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The Secret Doctrine

(The Secret Doctrine #1-2)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,324 ratings  ·  64 reviews
A sourcebook of the esoteric tradition, outlining the fundamental tenets of the Secret Doctrine of the Archaic Ages. This title addresses the perennial questions: continuity of life after death, purpose of existence, good and evil, consciousness and substance, sexuality, karma, evolution, and human and planetary transformation.
Paperback, 572 pages
Published August 1st 1999 by Theosophical University PR (first published 1888)
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Shrikanya In the past, she might have been Nebuchadnezzar. She was accompanied by three wise men.

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Apr 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: metaphysics
When I first considered reading the The Secret Doctrine, I thought I had a pretty good back ground in the understanding of esoteric interpretations of nature. I quickly realized that if I read the material at that point, I would only attain a C-average understanding. This for me would be unacceptable. I knew that there would need to be a lot of mental upgrading. I first picked out 10 books that would get me from where I was, to where I needed to be, here are the books in the order that I read th ...more
Oct 06, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, new-age
This book is complete garbage. The author's incompetence is obvious, she just took everything that was known of Eastern religious and philosophic systems in the 19th century Europe, everything the pseudo-intellectual mass wanted to believe, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Anti-Semitic and Aryan ideologies - everything that wanted to be believed and wasn't systematized yet. She spoke of mahatmas from Hinduism, though there are none there: there are Wise Men - the Rishi, but their role is different ...more
Apr 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must reference book for serious seekers and researchers of esoteric philosophies and modern occultism! Not necessarily an easy read. HP Blavatsky's writing style was a bit crude as her native language is not English. But the ideas presented, I believe, formed the basis of the modern occult movement - both eastern and western. I started reading this one when I was still in senior high school and finally "finished" reading it a few years back. Its like it took me 15 years to read it! :) But Im n ...more
P.D. Maior
As a strong (albeit esoteric and primordial oriented) Christian I can tell you if I were stuck on an island with one book I would rather have this than the Bible. There are endless mysteries on all aspects of being and the universe coming from higher beings of consciousness into this wise and gracious woman’s mind. One sentence will relate to another you read twenty pages back and another to one three pages back. You think she is rambling but it is like an intentionally scattered shotgun approac ...more
Andrew Hennessey
Jul 29, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It was in volume 3 of the secret doctrine that I found the issues that 1930's nazi Germany found pleasing in Blavatskys work .. in the chapter on Root Races ... but volume 1 still remains an important and very ancient contribution to 21st Century chaos theory [logos-outpouring-vehicles:] - the suppressed law of emergence written up in Hindu terminology ...more
Michael Riedijk
Jul 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
Poorly written junk. Mrs. Blavatsky (who later in life turned out to be a fraud) mixed concepts of different religions and added a massive amount of fantasy resulting in a book that has NOTHING to do with reality, truth, philosophy or spirituality (unless you missed the last 100 years in science and philosophy). It does not contain any valuable life lesson. Don't waste your time on this. ...more
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Madame Blavatsky was a very learned woman from her time, and did a lot to identify the root races and other metaphysical topics. I had already read part of this years ago, and it is worth the read if you have an open mind and believe that all religions are the same and have a core tenet of love.
Van Derek
Apr 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Compulsory reading for theosophists or anyone interested in esoteric philosophy or spiritualism. Theosophical thinking has changed the direction of many lives including the poet William Butler Yeats. This is a highly creative work of spiritualism, to be absorbed and IMHO not to be taken too literally.
Jan 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theosophy
Brings together a great deal of mythological, 19th-century scientific, and religious material to show the unity behind human traditions throughout time and culture. Principles are universal, whatever one may think of the details.
Sep 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Absolute must for any Theosophy scholar or mystic.
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This mostly went over my head, but what I understood I liked.
Apr 06, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Here lies one of the biggest roots of modern syncretism, "new-age" and pseudo-spirituality. A real malignent tumor.
René Guénon swept the floor pretty well with all this business indeed with his Theosophy: History of a Pseudo-Religion and The Spiritist Fallacy. Both books are a must.

