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Words of Wisdom

"The Four Elements": Selections from Theosophy’s Sacred Teachings "The Secret Doctrine," Part 1 of 2

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Theosophy, meaning “Divine wisdom,” refers to knowledge that comes through spiritual experience rather than intellectual understanding alone. Madame Blavatsky wrote several important books on Theosophy, including “Isis Unveiled,” “The Secret Doctrine,” “The Key to Theosophy,” and “The Voice of the Silence.” Offering insight into the origin and evolution of the universe, “The Secret Doctrine” also details an account of "Root Races" dating back millions of years. Although she was considered the author of “The Secret Doctrine,” Madame Blavatsky often expressed that she only conveyed the ancient wisdom that was passed on to her. The true authors of the work were her teachers, the Mahatmas, or Great Souls, who were the guardians of the Secret Wisdom of the ages.

Today on Words of Wisdom, we invite you to listen to excerpts of “The Four Elements” from Madame Blavatsky’s “The Secret Doctrine.” “Four Elements only are generally spoken of in later antiquity, while five only are admitted in philosophy. For the body of Ether (Astral Light) is not fully manifested yet, and its noumenon is still the ‘Omnipotent Father Aether,’ the synthesis of the rest.”

“The Four Elements were fully characterized by Plato when he said that they were that ‘which composes and decomposes the compound bodies.’ Hence Cosmolatry (worship of the cosmos) was never, even in its worst aspect, the fetishism which adores or worships the passive external form and matter of any object, but looked ever to the Noumenon therein. Fire, Air, Water, Earth, were but the visible garb, the symbols of the informing, invisible Souls or Spirits, the Cosmic Gods, to whom worship was offered by the ignorant, and simple, but respectful, recognition by the wiser. In their turn, the phenomenal subdivisions of the noumenal Elements were informed by the Elementals, so‐called, the ‘Nature Spirits’ of lower grades.”

“At any rate, good Christians, and especially the Biblical Protestants, ought to show more reverence for the Four Elements, if they would maintain any for Moses. For the Bible manifests the consideration and mystic significance in which they were held by the Hebrew Lawgiver, on every page of the Pentateuch. The tent which contained the Holy of Holies was a Cosmic Symbol, sacred, in one of its meanings, to the Elements, the four cardinal points, and Ether (Astral Light).”

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