining shamanistic, Hindu, Buddhist, Neoplatonist, and Cabalistic lore to reconstruct what she considered to be the primordial human wisdom, Blavatsky forcefully engaged its concepts with those of the science and religion of her day. p A woman of independent and colorful character, Blavatsky evoked strong responses, both positive and negative, and left a permanent legacy whose influence on modern cultural movements in both India and the West is increasingly recognized. Blavatsky died in 1891.

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