Quotes from the Guénon book :
"‘Our goal,’ as Mme Blavatsky used to say, ‘is not to restore Hinduism, but to sweep Christianity from the surface of the earth .’" - Declaration made by Alfred Alexander and published in
Patrick Chouinard
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best introduction to The Secret Doctrine :

Best introduction to Madame Blavatsky:
The Inscrutable Madame Blavatsky: An Interview with Gary Lachman
Oct 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
i liked this for what i learned about so many alternative belief systems. this woman has a complicated brain! if you don't stop reading once in a while to go for a walk or get some fresh air you will fry quickly. ...more
Glenn Horne
Sep 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Profoundly interesting, poorly written
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent introduction to The Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky's core text for Theosophy. For those not ready for the full text, which is in 2 volumes, I would highly recommend this book. ...more
Jim Amy
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book concerns Blavatsky's esoteric guesses about the Mystical side of the evolution of Earth and Humanity. These ae subjects that, at least physically, we know far more about in the terms of 21st Century Science than she ever could have known in the Nineteenth Century. The book is obscure and very hard to believe. Her concept of planetary rounds is interesting. That of Humanity's Root Races, less so. Perhaps I should have started with Isis Unveiled. ...more
Mar 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very intriguing. Very intense. It took all my brain power on an intellectual level, but I connected at a deeper, core level much more readily. Though, I can't say that every concept and principle resonated, the overall work assimilated well to the grander scheme of all I've learned thus far on the subjects. ...more
Jake Jaqua
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Blavatsky's "Secret Doctrine" stands alone and unique in the field. It is further separated from later imitators by the couple thousand References to Scriptures, ancient literature, science of her time and magazines, she uses in support of her premises that there used to be a universal Wisdom Religion over the earth shared by all in its essence. ...more
Sep 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
Anyone that wants to read this should be strongly advised to read first "Theosophy: History of a Pseudo-Religion" by René Guénon. It explains why this book is crap and why you shouldn't waste your time with it nor with Theosophy altogether. ...more
M. Joseph Murphy
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A truly fascinating read whether you believe any of it or not. Blavatsky's view of the world is more interesting and fantastical than anything you'll find out there. Warning, however, it's not an easy read. This was my fourth or fifth time reading this. ...more
John Laidlaw
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A staggeringly great piece of work by a much maligned (as well as revered) woman. A number of reviews here are attempted 'hatchet' jobs...well, believe what you wish...those who have eyes to see, let them see. As to the Mahatmas, claimed by some as non-existent, really? ...more
Brandon Kendall
Jan 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
HP Blavatsky was truly the mother of modern occultism. Almost as complex and confusing as the vedas.
Nov 30, 2008 marked it as to-read
Shelves: history
allegedly part of basis for 3rd Reich's rationale for Aryan race, according to program called Hitler and the Occult ...more
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Is a book you have to wade through, but it is well worth the effort you put into it. It is very enlightening.
Robert Ingram
May 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Blavatskys mind vomited. For almost an instant, I believed I could feel the earth vibrating. It's a good thing I was stoned at the time, or I might have believed it. ...more
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book defined the modern esoteric tradition. Straight from the sane/insane Source of All.
Grace Zales
Dec 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Light reading, interesting for a gullible reader. Not for an skeptical person. A part history of magic collection do.
Tamara Orlando
Mar 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Complex thought! From an amazingly fascinating woman.
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The better edition for having a huge separate index/bibliography volume, plus many corrections, notes and Introduction by the editor Boris de Zirkoff.
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Magick and Occult...: Secret Doctrine 10 14 May 17, 2015 07:10PM  

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Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (Russian: Еле́на Петро́вна Блава́тская, Yelena Petrovna Blavatskaya, often known as Madame Blavatsky; 12 August [O.S. 31 July] 1831 – 8 May 1891) was a Russian occultist, philosopher, and author who co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875. She gained an international following as the leading theoretician of Theosophy, the esoteric religion that the society promoted.


Other books in the series

The Secret Doctrine (3 books)
  • The Secret Doctrine: Vol 1
  • The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2 of 2: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy (Forgotten Books)

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