Reframing theosophies (Neo-Platonism, Boehme, Blavatsky, etc.): some postulates

In order to make the archaic wisdom more understandable and up to date with 21st century state of affairs, I have reframed some old ideas of several theosophies into a modern form, a process-theosophy.
Here goes:

Some principles for a holistic philosophy of life

1. We live in an energy world. Matter is convertible to energy. Thoughts are energy-patterns. Feelings are energy-patterns. Action is of an energetic nature. Consciousness is substantive energy. And so on. Life is a process within this energy world.

2. There are interactions between organisms and their environment (other organisms and entities). The coupling between organism and environment gives rise to feedback-loops (mutual influences). Organisms are learning, developing, systems. Flows and cycles are a natural and ubiquitous phenomenon. In ancient philosophy and religion, this feedback is sometimes called karma (action and reaction, also working on the moral level of being). Experience and perception are central to life. Self-organization, autopoiesis (“self-making”) and adaptivity are core features of organisms.

3. Organisms are composite, complex systems. There is a control-hierarchy to steer processes within the organism, as well as between an organism and its environment. An example of a theory that deals with control and viable systems, is the management cybernetics of Stafford Beer.

4. All entities have their unique, substantive pattern, based upon which they manifest, develop, grow, and die. This pattern, or archetype, or paradigma, is the basis of inner identity (self), autonomy, sense of freedom and sense of morality. The expression of all this in the world is influenced by the environment. There is inherent unpredictability in the natural world. Since there is free will and choice, the outcome of actions cannot be predicted precisely. This has led the philosopher J.G. Bennett to introduce the concept of hazard.

5. Evolution is the process of gradual development (unfolding) of  capabilities latent within each being. There are multiple evolutions (physical, mental, spiritual) going on. Kingdoms of nature show jumps in qualities developed. This is related to the foregoing postulates. Adaptivity is a core notion that can bridge the perceived gap between science and spirituality.

6. Manifestation is based on the principle of polarity.

The regulative consciousness-principle works through associated flows of energy-matter and associated configurations of energy-matter.

Some examples are: psychosomatic diseases; light-matter coupling (boson-fermion); male-female attraction; electromagnetism; antagonisms, as in how muscles work; complementarity; particle-wave duality; opening a tap to fill a glass with water. The “pairs of opposites” is a familiar notion in the Bhagavad Gita.

7. There is a unified “field” or "matrix" of substantive consciousness, from which emerges 'wave-particles' of consciousness-energy-matter, variously called life-atoms, monads, souls, etc., that share in the properties of this field, in their own appropriate way, by having their own, limited, characteristic pattern or “energetic signature”. This “field” is the basis for connectedness and interaction.

Tags: Boehme, Neo-Platonism, Proclus, Theosophy, Whitehead, modern, philosophy, principles, process

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Great starting point for a discussion, Martin. I'll have more to say on this later on, but this is the type of reframing that we need to look at. There is a necessity to relate the best of what the wisest ones throughout the ages had to say with the present, and also to help serve as a guide to the future.
Dear Martin:
I share your concern about making wisdom more understandable and I write from this concern.
If I have to qualify "wisdom", I prefer using the word "ageless". If I start writing "archaic", I'm already making the "up to date" more difficult.
I think that the word "energy" should be carefully explained; if not, I cannot understand "consciousness is a substantive energy". And this kind of questions are raised in every line I read...
I'm sorry to say that these 7 points seem to me too complicated to be useful to people without a certain background, for exemple, there's many more people who have not heard about the particle-wave duality than those who have heard, and most of those who have heard about it have a "metaphoric, mythical, superficial, etc..."understanding of it, those whose knowledge is technical are fewer.
Best wishes!!!
Dear Ferran,
Archaic contrasts nicely with modern, that's why I used it. Of course, Ageless Wisdom sounds much better. But we are concerned with a modern formulation here. It is a first draft. I would have to reformulate it anyway, e.g. "consciousness is activity in substance" (perhaps identical to the perceptive process), instead of what it says now.

