A Sketch of the
Doctrines and Principal Teachers of the
Eclectic or Alexandrian School; also
An Outline of the Interior Doctrines of the
Alchemists of the Middle Ages.


Originally published by Weed, Parsons and Company, Printers, Albany, N. Y., 1869. Paper reprint available in the "Secret Doctrine Reference Series" from Wizards Bookshelf, Minneapolis (1975).


The Ecelctic Philosophy

Alchemy or the Hermetic Philosophy

Men and parties, sects and schools are but the mere ephemera of the world's day. TRUTH, highseated upon its rock of adamant, is alone eternal and supreme. Centuries of subjection have not quite congealed the life-blood of men into crystals around the nucleus of blind faith. Our work, then, is a plea for the recognition of the Hermetic philosophy, the anciently universal Wisdom Religion, as the only possible key to the Absolute in science and theology.
For many a long year the "great orphan," Humanity, has been crying aloud in the darkness for guidance and for light. Amid the increasing splendors of a progress purely material, of a science that nourished the intellect but left the spirit to starve, Humanity, dimly feeling its origin and presaging its destiny, has stretched out towards the East empty hands that only a spiritual philosophy can fill. Aching from the divisions, the jealousies, the hatreds, that rend its very life, it has cried for some sure foundation on which to build the solidarity it senses, some metaphysical basis from which its loftiest social ideals may rise secure. Only the Masters of the Eastern wisdom can set that foundation, can satisfy, at once the intellect and the spirit, can guide Humanity safely through the night to "the dawn of a larger day." Such is the goal which theosophy has set itself to attain; such is the history of the modern movement; such is the work which theosophy, has already accomplished.
At least we may claim to have placed before the thinking public a logical, coherent, and philosophical scheme of man's origin, destiny, and evolution -- scheme preeminent above all for its rigorous adherence to justice. And, that we may broaden our criterion of truth, our research extends to an inquiry into the nature of the less known forces, cosmic and psychical. Upon such themes many of our books have been written, and many of our reprints of ancient works have been selected with reference to the light they throw upon these quaestiones vexatae. In one word, our whole aim and desire are to help, in at least some degree, toward arriving at correct scientific views upon the nature of man, which carry with them the means of reconstructing for the present generation the deductive metaphysical or transcendental philosophy which alone is the firm, unshakable foundation of every religious philosophy. Theosophy, the universal solvent, is fulfilling its mission; the opalescent tints of the dawn of modern psychology are blending together, and will all be merged into the perfect daylight of truth, when the sun-orb of Eastern esotericism has mounted to its noon-stage. -- H. P. BLAVATSKY, Isis Unveiled

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