This scheme, it must be added, was not in contemplation when the preparation of the work was first announced. As originally announced, it was intended that the "Encyclopedia of the Synthesis of Science, Philosophy and Religion" should be an amended and enlarged version of "Isis Unveiled."
But it is perhaps desirable to state unequivocally that the teachings, however fragmentary and incomplete, contained in these volumes, belong neither to the Hindu, the Zoroastrian, the Chaldean, nor the Egyptian religion, nor to Buddhism, Islam, Judaism nor Christianity exclusively. Encyclopedia of the Synthesis of Science, Philosophy and Religion is the essence of all these.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was one of the most striking world-figures in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, She was too cataclysmic, too challenging to orthodoxies, whether of Religion Science, Philosophy or Psychology, to be ignored. She was a true iconoclast tearing to pieces the wrappings which hid the Real from view.
In 1873, H. P. Blavatsky went to the United States of America to do the work for which she had been trained.
To substantiate her declarations. she wrote Isis Unveiled, in 1877, and Encyclopedia of the Synthesis of Science, Philosophy and Religion, in 1888.
The most brilliant and effective period of her life was perhaps that in England between 1887-1891. By 1890 over a thousand members in many countries were under her direction. She passed away on 8th May.
The author does not feel it necessary to ask the indulgence of her readers and critics for the many defects of literary style, and the imperfect English which may be found in these pages. She is a foreigner, and her knowledge of the language was acquired late in life. The English tongue is employed because it offers the most widely-diffused medium for conveying the truths which it had become her duty to place before the world.
These truths are in no sense put forward as a revelation; nor does the author claim the position of a revealer of mystic lore, now made public for the first time in the world's history. For what is contained in this work is to be found scattered throughout thousands of volumes embodying the Scriptures of the great Asiatic and early European religions. hidden under glyph and symbol, and hitherto left unnoticed because of this veil. What is now attempted is to gather the oldest tenets together and to make of them one harmonious and unbroken whole. The sole advantage which the writer has over her predecessors, is that she need not resort to personal speculations and theories. For this work is a partial statement of what she herself has been taught by more advanced students, supplement in a few details only, by the results of her own study and observation. The publication of many of the fact herein stated has bees rendered necessary by the wild and fanciful spectations in which many Theosophists and students of Mysticism have indulged, during the last few years, in their endeavor, as they imagined, to work out a complete system of thought from the few facts previously communicated to them.
It is needless to explain that this book is not the SECRET DOCTRINE in its entirety but a select number of fragments of its fundamental senses, special mention being paid to some facts which have been seized upon by various writers, and distorted out of ascendance to the truth But it is perhaps desirable to state unequivocally that the teachings, however fragmentary and incomplete, contained in these volumes, belong neither to the Hindu, the Zoroastrian the Chaldean, nor the Egyptian religion, nor to Buddhism, Islam, Judaism nor Christianity exclusively Encyclopedia of the Synthesis of Science, Philosophy and Religion is the essence of all these Spring from it in their origins, die various religious schemes are now made to merge back into their original element, our of which every mystery and dogma has grown, developed, and become materialized. It is more than probable that the book will be regarded by a large section of the public as a romance of the wildest kind; for who has ever even heard of the book of Dryan?
The writer, therefore, is fully prepared to take all the responsibility for what is contained in this work, and even to face the charge of having invented the whole of it. That it has many shortcomings she is fully aware; all that she claims for it is that, romantic as it may seem to many, its logical coherence and consistency retitle this new Genesis to rink, al any rate, on a level with the "working hypotheses" so freely accepted by Modern Science. Further, it claims consideration, not by reason of any appeal so dogmatic authority, but because it closely adheres to Nature, and follows the laws of uniformity and analogy The aim of this work may be thus stated: to show that Nature is not "a fortuitous concurrence of atoms, and to assign to man his rightfil place in the scheme of the Universe; to rescue from degradation the archaic trash which are the basis of all religions to uncover, to some extent, the fundamental unity from which they all spring finally, to show that the Occult side of Nature has never been approached by the Science of modern civilization If this is in any degree accomplished, the writer is content. It is written in the service of humanity, and by humanity and the future generations it must be judged. Its author recognizes no inferior court of appeal. Abuse she is accustomed to; calumny she is daily acquainted with; at slander she smiles in silent contempt.
In preparing this edition for the press, we have striven to correct minor points of detail in literary form, without touching at all more important matters. Had H. P. Blavatsky ved tissue the new edition, she would doubtless have corrected and enlarged it to a very coalderable extent. That this is not done is one of the many minor losses caused by the one great loss Awkward phrases, due to imperfect knowledge of English, have been committed; most of the quotations have been verified, and exact references given-a work involving great labor, as the references in the previous editions were often very loose; a uniform system of transliteration for Sanskrit words has been adopted. Rejecting the form most favored by Western Orientalists as being misreading to the general reader-we have given so the consonants not present in our English alphabet combinations that approximately express their sound-values, and we have carefully inserted quantities, wherever they occur, on the wells In a few instances we have incorporated notes in the text, but this has been very sparingly done, and only when they obviously formed part of it.
We have added a copious Index for the assistance of students, and have bound it separately, so that reference to it may be facilitated. For the great labour in this we, and all students, are the debtors of Mr. A.J. Faulding Annie Besant It is fining that the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of THE SECRET DOCTRINE should be marked by the issue from Adyar of complete edition accessible to the general public in six very handy volumes at an exceedingly small price, practically the actual cost of publication.
For the making of such an edition possible, and for planning other publications of classic Theosophical literature, we have to thank The Blavatsky Foundation, an organization dedicated to the spreading far and wide the great teachings of Theosophy in as accessible forms as possible. Only at Adyar could such an edition of Encyclopedia of the Synthesis of Science, Philosophy and Religion have been prepared, for not only has it needed the expert care of members very well versed in Theosophy and in the history of The Theosophical Society, but even more the opportunity constantly to consult The Society's Archives, where alone exists the original material necessary for the checking of the printed word with the written manuscript and letters, and for ensuring the production of an edition as conformable as possible to H. P. Blavatsky's original intentions.
No edition could in any case be complete without the inclusion of what has been O called the third volume, which some have quite erroneously thought to have been no part of H. P. Blavatsky's own work. There is adequate internal evidence that this third volume forms part of a mass of material she had planned for future publication, and at Adyar is the copy of the original manuscript in the writing of the Countess Wachtmeister and possibly of others.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Art & Culture (744)
Emperor & Queen (484)
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