Energy and substance are terms that need a lot of philosophizing. Some philosophers today concern themselves with these things. We can study them. Philosophizing is not easy, it is a lifelong practice which few truly engage in. As to technical terms: there are several formulations possible, from more technical-philosophical to more popular versions. Both are needed, because they serve different audiences. Scientists/academics cannot do much with popularized statements.
A wider audience that has less mathematical education needs of course a popular phrasing of these ideas.

The whole point of this exercise is to see whether there are philosophers-researchers among theosophers and the like, who are interested in researching these ideas. I have to say that up to now, I got pretty little response from theosophical corners. It is almost if nobody cares, nobody wants to know, nobody wants to do this kind of research, etc. Only a couple of academics/researchers/philosophers seem to be able to contribute a little through their specific work.
Ferran, and other interested parties,
In 1994 I wrote a much simpler outline of basic, yet profound ideas/axioms of the esoteric philosophy. It has a bit more of a doctrinal tone, since I stayed as close as possible to theosophic formulations. Much of these ideas have found their way to New Age circles (in whatever form that may be) and associated teachings in the 20th century. So, here you will find something more popular and simpler in style.
The former, more technical piece is intended for deeper philosophical and scientific research. Also it is more directed to bio-psychological process and the modeling thereof.

Here follows part of my first article on Theosophy:

The seven jewels of wisdom. A synopsis. (extract from my Theosophy Basics series, part one)

Theosophy gives an outline of universal principles, the operations of which can be
recognized by everybody with an open mind. Recognition of these principles is possible
through gradual development of the faculty of understanding (by unselfish service to
mankind combined with esoteric study). All these principles can be found in the
literature of many religions, especially the mystical sections, e.g. Sufism, Gnosis,
ancient Kabbalah, certain parts of Buddhism, Hinduism, etc, as well in old myths.
The most important principles or truths are called: "The seven jewels of wisdom".
Together, these jewels give a sublime, practical system of ethics, incorporating the idea
of Universal Brotherhood (the essential connectedness of all beings). These jewels can
be used to build a system of science, which is based on consciousness as a primary
factor. Those that want to know more about the jewels than is said in this essay are
referred to the bibliography at the end of this article (the books mentioned there are now
on the web!)

First Jewel

The first jewel concerns the doctrine of reincarnation or reimbodiment.
Theosophy proceeds from a spiritual point of view. It says that consciousness is prior to
form or manifestation. Consciousness imbodies itself periodically in a suitable form.
Socrates talks about this in Plato's Phaedo.
This doctrine really is the about the law of cycles. All processes in nature are of a cyclic
nature. There are literally hundreds of examples in nature that substantiate this law.
Some more examples:

• the seasons in nature
• growth of seeds, fruition, decay, death and rebirth of new seeds
• fever
• revolution of planets around the sun
• civilizations
• valencies in the periodic system of chemical elements
• thought-processes
(a thought is born, can grow and can die..)

This particular example will be explained more fully in theosophy basics,
part two, because of its special importance in getting control of your life.
What looks like an unconnected bunch of examples, is in reality related to each other by
a process called: the analogous workings of nature.

Second Jewel

The second jewel is the old doctrine of karma (law of cause and effect) which is about
the restoration of harmony (equilibrium) after disturbances.
This law states that every action produces a reaction that is in accord with the action.
This law is active on all planes of being: physical, psychologically and spiritually. The
Christian bible has the proverb:' As you sow, so you shall reap', which is exactly the
same idea.
Karma is the universal law of justice, perceptible to the mind's eye (cf. Plato). There is
no other logical consistent explanation for the very great differences between people
than provided by this jewel of wisdom and the twin doctrine of reincarnation. It also is
one of the most difficult principles to grasp, because of its endless ramifications and
applications to all aspects of life.
Those who believe in blind chance may do so, but they are really incapable of
explaining many phenomena like telepathy, clairvoyance, etc. Also it is downright
amazing to me that relatively few people observe the intelligence working through
nature, configurating a single cell into a human body, and, maybe even more striking,
the intelligence that is unfolding right under their noses in their children growing up.
There are very marked stages visible in the above mentioned processes and I don't think
that materialistic science will ever be able to explain these stages and processes.
Theosophy gives at least some hints about the forces, energies, that play a role in these
processes. It says, for example, that the principle of conservation of energy extends to
all planes of nature, including the mental plane. That makes sense, don't you think?
Thought energy is a powerful energy that certainly has its effects on the mind of oneself
and of others. It is being conserved, though the forms it is being expressed through are
being subject to change and transformation.

