An ancient faith having all the certitude of religion and all the mystery of science. The modern Theosophist holds, with the Buddhists, that we live an incalculable number of times on this earth, in as many several bodies, because one life is not long enough for our complete spiritual development; that is, a single lifetime does not suffice for us to become as wise and good as we choose to wish to become. To be absolutely wise and good -- that is perfection; and the Theosophist is so keen-sighted as to have observed that everything desirous of improvement eventually attains perfection. Less competent observers are disposed to except cats, which seem neither wiser nor better than they were last year. The greatest and fattest of recent Theosophists was the late Madame Blavatsky, who had no cat.
Any system of philosophy or mysticism which proposes to attain intercourse with God and superior spirits, and consequent superhuman knowledge, by physical processes, as by the theurgic operations of some ancient Platonists, or by the chemical processes of the German fire philosophers; also, a direct, as distinguished from a revealed, knowledge of God, supposed to be attained by extraordinary illumination; especially, a direct insight into the processes of the divine mind, and the interior relations of the divine nature.
theosophy: the teachings or philosophy as taught by Madam Blavatsky and C.W. Leadbeater, Annie Beasant, and other adherents to the Theosophical teachings