Isis Unveiled is the first magnum opus of Madam H.P. Blavatsky, written in 1877. As the author proclaims on the title page of the text, it is
A MASTER KEY TO THE MYSTERIES OF ANCIENT AND MODERN SCIENCE AND THEOLOGY.
In the pages of isis the author brings forward extensive proofs with corroborative evidence—historical, scientific and philosophical—of the existence from remotest antiquity of WISDOM-RELIGION which is the accumulated knowledge gained through aeons of spiritual and intellectual evolution of the human race; that there are men who stand far in advance of the average human being in evolutionary perfection, who have mastered this knowledge; that this body of knowledge is the fount and source of all religions and sciences, which reconciles them all; that it was universally diffused in antiquity, given rise to high civilization in prehistoric past and in the historical period, and that it has been lost to the Western nations as they descended into spiritual darkness with the demise of Gnosis of the Neo-platonic tradition at the commencement of the Christian era.
Modern science and religions are reviewed and shown that the former has ever neglected the psychic and spiritual dimensions of man and nature, and, as such, can never arrive at truth, limited as she is by her own choice, to Inductive and empirical methods; and the latter have deviated so far from the original spirit of the Universal Wisdom-Science which inspired them that they have degenerated into blind beliefs and superstitions, based on dead-letter interpretation of ancient sacred texts, and priestly imposture.
The net result of the loss of spirituality is that mankind at large has been fast losing all faith in the reality of the Soul-life, of Immortality, and all interest in everything other than material existence and material well-being. If this materialistic trend, say the Teacher, is not arrested and the mind of the west turned to the lost truths of the Archaic Science of the Soul and given the intellectual stimulus to comprehend and seek great spiritual truths, it will lapse into mere material luxury to putrefy and decay with all its horrific consequences, the signs of which we are witnessing.
Isis Unveiled is the first literary effort of Madam H.P. Blavatsky to aid the west in Self-discovery and Self-reform. Isis Unveiled, she says “is an attempt to aid the student to detect the vital principles which underlie the philosophic system of old.” (Preface)
The plan of the work, Isis Unveiled :
To give a brief summary of the religions and philosophies, and universal traditions of human kind, and exegesis of the same.
- The exposition of the ancient system is given in the spirit of the Secret Doctrines of the ancient Schools of Wisdom-Tradition.
- Show how these have got perverted in the public organized religions in their theological dogmas.
- Ecclesiastical religion has ever shunned truth and persecuted those who dared to investigate truth if it but clashed with the official proclaimed dogmas. Yet the Popish authority have arrogated to itself infallibility, and ever in the way of true progress and scientific spirit.
- In her eagerness to discount and reject religious authority which enslaved human thought, Science has neglected to investigated into the psychic and the spiritual aspects of the cosmos and man, and fallen into a strong materialistic bias and scepticism. Yet scientific authorities have claimed infallibility in their methods in spite of innumerable instances of the limitations of her methods, and failures.
The Aim of the work
1. To aid the spiritual aspirations of mankind, engulfed as it is in its death struggle with scientific materialism on the one hand, and the false theologies of the dogmatic creeds on the other
2. To show the mistaken notions of theological dogmas, to demonstrate how these have been manufactured by distorting the philosophical and the mystical doctrines of antiquity and imposed as new revelation, and to resuscitate the smothered spirit concealed in exoteric creeds to bring out the hidden truths in them.
3. To demonstrate the insufficiency of methods of modern science, the strong materialistic bias of men of science in general, and show them that only in the true Science of the Wisdom-Tradition of antiquity and its methods can the modern science can ever hope to unravel universe and man, and thus make true progress.
“Our voice is raised for spiritual freedom, and our plea made for enfranchisement from all tyranny, whether of SCIENCE or THEOLOGY.” (p. xiv)