Too difficult to read? The Secret Doctrine throws your mind into cosmic consciousness.

January 12, 2018 - By S. Ormerod

Some theosophists avoid reading Blavatsky’s monuments work – The Secret Doctrine – citing that it is “too difficult”.  Other theosophists have never seen this work or know of its existence.  If you decide to undertake a study of this work, you will find it difficult – but not impossible.

It’s best to join a discussion group on line or better yet a meeting in your area. Start small, to begin I would suggest reading the proem if nothing else. The are lots of suggestions about how to study the SD, – its not a book to start to read cover to cover, but rather in selected passages to first get the feel of the overall intention of this monumental work. You will find lots of suggestions on line regarding which sections to read and in what order.

The follow quote is from the proem, page 14 andI would suggest reading it, one paragraph at a time, think about it, try to grasp the concepts. It asks you to think about the unthinkable and it will stretch your mental horizons.

You may ask, why study these abstract concepts and how can I use this in my life here and now? This is exactly what I thought too! Then, as I read it over and  over,  I started to make a connection, almost in a subconscious way. You see, the ideas are expansive and universal, they take us out of our mundane personal thinking, out of this petty conditioned personality and throw us into space, motion and absolute consciousness –  she is asking us to think or conceive from this perspective as we read about cosmic ideas.

I realized that this is exactly what I was trying to do during meditation . I try to calm my mind, to observe my thoughts, then to expand my mental plane past preconceived ideas in silent awareness. This is what this book is actually doing to us when we try to grasp these expansive concepts – the book eventually has an effect on “how” we think.

The Secret Doctrine establishes three fundamental propositions in one of the first sections called The Proem:— (one of which I quote here from the SD Proem, 14) Here is the first fundamental proposition Blavatsky asks us to grasp.

(a) An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable Principle on which all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human conception and could only be dwarfed by any human expression or similitude. It is beyond the range and reach of thought—in the words of Mandukya, “ unthinkable and unspeakable.”

To render these ideas clearer to the general reader, let him set out with the postulate that there is one absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested, conditioned, being. This Infinite and Eternal Cause— dimly formulated in the “Unconscious” and “Unknowable” of current European philosophy—is the rootless root of “all that was, is, or ever shall be.” It is of course devoid of all attributes and is essentially without any relation to manifested, finite Being. It is “ Be-ness ” rather than Being (in Sanskrit, Sat), and is beyond all thought or speculation.

This “Be-ness” is symbolised in the Secret Doctrine under two aspects. On the one hand, absolute abstract Space, representing bare subjectivity, the one thing which no human mind can either exclude from any conception, or conceive of by itself. On the other, absolute Abstract Motion representing Unconditioned Consciousness. Even our Western thinkers have shown that Consciousness is inconceivable to us apart from change, and motion best symbolises change, its essential characteristic. This latter aspect of the one Reality, is also symbolised by the term “ The Great Breath,” a symbol succinctly graphic to need no further elucidation. Thus, then, the first fundamental axiom of the Secret Doctrine is this metaphysical One Absolute—Be-ness—symbolised by finite intelligence as the theological Trinity.