Third Jewel

The third jewel concerns the doctrine of hierarchies.
This principle of nature is not well-known.
Yet Plato and Pythagoras taught it in their
academies. They stated the hierarchical structure of nature to be a fact. Indeed, we can
observe some remarkable examples in nature and elsewhere that point clearly in this
• Our body is organized in a most hierarchical fashion. It is composed of
organs, which are itself composed of tissues, which are composed of
cells, which are in its turn composed of certain structures, etc.
• The many kingdoms of nature have a certain hierarchical relationship
that can only be mentioned briefly here. The mineral kingdom can said to
have a relation to the human body. (think only of the bones in the human
body) The plant kingdom uses minerals in its chemical, physiological
processes. The animal kingdom uses the mineral and plant kingdoms The
human kingdom uses (or maybe better: misuses) all kingdoms below it.
(an example of a remnant of the plant kingdom in the human body is:
There are other kingdoms which cannot be elaborated upon now, but may be briefly
mentioned. Above the human kingdom there are divine kingdoms (why would the
human race be the most evolved species in the universe? It isn't.)
. In man himself there is most certainly a hierarchy of beings.

For simplicity I only mention some:

• the mineral and plant parts in man (bones, respectively hairs)
• the animal part in man
• the thinking part in man
• the inspirative part in man

This will probably raise some questions. In theosophy basics, part 2, I say a bit more
about these parts. Mark that these ideas were well known among many of the ancient
peoples. On Hawaii we can find the Huna religion which just treats of the same ideas as
found in this example. Of course, Plato, Pythagoras, Confucianism, the Kabbalah and
also Christianity (body, soul, and spirit) refer to the fact of the composite human nature.
Societies have inherently such a structure. There is a government (which does a good or
bad job..), there are states, counties, towns, families and individuals.
Because intellectual knowledge is higher valued than real wisdom, we see the
deplorable picture of governments that are not able to really help their people. The
accumulated wisdom of all ages is available to those who want to listen and think it
over.. In lit. 1 one can find more about this jewel, which is also called the doctrine of
emanations, because hierarchies are a result of emanations from the Spirit (Self)
configurating Itself in matter in various degrees or states.

Fourth Jewel

The fourth jewel is the principle of the unique characteristic of every being and class of
beings. This is a rather abstract principle to grasp.
The idea behind this principle is that every being, consciousness, manifests itself in just
that form that is in accordance with the developed qualities of the reimbodying
consciousness. Human consciousness takes a human form (body), animal consciousness
reimbodies into an animal, etc. More specifically stated, a horse-consciousness
becomes a horse; a rose-consciousness becomes a rose, etc.
This brings up the question of heredity. Materialistic science tells us that the cause for a
rose-seed developing into a rose lies in its genes. Well, to be sure, heredity exists, but it
is only a secondary phenomenon. We can ask a question: what are the causes for a
certain pattern of genes to exist? This question can never be answered by science as it is
now. Theosophy gives some general clues when we combine the seven jewels together.
At this point I should point out that there are many questions on the level of detail that
require a lifelong study and research. At the end of this document I will provide some
keys to be used in this kind of research.
It should be clear by now that this principle reverses the point of vision regarding
heredity: heredity is not a cause for our character, but just the result of our character that
we built during ages and ages. Heredity confines itself mainly to the physical aspect of

