T is for Theosophy

Theosophy is of Greek origin meaning ‘wisdom of the Gods’ (theo = of Gods, sophia = wisdom). The aim of theosophy is to seek understanding into the mysteries of the universe and what unites the universe, humanity and divinity in order to establish the origin and purpose of these things. It is a system of esoteric philosophy, other systems of which include alchemy, astronomy, Neoplatonism, Taoism, numerology, scientology and spiritualism, which traditionally search for hidden meanings and symbols within philosophy, history and religious texts so to become enlightened and saved.

Theosophy has changed over the centuries but it is now most in accordance with the study and values of Theosophists in the 15th Century and, as determined by Antoine Faivre, there are three distinct characteristics. The first is the Divine/Human/Nature Triangle which shows the interrelativity of these things and how they are correlated with one another; the second is the Primacy of the Mythic, an external world of symbols, myths, and the like, which link the universal reality with the creative mind; and Access to Supreme Worlds where through enlightenment a Theosophist has the faculty to connect directly with the Divine world(s) and explore all levels of reality.

The Theosophical movement was started by Helena Blavatsky and she taught specifically that ‘there is an omnipresent, eternal, boundless, and immutable reality of which spirit and matter are complementary aspects, that there is a universal law of periodicity or evolution through cyclic change, and that all souls are identical with the universal oversoul which is itself an aspect of the unknown reality’. She emphasised that Theosophy is neither revelation nor speculation, but given these things, how would a Theosophist view heaven?

The Theosophists, along with Wiccan and other pagan religions, refer to the afterlife as Summerland. In Theosophy, this is the astral plane that a soul who has been good in life goes to between incarnations (the bad souls go directly to Hell, located below the earth in the densest astral matter). The astral plane of heaven is located about 3-4miles above earth’s surface, and above that are other planes of heaven which can only be reached based on a soul’s spirituality and enlightenment. Firstly is the etheric plane where Sanat Kumara rules over the earth, then Devachan, the mental plane, and finally Nirvana which is located outside of the physical cosmos and once a soul reaches here they will no longer be reincarnated.

Theosophists also believe that the astral plane of heaven is separated by religion and each of these heavens is like the one dictated by their own individual scripture (i.e. Christians go to a heaven as described in the Bible). Sounds perfect really, ending up in the heaven you always believed in. Except, there is also a heaven reserved for those who did not believe, and everyone also gets reincarnated eventually (after an average of 1,400 years), whether you believed in reincarnation or not in your past life.

A very fascinating theory and something I found myself thinking about before in similar terms. What if what the individual believes is the truth? I suppose heaven could be a very lonely place for some.


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