Eclectic Theosophical History: Introduction

Theosophical History is a field of research in which there is a very fundamental dichotomy. On the one hand there are those who (like the majority of scientists) believe only in what can be measured, weighed and explained by materialistic hypothesises. For these clairvoyance is by definition impossible. Therefore, whenever clairvoyance seems to happen, another explanation needs to be found. When the most obvious explanation (other than clairvoyance being a reality) is imposture, that means the person who claims to be clairvoyant has (automatically) a bad character. This supposition colours the research.

The other side of the dichotomy in this case is the researcher with a theosophical background. They will often have a tendency to take anything that H.P. Blavatsky says at face value, and only doubt when she contradicts herself (which she does do often enough). This also colours the research. On this website are gathered the researches of a few historians who belong to an in between group. Not doubting H.P. Blavatsky by definition, often believing in clairvoyant and other psychic powers, still they are critical and do not take everything at face value. Like ordinary historians they look through archives, search for quotes and think for themselves. In short, much interesting material can be found here. 

The first reaction of a person who believes in clairvoyance to seeing a psychic will be something like: is this useful, does this add to what we know - the questions is this real, and how can this be explained are less relevant. The quality more than the possibility of the research will be their objective. 

Theosophy is, etymologically, divine wisdom. It therefore implies belief in the possibility of divine wisdom. There is either something divine which has divine wisdom, or there is the potential in human beings for divine wisdom and thus something divine in each human being. Theosophists usually believe in the second option.

Theosophical history therefore might be explained as the history of those who had or searched for theosophia, i.e. divine wisdom. The term itself was used not only by H.P. Blavatsky and other founders and members of the Theosophical Society (founded 1875), but also, earlier, by for instance the followers of Jacob Boehme. (see Louis Siémons Theosofia In Neo-Platonic and Christian Literature: Summary and Conclusions )

On this website the term theosophical history is used precisely as above explained. Still the main focus is on the history of H.P. Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society she co-founded. 

Katinka Hesselink

(2001 - 2011)