Fifth Jewel

The fifth jewel of wisdom concerns the principle of progressive evolution.
Now, evolution, as understood by Darwin and his followers, concerns itself with the
transformation of forms and the survival of the fittest.
Theosophy regards these processes as secondary processes and states clearly that
consciousness is the primary factor in evolution. It doesn't deny a struggle between
beings, but points out that there is actually a lot of cooperation in nature. Indeed, we
begin to understand a little more of the intricate ecosystems, symbiosis, mimicry, etc.
Evolution means literally, to evolve, to manifest certain qualities (of consciousness in
matter!). No phenomenon is possible without an active, intelligent force. Each
phenomenon is evolved from Universal Life-Matter in a long line of differentiations.
At the same time it is Life, involved in Matter. So, we have two concurrent processes,
instead of just an empty transformation of forms as the Darwinists will have us believe.
Now, regarding the term progressive evolution, it is stated that there is a gradual
development of qualities of consciousness, as can be seen in the different kingdoms of
life. Plants are more evolved than minerals. Animals are more evolved than plants, men
are more evolved than animals (some people may think differently..). Of course, we
seem often to behave like animals (this is a part of our nature) but there are also many
examples of unselfish people who sacrifice their own life for others.
Man has evolved the thinking faculty to some degree, animals have this faculty in a
latent condition.
The doctrine of progressive evolution states that beings in a certain kingdom develop
their consciousness by experience in this world, they reincarnate in the same kingdom
until they have reached the limit of possible experience in this kingdom. Then these
beings can enter the next higher kingdom, after a certain period. In this new kingdom
they can evolve higher aspects of consciousness. This fifth jewel is clearly connected
with the third one, hierarchies, and the first one, reincarnation.
In fact all these jewels are indissolubly connected. Those who wish to pursue the subject
of evolution, as theosophy describes it, further are referred to lit. 2. (available on the
For men, it is taught, there are still a lot of aspects of consciousness that can be
developed. To give two important examples: the faculty of understanding (discernment)
and the faculty of inspiration (consciousness of the essential unity of all beings). This is
our great task. Nowadays we mostly let control our lives by our lower desires and
impulses. Instead, we can use the faculties of Imagination and Will to create a powerful
image of Brotherhood, cooperation and peace. This fascinating subject is elaborated in
part 2 of theosophy basics. It is really a most effective way of changing the mental
atmosphere (Teilhard Chardin's noösphere) on this planet. Plato says: 'Ideas rule the
world', and he is right. Of course, we should also perform the necessary actions to help
realize our ideals.
All the great Teachers of humanity point out the way out of human misery. This is
further elucidated in the next two jewels.

Sixth Jewel

The sixth jewel of wisdom states that: duality is the basis for all manifestations
Krishna speaks about the 'pairs of opposites' in the Bhagavad Gita. *1) Mind and Matter
are the two poles of manifestation. The interaction of these two poles causes all progress
and regress. This, again, is a most profound subject with profound philosophical
We can choose between selfish action and selfless service for the benefit of the whole.
Those who act selfishly confine their consciousness to a very narrow area of existence
and experience.
Those who work for the benefit of the world extend their consciousness to higher planes
of consciousness. Of course, this is a gradual process. In Buddhism, there is a teaching
about the Path of Compassion. Those who work for the benefit of others, who have no
feelings of separateness from others (the greatest heresy in Buddhism) tread this Path
(not for themselves, but for others). They refuse Liberation or Nirvana when faced with
the possibility of acquiring this, because they do not want it as long as others suffer in
misery. They do not desert the poor orphan humanity. This is the most sublime ethics
ever conceived in the entire history of mankind!

Seventh Jewel

The seventh jewel is about knowing the essence of all life.
What is the origin of all things? How does the One Essence become the manifold?
These questions are really most fundamental in philosophy. It refers to the Source of all
Is it possible to know the origin of life? Yes, Theosophy answers. In the heart or core of
each being Universal Life is to be found. 'Thou Art That', the Upanishads say. Every
human being can discover this Divine Spark inside by gradually evolving higher aspects
of his/her consciousness. This will result in a realization of the connectedness of all
beings. This realization can be called 'enlightenment' and is really a stepwise, gradual
Mark that evolution is the expression of inner faculties of consciousness. It has nothing
to do with color of skin, etc. By treading the Path of Compassion, not for one self, but
for the whole, one is bound to discover the core or essence of things.
To be realistic, this will take many reincarnations. Of course, this doesn't matter,
because there is no end to evolution.
The only thing that matters is the right application of the right understanding of the
ancient wisdom to daily life by using your commonsense.

Some keys for the scientist-philosopher.

