America and The Utopian Dream    
Introduction Utopian Literature Dystopian Literature Utopian Communities  
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THEOSOPHY
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Theosophy is, then, the archaic Wisdom-Religion, the esoteric doctrine once known in every ancient country having claims to civilization. This "Wisdom" all the old writings show us as an emanation of the divine Principle; and the clear comprehension of it is typified in such names as the Indian Buddha, the Babylonian Nebo, the Thoth of Memphis, the Hermes of Greece, in the appellations, also, of some goddesses -- Metis, Neitha, Athena, the Gnostic Sophia, and finally --the Vedas, from the word "to know." Under this designation, all the ancient philosophers of the East and West, the Hierophants of old Egypt, the Rishis of Aryavart, the Theodidaktoi of Greece, included all knowledge of things occult and essentially divine.

From What Is Theosophy? by H. P. Blavatsky

The Californian Theosophist Communes of Point Loma, Halcyon, Krotona and Ojai arose from the Theosophical Society formed in 1875 by Helena Petvrovna Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott. The Society based its creed on spiritualism, common themes in the major religions, and the occult. In 1878 Blavatsky and Olcott enlarged the scope of their Society by establishing the International Headquarters of the Theosophical Society in Bombay. When Blavatsky died in 1891, a schism developed between the Theosophists in India, represented by Olcott, and the Theosophists in America, led by William Q. Judge and later Katherine Tingley. The two sections were never reunited, but by the time of Olcott's death in 1907 more than 600 branches had been formed in 42 countries.
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