To Revive the Mysteries of Antiquity

By Eloise Hart

When Katherine Tingley established the theosophical headquarters at Point Loma, she dedicated a cornerstone of what was to be the School for the Revival of the Lost Mysteries of Antiquity, and expressed a hope that these Mystery-teachings might bring light to "the dark places of the earth." Intrigued and inspired by this idea, many high-minded men and women from around the world came to participate in her ambitious undertaking. One of them was Gottfried de Purucker, who became her student, assistant and, upon her death in 1929, her successor as Leader of the Theosophical Society. His broad scholarship and insights into the doctrines H. P. Blavatsky presented in The Secret Doctrine made him uniquely qualified to carry on this endeavor and to re-express once esoteric tenets.

In doing this he was one in a succession of those who work to ennoble the world. In his Fountain-Source of Occultism, he described how through the ages certain men and women have succeeded in purifying and elevating their natures so as to be able to receive and transmit the theosophia or divine wisdom. These teachers have served in succession, one following the other, since the earliest civilizations. The Greeks spoke of their being links in a Golden Chain that connects Olympus and Earth, with each one passing the flame of truth in relay from generation to generation.

Their effort continues unbroken. They come whenever there is a call for justice and truth, wherever there is aspiration to help the unfortunate. Each follows one who has gone before, and is succeeded by one who, like him or herself, responds to the needs of the time. What are their teachings? They are the truths about the nature, composition, and operations of man and cosmos. GdeP discussed these truths with clarity and inspiration, often emphasizing a particular idea with an allegory or quotation from sacred scriptures. Those of us who heard him speak felt richly rewarded, as do those who read his books. For in a very real way he did revive the lost Mysteries of antiquity with a sanctity that purifies and enlightens men's souls.

(From Sunrise magazine, April/May 2000; copyright © 2000 Theosophical University Press)

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