The main purpose of all that has been said is to demonstrate the existence of a coherent,
consistent philosophy of life, which shows us the rationale for ethical behavior. Who
would be so stupid to hurt his fellowmen when he understands that by doing so he is
really hurting himself? The essential connectedness of all beings is a central theme in
this philosophy.
The second purpose of this document is to provide some stimulating thoughts for those
scientists (or people who are really interested in science) who understand that a
synthesis between old religious truths and science is a possibility. Now, I cannot
provide a finished, complete system of deductive methods of esoteric science. A lot of
building blocks are already provided, however, by Theosophy. A combination of
inductive and deductive methods may be in place for the diverse sciences.
(and then follow some words about analogical processes in nature).

I found these to be good points for consideration, Ferran. I have sometimes found that what I consider self-evident and basic due to my background, experience and energy nature lineage need greater definition for other rays or experience levels. As one working to create a completely new lexicon of wisdom and energy consciousness that will resonate with today's modern thought leaders and shed many of the old obsolete and inaccurate perceptions around more familiar "wisdom studies terms" myself, I found Martin's level of discussion and choice of language refreshing and appropriate for the audience I think he was trying to stimulate. There are always concepts that serve as "gateways" for those with more intuitive understanding or curiosity [we only have to look at the works of the Tibetan for those!]. Only those ready and equipped to explore particle-wave duality in the context of the universal wisdom and energy arts concepts will be at all piqued or stimulated by Martin's text. Others on other lines will resonate with something else.




J-Coby: well said, though I am not very much into Bailey. But this is besides the point.

"As one working to create a completely new lexicon of wisdom and energy consciousness"

Here it gets really interesting. Can you tell us something about your work? I noted the use of contrasts in your work, as indicated on your website.

"the audience I think he was trying to stimulate."

Think of those who read Gary Zukav's Dansing Wu-Li Masters or of those who value Fritjof Capra.


Yes, the Wu-Li and Capra crowd are pretty much whom I figured you were aiming for. We suggest Capra to a lot of our clients.


Our purpose is "evolution through energy". The mission of our work is primarily to bring the world of energy and energy arts to life for those who want to manifest good stuff and improve the world - let's say "adding the energy dimension" to individual, enterprise and world level evolution, as one of our clients put it. I come originally from a secular, intellectual|academic, tech, international relations, diplomatic history, art history, international environmental policy|law and futurist background, so when I first came upon the world of "energy" via a bunch of different modalities, I was turned off by the mystical, new age-y mien of many of the people I met. However, the kernels of truth were clearly resonant through the "unattractive packaging" [for me personally]. My partner and I are very philosophical, but also practical in nature and part of the task we have been given as part of our lineage and contribution to right relations, goodwill and conscious evolution through Energy Arts Alliance and our World Relations Initiative [which supports other enterprises and groups contributing to evolution] is to expose people to the energy reality in a neutral way - in how we do our work, in how we approach our clients [not as master-student, command-and-control model, which is what we came up through with our Asian energy science and spiritual mentors, but rather recognizing, equipping and learning from each soul's own wisdom and work in their own particular lines of human endeavor] and in the language we use to turn highly intelligent, highly practical, highly tech-savvy and highly service oriented people on to the world of energy in a way that does not seem "woo-woo". Also, in our experience in the USA and other parts of the world where we've taught and done work, there's too much old, obsolete baggage and misinterpretation|misrepresentation around a lot of wisdom or spiritual terms. Honestly, meaning no disrespect, if I hear the word "authentic" again, I will run away, screaming. There are so many old Piscean tendencies clinging to old concepts that we are working to help break the mold with a more synthetic and progressive language that is brought in from the future.


A main tool or energy that we use in our approach - as you noted - is the energy art of contrast: the ability to be comfortable in the space of and wield pairs of opposites. We have found it to be a critical component for responsible manifestation, which tends to end up being what our clients focus on. An example of a modern "cool vibe" we downloaded as part of the way of the conscious evolver is Fearless|Goodwill. Many wouldn't normally think of most fearless people having a character of goodwill and often, people perceive those of goodwill as pushovers and over-cautious. Other examples of some of our cool vibes: Structured|Flow, Playful|Discipline, Collaborative|Initiative, Regal|Relaxed, Wondrous|Wisdom, Spontaneous|Rhythm, Safe|Exploration, Expanded|Groundedness, etc.


