[From THE THEOSOPHIST]
reprinted from “Theosophical Siftings” Volume - 1 -
With how much of the Nature-searching, God-seeking science of the ancient Aryan and Greek mystics, and of the powers of modern spiritual mediumship, does the Theosophical Society agree ? Our answer is: — With it all. But if asked what it believes in, the reply will be: — "As a body — Nothing". The society, as a body, has no creed, for creeds are but the shells of unspiritual knowledge; and Theosophy in its fruition is spiritual knowledge itself — the very essence of philosophical and theistic enquiry. Visible representative of Universal Theosophy, it can be no more sectarian than a Geographical Society, which represents universal geographic exploration without caring whether the explorers be of one creed or another. The religion of the Society is an algebraical equation, in which, so long as the sign of equality is not omitted, each member is free to substitute quantities of his own, which accord better with climatic and other exigencies of his native land, with the idiosyncrasies of his people, or even with his own. Having no accepted creed, our Society is very ready to give and take, to learn and teach, by practical experimentation, as opposed to mere passive and credulous acceptance of enforced dogma. It is willing to accept every result claimed by any school or system that can be logically and experimentally demonstrated. Conversely, it can take nothing on mere faith, no matter by whom the demand may be made.....
Born in the United States of America, the Society was constituted on the model of its Mother-land. The latter, omitting the name of God from its constitution, lest it should one day afford a pretext to make a State religion, gives absolute equality to all religions in its laws. All support and each is in turn protected by the State. The Society modelled upon this constitution may fairly be termed "a republic of Conscience".
Our members, as individuals, are free to stay outside or inside any creed they please, provided they do not pretend that none but themselves shall enjoy the privilege of conscience, and try to force their opinions upon the others. The Theosophical Society tries to act upon the wisdom of the old Buddhistic axiom: — "Honour thine own faith, and do not slander that of others" ....
Broader and far more universal in its views than any existing mere scientific Society, it has, plus science, its belief in every possibility and the determined will to penetrate into those unknown spiritual regions which exact science proclaims that its votaries have no business to explore. And it has one quality more than any religion in that it makes no difference between Gentile, Jew or Christian. It is in this spirit that the Society has been established upon the footing of a Universal Brotherhood.
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