Most of our clients are highly adventurous and brilliant individuals, enterprises or projects who have perceived things they can't explain all their lives, gravitate towards a global world view, have a well-developed intuitive understanding [though they may not call it that, recognize it or having training in it], resonate with sci-fi and recognize consciously or not consciously that technology is representing just a subset of what we human beings as some of the highest-tech around are equipped to do if only we have ways and opportunities to realize it.



'if I hear the word "authentic" again, I will run away, screaming. There are so many old Piscean tendencies clinging to old concepts that we are working to help break the mold with a more synthetic and progressive language that is brought in from the future.'


Indeed, "authentic" mostly has come to mean 'don't bother me with your ideas", or, 'don't tamper with the Teachings". It is a highly conservative term, and we don't want to become mummies, do we?

Developing a more synthetic/holistic language is not an easy thing to do. Could you say some more about how you do it?


'An example of a modern "cool vibe" we downloaded as part of the way of the conscious evolver is Fearless|Goodwill. Many wouldn't normally think of most fearless people having a character of goodwill and often, people perceive those of goodwill as pushovers and over-cautious. '


Yes, and that is an example of stereotypical thinking. Fearless-Goodwill is a good complementary pair. These qualities make up the true "Warrior",  in the positive sense of the term. Maybe we can put that in our dictionary.


'Other examples of some of our cool vibes: Structured|Flow, Playful|Discipline, Collaborative|Initiative, Regal|Relaxed, Wondrous|Wisdom, Spontaneous|Rhythm, Safe|Exploration, Expanded|Groundedness, etc.'


I noted these on your website and am curious as to how you work with these vibes. It all seems natural enough, yet many people get stuck in one phase instead of skillful combining and alternating roles/energy patterns/etc.

Perhaps our society as a whole is a bit too one-dimensional too?


Item #1:
The idea of all being energy is a great place to start. However, it seems that energy, as we understand it is a manifestation of a deeper principle. The statement as a whole has a coherence that is easily comprehended.

Item #2:
The deeper question here is at what level does the consciousness in "inert" (misnomer) matter become a 'being consciousness'? Research is increasingly revealing advanced levels of communication, including the ability to recognize and communicate in human languages in other creatures. The description of karma as a feedback mechanism is a brilliant insight. Nature is full of feedback loops and self-controlling mechanisms. Perhaps viewing karma in terms of information theory would be a next step forward.

Item #3:
For further information on Stafford Beer, see the article on Wikipedia.
Again, this is an interesting application of a theory generally applied to management, but equally valid in terms of any system of hierarchies where there are dependencies on controls.

Items #4, 5, and 6 - No comment. You described it quite well.

Item #7
Perhaps a more detailed examination of the spectrum of such phenomenon, both in the sense of determining what part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and what other types of action are involved (i.e. quantum interactions) could give some major clues to the underlying mechanisms. It's very much like the first item in that the major step is to identify the characteristics of these phenomena, then attempt to understand the underlying principles.

Overall I agree strongly that there is a new set of terminology needed, and that we, among others will have to take the lead in developing the new lexicon. One thing that might be useful immediately is the development of a dictionary for us to keep track of our terminology as it develops.
All of these ideas are extremely important, especially consciousness and evolution. To me, it's important to realize that every step of evolution is directed by the involution of the Spirit into the lower states. In other words, without the descent of the Spirit into the world, there cannot be any ascent of the world into the Spirit and to the same extent which the Spirit has descended into the world, the world can ascend into the spirit.
Joan, excellent. This has always been one of my favorite ideas from theosophy.
One can find it also with Boehme and Proclus as well as with various other teachers. Alfred North Whitehead developed the same idea, to some extent, in his process philosophy. It is a must for the new theosophical framework (however we call it - I prefer for now the term holistic or integral)
Yes, and with Plotinus and Sri Aurobindo. I agree, the terms holistic and especially integral, are better.


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